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J Neurosci Res. 1995 Jun 15;41(3):403-8.

Stimulation of choline acetyl transferase activity by l- and d-carnitine in brain areas of neonate rats.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Nueva Granada, Caracas.


Acetyl-CoA supply to the cytosol and its regulatory influence on acetylcholine biosynthesis is still an unsolved question. Acetylcarnitine through the carnitine acetyl transferase (CarAT) system has been proposed to be the acetyl donor in this process. Carnitine isomers were injected into rat developing brains every day for 14 days after birth. Results showed that carnitine and its associated forms produced a choline acetyl transferase (ChAT) activity increase in the striatum and the hippocampus. Carnitine acetyl transferase activity was stimulated by the treatment of l-carnitine in the hippocampus but it remained unchanged in the striatum and the cerebral cortex. These results suggest that ChAT and CarAT activities might be modulated by Acetyl-CoA derived preferentially from acetylcarnitine. It is suggested that ChAT activity enhancement depends on intrinsic and extrinsic cholinergic afferents to these brain areas.

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