Honokiol and magnolol increased hippocampal acetylcholine release in freely-moving rats

Am J Chin Med. 2000;28(3-4):379-84. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X00000441.


Honokiol and magnolol, phenolic compounds isolated from the stem bark of Magnolia officinalis, have been demonstrated to increase choline acetyltransferase activity, inhibit acetylcholinesterase, promote potassium-induced acetylcholine release and exhibit neurotrophic function in in vitro studies. The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of these compounds on hippocampal acetylcholine release in conscious, freely-moving rats. 10(-4) M-10(-6) M of honokiol or magnolol was perfused into rat hippocampus via a dialysis probe. The results showed that at 10(-4) M concentration, honokiol and magnolol markedly increased extracellular acetylcholine release to 165.5+/-5.78% and 237.83+/-9.47% of the basal level, respectively. However, lower concentrations of either compounds failed to elicit significant acetylcholine release. This result suggests that a high dose of honokiol or magnolol may enhance in vivo hippocampal acetylcholine release.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biphenyl Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Biphenyl Compounds / metabolism*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Lignans*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Lignans
  • magnolol
  • honokiol
  • Acetylcholine