The choline transporter resurfaces: new roles for synaptic vesicles?

Mol Interv. 2004 Feb;4(1):22-37. doi: 10.1124/mi.4.1.22.


Presynaptic choline uptake is vital to sustained neuronal acetylcholine (ACh) release; however, only with the recent cloning of choline transporters (CHTs) (i.e., SLC5A7), has a picture emerged of the regulatory pathways supporting CHT modulation. Studies arising from the development of CHT-specific antibodies reveal a large, intracellular reserve of CHT proteins, localized to ACh-containing, synaptic vesicles. The intersection of mechanisms supporting vesicular ACh release and choline uptake demonstrates an elegant mechanism for linking regulation of CHT membrane density to rates of ACh release. Furthermore, these studies point to control of the CHT endocytic process as an important target for novel therapeutics that could offset functional deficits in disorders bearing diminished cholinergic tone, including myasthenias and dementias.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Cholinergic Agents / metabolism
  • Hemicholinium 3 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism*


  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • choline transporter
  • Hemicholinium 3
  • Choline
  • Acetylcholine