The influence of long term treatment with choline alphoscerate on microanatomy of hippocampus and glial reaction was assessed in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) used as an animal model of cerebrovascular disease. Choline alphoscerate is a cholinergic precursor, which has shown to be effective in countering cognitive symptoms in forms of dementia disorders of degenerative, vascular or combined origin. Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) aged 6 months and age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were treated for 8 weeks with an oral daily dose of 100 mg/kg of choline alphoscerate, 285 mg/kg of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) or vehicle. On the hippocampus of different animal groups, nerve cell number and GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes were assessed by neuroanatomical, immunochemical and immunohistochemical techniques associated with quantitative analysis. Treatment with choline alphoscerate countered nerve cell loss and glial reaction primarily in the CA1 subfields and in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of SHR. Phosphatidylcholine did not affect hypertension-dependent changes in hippocampal microanatomy. Both compounds did not affect blood pressure values in SHR. These data suggest that choline alphoscerate may play a role in the countering hippocampal changes induced by cerebrovascular involvement. The observation that treatment with choline alphoscerate attenuates the extent of glial reaction in the hippocampus of SHR suggests also that the compound may afford neuroprotection in this animal model of vascular brain damage.