Protective Effects of Choline against Inflammatory Cytokines and Characterization of Transport in Motor Neuron-like Cell Lines (NSC-34)

Pharmaceutics. 2022 Nov 4;14(11):2374. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14112374.


Choline, a component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, is essential for nervous system functions, brain development, and gene expression. In our study, we investigated the protective effect and transport characteristics of choline in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) model cell lines. We used the wild-type (WT) motor neuron-like hybrid cell line (NSC-34/hSOD1WT) as a control and the mutant-type (MT; NSC-34/hSOD1G93A) as a disease model. The uptake of [3H]choline was time-, pH-, and concentration-dependent. [3H]Choline transport was sodium-dependent, and, upon pretreatment with valinomycin, induced membrane depolarization. Gene knockdown of Slc44a1 revealed that choline-like transporter 1 (CTL1) mediates the transport of choline. In NSC-34 cell lines, the specific choline transporter inhibitor, hemicholinium-3 demonstrated significant inhibition. Donepezil and nifedipine caused dose-dependent inhibition of [3H]choline uptake by the MT cell line with minimal half inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 0.14 mM and 3.06 mM, respectively. Four-day pretreatment with nerve growth factor (NGF) resulted in an inhibitory effect on [3H]choline uptake. Choline exerted protective and compensatory effects against cytokines mediators. Hence, the choline transport system CLT1 may act as a potential target for the delivery of novel pharmacological drugs, and the combination of drugs with choline can help treat symptoms related to ALS.

Keywords: NSC-34 cell lines; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; choline; choline-like transporters; inflammatory cytokines; nerve growth factor.