Specific methods utilizing combined gas chromatography mass spectrometry were used to measure the metabolism of [2H6] deanol and its effects on acetylcholine concentration in vitro and in vivo. In vitro [2H6]deanol was rapidly taken up by rat brain synaptosomes, but was neither methylated nor acetylated. [2H6]Deanol was a weak competitive inhibitor of the high affinity transport of [2H4]choline, thus reducing the synthesis of [2H4]acetylcholine. In vivo [2H6]deanol was present in the brain after i.p. or p.o. administration, but was not methylated or acetylated. Treatment of rats with [2H6]deanol significantly increased the concentration of choline in the plasma and brain but did not alter the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain. Treatment of rats with atropine (to stimulate acetylcholine turnover) or with hemicholinium-3 (to inhibit the high affinity transport of choline) did not reveal any effect of [2H6]deanol on acetylcholine synthesis in vivo. However, since [2H6]deanol did increase brain choline, it may prove therapeutically useful when the production of choline is reduced or when the utilization of choline for the synthesis of acetylcholine is impaired.