(3H)hemicholinium-3 binding sites in postmortem brains of human patients with Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia

Exp Gerontol. Mar-Apr 1995;30(2):125-36. doi: 10.1016/0531-5565(94)00062-x.


(3H)Hemicholinium-3 ((3H)HCh-3), a potent, selective, and competitive inhibitor of the high-affinity choline uptake process was used for the detection of high-affinity choline carriers in the hippocampus (gyrus parahippocampalis), neocortex (gyrus frontalis medius), and cerebellum (lobulus semilunaris inferior) in autopsy samples of people with Alzheimer's disease, multi-infarct dementia and from other psychiatric and nonpsychiatric patients. The effect of postmortem delay was eliminated by means of the cerebellum used as an individual standard. The density of (3H)HCh-3 binding sites was decreased in the hippocampus and neocortex from individuals with multi-infarct dementia and unchanged in the brain tissue from people with Alzheimer's disease in comparison with control patients. No changes in dissociation constants were found. In Alzheimer's disease, high-affinity choline transport appears to be reduced by a dysfunction of cholinergic neuronal membrane rather than by a significant decrease in the number of presynaptic cholinergic nerve terminals. Results provide evidence of a decrease in the number of nerve endings in people with multi-infarct dementia and suggest different vulnerability of particular brain areas to vascular disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Autopsy
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Choline / metabolism*
  • Dementia, Multi-Infarct / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Hemicholinium 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tritium


  • Tritium
  • Hemicholinium 3
  • Choline