This study was performed to examine the neuroprotective action of 2-(2-oxopyrrolidin-1-yl)-N-(2,3-dimethyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofuro [2,3-b]quinolin-4-yl)acetoamide (MKC-231), which enhances choline uptake and acetylcholine release in the central nervous system. Glutamate neurotoxicity was assessed with cortical cultures obtained from fetal rats. Exposure of cultures to MKC-231 for 12-24 hr ameliorated glutamate cytotoxicity. MKC-231 reduced cytotoxicity induced by ionomycin, a calcium ionophore, but did not affect the cytotoxicity induced by S-nitrosocysteine, a nitric oxide (NO) donor. These findings suggest that MKC-231 protects against glutamate neurotoxicity by suppressing the NO formation triggered by Ca2+-influx.