Acetylcholine (Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behavior)
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a major NEUROTRANSMITTER in the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is the ester of acetate and choline, formed by the enzyme choline acetyl transferase, from choline and acetyl-CoA. This was the first substance (ca. 1906) to meet the criteria of identification for a neurotransmitter. Later, acetylcholine was shown to be the general neurotransmitter for the neuromuscular junctions. In all vertebrate species, it is the major neurotransmitter for all autonomic ganglia and the neurotransmitter between parasympathetic ganglia and their target cells. Acetylcholine neurotransmission occurs widely within the central nervous system. Collections of NEURONS arising within the brainhe medulla, the pons, or the anterior diencephalonnnervate a wide set of cortical and subcortical targets; some of these circuits are destroyed in Alzheimer's disease.
(SEE ALSO: Scopolomine and Atropine)
COOPER, J. R., BLOOM, F. E., & ROTH, R. H. (1996). The biochemical basis of neuropharmacology, 7th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.