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Although there is strong evidence for cholinergic projections to the rat inferior colliculus, especially from the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (Noftz et al., 2020), there is a lack of information about the quantitative prevalence of the enzymes of acetylcholine metabolism in its various portions. We have used microdissection of freeze-dried sections combined with radiometric assays to map the distributions in the rat inferior colliculus of the activities of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), which catalyzes synthesis of acetylcholine, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which catalyzes its breakdown by hydrolysis. Both enzyme activities were present throughout the inferior colliculus. Average ChAT activity was consistently somewhat higher in the external cortex, excluding its most superficial layer, than in the dorsal cortex or central nucleus. Within the external cortex, ChAT activity was about half as high laterally in its most superficial layer as elsewhere. The distribution of AChE activity was more uniform than that of ChAT. Overall, ChAT activity in the rat inferior colliculus was relatively low, about a fifth of that in whole brain of rat and lower than in other central auditory regions, whereas AChE activity was about two-thirds that of rat whole brain and about average for central auditory regions. The results are compared to previous measurements for cat and hamster inferior colliculus. They are consistent with a modest role for cholinergic neurotransmission in the inferior colliculus, to modulate the activity of its major neuronal types. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Donald A Godfrey, Lissette Carlson, Jami L Park, C David Ross. Enzymes of acetylcholine metabolism in the rat inferior colliculus. Brain research. 2021 Sep 01;1766:147518

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PMID: 33991492

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