DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph (LM) of Choline crystals. Choline is a fatty acid primarily involved in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood, appetite, behaviour and memory. Studies indicate that it improves cognitive performance. Blood levels of choline decrease during prolonged exercise. Choline is the basic constituent of lecithin that is found in many plants and animal organs and is readily made in the body. It is important as a precursor of acetylcholine, as a methyl donor in various metabolic processes, and in lipid metabolism. The excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine is converted into choline and acetic acid by the enzymes acetylcholinesterase. This happens typically in the juncture between a motor nerve cell and a muscle cell. Pseudocholinesterase, the other major form of cholinesterase, is also capable of breaking down acetylcholine. Magnification: x50 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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