1. Three forms of acetylcholine occur in subcellular fractions of brain tissue: free acetylcholine, present in the high-speed supernatant from eserinized sucrose homogenates; stable bound acetylcholine, present in synaptic vesicles; and labile bound acetylcholine, present in the cytoplasm of synaptosomes (detached presynaptic nerve terminals). 2. The relationship between these forms has been investigated by isolating the subcellular fractions from the cortical tissue of cats and guinea pigs excised 1hr. after infiltration of [N-Me3H]choline into the cortex in vivo. 3. Since choline is a ubiquitous metabolite, means were devised for isolating the radioactive acetylcholine on columns of the weak acid ion-exchange resin IRF-97; control experiments with samples of extracts treated with acetylcholinesterase showed that the radioactivity attributed to acetylcholine migrated to the choline peak after cholinesterase treatment. 4. The specific radioactivities of the various forms of acetylcholine were different: labile bound (synaptosomal cytoplasmic) acetylcholine had the highest, stable bound (vesicular) acetylcholine the next highest, and the high-speed-supernatant form the lowest. 5. It is concluded that the various forms of acetylcholine could not have arisen during fractionation from a single pre-existing pool of acetylcholine.

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