The concentration of unesterified choline in the plasma in the jugular vein of the rat (0.85 nmol/ml) was found to be three times that of the arterial supply to the brain (0.25 nmol/ml), indicating a higher efflux than uptake of unesterified choline by the brain. No such difference was found for the rabbit and no arterio-venous difference for phosphatidylcholine or lysophosphatidylcholine was observed in either species. No arterio-venous difference was found for choline in blood cells. The infusion of [Me-3H]choline into the circulation of the rat or rabbit indicated an uptake of radioactive choline by the brain and an efflux of non-radioactive choline. In the rabbit such an infusion produced a steady rise in the labelling of phosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylcholine in the plasma. When [14C2]ethanolamine was injected intraperitoneally into the rat there was a labelling of phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin in the plasma and cells of blood from the jugular vein and the arterial supply, as well as in the brain tissue. However, no labelling of unesterified choline in these tissues could be detected. Unesterified choline was shown to be liberated into the plasma when whole blood from the rat or man, but not the rabbit, was incubated for short periods at 30 degrees C.

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