Detection of the high-affinity choline transporter in the MOLT-3 human leukemic T-cell line

Takeshi Fujii, Takashi Okuda, Tatsuya Haga, Koichiro Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We previously showed that lymphocytes possess the necessary components to constitute an independent, non-neuronal cholinergic system; these include acetylcholine (ACh) itself, choline acetyltransferase (the ACh-synthesizing enzyme), and both muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors (AChRs). In addition, we showed that stimulation of AChRs with their respective agonists elicits a variety of biochemical and functional effects, suggesting that lymphocytic cholinergic system is involved in the regulation of immune function. In nerve terminals, choline taken up via the high-affinity choline transporter (CHT1) is exclusively utilized for ACh synthesis. In the present study, therefore, we investigated the expression of CHT1 in T-lymphocytes. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that MOLT-3 cells, a human leukemic T-cell line used as a T-lymphocyte model, expressed CHT1 mRNA, but that the CEM and Jurkat T-cell lines did not. Consistent with that finding, specific binding of [3H]hemicholinium-3 (HC-3), an inhibitor of CHT1, and HC-3-sensitive [3H]choline uptake were also detected in MOLT-3 cells. These results suggest that CHT1 plays a role in mediating choline uptake in T-lymphocytes and provides further evidence for the presence of an independent lymphocytic cholinergic system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2131-2134
Number of pages4
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number18-19
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Mar 28
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylcholine
  • High affinity choline transporter
  • T-Lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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