ace·​tyl·​cho·​line | \ ə-ˌse-tᵊl-ˈkō-ˌlēn How to pronounce acetylcholine (audio) , -ˌsē-; ˈa-sə-ˌtēl- \

Definition of acetylcholine

: a neurotransmitter [C7H16NO2]+ released at autonomic synapses and neuromuscular junctions and formed enzymatically in the tissues from choline

Examples of acetylcholine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Avitrol increases levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that controls muscle contractions. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "This bird pesticide is legal, but recent deaths are stoking controversy," 21 Oct. 2020 Like other nerve agents, Novichoks bind to acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine when it is released into synapses. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "How German military scientists likely identified the nerve agent used to attack Alexei Navalny," 8 Sep. 2020 Because choline helps produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids mental focus, deficiencies can lead to compromised brain function, Bull explains. Nicole Clancy, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 of the Best Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Concentration," 25 June 2020 All block an enzyme that regulates levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in muscles, causing muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, and sometimes death. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Genetic modification could protect soldiers from chemical weapons," 22 Jan. 2020 Current treatments, such as atropine and diazepam, work by blocking acetylcholine receptors, but they must be administered right away and can’t always prevent permanent neurological damage. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Genetic modification could protect soldiers from chemical weapons," 22 Jan. 2020 This ends up leaving more acetylcholine intact, Dr. Tan says, which may help improve a patient's memory. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How Exactly Do Different Kinds of Alzheimer’s Medications Work?," 6 Dec. 2018 The Karuna drug, called KarXT, works by targeting muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "A new approach to treating schizophrenia delivers positive results in mid-stage trial," 18 Nov. 2019 This is apparently caused by stimulating receptors in the brain that are also targeted by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. San Diego Union-Tribune, "USC and UC San Diego try to move on after painful fight over Alzheimer’s institute," 18 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acetylcholine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acetylcholine

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acetylcholine

borrowed from German Acetylcholin, from Acetyl acetyl + Cholin choline

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Time Traveler for acetylcholine

Time Traveler

The first known use of acetylcholine was in 1906

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Cite this Entry

“Acetylcholine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for acetylcholine


ace·​tyl·​cho·​line | \ ə-ˌset-ᵊl-ˈkō-ˌlēn How to pronounce acetylcholine (audio) , -ˌsēt-; ˌas-ə-ˌtēl- How to pronounce acetylcholine (audio) \

Medical Definition of acetylcholine

: a neurotransmitter [C7H16NO2]+ released at autonomic synapses and neuromuscular junctions, active in the transmission of nerve impulses, and formed enzymatically in the tissues from choline

Other Words from acetylcholine

acetylcholinic \ -​kō-​ˈlin-​ik How to pronounce acetylcholine (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on acetylcholine

Nglish: Translation of acetylcholine for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about acetylcholine

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