Cholinergic neuron markers

At-a-glance guide to cholinergic neuron markers

Cholinergic neurons use the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Their progressive loss is one of the hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases with cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer’s disease. 

Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)
An enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of acetylcholine.

Mouse spinal cord sections stained with anti-choline acetyltransferase (ab178850).

Browse all choline acetyltransferase antibodies

Choline acetyltransferase modulators

Choline chloride (ab145788)Choline acetyltransferase substrate
α-NETA (ab144314)
Fluorescent, selective, non-competitive slowly reversible ChAT inhibitor
​Fluorescent, selective, non-competitive slowly reversible ChAT inhibitor

Vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT)
A transporter that uses a proton gradient established by the vacuolar ATPase to transport acetylcholine into secretory vesicles.

Guinea pig ileum stained with anti-vesicular acetylcholine transporter (ab31544). 

​​Browse all vesicular acetylcholine transporter antibodies

An enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of acetylcholine into acetate and choline. 

Mouse striatum stained with anti-acetylcholinesterase (ab2803).

Browse all acetylcholinesterase antibodies​
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
Acetylcholinesterase activity assay kits


  • Ray, B., Simon, J. R. & Lahiri, D. K. Determination of high-affinity choline uptake (HACU) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in the same population of cultured cells. Brain Res. 1297, 160–8 (2009).
  • Sarter, M. & Parikh, V. Choline transporters, cholinergic transmission and cognition. Nature 6, 48–56 (2005).
  • Sastry, B. V, Jaiswal, N., Owens, L. K., Janson, V. E. & Moore, R. D. 2-(alpha-Naphthoyl)ethyltrimethylammonium iodide and its beta-isomer: new selective, stable and fluorescent inhibitors of choline acetyltransferase. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 245, 72–80 (1988).

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