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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Physiology and Pharmacology

First Advisor

Carl C. Riedesel

First Committee Member

Ann Funkhouser

Second Committee Member

Donald Pace

Third Committee Member

M. P[?]


The organic base choline is of considerable interest to the physiologist because of its role in normal metabolic function, and to the pharmacologist because of its possible application in the treatment of several human diseases.

The overall function of choline in the biologic system must be seen as an equilibrium between its lipotropic activity as a whole molecule and its function as a source of methyl groups in biochemical reactions.

IV. Investigation Undertaken in This Study

Due to the long-standing and as yet unresolved question dealing with the relative merits of the path by which choline leaves the intestine, these studies were carried out in an attempt to resolve some of the obvious contradictions apparent in the literature. The following is a brief listing of the course of experimentation:

1. A study of the rate of trimethylamine excretion in the rabbit following oral administration of choline chloride.

2. A study of the rate of trimethylamine formation while incubating choline chloride with the intestinal contents of rabbits, in an attempt to correlate the rate of urinary excretion of trimethylamine with the rate of its production from choline by intestinal bacteria.

3. A study of the rate of trimethylamine formation when choline is incubated with rat intestinal content using different incubation media and incubation periods. This was done in an attempt to determine whether the rate of trimethylamine formation in vitro may be influenced by the period of incubation and the incubation employed.