We investigated the effects of 3,4-DAP on ACh release from rat striatal slices superfused with or without choline, at rest and during electrical stimulation. In a choline-free medium, 3,4-DAP increased basal and stimulated ACh release while lowering the net efflux of choline; thus while the sum of ACh plus choline released remained constant, the ratio of released ACh to that of choline was increased. The drug failed to affect tissue ACh, choline or membrane phospholipid levels (including those of phosphatidylcholine). In a choline-containing medium, 3,4-DAP potentiated the enhancement by choline of both basal and electrically stimulated ACh release. Electrical stimulation alone increased ACh release from the slices without altering choline efflux or depleting tissue choline or ACh stores; however, this treatment did deplete membranes of phospatidylcholine and of other major phospholipids. Superfusion of the slices with 3,4-DAP protected the slices from stimulation-induced phospholipid depletion. Calcium-dependent activation of high-affinity choline uptake may underline the observed effects of 3,4-DAP.