The chemical compound acetylcholine (often abbreviated ACh) is a neurotransmitter in both the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS) in many organisms including humans. Acetylcholine is one of many neurotransmitters in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the only neurotransmitter used in the motor division of the somatic nervous system (sensory neurons use glutamate and various peptides at their synapses). Acetylcholine is also the principal neurotransmitter in all autonomic ganglia.
Acetylcholine slows the heart rate when functioning as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. However, acetylcholine also behaves as an excitatory neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions.
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