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We have shown that 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) increases protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated choline transport, incorporation of choline into phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) and PtdCho degradation by phospholipase D (PLD) in C3H10T1/2 Cl 8 cells. Dual prelabeling experiment using [3H]/[14C]choline indicated that intracellular choline generated from the PLD reaction was not directly recycled to PtdCho synthesis within the cell, and that a large fraction of the choline was transported out of the TPA-treated cells. In contrast, medium derived choline was preferably channeled to PtdCho synthesis. These results indicate that in TPA-treated cells, the choline derived from the PKC-mediated increased PLD activity and the choline newly taken up by the cell behave as two distinctly different metabolic pools.