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Sample records for nicotine acetylcholine receptor

  1. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and cancer

    PubMed Central

    DANG, NINGNING; MENG, XIANGUANG; SONG, HAIYAN

    2016-01-01

    Nicotine, the primary addictive constituent of cigarettes, is believed to contribute to cancer promotion and progression through the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are membrane ligand-gated cation channels. nAChRs activation can be triggered by the neurotransmitter Ach, or certain other biological compounds, such as nicotine. In recent years, genome-wide association studies have indicated that allelic variation in the α5-α3-β4 nAChR cluster on chromosome 15q24-15q25.1 is associated with lung cancer risk. The role of nAChRs in other types of cancer has also been reported. The present review highlights the role of nAChRs in types of human cancer. PMID:27123240

  2. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Sensory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metherate, Raju

    2004-01-01

    Acetylcholine release in sensory neocortex contributes to higher-order sensory function, in part by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Molecular studies have revealed a bewildering array of nAChR subtypes and cellular actions; however, there is some consensus emerging about the major nAChR subtypes and their functions in…

  3. Parazoanthoxanthin A blocks Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Rozman, Klara Bulc; Araoz, Romulo; Sepcić, Kristina; Molgo, Jordi; Suput, Dusan

    2010-09-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are implicated in different nervous system-related disorders, and their modulation could improve existing therapy of these diseases. Parazoanthoxanthin A (ParaA) is a fluorescent pigment of the group of zoanthoxanthins. Since it is a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, it may also bind to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). For this reason its effect on Torpedo nAChR (alpha1(2)betagammadelta) transplanted to Xenopus laevis oocytes was evaluated, using the voltage-clamp technique. ParaA dose-dependently reduced the acetylcholine-induced currents. This effect was fully reversible only at lower concentrations. ParaA also reduced the Hill coefficient and the time to peak current, indicating a channel blocking mode of action. On the other hand, the combined effect of ParaA and d-tubocurarine (d-TC) on acetylcholine-induced currents exhibited only partial additivity, assuming a competitive mode of action of ParaA on nAChR. These results indicate a dual mode of action of ParaA on the Torpedo AChR. PMID:20230806

  4. [Desensitization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor].

    PubMed

    Quiñonez, M; Rojas, L

    1994-01-01

    In biological membranes, ionic channels act speeding up ion movements. Each ionic channel is excited by a specific stimulus (i.e. electric, mechanical, chemical, etc.). Chemically activated ionic channels (CAIC), such as the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), suffer desensitization when the receptor site is still occupied by the agonist molecule. The desensitized CAIC is a non functional channel state regarded as a particular case of receptors rundown. CAIC desensitization only involve reduced activity and not their membrane elimination. Desensitization is important to control synaptic transmission and the development of the nervous system. In this review we discuss results related to its production, modulation and some aspects associated to models that consider it. Finally, an approach combining molecular biology and electrophysiology techniques to understand desensitization and its importance in biological systems is presented. PMID:8525756

  5. Conotoxins Targeting Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: An Overview

    PubMed Central

    Lebbe, Eline K. M.; Peigneur, Steve; Wijesekara, Isuru; Tytgat, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Marine snails of the genus Conus are a large family of predatory gastropods with an unparalleled molecular diversity of pharmacologically active compounds in their venom. Cone snail venom comprises of a rich and diverse cocktail of peptide toxins which act on a wide variety of ion channels such as voltage-gated sodium- (NaV), potassium- (KV), and calcium- (CaV) channels as well as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) which are classified as ligand-gated ion channels. The mode of action of several conotoxins has been the subject of investigation, while for many others this remains unknown. This review aims to give an overview of the knowledge we have today on the molecular pharmacology of conotoxins specifically interacting with nAChRs along with the structure–function relationship data. PMID:24857959

  6. Topographical studies of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. [Torpedo californica

    SciTech Connect

    Middlemas, D.S.

    1987-01-01

    All four subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in membrane vesicles isolated from Torpedo californica have been labeled with the photoactivated hydrophobic probe, (/sup 3/H)adamantanediazirine, which selectively labels regions of integral membrane proteins in contact with the hydrocarbon core of the lipid bilayer. All four subunits of the acetylcholine receptor in membrane vesicles isolated from Torpedo californica have been labeled with (/sup 3/H)cholesteryl diazoacetate. As this probe incorporates into lipid bilayers analogously to cholesterol, this result indicates that acetylcholine receptor interacts with cholesterol. Since the photogenerated carbene is situated near the lipid-water interface, this probe has potential as a topographic tool for mapping membrane protein structure. The labeling studies with both (/sup 3/H)adamantanediazirine and (/sup 3/H)cholesteryl diazoacetate support the concept that the acetylcholine receptor is a pseudosymmetric complex of homologous subunits, all of which interact with and span the membrane. The synthesis of the fluorine-containing agonists for the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, fluoroacetylcholine bromide and p-fluorophenyltrimethylammonium iodide, are described. It is demonstrated that both are agonists using a cation flux assay with acetylcholine receptor enriched membrane vesicles. The affinity cleavage reagent, p-thiocyanophenyltrimethylammonium iodide, specifically cleaves a peptide bond of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in membrane vesicles isolated from Torpedo californica. It is demonstrated that this reagent is an agonist using a cation flux assay. The cleavage is blocked by stoichiometric quantities of ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin.

  7. Modal gating of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vij, Ridhima

    Many ion channels exhibit multiple patterns of kinetic activity in single-channel currents. This behavior is rare in WT mouse muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), where A2C↔A2O gating events are well-described by single exponentials. Also, single-channel open probability (PO) is essentially homogeneous at a given agonist concentration in the WT receptors. Here I report that perturbations of almost all the residues in loop C (alpha188-alpha199, at the agonist binding site) generate heterogeneity in PO ('modes'). Such unsettled activity was apparent with an alanine substitution at all positions in loop C (except alphaY190 and alphaY198) and with different side chain substitutions at alphaP197 for both adult- and fetal-type AChRs. I used single channel electrophysiology along with site-directed mutagenesis to study modal gating in AChRs consequent to mutations/deletions in loop C. The multiple patterns of kinetic activity arose from the difference in agonist affinity rather than in intrinsic AChR gating. Out of the four different agonists used to study the modal behavior, acetylcholine (ACh) showed a higher degree of kinetic heterogeneity compared to others. The time constant for switching between modes was long (~mins), suggesting that they arise from alternative, stable protein conformations. By studying AChRs having only 1 functional binding site, I attempted to find the source of the affinity difference, which was traced mainly to the alphadelta agonist site. Affinity at the neurotransmitter binding site is mainly determined by a core of five aromatic residues (alphaY93, alphaW149, alphaY190, alphaY198 and deltaW57). Phenylalanine substitutions at all aromatic residues except alphaY93 resulted in elimination of modes. Modes were also eliminated by alanine mutation at deltaW57 on the complementary side but not at other aromatics. Also, by substituting four gamma subunit residues into the delta subunit on the complementary beta sheet, I found that

  8. Cholinergic modulation of dopamine pathways through nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    de Kloet, Sybren F; Mansvelder, Huibert D; De Vries, Taco J

    2015-10-15

    Nicotine addiction is highly prevalent in current society and is often comorbid with other diseases. In the central nervous system, nicotine acts as an agonist for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and its effects depend on location and receptor composition. Although nicotinic receptors are found in most brain regions, many studies on addiction have focused on the mesolimbic system and its reported behavioral correlates such as reward processing and reinforcement learning. Profound modulatory cholinergic input from the pedunculopontine and laterodorsal tegmentum to dopaminergic midbrain nuclei as well as local cholinergic interneuron projections to dopamine neuron axons in the striatum may play a major role in the effects of nicotine. Moreover, an indirect mesocorticolimbic feedback loop involving the medial prefrontal cortex may be involved in behavioral characteristics of nicotine addiction. Therefore, this review will highlight current understanding of the effects of nicotine on the function of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopamine projections in the mesocorticolimbic circuit. PMID:26208783

  9. Recent developments in the synthesis of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Breining, Scott R

    2004-01-01

    The extraordinary pharmacology of nicotine and epibatidine have indicated the potential for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands to serve as a new therapeutic class for a host of CNS disorders. Many such ligands are natural products, or analogs thereof, which represent a significant challenge to the synthetic chemist. Synthesis of such molecules often serves as a showcase to demonstrate the potential of newly developed methodology. This synthetic challenge coupled with the promise of pharmacological activity in compounds possessing the nicotinic pharmacophore has stimulated a great deal of synthetic activity over the last five years. The present report provides an overview of novel synthetic methodology occurring during this period directed toward the synthesis of compounds with presumed affinity for the neuronal nAChR. Syntheses chosen for review here represent the major efforts toward molecules such as epibatidine analogs, anatoxin-a, nicotine and related alkaloids, conformationally constrained nicotine derivatives, cytisine and methyllycaconitine (MLA). PMID:14965298

  10. Schizophrenia and the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Martin, Laura F; Freedman, Robert

    2007-01-01

    In addition to the devastating symptoms of psychosis, many people with schizophrenia also suffer from cognitive impairment. These cognitive symptoms lead to marked dysfunction and can impact employability, treatment adherence, and social skills. Deficits in P50 auditory gating are associated with attentional impairment and may contribute to cognitive symptoms and perceptual disturbances. This nicotinic cholinergic-mediated inhibitory process represents a potential new target for therapeutic intervention in schizophrenia. This chapter will review evidence implicating the nicotinic cholinergic, and specifically, the alpha7 nicotinic receptor system in the pathology of schizophrenia. Impaired auditory sensory gating has been linked to the alpha7 nicotinic receptor gene on the chromosome 15q14 locus. A majority of persons with schizophrenia are heavy smokers. Although nicotine can acutely reverse diminished auditory sensory gating in people with schizophrenia, this effect is lost on a chronic basis due to receptor desensitization. The alpha7 nicotinic agonist 3-(2,4 dimethoxy)benzylidene-anabaseine (DMXBA) can also enhance auditory sensory gating in animal models. DMXBA is well tolerated in humans and a new study in persons with schizophrenia has found that DMXBA enhances both P50 auditory gating and cognition. alpha7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists appear to be viable candidates for the treatment of cognitive disturbances in schizophrenia. PMID:17349863

  11. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor modulation by general anesthetics.

    PubMed

    Flood, P; Role, L W

    1998-11-23

    1. General anesthetics have been shown to inhibit synaptic transmission in multiple areas of the central and peripheral nervous systems. 2. The mechanism of inhibition is not well understood. 3. It has become clear that general anesthetics modulate the function of members of the ligand gated ion channel superfamily, including receptors for GABA(A), glycine (Harrison et al., Mol. Pharmacol. 44(3), 1993, 628-632) and 5HT3 (Zhou and Lovinger, J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therap. 278(2), 1996, 732-740). 4. Studies of the activity of general anesthetics on recombinant neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have added this receptor family to those potently inhibited by general anesthetics (Flood et al., Anesthesiology 86(4), 1997, 859-865; Violet et al., Anesthesiology 86(4), 1997, 866-874). 5. Studies of neuronal nicotinic receptors in native neurons suggest that the inhibition of these receptors by general anesthetics at low clinical concentrations may be biologically significant (Nicoll, Science 199(4327), 1978, 451-452). 6. Recent work on neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system suggests that their primary role may be to modulate synaptic transmission (Role and Berg, Neuron 16(6), 1996, 1077-1085). 7. Thus, inhibition of nicotinic modulation in the central nervous system may result in inhibition of synaptic transmission and some of the behavioral consequences of general anesthesia. PMID:10049135

  12. Inhibitory Learning is Modulated by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Heidi C.; Putney, Rachel B.; Bucci, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Prior research has established that stimulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors can facilitate learning and memory. However, most studies have focused on learning to emit a particular behavior, while little is known about the effects of nicotine on learning to withhold a behavioral response. The present study consisted of a dose response analysis of the effects of nicotine on negative occasion setting, a form of learned inhibition. In this paradigm, rats received one type of training trial in which presentation of a tone by itself was followed immediately by food reward. During the other type of trials, the tone was preceded by presentation of a light and no food was delivered after the tone. Rats gradually learned to approach the cup in anticipation of receiving food reward during presentations of the tone alone, but withheld that behavior when the tone was preceded by the light. Nicotine (0.35mg/kg) facilitated negative occasion setting by reducing the number of sessions needed to learn the discrimination between trial types and by reducing the rate of responding on non-reinforced trials. Nicotine also increased the orienting response to the light, suggesting that nicotine may have affected the ability to withhold food cup behavior on non-reinforced trials by increasing attention to the light. In contrast to the effects of nicotine, rats treated with mecamylamine (0.125, 0.5, or 2 mg/kg) needed more training sessions to discriminate between reinforced and non-reinforced trials compared to saline-treated rats. The findings indicate that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may be active during negative occasion setting and that nicotine can potentiate learned inhibition. PMID:25445487

  13. Functional interaction between Lypd6 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Arvaniti, Maria; Jensen, Majbrit M; Soni, Neeraj; Wang, Hong; Klein, Anders B; Thiriet, Nathalie; Pinborg, Lars H; Muldoon, Pretal P; Wienecke, Jacob; Imad Damaj, M; Kohlmeier, Kristi A; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie C; Mikkelsen, Jens D; Thomsen, Morten S

    2016-09-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) affect multiple physiological functions in the brain and their functions are modulated by regulatory proteins of the Lynx family. Here, we report for the first time a direct interaction of the Lynx protein LY6/PLAUR domain-containing 6 (Lypd6) with nAChRs in human brain extracts, identifying Lypd6 as a novel regulator of nAChR function. Using protein cross-linking and affinity purification from human temporal cortical extracts, we demonstrate that Lypd6 is a synaptically enriched membrane-bound protein that binds to multiple nAChR subtypes in the human brain. Additionally, soluble recombinant Lypd6 protein attenuates nicotine-induced hippocampal inward currents in rat brain slices and decreases nicotine-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in PC12 cells, suggesting that binding of Lypd6 is sufficient to inhibit nAChR-mediated intracellular signaling. We further show that perinatal nicotine exposure in rats (4 mg/kg/day through minipumps to dams from embryonic day 7 to post-natal day 21) significantly increases Lypd6 protein levels in the hippocampus in adulthood, which did not occur after exposure to nicotine in adulthood only. Our findings suggest that Lypd6 is a versatile inhibitor of cholinergic signaling in the brain, and that Lypd6 is dysregulated by nicotine exposure during early development. Regulatory proteins of the Lynx family modulate the function of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs). We report for the first time that the Lynx protein Lypd6 binds to nAChRs in human brain extracts, and that recombinant Lypd6 decreases nicotine-induced ERK phosphorylation and attenuates nicotine-induced hippocampal inward currents. Our findings suggest that Lypd6 is a versatile inhibitor of cholinergic signaling in the brain. PMID:27344019

  14. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Dependent Chorda Tympani Taste Nerve Responses to Nicotine, Ethanol and Acetylcholine

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Zuo Jun; Mummalaneni, Shobha; Qian, Jie; Baumgarten, Clive M.; DeSimone, John A.; Lyall, Vijay

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine elicits bitter taste by activating TRPM5-dependent and TRPM5-independent but neuronal nAChR-dependent pathways. The nAChRs represent common targets at which acetylcholine, nicotine and ethanol functionally interact in the central nervous system. Here, we investigated if the nAChRs also represent a common pathway through which the bitter taste of nicotine, ethanol and acetylcholine is transduced. To this end, chorda tympani (CT) taste nerve responses were monitored in rats, wild-type mice and TRPM5 knockout (KO) mice following lingual stimulation with nicotine free base, ethanol, and acetylcholine, in the absence and presence of nAChR agonists and antagonists. The nAChR modulators: mecamylamine, dihydro-β-erythroidine, and CP-601932 (a partial agonist of the α3β4* nAChR), inhibited CT responses to nicotine, ethanol, and acetylcholine. CT responses to nicotine and ethanol were also inhibited by topical lingual application of 8-chlorophenylthio (CPT)-cAMP and loading taste cells with [Ca2+]i by topical lingual application of ionomycin + CaCl2. In contrast, CT responses to nicotine were enhanced when TRC [Ca2+]i was reduced by topical lingual application of BAPTA-AM. In patch-clamp experiments, only a subset of isolated rat fungiform taste cells exposed to nicotine responded with an increase in mecamylamine-sensitive inward currents. We conclude that nAChRs expressed in a subset of taste cells serve as common receptors for the detection of the TRPM5-independent bitter taste of nicotine, acetylcholine and ethanol. PMID:26039516

  15. Optochemical control of genetically engineered neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tochitsky, Ivan; Banghart, Matthew R.; Mourot, Alexandre; Yao, Jennifer Z.; Gaub, Benjamin; Kramer, Richard H.; Trauner, Dirk

    2012-02-01

    Advances in synthetic chemistry, structural biology, molecular modelling and molecular cloning have enabled the systematic functional manipulation of transmembrane proteins. By combining genetically manipulated proteins with light-sensitive ligands, innately ‘blind’ neurobiological receptors can be converted into photoreceptors, which allows them to be photoregulated with high spatiotemporal precision. Here, we present the optochemical control of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with photoswitchable tethered agonists and antagonists. Using structure-based design, we produced heteromeric α3β4 and α4β2 nAChRs that can be activated or inhibited with deep-violet light, but respond normally to acetylcholine in the dark. The generation of these engineered receptors should facilitate investigation of the physiological and pathological functions of neuronal nAChRs and open a general pathway to photosensitizing pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.

  16. Optochemical control of genetically engineered neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Tochitsky, Ivan; Banghart, Matthew R.; Mourot, Alexandre; Yao, Jennifer Z.; Gaub, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Advances in synthetic chemistry, structural biology, molecular modelling and molecular cloning have enabled the systematic functional manipulation of transmembrane proteins. By combining genetically manipulated proteins with light-sensitive ligands, innately ‘blind’ neurobiological receptors can be converted into photoreceptors, which allows them to be photoregulated with high spatiotemporal precision. Here, we present the optochemical control of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with photoswitchable tethered agonists and antagonists. Using structure-based design, we produced heteromeric α3β4 and α4β2 nAChRs that can be activated or inhibited with deep-violet light, but respond normally to acetylcholine in the dark. The generation of these engineered receptors should facilitate investigation of the physiological and pathological functions of neuronal nAChRs and open a general pathway to photosensitizing pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. PMID:22270644

  17. Functional expression of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in human embryonic kidney 293 cells.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yuan; Jiang, Ji-Hong; Li, Shi-Tong

    2016-09-01

    The functional expression of recombinant α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells has presented a challenge. Resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase 3 (RIC‑3) has been confirmed to act as a molecular chaperone of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The primary objectives of the present study were to investigate whether the co‑expression of human (h)RIC‑3 with human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in HEK 293 cells facilitates functional expression of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Subsequent to transfection, western blotting and polymerase chain reaction were used to test the expression of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and RIC-3. The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor was expressed alone or co‑expressed with hRIC‑3 in the HEK 293 cells. Drug‑containing solution was then applied to the cells via a gravity‑driven perfusion system. Calcium influx in the cells was analyzed using calcium imaging. Nicotine did not induce calcium influx in the HEK 293 cells expressing human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor only. However, in the cells co‑expressing human RIC‑3 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, nicotine induced calcium influx via the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in a concentration‑dependent manner (concentration required to elicit 50% of the maximal effect=29.21 µM). Taken together, the results of the present study suggested that the co‑expression of RIC‑3 in HEK 293 cells facilitated the functional expression of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. PMID:27430244

  18. Effects of antihistamines on the function of human α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Sadek, Bassem; Khanian, Seyedeh Soha; Ashoor, Abrar; Prytkova, Tatiana; Ghattas, Mohammad A; Atatreh, Noor; Nurulain, Syed M; Yang, Keun-Hang Susan; Howarth, Frank Christopher; Oz, Murat

    2015-01-01

    Effects of the histamine H₁ receptor (H1R) antagonists (antihistamines), promethazine (PMZ), orphenadrine (ORP), chlorpheniramine (CLP), pyrilamine (PYR), diphenhydramine (DPH), citerizine (CTZ), and triprolidine (TRP) on the functional properties of the cloned α7 subunit of the human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes were investigated. Antihistamines inhibited the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the order PYR>CLP>TRP>PMZ>ORP≥DPH≥CTZ. Among the antihistamines, PYR showed the highest reversible inhibition of acetylcholine (100 µM)-induced responses with IC₅₀ of 6.2 µM. PYR-induced inhibition was independent of the membrane potential and could not be reversed by increasing the concentration of acetylcholine. Specific binding of [¹²⁵I] α-bungarotoxin, a selective antagonist for α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, was not changed in the presence of PYR suggesting a non-competitive inhibition of nicotinic receptors. In line with functional experiments, docking studies indicated that PYR can potentially bind allosterically with the α7 transmembrane domain. Our results indicate that the H₂-H₄ receptor antagonists tested in this study (10 µM) showed negligible inhibition of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. On the other hand, H₁ receptor antagonists inhibited the function of human α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, with varying potencies. These results emphasize the importance of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor for future pharmacological/toxicological profiling. PMID:25445036

  19. Suitability of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor α7 and Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor 3 Antibodies for Immune Detection

    PubMed Central

    Rommel, Frank R.; Raghavan, Badrinarayanan; Paddenberg, Renate; Kummer, Wolfgang; Tumala, Susanne; Lochnit, Günter; Gieler, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence reveals a crucial role for acetylcholine and its receptors in the regulation of inflammation, particularly of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 (Chrna7) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor 3 (Chrm3). Immunohistochemistry is a key tool for their cellular localization in functional tissues. We evaluated nine different commercially available antibodies on back skin tissue from wild-type (Wt) and gene-deficient (KO) mice. In the immunohistochemical analysis, we focused on key AChR-ligand sensitive skin cells (mast cells, nerve fibers and keratinocytes). All five antibodies tested for Chrm3 and the first three Chrna7 antibodies stained positive in both Wt and respective KO skin. With the 4th antibody (ab23832) nerve fibers were unlabeled in the KO mice. By western blot analysis, this antibody detected bands in both Wt and Chrna7 KO skin and brain. qRT-PCR revealed mRNA amplification with a primer set for the undeleted region in both Wt and KO mice, but none with a primer set for the deleted region in KO mice. By 2D electrophoresis, we found β-actin and β-enolase cross reactivity, which was confirmed by double immunolabeling. In view of the present results, the tested antibodies are not suitable for immunolocalization in skin and suggest thorough control of antibody specificity is required if histomorphometry is intended. PMID:25673288

  20. Differential effects of subtype-specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists on early and late hippocampal LTP.

    PubMed

    Kroker, Katja S; Rast, Georg; Rosenbrock, Holger

    2011-12-01

    Brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are involved in several neuropsychiatric disorders, e.g. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, Tourette's syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety. Currently, approaches selectively targeting the activation of specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are in clinical development for treatment of memory impairment of Alzheimer's disease patients. These are α4β2 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists which are believed to enhance cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, respectively. In order to gain a better insight into the mechanistic role of these two nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in learning and memory, we investigated the effects of the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist TC-1827 and the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist SSR180711 on hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a widely accepted cellular experimental model of memory formation. Generally, LTP is distinguished in an early and a late form, the former being protein-synthesis independent and the latter being protein-synthesis dependent. TC-1827 was found to increase early LTP in a bell-shaped dose dependent manner, but did not affect late LTP. In contrast, the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist SSR180711 showed enhancing effects on both early and late LTP in a bell-shaped manner. Furthermore, SSR180711 not only increased early LTP, but also transformed it into late LTP, which was not observed with the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist. Therefore, based on these findings α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (partial) agonists appear to exhibit stronger efficacy on memory improvement than α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists. PMID:21968142

  1. Nicotine evokes kinetic tremor by activating the inferior olive via α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Kunisawa, Naofumi; Iha, Higor A; Shimizu, Saki; Tokudome, Kentaro; Mukai, Takahiro; Kinboshi, Masato; Serikawa, Tadao; Ohno, Yukihiro

    2016-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors are implicated in the pathogenesis of movement disorders (e.g., tremor) and epilepsy. Here, we performed behavioral and immunohistochemical studies using mice and rats to elucidate the mechanisms underlying nicotine-induced tremor. Treatments of animals with nicotine (0.5-2mg/kg, i.p.) elicited kinetic tremor, which was completely suppressed by the nACh receptor antagonist mecamylamine (MEC). The specific α7 nACh receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) also inhibited nicotine-induced tremor, whereas the α4β2 nACh antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) or the peripheral α3β4 nACh antagonist hexamethonium showed no effects. Mapping analysis of Fos protein expression, a biological marker of neural excitation, revealed that a tremorgenic dose (1mg/kg) of nicotine region-specifically elevated Fos expression in the piriform cortex (PirC), medial habenula, solitary nucleus and inferior olive (IO) among 44 brain regions examined. In addition, similarly to the tremor responses, nicotine-induced Fos expression in the PirC and IO was selectively antagonized by MLA, but not by DHβE. Furthermore, an electrical lesioning of the IO, but not the PirC, significantly suppressed the induction of nicotine tremor. The present results suggest that nicotine elicits kinetic tremor in rodents by activating the IO neurons via α7 nACh receptors. PMID:27506652

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate donepezil-induced oligodendrocyte differentiation.

    PubMed

    Imamura, Osamu; Arai, Masaaki; Dateki, Minori; Ogata, Toru; Uchida, Ryuji; Tomoda, Hiroshi; Takishima, Kunio

    2015-12-01

    Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Failure of myelin development and oligodendrocyte loss results in serious human disorders, including multiple sclerosis. Here, we show that donepezil, an acetlycholinesterase inhibitor developed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, can stimulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation of neural stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells without affecting proliferation or cell viability. Transcripts for essential myelin-associated genes, such as PLP, MAG, MBP, CNPase, and MOG, in addition to transcription factors that regulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, were rapidly increased after treatment with donepezil. Furthermore, luciferase assays confirmed that both MAG and MBP promoters display increased activity upon donepezil-induced oligodendrocytes differentiation, suggesting that donepezil increases myelin gene expression mainly through enhanced transcription. We also found that the increase in the number of oligodendrocytes observed following donepezil treatment was significantly inhibited by the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist mecamylamine, but not by the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist scopolamine. Moreover, donepezil-induced myelin-related gene expression was suppressed by mecamylamine at both the mRNA and protein level. These results suggest that donepezil stimulates oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin-related gene expression via nAChRs in neural stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. We show that donepezil, a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer disease, can stimulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. Transcripts for essential myelin-associated genes, such as PLP, MAG, MBP, CNPase and MOG in addition to transcripton factors that regulate oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination were rapidly increased after treatment with donepezil

  3. Role of α5 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Pharmacological and Behavioral Effects of Nicotine in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Marks, M. J.; Vann, R. E.; Chen, X.; Gamage, T. F.; Warner, J. A.; Damaj, M. I.

    2010-01-01

    Incorporation of the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit can greatly influence nAChR function without altering receptor number. Although few animal studies have assessed the role of the α5 nAChR in nicotine-mediated behaviors, recent evidence suggests an association between polymorphisms in the α5 nAChR gene and nicotine dependence phenotypes in humans. Thus, additional studies are imperative to elucidate the role and function of the α5 nAChR subunit in nicotine dependence. Using α5(−/−) mice, the current study aimed to examine the role of α5 nAChRs in the initial pharmacological effects of nicotine, nicotine reward using the conditioned place preference model, and the discriminative effects of nicotine using a two-lever drug discrimination model. 86Rb+ efflux and 125I-epibatidine binding assays were conducted to examine the effect of α5 nAChR subunit deletion on expression and activity of functional nAChRs. Results show that α5(−/−) mice are less sensitive to the initial effects of nicotine in antinociception, locomotor activity, and hypothermia measures and that the α5 nAChR is involved in nicotine reward. Alternatively, α5(−/−) mice did not differ from wild-type littermates in sensitivity to the discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine. Furthermore, deletion of the α5 nAChR subunit resulted in a statistically significant decrease in function in the thalamus and hindbrain, but the decreases noted in spinal cord were not statistically significant. Receptor number was unaltered in all areas tested. Taken together, results of the study suggest that α5 nAChRs are involved in nicotine-mediated behaviors relevant to development of nicotine dependence. PMID:20400469

  4. Habenula cholinergic neurons regulate anxiety during nicotine withdrawal via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Pang, Xueyan; Liu, Liwang; Ngolab, Jennifer; Zhao-Shea, Rubing; McIntosh, J Michael; Gardner, Paul D; Tapper, Andrew R

    2016-08-01

    Cholinergic neurons in the medial habenula (MHb) modulate anxiety during nicotine withdrawal although the molecular neuroadaptation(s) within the MHb that induce affective behaviors during nicotine cessation is largely unknown. MHb cholinergic neurons are unique in that they robustly express neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), although their behavioral role as autoreceptors in these neurons has not been described. To test the hypothesis that nAChR signaling in MHb cholinergic neurons could modulate anxiety, we expressed novel "gain of function" nAChR subunits selectively in MHb cholinergic neurons of adult mice. Mice expressing these mutant nAChRs exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior that was alleviated by blockade with a nAChR antagonist. To test the hypothesis that anxiety induced by nicotine withdrawal may be mediated by increased MHb nicotinic receptor signaling, we infused nAChR subtype selective antagonists into the MHb of nicotine naïve and withdrawn mice. While antagonists had little effect on nicotine naïve mice, blocking α4β2 or α6β2, but not α3β4 nAChRs in the MHb alleviated anxiety in mice undergoing nicotine withdrawal. Consistent with behavioral results, there was increased functional expression of nAChRs containing the α6 subunit in MHb neurons that also expressed the α4 subunit. Together, these data indicate that MHb cholinergic neurons regulate nicotine withdrawal-induced anxiety via increased signaling through nicotinic receptors containing the α6 subunit and point toward nAChRs in MHb cholinergic neurons as molecular targets for smoking cessation therapeutics. PMID:27020042

  5. Nicotine induces fibrogenic changes in human liver via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed on hepatic stellate cells

    SciTech Connect

    Soeda, Junpei; Morgan, Maelle; McKee, Chad; Mouralidarane, Angelina; Lin, ChingI; Roskams, Tania; Oben, Jude A.

    2012-01-06

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cigarette smoke may induce liver fibrosis via nicotine receptors. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Nicotine induces proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Nicotine activates hepatic fibrogenic pathways. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Nicotine receptor antagonists attenuate HSC proliferation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Nicotinic receptor antagonists may have utility as novel anti-fibrotic agents. -- Abstract: Background and aims: Cigarette smoke (CS) may cause liver fibrosis but possible involved mechanisms are unclear. Among the many chemicals in CS is nicotine - which affects cells through nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). We studied the effects of nicotine, and involved pathways, on human primary hepatic stellate cells (hHSCs), the principal fibrogenic cells in the liver. We then determined possible disease relevance by assaying nAChR in liver samples from human non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Methods: hHSC were isolated from healthy human livers and nAChR expression analyzed - RT-PCR and Western blotting. Nicotine induction of hHSC proliferation, upregulation of collagen1-{alpha}2 and the pro-fibrogenic cytokine transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-{beta}1) was determined along with involved intracellular signaling pathways. nAChR mRNA expression was finally analyzed in whole liver biopsies obtained from patients diagnosed with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Results: hHSCs express muscle type ({alpha}1, {beta}1, delta and epsilon) and neuronal type ({alpha}3, {alpha}6, {alpha}7, {beta}2 and {beta}4) nAChR subunits at the mRNA level. Among these subunits, {alpha}3, {alpha}7, {beta}1 and {epsilon} were predominantly expressed as confirmed by Western blotting. Nicotine induced hHSC proliferation was attenuated by mecamylamine (p < 0.05). Additionally, collagen1-{alpha}2 and TGF-{beta}1 mRNA expression were significantly upregulated by nicotine and inhibited by

  6. α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on dopaminergic neurons mediate nicotine reward and anxiety relief.

    PubMed

    McGranahan, Tresa M; Patzlaff, Natalie E; Grady, Sharon R; Heinemann, Stephen F; Booker, T K

    2011-07-27

    Nicotine is the primary psychoactive substance in tobacco, and it exerts its effects by interaction with various subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain. One of the major subtypes expressed in brain, the α4β2-nAChR, endogenously modulates neuronal excitability and thereby, modifies certain normal as well as nicotine-induced behaviors. Although α4-containing nAChRs are widely expressed across the brain, a major focus has been on their roles within midbrain dopaminergic regions involved in drug addiction, mental illness, and movement control in humans. We developed a unique model system to examine the role of α4-nAChRs within dopaminergic neurons by a targeted genetic deletion of the α4 subunit from dopaminergic neurons in mice. The loss α4 mRNA and α4β2-nAChRs from dopaminergic neurons was confirmed, as well as selective loss of α4β2-nAChR function from dopaminergic but not GABAergic neurons. Two behaviors central to nicotine dependence, reward and anxiety relief, were examined. α4-nAChRs specifically on dopaminergic neurons were demonstrated to be necessary for nicotine reward as measured by nicotine place preference, but not for another drug of addiction, cocaine. α4-nAChRs are necessary for the anxiolytic effects of nicotine in the elevated plus maze, and elimination of α4β2-nAChRs specifically from dopaminergic neurons decreased sensitivity to the anxiolytic effects of nicotine. Deletion of α4-nAChRs specifically from dopaminergic neurons also increased sensitivity to nicotine-induced locomotor depression; however, nicotine-induced hypothermia was unaffected. This is the first work to develop a dopaminergic specific deletion of a nAChR subunit and examine resulting changes in nicotine-related behaviors. PMID:21795541

  7. alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on dopaminergic neurons mediate nicotine reward and anxiety relief

    PubMed Central

    McGranahan, Tresa M.; Patzlaff, Natalie E.; Grady, Sharon R.; Heinemann, Stephen F.; Booker, T.K.

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine is the primary psychoactive substance in tobacco and it exerts its effects by interaction with various subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain. One of the major subtypes expressed in brain, the alpha4beta2-nAChR, endogenously modulates neuronal excitability and thereby, modifies certain normal, as well as nicotine-induced, behaviors. Although alpha4-containing nAChRs are widely expressed across the brain, a major focus has been on their roles within midbrain dopaminergic regions involved in drug addition, mental illness and movement control in humans. We developed a unique model system to examine the role of alpha4-nAChRs within dopaminergic neurons by a targeted genetic deletion of the alpha4 subunit from dopaminergic neurons in mice. The loss alpha4 mRNA and alpha4beta2-nAChRs from dopaminergic neurons was confirmed, as well as selective loss of alpha4beta2-nAChR function from dopaminergic but not GABAergic neurons. Two behaviors central to nicotine dependence, reward and anxiety relief, were examined. Alpha4-nAChRs specifically on dopaminergic neurons were demonstrated to be necessary for nicotine reward as measured by nicotine place preference, but not for another drug of addiction, cocaine. Alpha4-nAChRs are necessary for the anxiolytic effects of nicotine in the elevated plus maze and elimination of alpha4-beta2-nAChRs specifically from dopaminergic neurons decreased sensitivity to the anxiolytic effects of nicotine. Deletion of alpha4-nAChRs specifically from dopaminergic neurons also increased sensitivity to nicotine-induced locomotor depression, however nicotine-induced hypothermia was unaffected. This is the first work to develop a dopaminergic specific deletion of a nAChR subunit and examine resulting changes in nicotine behaviors. PMID:21795541

  8. Cell-surface translational dynamics of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Barrantes, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    Synapse efficacy heavily relies on the number of neurotransmitter receptors available at a given time. In addition to the equilibrium between the biosynthetic production, exocytic delivery and recycling of receptors on the one hand, and the endocytic internalization on the other, lateral diffusion and clustering of receptors at the cell membrane play key roles in determining the amount of active receptors at the synapse. Mobile receptors traffic between reservoir compartments and the synapse by thermally driven Brownian motion, and become immobilized at the peri-synaptic region or the synapse by: (a) clustering mediated by homotropic inter-molecular receptor–receptor associations; (b) heterotropic associations with non-receptor scaffolding proteins or the subjacent cytoskeletal meshwork, leading to diffusional “trapping,” and (c) protein-lipid interactions, particularly with the neutral lipid cholesterol. This review assesses the contribution of some of these mechanisms to the supramolecular organization and dynamics of the paradigm neurotransmitter receptor of muscle and neuronal cells -the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Currently available information stemming from various complementary biophysical techniques commonly used to interrogate the dynamics of cell-surface components is critically discussed. The translational mobility of nAChRs at the cell surface differs between muscle and neuronal receptors in terms of diffusion coefficients and residence intervals at the synapse, which cover an ample range of time regimes. A peculiar feature of brain α7 nAChR is its ability to spend much of its time confined peri-synaptically, vicinal to glutamatergic (excitatory) and GABAergic (inhibitory) synapses. An important function of the α7 nAChR may thus be visiting the territories of other neurotransmitter receptors, differentially regulating the dynamic equilibrium between excitation and inhibition, depending on its residence time in each domain. PMID

  9. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: Common Molecular Substrates of Nicotine and Alcohol Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Hendrickson, Linzy M.; Guildford, Melissa J.; Tapper, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are often co-abused. As many as 80–95% of alcoholics are also smokers, suggesting that ethanol and nicotine, the primary addictive component of tobacco smoke, may functionally interact in the central nervous system and/or share a common mechanism of action. While nicotine initiates dependence by binding to and activating neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), ligand-gated cation channels normally activated by endogenous acetylcholine (ACh), ethanol is much less specific with the ability to modulate multiple gene products including those encoding voltage-gated ion channels, and excitatory/inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors. However, emerging data indicate that ethanol interacts with nAChRs, both directly and indirectly, in the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DAergic) reward circuitry to affect brain reward systems. Like nicotine, ethanol activates DAergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) which project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Blockade of VTA nAChRs reduces ethanol-mediated activation of DAergic neurons, NAc DA release, consumption, and operant responding for ethanol in rodents. Thus, ethanol may increase ACh release into the VTA driving activation of DAergic neurons through nAChRs. In addition, ethanol potentiates distinct nAChR subtype responses to ACh and nicotine in vitro and in DAergic neurons. The smoking cessation therapeutic and nAChR partial agonist, varenicline, reduces alcohol consumption in heavy drinking smokers and rodent models of alcohol consumption. Finally, single nucleotide polymorphisms in nAChR subunit genes are associated with alcohol dependence phenotypes and smoking behaviors in human populations. Together, results from pre-clinical, clinical, and genetic studies indicate that nAChRs may have an inherent role in the abusive properties of ethanol, as well as in nicotine and alcohol co-dependence. PMID:23641218

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Emiliano; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Husson, Steven J.; Steuer-Costa, Wagner; Gottschalk, Alexander; Schafer, William R.; Treinin, Millet

    2014-01-01

    Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron. PMID:24518198

  11. Roles of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β subunits in function of human α4-containing nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jie; Liu, Qiang; Yu, Kewei; Hu, Jun; Kuo, Yen-Ping; Segerberg, Marsha; St John, Paul A; Lukas, Ronald J

    2006-01-01

    Naturally expressed nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) containing α4 subunits (α4*-nAChR) in combination with β2 subunits (α4β2-nAChR) are among the most abundant, high-affinity nicotine binding sites in the mammalian brain. β4 subunits are also richly expressed and colocalize with α4 subunits in several brain regions implicated in behavioural responses to nicotine and nicotine dependence. Thus, α4β4-nAChR also may exist and play important functional roles. In this study, properties were determined of human α4β2- and α4β4-nAChR heterologously expressed de novo in human SH-EP1 epithelial cells. Whole-cell currents mediated via human α4β4-nAChR have ∼4-fold higher amplitude than those mediated via human α4β2-nAChR and exhibit much slower acute desensitization and functional rundown. Nicotinic agonists induce peak whole-cell current responses typically with higher functional potency at α4β4-nAChR than at α4β2-nAChR. Cytisine and lobeline serve as full agonists at α4β4-nAChR but are only partial agonists at α4β2-nAChR. However, nicotinic antagonists, except hexamethonium, have comparable affinities for functional α4β2- and α4β4-nAChR. Whole-cell current responses show stronger inward rectification for α4β2-nAChR than for α4β4-nAChR at a positive holding potential. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that human nAChR β2 or β4 subunits can combine with α4 subunits to generate two forms of α4*-nAChR with distinctive physiological and pharmacological features. Diversity in α4*-nAChR is of potential relevance to nervous system function, disease, and nicotine dependence. PMID:16825297

  12. Aporphine metho salts as neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor blockers.

    PubMed

    Iturriaga-Vásquez, Patricio; Pérez, Edwin G; Slater, E Yvonne; Bermúdez, Isabel; Cassels, Bruce K

    2007-05-15

    (S)-Aporphine metho salts with the 1,2,9,10 oxygenation pattern displaced radioligands from recombinant human alpha7 and alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) at low micromolar concentrations. The affinity of the nonphenolic glaucine methiodide (4) (vs [(3)H]cytisine) was the lowest at alpha4beta2 nAChR (K(i)=10 microM), and predicentrine methiodide (2) and xanthoplanine iodide (3), with free hydroxyl groups at C-2 or C-9, respectively, had the highest affinity at these receptors (K(i) approximately 1 microM), while the affinity of the diphenolic boldine methiodide (1) was intermediate between these values. At homomeric alpha7 nAChR, xanthoplanine had the highest affinity (K(i)=10 microM) vs [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin while the other three compounds displaced the radioligand with K(i) values between 15 and 21 microM. At 100 microM, all four compounds inhibited the responses of these receptors to EC(50) concentrations of ACh. The effects of xanthoplanine iodide (3) were studied in more detail. Xanthoplanine fully inhibited the EC(50) ACh responses of both alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nACh receptors with estimated IC(50) values of 9+/-3 microM (alpha7) and 5+/-0.8 microM (alpha4beta2). PMID:17391965

  13. Menthol Binding and Inhibition of α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ashoor, Abrar; Nordman, Jacob C.; Veltri, Daniel; Yang, Keun-Hang Susan; Al Kury, Lina; Shuba, Yaroslav; Mahgoub, Mohamed; Howarth, Frank C.; Sadek, Bassem; Shehu, Amarda; Kabbani, Nadine; Oz, Murat

    2013-01-01

    Menthol is a common compound in pharmaceutical and commercial products and a popular additive to cigarettes. The molecular targets of menthol remain poorly defined. In this study we show an effect of menthol on the α7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor function. Using a two-electrode voltage-clamp technique, menthol was found to reversibly inhibit α7-nACh receptors heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Inhibition by menthol was not dependent on the membrane potential and did not involve endogenous Ca2+-dependent Cl− channels, since menthol inhibition remained unchanged by intracellular injection of the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA and perfusion with Ca2+-free bathing solution containing Ba2+. Furthermore, increasing ACh concentrations did not reverse menthol inhibition and the specific binding of [125I] α-bungarotoxin was not attenuated by menthol. Studies of α7- nACh receptors endogenously expressed in neural cells demonstrate that menthol attenuates α7 mediated Ca2+ transients in the cell body and neurite. In conclusion, our results suggest that menthol inhibits α7-nACh receptors in a noncompetitive manner. PMID:23935840

  14. Activation of endplate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by agonists.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, Anthony

    2015-10-15

    The interaction of a small molecule made in one cell with a large receptor made in another is the signature event of cell signaling. Understanding the structure and energy changes associated with agonist activation is important for engineering drugs, receptors and synapses. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is a ∼300kD ion channel that binds the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) and other cholinergic agonists to elicit electrical responses in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This mini-review is in two sections. First, general concepts of skeletal muscle AChR operation are discussed in terms of energy landscapes for conformational change. Second, adult vs. fetal AChRs are compared with regard to interaction energies between ACh and agonist-site side chains, measured by single-channel electrophysiology and molecular dynamics simulations. The five aromatic residues that form the core of each agonist binding site can be divided into two working groups, a triad (led by αY190) that behaves similarly at all sites and a coupled pair (led by γW55) that has a large influence on affinity only in fetal AChRs. Each endplate AChR has 5 homologous subunits, two of α(1) and one each of β, δ, and either γ (fetal) or ϵ (adult). These nicotinic AChRs have only 2 functional agonist binding sites located in the extracellular domain, at αδ and either αγ or αϵ subunit interfaces. The receptor undergoes a reversible, global isomerization between structures called C and O. The C shape does not conduct ions and has a relatively low affinity for ACh, whereas O conducts cations and has a higher affinity. When both agonist sites are empty (filled only with water) the probability of taking on the O conformation (PO) is low, <10(-6). When ACh molecules occupy the agonist sites the C→O opening rate constant and C↔O gating equilibrium constant increase dramatically. Following a pulse of ACh at the nerve-muscle synapse, the endplate current rises rapidly

  15. Alpha9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the treatment of pain.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, J Michael; Absalom, Nathan; Chebib, Mary; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Vincler, Michelle

    2009-10-01

    Chronic pain is a vexing worldwide problem that causes substantial disability and consumes significant medical resources. Although there are numerous analgesic medications, these work through a small set of molecular mechanisms. Even when these medications are used in combination, substantial amounts of pain often remain. It is therefore highly desirable to develop treatments that work through distinct mechanisms of action. While agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been intensively studied, new data suggest a role for selective antagonists of nAChRs. alpha-Conotoxins are small peptides used offensively by carnivorous marine snails known as Conus. A subset of these peptides known as alpha-conotoxins RgIA and Vc1.1 produces both acute and long lasting analgesia. In addition, these peptides appear to accelerate the recovery of function after nerve injury, possibly through immune mediated mechanisms. Pharmacological analysis indicates that RgIA and Vc1.1 are selective antagonists of alpha9alpha10 nAChRs. A recent study also reported that these alpha9alpha10 antagonists are also potent GABA-B agonists. In the current study, we were unable to detect RgIA or Vc1.1 binding to or action on cloned GABA-B receptors expressed in HEK cells or Xenopus oocytes. We review the background, findings and implications of use of compounds that act on alpha9* nAChRs.(1). PMID:19477168

  16. Therapeutic Potential of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Daniel; Lee, Chih-Hung L; Flood, Dorothy; Marger, Fabrice; Donnelly-Roberts, Diana

    2015-10-01

    Progress in the fields of neuroscience and molecular biology has identified the forebrain cholinergic system as being important in many higher order brain functions. Further analysis of the genes encoding the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has highlighted, in particular, the role of α7 nAChRs in these higher order brain functions as evidenced by their peculiar physiologic and pharmacological properties. As this receptor has gained the attention of scientists from academia and industry, our knowledge of its roles in various brain and bodily functions has increased immensely. We have also seen the development of small molecules that have further refined our understanding of the roles of α7 nAChRs, and these molecules have begun to be tested in clinical trials for several indications. Although a large body of data has confirmed a role of α7 nAChRs in cognition, the translation of small molecules affecting α7 nAChRs into therapeutics has to date only progressed to the stage of testing in clinical trials. Notably, however, most recent human genetic and biochemical studies are further underscoring the crucial role of α7 nAChRs and associated genes in multiple organ systems and disease states. The aim of this review is to discuss our current knowledge of α7 nAChRs and their relevance as a target in specific functional systems and disease states. PMID:26419447

  17. Increased expression of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in stimulated muscle.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Clare; Pette, Dirk; Ohlendieck, Kay

    2003-01-10

    Chronic low-frequency stimulation has been used as a model for investigating responses of skeletal muscle fibres to enhanced neuromuscular activity under conditions of maximum activation. Fast-to-slow isoform shifting of markers of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and the contractile apparatus demonstrated successful fibre transitions prior to studying the effect of chronic electro-stimulation on the expression of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Comparative immunoblotting revealed that the alpha- and delta-subunits of the receptor were increased in 10-78 day stimulated specimens, while an associated component of the surface utrophin-glycoprotein complex, beta-dystroglycan, was not drastically changed in stimulated fast skeletal muscle. Previous studies have shown that electro-stimulation induces degeneration of fast glycolytic fibres, trans-differentiation leading to fast-to-slow fibre transitions and activation of muscle precursor cells. In analogy, our results indicate a molecular modification of the central functional unit of the post-synaptic muscle surface within existing neuromuscular junctions and/or during remodelling of nerve-muscle contacts. PMID:12504123

  18. Nicotine increases GABAergic input on rat dorsal raphe serotonergic neurons through alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Vázquez, F; Chavarría, K; Garduño, J; Hernández-López, S; Mihailescu, S P

    2014-12-15

    The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) contains large populations of serotonergic (5-HT) neurons. This nucleus receives GABAergic inhibitory afferents from many brain areas and from DRN interneurons. Both GABAergic and 5-HT DRN neurons express functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Previous studies have demonstrated that nicotine increases 5-HT release and 5-HT DRN neuron discharge rate by stimulating postsynaptic nAChRs and by increasing glutamate and norepinephrine release inside DRN. However, the influence of nicotine on the GABAergic input to 5-HT DRN neurons was poorly investigated. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the effect of nicotine on GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) of 5-HT DRN neurons and the subtype of nAChR(s) involved in this response. Experiments were performed in coronal slices obtained from young Wistar rats. GABAergic sIPSCs were recorded from post hoc-identified 5-HT DRN neurons with the whole cell voltage patch-clamp technique. Administration of nicotine (1 μM) increased sIPSC frequency in 72% of identified 5-HT DRN neurons. This effect was not reproduced by the α4β2 nAChR agonist RJR-2403 and was not influenced by TTX (1 μM). It was mimicked by the selective agonist for α7 nAChR, PNU-282987, and exacerbated by the positive allosteric modulator of the same receptor, PNU-120596. The nicotine-induced increase in sIPSC frequency was independent on voltage-gated calcium channels and dependent on Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR). These results demonstrate that nicotine increases the GABAergic input to most 5-HT DRN neurons, by activating α7 nAChRs and producing CICR in DRN GABAergic terminals. PMID:25231613

  19. Serotoninergic dorsal raphe neurons possess functional postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Galindo-Charles, Luis; Hernandez-Lopez, Salvador; Galarraga, Elvira; Tapia, Dagoberto; Bargas, José; Garduño, Julieta; Frías-Dominguez, Carmen; Drucker-Colin, René; Mihailescu, Stefan

    2008-08-01

    Very few neurons in the telencephalon have been shown to express functional postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), among them, the noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons. However, there is no evidence for postsynaptic nAChRs on serotonergic neurons. In this study, we asked if functional nAChRs are present in serotonergic (5-HT) and nonserotonergic (non-5-HT) neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In rat midbrain slices, field stimulation at the tegmental pedunculopontine (PPT) nucleus evoked postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) with different components in DRN neurons. After blocking the glutamatergic and GABAergic components, the remaining eEPSCs were blocked by mecamylamine and reduced by either the selective alpha7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) or the selective alpha4beta2 nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-eritroidine (DHbetaE). Simultaneous addition of MLA and DHbetaE blocked all eEPSCs. Integrity of the PPT-DRN pathway was assessed by both anterograde biocytin tracing and antidromic stimulation from the DRN. Inward currents evoked by the direct application of acetylcholine (ACh), in the presence of atropine and tetrodotoxin, consisted of two kinetically different currents: one was blocked by MLA and the other by DHbetaE; in both 5-HT and non-5-HT DR neurons. Analysis of spontaneous (sEPSCs) and evoked (eEPSCs) synaptic events led to the conclusion that nAChRs were located at the postsynaptic membrane. The possible implications of these newly described nAChRs in various physiological processes and behavioral events, such as the wake-sleep cycle, are discussed. PMID:18512214

  20. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: neuroplastic changes underlying alcohol and nicotine addictions

    PubMed Central

    Feduccia, Allison A.; Chatterjee, Susmita; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2012-01-01

    Addictive drugs can activate systems involved in normal reward-related learning, creating long-lasting memories of the drug's reinforcing effects and the environmental cues surrounding the experience. These memories significantly contribute to the maintenance of compulsive drug use as well as cue-induced relapse which can occur even after long periods of abstinence. Synaptic plasticity is thought to be a prominent molecular mechanism underlying drug-induced learning and memories. Ethanol and nicotine are both widely abused drugs that share a common molecular target in the brain, the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The nAChRs are ligand-gated ion channels that are vastly distributed throughout the brain and play a key role in synaptic neurotransmission. In this review, we will delineate the role of nAChRs in the development of ethanol and nicotine addiction. We will characterize both ethanol and nicotine's effects on nAChR-mediated synaptic transmission and plasticity in several key brain areas that are important for addiction. Finally, we will discuss some of the behavioral outcomes of drug-induced synaptic plasticity in animal models. An understanding of the molecular and cellular changes that occur following administration of ethanol and nicotine will lead to better therapeutic strategies. PMID:22876217

  1. Transmembrane topography of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor delta subunit.

    PubMed Central

    McCrea, P D; Popot, J L; Engelman, D M

    1987-01-01

    Current folding models for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) predict either four or five transmembrane segments per subunit. The N-terminus of each subunit is almost certainly extracellular. We have tested folding models by determining biochemically the cellular location of an intermolecular disulfide bridge thought to lie at the delta subunit C-terminus. Dimers of AChR linked through the delta-delta bridge were prepared from Torpedo marmorata and T.californica electric organ. The disulfide's accessibility to hydrophilic reductants was tested in a reconstituted vesicle system. In right-side-out vesicles (greater than 95% ACh binding sites outwards), the bridge was equally accessible whether or not vesicles had been disrupted by freeze--thawing or by detergents. Control experiments based on the rate of reduction of entrapped diphtheria toxin and measurements of radioactive reductant efflux demonstrated that the vesicles provide an adequate permeability barrier. In reconstituted vesicles containing AChR dimers in scrambled orientations, right-side-out dimers were reduced to monomers three times more rapidly than inside-out dimers, consistent with the measured rate of reductant permeation. These observations indicate that in reconstituted vesicles the delta-delta disulfide bridge lies in the same aqueous space as the ACh binding sites. They are most easily reconciled with folding models that propose an even number of transmembrane crossing per subunit. PMID:3428268

  2. Early Life Stress, Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Alcohol Use Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Holgate, Joan Y.; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2015-01-01

    Stress is a major driving force in alcohol use disorders (AUDs). It influences how much one consumes, craving intensity and whether an abstinent individual will return to harmful alcohol consumption. We are most vulnerable to the effects of stress during early development, and exposure to multiple traumatic early life events dramatically increases the risk for AUDs. However, not everyone exposed to early life stress will develop an AUD. The mechanisms determining whether an individual’s brain adapts and becomes resilient to the effects of stress or succumbs and is unable to cope with stress remain elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that neuroplastic changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) following early life stress underlie the development of AUDs. This review discusses the impact of early life stress on NAc structure and function, how these changes affect cholinergic signaling within the mesolimbic reward pathway and the role nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play in this process. Understanding the neural pathways and mechanism determining stress resilience or susceptibility will improve our ability to identify individuals susceptible to developing AUDs, formulate cognitive interventions to prevent AUDs in susceptible individuals and to elucidate and enhance potential therapeutic targets, such as the nAChRs, for those struggling to overcome an AUD. PMID:26136145

  3. Cycloxaprid insecticide: nicotinic acetylcholine receptor binding site and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xusheng; Swenson, Tami L; Casida, John E

    2013-08-21

    Cycloxaprid (CYC) is a novel neonicotinoid prepared from the (nitromethylene)imidazole (NMI) analogue of imidacloprid. In this study we consider whether CYC is active per se or only as a proinsecticide for NMI. The IC50 values (nM) for displacing [(3)H]NMI binding are 43-49 for CYC and 2.3-3.2 for NMI in house fly and honeybee head membranes and 302 and 7.2, respectively, in mouse brain membranes, potency relationships interpreted as partial conversion of some CYC to NMI under the assay conditions. The 6-8-fold difference in toxicity of injected CYC and NMI to house flies is consistent with their relative potencies as in vivo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) inhibitors in brain measured with [(3)H]NMI binding assays. CYC metabolism in mice largely involves cytochrome P450 pathways without NMI as a major intermediate. Metabolites of CYC tentatively assigned are five monohydroxy derivatives and one each of dihydroxy, nitroso, and amino modifications. CYC appears be a proinsecticide, serving as a slow-release reservoir for NMI with selective activity for insect versus mammalian nAChRs. PMID:23889077

  4. Transmembrane topography of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor delta subunit.

    PubMed

    McCrea, P D; Popot, J L; Engelman, D M

    1987-12-01

    Current folding models for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) predict either four or five transmembrane segments per subunit. The N-terminus of each subunit is almost certainly extracellular. We have tested folding models by determining biochemically the cellular location of an intermolecular disulfide bridge thought to lie at the delta subunit C-terminus. Dimers of AChR linked through the delta-delta bridge were prepared from Torpedo marmorata and T.californica electric organ. The disulfide's accessibility to hydrophilic reductants was tested in a reconstituted vesicle system. In right-side-out vesicles (greater than 95% ACh binding sites outwards), the bridge was equally accessible whether or not vesicles had been disrupted by freeze--thawing or by detergents. Control experiments based on the rate of reduction of entrapped diphtheria toxin and measurements of radioactive reductant efflux demonstrated that the vesicles provide an adequate permeability barrier. In reconstituted vesicles containing AChR dimers in scrambled orientations, right-side-out dimers were reduced to monomers three times more rapidly than inside-out dimers, consistent with the measured rate of reductant permeation. These observations indicate that in reconstituted vesicles the delta-delta disulfide bridge lies in the same aqueous space as the ACh binding sites. They are most easily reconciled with folding models that propose an even number of transmembrane crossing per subunit. PMID:3428268

  5. The twin drug approach for novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Tomassoli, Isabelle; Gündisch, Daniela

    2015-08-01

    The association of two pharmacophoric entities generates so-called 'twin drugs' or dimer derivatives. We applied this approach for the design of a small compound library for the interaction with α4β2(∗) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In this compound series, the nAChR ligand N,N-dimethyl-2-(pyridin-3-yloxy)ethan-1-amine 9 served as one pharmacological entity and it was initially kept constant as one part of the 'twin' compound. 'Twin' compounds with identical or non-identical entities using the 'no linker mode' or 'overlap' mode were synthesized and evaluated for their nAChR affinities. Compound 17a showed the highest affinity for the α4β2(∗) nAChR subtype (Ki=0.188 nM) and its (di)fluoro analogs could retain nanomolar affinities, when replacing pyridine as the hydrogen bond acceptor system by mono- or difluoro-phenyls. The 'twin drug' approach proved to provide compounds with high affinity and subtype selectivity for α4β2(∗) nAChRs. PMID:26142318

  6. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Modulators Reduce Sugar Intake

    PubMed Central

    Shariff, Masroor; Quik, Maryka; Holgate, Joan; Morgan, Michael; Patkar, Omkar L.; Tam, Vincent; Belmer, Arnauld; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2016-01-01

    Excess sugar consumption has been shown to contribute directly to weight gain, thus contributing to the growing worldwide obesity epidemic. Interestingly, increased sugar consumption has been shown to repeatedly elevate dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), in the mesolimbic reward pathway of the brain similar to many drugs of abuse. We report that varenicline, an FDA-approved nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonist that modulates dopamine in the mesolimbic reward pathway of the brain, significantly reduces sucrose consumption, especially in a long-term consumption paradigm. Similar results were observed with other nAChR drugs, namely mecamylamine and cytisine. Furthermore, we show that long-term sucrose consumption increases α4β2 * and decreases α6β2* nAChRs in the nucleus accumbens, a key brain region associated with reward. Taken together, our results suggest that nAChR drugs such as varenicline may represent a novel treatment strategy for reducing sugar consumption. PMID:27028298

  7. Early Life Stress, Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Alcohol Use Disorders.

    PubMed

    Holgate, Joan Y; Bartlett, Selena E

    2015-01-01

    Stress is a major driving force in alcohol use disorders (AUDs). It influences how much one consumes, craving intensity and whether an abstinent individual will return to harmful alcohol consumption. We are most vulnerable to the effects of stress during early development, and exposure to multiple traumatic early life events dramatically increases the risk for AUDs. However, not everyone exposed to early life stress will develop an AUD. The mechanisms determining whether an individual's brain adapts and becomes resilient to the effects of stress or succumbs and is unable to cope with stress remain elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that neuroplastic changes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) following early life stress underlie the development of AUDs. This review discusses the impact of early life stress on NAc structure and function, how these changes affect cholinergic signaling within the mesolimbic reward pathway and the role nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play in this process. Understanding the neural pathways and mechanism determining stress resilience or susceptibility will improve our ability to identify individuals susceptible to developing AUDs, formulate cognitive interventions to prevent AUDs in susceptible individuals and to elucidate and enhance potential therapeutic targets, such as the nAChRs, for those struggling to overcome an AUD. PMID:26136145

  8. Structural Studies of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: Using Acetylcholine-Binding Protein as a Structural Surrogate.

    PubMed

    Shahsavar, Azadeh; Gajhede, Michael; Kastrup, Jette S; Balle, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel superfamily that play important roles in the control of neurotransmitter release in the central and peripheral nervous system. These receptors are important therapeutic targets for the development of drugs against a number of mental health disorders and for marketed smoking cessation aids. Unfortunately, drug discovery has been hampered by difficulties in obtaining sufficiently selective compounds. Together with functional complexity of the receptors, this has made it difficult to obtain drugs with sufficiently high-target to off-target affinity ratios. The recent and ongoing progress in structural studies holds promise to help understand structure-function relationships of nAChR drugs at the atomic level. This will undoubtedly lead to the design of more efficient drugs with fewer side effects. As a high-resolution structure of a nAChR is yet to be determined, structural studies are to a large extent based on acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) that despite low overall sequence identity display a high degree of conservation of overall structure and amino acids at the ligand-binding site. Further, AChBPs reproduce relative binding affinities of ligands at nAChRs. Over the past decade, AChBPs have been used extensively as models for nAChRs and have aided the understanding of drug receptor interactions at nAChRs significantly. PMID:26572235

  9. Nicotine improves the functional activity of late endothelial progenitor cells via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Yu, Min; Liu, Qian; Sun, Jing; Yi, Kaihong; Wu, Libiao; Tan, Xuerui

    2011-08-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate whether nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are involved in the modulation of functional activity of late endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) induced by nicotine. Total mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated from human umbilical cord blood by Ficoll density gradient centrifugation, and then the cells were plated on fibronectin-coated culture plates. Late EPCs were positive for 1,1-dioctadecyl-3,3,3,3-tetramethylindocarbocyanine-labeled acetylated low-density lipoprotein (DiI-acLDL) uptake and fluorescein-isothiocyanate-conjugated Ulex europaeus agglutinin lectin (UEA-1) binding. Expression of von Willbrand factor (vWF), kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), and α7 nAChR was detected by indirect immunofluorescence staining. Late EPCs of 3-5 passages were treated for 32 h with either vehicle or nicotine with or without pre-incubation of nAChR antagonism, mecamylamine, or α-bungarotoxin. The viability, migration, and in vitro vasculogenesis activity of late EPCs were assayed with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, modified Boyden chamber assay, and in vitro angiogenesis assay, respectively. Late EPCs adhesion assay was performed by replating cells on fibronectin-coated plates, and then adherent cells were counted. Incubation with 10 nmol/L nicotine enhanced viable, migratory, adhesive, and in vitro vasculogenesis capacity of late EPCs. The effect of nicotine on late EPCs can be attenuated by mecamylamine or α-bungarotoxin. In conclusion, nicotine improves the functional activity of late EPCs via nAChRs. PMID:21774635

  10. Ineffectiveness of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists for treatment-resistant depression: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hee Ryung; Woo, Young Sup; Bahk, Won-Myong

    2016-09-01

    Emerging preclinical and clinical evidences suggest a potential role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the pathophysiology of depression. Several clinical trials have investigated the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists in treatment-resistant depression. We carried out this meta-analysis to investigate whether nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists significantly improve symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder who have an inadequate response to standard antidepressant therapy. A comprehensive literature search identified six randomized-controlled trials. These six trials, which included 2067 participants, were pooled for this meta-analysis using a random-effects model. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists failed to show superior efficacy compared with placebo in terms of the mean change in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale score [mean difference=-0.12 (95% confidence interval (CI)=-0.96 to 0.71]; response rate [risk ratio=0.92 (95% CI=0.83-1.02)]; and remission rate [risk ratio=1.01 (95% CI=0.83-1.23)]. This meta-analysis failed to confirm preliminary positive evidence for the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists in treatment-resistant depression. Further studies investigating the efficacy of various alternative treatment strategies for treatment-resistant depression will help clinicians to better understand and choose better treatment options for these populations. PMID:26982579

  11. Functional Expression of Two Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors from cDNA Clones Identifies a Gene Family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulter, Jim; Connolly, John; Deneris, Evan; Goldman, Dan; Heinemann, Steven; Patrick, Jim

    1987-11-01

    A family of genes coding for proteins homologous to the α subunit of the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor has been identified in the rat genome. These genes are transcribed in the central and peripheral nervous systems in areas known to contain functional nicotinic receptors. In this paper, we demonstrate that three of these genes, which we call alpha3, alpha4, and beta2, encode proteins that form functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Oocytes expressing either alpha3 or alpha4 protein in combination with the beta2 protein produced a strong response to acetylcholine. Oocytes expressing only the alpha4 protein gave a weak response to acetylcholine. These receptors are activated by acetylcholine and nicotine and are blocked by Bungarus toxin 3.1. They are not blocked by α -bungarotoxin, which blocks the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Thus, the receptors formed by the alpha3, alpha4, and beta2 subunits are pharmacologically similar to the ganglionic-type neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. These results indicate that the alpha3, alpha4, and beta2 genes encode functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits that are expressed in the brain and peripheral nervous system.

  12. Synaptic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in spinal ventral horn neurons.

    PubMed

    Mine, N; Taniguchi, W; Nishio, N; Izumi, N; Miyazaki, N; Yamada, H; Nakatsuka, T; Yoshida, M

    2015-04-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are distributed widely in the central nervous system and play important roles in higher brain functions, including learning, memory, and recognition. However, functions of the cholinergic system in spinal motoneurons remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the actions of presynaptic and postsynaptic nAChRs in spinal ventral horn neurons by performing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on lumbar slices from male rats. The application of nicotine or acetylcholine generated slow inward currents and increased the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). Slow inward currents by acetylcholine or nicotine were not inhibited by tetrodotoxin (TTX) or glutamate receptor antagonists. In the presence of TTX, the frequency and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were also increased by acetylcholine or nicotine. A selective α4β2 nicotinic receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide (DhβE), significantly decreased nicotine-induced inward currents without affecting the enhancement of sEPSCs and mEPSCs. In addition, a selective α7 nicotinic receptor antagonist, methyllycaconitine, did not affect either nicotine-induced inward currents or the enhancement of sEPSCs and mEPSCs. These results suggest that α4β2 AChRs are localized at postsynaptic sites in the spinal ventral horn, non-α4β2 and non-α7 nAChRs are located presynaptically, and nAChRs enhance excitatory synaptic transmission in the spinal ventral horn. PMID:25613686

  13. INHIBITORY EFFECTS OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS ON NEURONAL NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    INHIBITORY EFFECTS OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS ON NEURONAL NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS.
    A.S. Bale*; P.J. Bushnell; C.A. Meacham; T.J. Shafer
    Neurotoxicology Division, NHEERL, ORD, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
    Toluene (TOL...

  14. Effect of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists and antagonists on motor function in mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are ligand-gated cation channels found throughout the body, and serve to mediate diverse physiological functions. Muscle-type nAChR located in the motor endplate region of muscle fibers play an integral role in muscle contraction and thus motor function. The...

  15. Suitability of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor α7 and Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor 3 Antibodies for Immune Detection: Evaluation in Murine Skin.

    PubMed

    Rommel, Frank R; Raghavan, Badrinarayanan; Paddenberg, Renate; Kummer, Wolfgang; Tumala, Susanne; Lochnit, Günter; Gieler, Uwe; Peters, Eva M J

    2015-05-01

    Recent evidence reveals a crucial role for acetylcholine and its receptors in the regulation of inflammation, particularly of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 (Chrna7) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor 3 (Chrm3). Immunohistochemistry is a key tool for their cellular localization in functional tissues. We evaluated nine different commercially available antibodies on back skin tissue from wild-type (Wt) and gene-deficient (KO) mice. In the immunohistochemical analysis, we focused on key AChR-ligand sensitive skin cells (mast cells, nerve fibers and keratinocytes). All five antibodies tested for Chrm3 and the first three Chrna7 antibodies stained positive in both Wt and respective KO skin. With the 4th antibody (ab23832) nerve fibers were unlabeled in the KO mice. By western blot analysis, this antibody detected bands in both Wt and Chrna7 KO skin and brain. qRT-PCR revealed mRNA amplification with a primer set for the undeleted region in both Wt and KO mice, but none with a primer set for the deleted region in KO mice. By 2D electrophoresis, we found β-actin and β-enolase cross reactivity, which was confirmed by double immunolabeling. In view of the present results, the tested antibodies are not suitable for immunolocalization in skin and suggest thorough control of antibody specificity is required if histomorphometry is intended. PMID:25673288

  16. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: upregulation, age-related effects and associations with drug use

    PubMed Central

    Melroy-Greif, W. E.; Stitzel, J. A.; Ehringer, M. A.

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that exogenously bind nicotine. Nicotine produces rewarding effects by interacting with these receptors in the brain’s reward system. Unlike other receptors, chronic stimulation by an agonist induces an upregulation of receptor number that is not due to increased gene expression in adults; while upregulation also occurs during development and adolescence there have been some opposing findings regarding a change in corresponding gene expression. These receptors have also been well studied with regard to human genetic associations and, based on evidence suggesting shared genetic liabilities between substance use disorders, numerous studies have pointed to a role for this system in comorbid drug use. This review will focus on upregulation of these receptors in adulthood, adolescence and development, as well as the findings from human genetic association studies which point to different roles for these receptors in risk for initiation and continuation of drug use. PMID:26351737

  17. Role of β4* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Habenulo-Interpeduncular Pathway in Nicotine Reinforcement in Mice.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Lauriane; Viñals, Xavier; Herrera-Solís, Andrea; Flores, Africa; Morel, Carole; Tolu, Stefania; Faure, Philippe; Maldonado, Rafael; Maskos, Uwe; Robledo, Patricia

    2016-06-01

    Nicotine exerts its psychopharmacological effects by activating the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), composed of alpha and/or beta subunits, giving rise to a diverse population of receptors with a distinct pharmacology. β4-containing (β4*) nAChRs are located almost exclusively in the habenulo-interpeduncular pathway. We examined the role of β4* nAChRs in the medial habenula (MHb) and the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) in nicotine reinforcement using behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular techniques in transgenic mice. Nicotine intravenous self-administration (IVSA) was lower in constitutive β4 knockout (KO) mice at all doses tested (7.5, 15, 30, and 60 μg/kg/infusion) compared with wild-type (WT) mice. In vivo microdialysis showed that β4KO mice have higher extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens than in WT mice, and exhibit a differential sensitivity to nicotine-induced DA outflow. Furthermore, electrophysiological recordings in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) demonstrated that DA neurons of β4KO mice are more sensitive to lower doses of nicotine than that of WT mice. Re-expression of β4* nAChRs in IPN neurons fully restored nicotine IVSA, and attenuated the increased sensitivity of VTA DA neurons to nicotine. These findings suggest that β4* nAChRs in the IPN have a role in maintaining nicotine IVSA. PMID:26585290

  18. A Multi-Route Model of Nicotine-Cotinine Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Brain Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Binding in Humans

    SciTech Connect

    Teeguarden, Justin G.; Housand, Conrad; Smith, Jordan N.; Hinderliter, Paul M.; Gunawan, Rudy; Timchalk, Charles

    2013-02-01

    The pharmacokinetics of nicotine, the pharmacologically active alkaloid in tobacco responsible for addiction, are well characterized in humans. We developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model of nicotine pharmacokinetics, brain dosimetry and brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRs) occupancy. A Bayesian framework was applied to optimize model parameters against multiple human data sets. The resulting model was consistent with both calibration and test data sets, but in general underestimated variability. A pharmacodynamic model relating nicotine levels to increases in heart rate as a proxy for the pharmacological effects of nicotine accurately described the nicotine related changes in heart rate and the development and decay of tolerance to nicotine. The PBPK model was utilized to quantitatively capture the combined impact of variation in physiological and metabolic parameters, nicotine availability and smoking compensation on the change in number of cigarettes smoked and toxicant exposure in a population of 10,000 people presented with a reduced toxicant (50%), reduced nicotine (50%) cigarette Across the population, toxicant exposure is reduced in some but not all smokers. Reductions are not in proportion to reductions in toxicant yields, largely due to partial compensation in response to reduced nicotine yields. This framework can be used as a key element of a dosimetry-driven risk assessment strategy for cigarette smoke constituents.

  19. Inhibition of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by cyclic monoterpene carveol.

    PubMed

    Lozon, Yosra; Sultan, Ahmed; Lansdell, Stuart J; Prytkova, Tatiana; Sadek, Bassem; Yang, Keun-Hang Susan; Howarth, Frank Christopher; Millar, Neil S; Oz, Murat

    2016-04-01

    Cyclic monoterpenes are a group of phytochemicals with antinociceptive, local anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory actions. Effects of cyclic monoterpenes including vanilin, pulegone, eugenole, carvone, carvacrol, carveol, thymol, thymoquinone, menthone, and limonene were investigated on the functional properties of the cloned α7 subunit of the human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Monoterpenes inhibited the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the order carveol>thymoquinone>carvacrol>menthone>thymol>limonene>eugenole>pulegone≥carvone≥vanilin. Among the monoterpenes, carveol showed the highest potency on acetylcholine-induced responses, with IC50 of 8.3µM. Carveol-induced inhibition was independent of the membrane potential and could not be reversed by increasing the concentration of acetylcholine. In line with functional experiments, docking studies indicated that cyclic monoterpenes such as carveol may interact with an allosteric site located in the α7 transmembrane domain. Our results indicate that cyclic monoterpenes inhibit the function of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, with varying potencies. PMID:26849939

  20. Theoretical investigation of interaction between the set of ligands and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glukhova, O. E.; Prytkova, T. R.; Shmygin, D. S.

    2016-03-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are neuron receptor proteins that provide a transmission of nerve impulse through the synapses. They are composed of a pentametric assembly of five homologous subunits (5 α7 subunits for α7nAChR, for example), oriented around the central pore. These receptors might be found in the chemical synapses of central and peripheral nervous system, and also in the neuromuscular synapses. Transmembrane domain of the one of such receptors constitutes ion channel. The conductive properties of ion channel strongly depend on the receptor conformation changes in the response of binding with some molecule, f.e. acetylcholine. Investigation of interaction between ligands and acetylcholine receptor is important for drug design. In this work we investigate theoretically the interaction between the set of different ligands (such as vanillin, thymoquinone, etc.) and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (primarily with subunit of the α7nAChR) by different methods and packages (AutodockVina, GROMACS, KVAZAR, HARLEM, VMD). We calculate interaction energy between different ligands in the subunit using molecular dynamics. On the base of obtained calculation results and using molecular docking we found an optimal location of different ligands in the subunit.

  1. Primary structure of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Final report, 9 April 1989-6 April 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Patrick, J.W.

    1992-05-06

    Signals are transmitted between cells in the brain using neurotransmitters and neurotransmitter receptors. Poisons that interfere with this process stop normal brain function and often kill nerve cells. One of the neurotransmitters used in the mammalian brain is acetylcholine. We discovered that there is a large number of different nicotinic receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, each with its different properties. We used recombinant DNA technology to clone and sequence the gene transcripts that encode the subunits of these receptors. From these sequences we deduced the primary structures of the nicotinic receptor subunits. We also used the cDNA clones to determine which brain loci express the respective genes. We have expressed the clones in the Xenopus oocyte and have demonstrated that each functional combination of subunits has a unique pharmacology Unlike their homologs at the neuromuscular junction, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain are exceptionally permeable to calcium. This property suggests that these receptors may play an important role in regulating calcium-dependent cytoplasmic processes and that they may be important contributors to use-dependent cell death.

  2. L-theanine inhibits nicotine-induced dependence via regulation of the nicotine acetylcholine receptor-dopamine reward pathway.

    PubMed

    Di, Xiaojing; Yan, Jingqi; Zhao, Yan; Chang, Yanzhong; Zhao, Baolu

    2012-12-01

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of L-theanine, an amino acid derivative of tea, on the rewarding effects of nicotine and its underlying mechanisms of action were studied. We found that L-theanine inhibited the rewarding effects of nicotine in a conditioned place preference (CPP) model of the mouse and reduced the excitatory status induced by nicotine in SH-SY5Y cells to the same extent as the nicotine receptor inhibitor dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHβE). Further studies using high performance liquid chromatography, western blotting and immunofluorescence staining analyses showed that L-theanine significantly inhibited nicotine-induced tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression and dopamine production in the midbrain of mice. L-theanine treatment also reduced the upregulation of the α(4), β(2) and α(7) nicotine acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits induced by nicotine in mouse brain regions that related to the dopamine reward pathway, thus decreasing the number of cells that could react to nicotine. In addition, L-theanine treatment inhibited nicotine-induced c-Fos expression in the reward circuit related areas of the mouse brain. Knockdown of c-Fos by siRNA inhibited the excitatory status of cells but not the upregulation of TH induced by nicotine in SH-SY5Y cells. Overall, the present study showed that L-theanine reduced the nicotine-induced reward effects via inhibition of the nAChR-dopamine reward pathway. These results may offer new therapeutic strategies for treatment of tobacco addiction. PMID:23233221

  3. Mapping of the acetylcholine binding site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: ( sup 3 H)nicotine as an agonist photoaffinity label

    SciTech Connect

    Middleton, R.E.; Cohen, J.B. )

    1991-07-16

    The agonist ({sup 3}H)nicotine was used as a photoaffinity label for the acetylcholine binding sties on the Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR). ({sup 3}H)Nicotine binds at equilibrium with K{sub eq} = 0.6 {mu}M to the agonist binding sites. Irradiation with 254-nm light of AChR-rich membranes equilibrated with ({sup 3}H)nicotine resulted in covalent incorporation into the {alpha}- and {gamma}-subunits, which was inhibited by agonists and competitive antagonists but not by noncompetitive antagonists. Inhibition of labeling by d-tubocurarine demonstrated that the {alpha}-subunit was labeled via both agonist sites but the {gamma}-subunit was labeled only via the site that binds d-tubocurarine with high affinity. Chymotryptic digestion of the {alpha}-subunit confirmed that Try-198 was the principal amino acid labeled by ({sup 3}H)nicotine. This confirmation required a novel radiosequencing strategy employing o-phthalaldehyde ({sup 3}H)Nicotine, which is the first photoaffinity agonist used, labels primarily Tyr-198 in contrast to competitive antagonist affinity labels, which label primarily Tyr-190 and Cys-192/Cys-193.

  4. Inhibition of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors, a Novel Facet in the Pleiotropic Activities of Snake Venom Phospholipases A2

    PubMed Central

    Vulfius, Catherine A.; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Starkov, Vladislav G.; Osipov, Alexey V.; Andreeva, Tatyana V.; Filkin, Sergey Yu.; Gorbacheva, Elena V.; Astashev, Maxim E.; Tsetlin, Victor I.; Utkin, Yuri N.

    2014-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 represent the most abundant family of snake venom proteins. They manifest an array of biological activities, which is constantly expanding. We have recently shown that a protein bitanarin, isolated from the venom of the puff adder Bitis arietans and possessing high phospholipolytic activity, interacts with different types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and with the acetylcholine-binding protein. To check if this property is characteristic to all venom phospholipases A2, we have studied the capability of these enzymes from other snakes to block the responses of Lymnaea stagnalis neurons to acetylcholine or cytisine and to inhibit α-bungarotoxin binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholine-binding proteins. Here we present the evidence that phospholipases A2 from venoms of vipers Vipera ursinii and V. nikolskii, cobra Naja kaouthia, and krait Bungarus fasciatus from different snake families suppress the acetylcholine- or cytisine-elicited currents in L. stagnalis neurons and compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to muscle- and neuronal α7-types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, as well as to acetylcholine-binding proteins. As the phospholipase A2 content in venoms is quite high, under some conditions the activity found may contribute to the deleterious venom effects. The results obtained suggest that the ability to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may be a general property of snake venom phospholipases A2, which add a new target to the numerous activities of these enzymes. PMID:25522251

  5. Role of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in Alzheimer's disease pathology and treatment.

    PubMed

    Lombardo, Sylvia; Maskos, Uwe

    2015-09-01

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the major form of senile dementia, characterized by neuronal loss, extracellular deposits, and neurofibrillary tangles. It is accompanied by a loss of cholinergic tone, and acetylcholine (ACh) levels in the brain, which were hypothesized to be responsible for the cognitive decline observed in AD. Current medication is restricted to enhancing cholinergic signalling for symptomatic treatment of AD patients. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor family (nAChR) and the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor family (mAChR) are the target of ACh in the brain. Both families of receptors are affected in AD. It was demonstrated that amyloid beta (Aβ) interacts with nAChRs. Here we discuss how Aβ activates or inhibits nAChRs, and how this interaction contributes to AD pathology. We will discuss the potential role of nAChRs as therapeutic targets. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25514383

  6. The α3β4* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype mediates nicotine reward and physical nicotine withdrawal signs independently of the α5 subunit in the mouse

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Kia J.; Sanjakdar, Sarah S.; Muldoon, Pretal P.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Damaj, M. Imad

    2013-01-01

    The 15q25 gene cluster contains genes that code for the α5, α3, and β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRs) subunits, and in human genetic studies, has shown the most robust association with smoking behavior and nicotine dependence to date. The limited available animal studies implicate a role for the α5 and β4 nAChR subunits in nicotine dependence and withdrawal; however studies focusing on the behavioral role of the α3β4* nAChR receptor subtype in nicotine dependence are lacking. Because of the apparent role of the α3β4* nAChR subtype in nicotine dependence, the goal of the current study was to better evaluate the involvement of this subtype in nicotine mediated behavioral responses. Using the selective α3β4* nAChR antagonist, α-conotoxin AuIB, we assessed the role of α3β4* nAChRs in acute nicotine, nicotine reward, and physical and affective nicotine withdrawal. Because α5 has also been implicated in nicotine dependence behaviors in mice and can form functional receptors with α3β4*, we also evaluated the role of the α3β4α5* nAChR subtype in nicotine reward and somatic nicotine withdrawal signs by blocking the α3β4* nAChR subtype in α5 nAChR knockout mice with AuIB. AuIB had no significant effect on acute nicotine behaviors, but dose-dependently attenuated nicotine reward and physical withdrawal signs, with no significant effect in affective withdrawal measures. Interestingly, AuIB also attenuated nicotine reward and somatic signs in α5 nAChR knockout mice. This study shows that α3β4* nAChRs mediate nicotine reward and physical nicotine withdrawal, but not acute nicotine behaviors or affective nicotine withdrawal signs in mice. The α5 subunit is not required in the receptor assembly to mediate these effects. Our findings suggest an important role for the α3β4* nAChR subtype in nicotine reward and physical aspects of the nicotine withdrawal syndrome. PMID:23416040

  7. Chemical modification and reactivity of sulfhydryls and disulfides of rat brain nicotinic-like acetylcholine receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Lukas, R.J.; Bennett, E.L.

    1980-06-25

    Rat central nervous system binding sites for ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin display considerable biochemical homology with characterized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the periphery. They possess a critical disulfide residue(s), which is susceptible to chemical modification and consequent specific alteration in the affinity of the binding site for cholinergic agonists. After reaction with Na/sub 2/S/sub 2/O/sub 5/, as with reaction with dithiothreitol and 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid), the binding site is frozen in a high affinity state toward acetylcholine. After reduction with dithiothreitol and alkylation with a variety of compounds of different molecular configuration or electrical charge, or both, the binding site is frozen in a low affinity state toward acetylcholine. Thus, effects of disulfide/sulfhydryl modification on agonist binding affinity appear to be attributable to the nature of the covalent modification rather than charge or steric alteration at the receptor active site brought about by chemical modification.

  8. Functional Upregulation of α4* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in VTA GABAergic Neurons Increases Sensitivity to Nicotine Reward

    PubMed Central

    Ngolab, Jennifer; Liu, Liwang; Zhao-Shea, Rubing; Gao, Guangping; Gardner, Paul D.

    2015-01-01

    Chronic nicotine exposure increases sensitivity to nicotine reward during a withdrawal period, which may facilitate relapse in abstinent smokers, yet the molecular neuroadaptation(s) that contribute to this phenomenon are unknown. Interestingly, chronic nicotine use induces functional upregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway potentially linking upregulation to increased drug sensitivity. In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), functional upregulation of nAChRs containing the α4 subunit (α4* nAChRs) is restricted to GABAergic neurons. To test the hypothesis that increased functional expression of α4* nAChRs in these neurons modulates nicotine reward behaviors, we engineered a Cre recombinase-dependent gene expression system to selectively express α4 nAChR subunits harboring a “gain-of-function” mutation [a leucine mutated to a serine residue at the 9′ position (Leu9′Ser)] in VTA GABAergic neurons of adult mice. In mice expressing Leu9′Ser α4 nAChR subunits in VTA GABAergic neurons (Gad2VTA:Leu9′Ser mice), subreward threshold doses of nicotine were sufficient to selectively activate VTA GABAergic neurons and elicit acute hypolocomotion, with subsequent nicotine exposures eliciting tolerance to this effect, compared to control animals. In the conditioned place preference procedure, nicotine was sufficient to condition a significant place preference in Gad2VTA:Leu9′Ser mice at low nicotine doses that failed to condition control animals. Together, these data indicate that functional upregulation of α4* nAChRs in VTA GABAergic neurons confers increased sensitivity to nicotine reward and points to nAChR subtypes specifically expressed in GABAergic VTA neurons as molecular targets for smoking cessation therapeutics. PMID:26041923

  9. Agonist self-inhibition at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor a nonspecific action

    SciTech Connect

    Forman, S.A.; Firestone, L.L.; Miller, K.W.

    1987-05-19

    Agonist concentration-response relationships at nicotinic postsynaptic receptors were established by measuring /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux from acetylcholine receptor rich native Torpedo membrane vesicles under three different conditions: (1) integrated net ion efflux (in 10 s) from untreated vesicles, (2) integrated net efflux from vesicles in which most acetylcholine sites were irreversibly blocked with ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, and (3) initial rates of efflux (5-100 ms) from vesicles that were partially blocked with ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin. Exposure to acetylcholine, carbamylcholine, suberyldicholine, phenyltrimethylammonium, or (-)-nicotine over 10/sup 8/-fold concentration ranges results in bell-shaped ion flux response curves due to stimulation of acetylcholine receptor channel opening at low concentrations and inhibition of channel function at 60-2000 times higher concentrations. Concentrations of agonists that inhibit their own maximum /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux by 50% (K/sub B/ values) are 110, 211, 3.0, 39, and 8.9 mM, respectively, for the agonists listed above. For acetylcholine and carbamylcholine, K/sub B/ values determined from both 10-s and 15-ms efflux measurements are the same, indicating that the rate of agonist-induced desensitization increases to maximum at concentrations lower than those causing self-inhibition. For all partial and full agonists studied, Hill coefficients for self-inhibition are close to 1.0. Concentrations of agonists up to 8 times K/sub B/ did not change the order parameter reported by a spin-labeled fatty acid incorporated in Torpedo membranes. The authors conclude that agonist self-inhibition cannot be attributed to a general nonspecific membrane perturbation. Instead, these results are consistent with a saturable site of action either at the lipid-protein interface or on the acetylcholine receptor protein itself.

  10. Photoaffinity labeling of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with a novel [(3)H]azidoneonicotinoid.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, M; Wen, Z; Chin, H L; Morimoto, H; Kayser, H; Casida, J E

    2001-09-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a ligand-gated ion channel in the insect CNS and a target for major insecticides. Here we use photoaffinity labeling to approach the functional architecture of insect nAChRs. Two candidate 5-azido-6-chloropyridin-3-yl photoaffinity probes are evaluated for their receptor potencies: azidoneonicotinoid (AzNN) with an acyclic nitroguanidine moiety; azidodehydrothiacloprid. Compared to their non-azido parents, both probes are of decreased potencies at Drosophila (fruit fly) and Musca (housefly) receptors but AzNN retains full potency at the Myzus (aphid) receptor. [(3)H]AzNN was therefore radiosynthesized at high specific activity (84 Ci/mmol) as a novel photoaffinity probe. [(3)H]AzNN binds to a single high-affinity site in Myzus that is competitively inhibited by imidacloprid and nicotine and further characterized as to its pharmacological profile with various nicotinic ligands. [(3)H]AzNN photoaffinity labeling of Myzus and Homalodisca (leafhopper) detects a single radiolabeled peak in each case displaceable with imidacloprid and nicotine and with molecular masses corresponding to approximately 45 and approximately 56 kDa, respectively. The photoaffinity-labeled receptor in both Drosophila and Musca has imidacloprid- and nicotine-sensitive profiles and migrates at approximately 66 kDa. These photoaffinity-labeled polypeptides are considered to be the insecticide-binding subunits of native insect nAChRs. PMID:11579144

  11. Sequence and functional expression of a single alpha subunit of an insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, J; Buckingham, S D; Shingai, R; Lunt, G G; Goosey, M W; Darlison, M G; Sattelle, D B; Barnard, E A

    1990-01-01

    We report the isolation and sequence of a cDNA clone that encodes a locust (Schistocerca gregaria) nervous system nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit (alpha L1). The calculated molecular weight of the unglycosylated polypeptide, which contains in the proposed extracellular domain two adjacent cysteine residues which are characteristic of alpha (ligand binding) subunits, is 60,641 daltons. Injection into Xenopus oocytes, of RNA synthesized from this clone in vitro, results in expression of functional nicotinic receptors in the oocyte membrane. In these, nicotine opens a cation channel; the receptors are blocked by both alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-Bgt) and kappa-bungarotoxin (kappa-Bgt). Reversible block of the expressed insect AChR by mecamylamine, d-tubocurarine, tetraethylammonium, bicuculline and strychnine has also been observed. These data are entirely consistent with previously reported electrophysiological studies on in vivo insect nicotinic receptors and also with biochemical studies on an alpha-Bgt affinity purified locust AChR. Thus, a functional receptor exhibiting the characteristic pharmacology of an in vivo insect nicotinic AChR can be expressed in Xenopus oocytes by injection with a single subunit RNA. PMID:1702381

  12. 6,6-Spiroimine analogs of (-)-gymnodimine A: synthesis and biological evaluation on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Duroure, Leslie; Jousseaume, Thierry; Aráoz, Rómulo; Barré, Elvina; Retailleau, Pascal; Chabaud, Laurent; Molgó, Jordi; Guillou, Catherine

    2011-12-01

    Simple models of the spiroimine core of (-)-gymnodimine A have been synthesized in racemic and optically active forms. The quaternary carbon of the racemic spiroimines was created by Michael addition of a β-ketoester to acrolein, whereas the asymmetric allylic alkylation of the same β-ketoester was used to access the spiroimines in an enantioselective fashion. Both racemic and enantio-enriched mixtures were tested for their biological activities on Xenopus oocytes either expressing (human α4β2) or having incorporated (Torpedoα1(2)βγδ) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). These spiroimine analogs of (-)-gymnodimine A inhibited acetylcholine-evoked nicotinic currents, but were less active than the phycotoxin. Our results reveal that the 6,6-spiroimine moiety is important for the blockade of nAChRs and support the hypothesis that it is one of the pharmacophores of this group of toxins. PMID:22024965

  13. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in human airway correlates with lung function.

    PubMed

    Lam, David Chi-Leung; Luo, Susan Yang; Fu, Kin-Hang; Lui, Macy Mei-Sze; Chan, Koon-Ho; Wistuba, Ignacio Ivans; Gao, Boning; Tsao, Sai-Wah; Ip, Mary Sau-Man; Minna, John Dorrance

    2016-02-01

    Nicotine and its derivatives, by binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on bronchial epithelial cells, can regulate cellular signaling and inflammatory processes. Delineation of nAChR subtypes and their responses to nicotine stimulation in bronchial epithelium may provide information for therapeutic targeting in smoking-related inflammation in the airway. Expression of nAChR subunit genes in 60 bronchial epithelial biopsies and immunohistochemical staining for the subcellular locations of nAChR subunit expression were evaluated. Seven human bronchial epithelial cell lines (HBECs) were exposed to nicotine in vitro for their response in nAChR subunit gene expression to nicotine exposure and removal. The relative normalized amount of expression of nAChR α4, α5, and α7 and immunohistochemical staining intensity of nAChR α4, α5, and β3 expression showed significant correlation with lung function parameters. Nicotine stimulation in HBECs resulted in transient increase in the levels of nAChR α5 and α6 but more sustained increase in nAChR α7 expression. nAChR expression in bronchial epithelium was found to correlate with lung function. Nicotine exposure in HBECs resulted in both short and longer term responses in nAChR subunit gene expression. These results gave insight into the potential of targeting nAChRs for therapy in smoking-related inflammation in the airway. PMID:26608528

  14. Megacystis, mydriasis, and ion channel defect in mice lacking the α3 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wei; Gelber, Shari; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Armstrong, Dawna; Lewis, Richard A.; Ou, Ching-Nan; Patrick, James; Role, Lorna; De Biasi, Mariella; Beaudet, Arthur L.

    1999-01-01

    The α3 subunit of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is widely expressed in autonomic ganglia and in some parts of the brain. The α3 subunit can form heteromultimeric ion channels with other α subunits and with β2 and β4 subunits, but its function in vivo is poorly understood. We prepared a null mutation for the α3 gene by deletion of exon 5 and found that homozygous (−/−) mice lacked detectable mRNA on Northern blotting. The −/− mice survive to birth but have impaired growth and increased mortality before and after weaning. The −/− mice have extreme bladder enlargement, dribbling urination, bladder infection, urinary stones, and widely dilated ocular pupils that do not contract in response to light. Detailed histological studies of −/− mice revealed no significant abnormalities in brain or peripheral tissues except urinary bladder, where inflammation was prominent. Ganglion cells and axons were present in bladder and bowel. Bladder strips from −/− mice failed to contract in response to 0.1 mM nicotine, but did contract in response to electrical field stimulation or carbamoylcholine. The number of acetylcholine-activated single-channel currents was severely reduced in the neurons of superior cervical ganglia in −/− mice with five physiologically distinguishable nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes with different conductance and kinetic properties in wild-type mice, all of which were reduced in −/− mice. The findings in the α3-null mice suggest that this subunit is an essential component of the nicotinic receptors mediating normal function of the autonomic nervous system. The phenotype in −/− mice may be similar to the rare human genetic disorder of megacystis–microcolon–intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome. PMID:10318955

  15. CHARACTERIZATION OF NICOTINE ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTOR SUBUNITS IN THE COCKROACH Periplaneta americana MUSHROOM BODIES REVEALS A STRONG EXPRESSION OF β1 SUBUNIT: INVOLVEMENT IN NICOTINE-INDUCED CURRENTS.

    PubMed

    Taillebois, Emiliane; Thany, Steeve H

    2016-09-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ligand-gated ion channels expressed in many insect structures, such as mushroom bodies, in which they play a central role. We have recently demonstrated using electrophysiological recordings that different native nicotinic receptors are expressed in cockroach mushroom bodies Kenyon cells. In the present study, we demonstrated that eight genes coding for cockroach nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits are expressed in the mushroom bodies. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments demonstrated that β1 subunit was the most expressed in the mushroom bodies. Moreover, antisense oligonucleotides performed against β1 subunit revealed that inhibition of β1 expression strongly decreases nicotine-induced currents amplitudes. Moreover, co-application with 0.5 μM α-bungarotoxin completely inhibited nicotine currents whereas 10 μM d-tubocurarine had a partial effect demonstrating that β1-containing neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes could be sensitive to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist α-bungarotoxin. PMID:27357353

  16. Structure, oligosaccharide structures, and posttranslationally modified sites of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Poulter, L; Earnest, J P; Stroud, R M; Burlingame, A L

    1989-01-01

    Using mass spectrometry, we have examined the transmembrane topography of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, a five-subunit glycosylated protein complex that forms a gated ion channel in the neuromuscular junction. The primary sequences of the four polypeptide chains making up the acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica contain many possible sites for glycosylation or phosphorylation. We have used liquid secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify posttranslationally modified residues and to determine the intact oligosaccharide structures of the carbohydrate present on the acetylcholine receptor. Asparagine-143 of the alpha subunit (in consensus numbering) is shown to be glycosylated with high-mannose oligosaccharide. Asparagine-453 of the gamma subunit is not glycosylated, a fact that bears on the question of the orientations of putative transmembranous helices M3, MA, and M4. The structures of the six major acetylcholine receptor oligosaccharides are determined: the major components (70%) are of the high-mannose type, with bi-, tri-, and tetraantennary complex oligosaccharides making up approximately equal to 22 mol% of the total carbohydrate. This application of a multichannel array detector mass spectrometer provided a breakthrough in sensitivity that allowed us to identify the site of attachment of, and the sequence of, oligosaccharides on a 300-kDa membrane protein from only 5 pmol of the isolated oligosaccharide. Images PMID:2771948

  17. What is the effect of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor stimulation on osteoarthritis in a rodent animal model?

    PubMed Central

    Bock, Kilian; Plaass, Christian; Coger, Vincent; Peck, Claas-Tido; Reimers, Kerstin; Stukenborg-Colsman, Christina; Claassen, Leif

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Despite the rising number of patients with osteoarthritis, no sufficient chondroprotective and prophylactic therapy for osteoarthritis has been established yet. The purpose of this study was to verify whether stimulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor via nicotine has a beneficial effect on cartilage degeneration in the development of osteoarthritis and is capable of reducing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and cartilage degrading enzymes in synovial membranes after osteoarthritis induction. Methods: Experimental osteoarthritis was induced in Lewis rats using a standardized osteoarthritis model with monoiodoacetate. A total of 16 Lewis rats were randomized into four groups: control, sham + nicotine application, osteoarthritis, and osteoarthritis + nicotine application. Nicotine (0.625 mg/kg twice daily) was administered intraperitoneally for 42 days. We analyzed histological sections, radiological images and the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, and of matrix metalloproteases 3, 9 and 13 and tissue inhibitors of metalloprotease-1 in synovial membranes via quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Histological and x-ray examination revealed cartilage degeneration in the osteoarthritis group compared to control or sham + nicotine groups (histological control vs osteoarthritis: p = 0.002 and x-ray control vs osteoarthritis: p = 0.004). Nicotine treatment reduced the cartilage degeneration without significant differences. Osteoarthritis induction led to a higher expression of proinflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteases as compared to control groups. This effect was attenuated after nicotine administration. The differences of proinflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteases did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: With the present small-scale study, we could not prove a positive effect of nicotinic

  18. Electrophysiology-Based Assays to Detect Subtype-Selective Modulation of Human Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kirsch, Glenn E.; Fedorov, Nikolai B.; Kuryshev, Yuri A.; Liu, Zhiqi; Orr, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-31) gave the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the responsibility for regulating tobacco products. Nicotine is the primary addictive component of tobacco and its effects can be modulated by additional ingredients in manufactured products. Nicotine acts by mimicking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine on neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which function as ion channels in cholinergic modulation of neurotransmission. Subtypes within the family of neuronal nAChRs are defined by their α- and β-subunit composition. The subtype-selective profiles of tobacco constituents are largely unknown, but could be essential for understanding the physiological effects of tobacco products. In this report, we report the development and validation of electrophysiology-based high-throughput screens (e-HTS) for human nicotinic subtypes, α3β4, α3β4α5, α4β2, and α7 stably expressed in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells. Assessment of agonist sensitivity and acute desensitization gave results comparable to those obtained by conventional manual patch clamp electrophysiology assays. The potency of reference antagonists for inhibition of the receptor channels and selectivity of positive allosteric modulators also were very similar between e-HTS and conventional manual patch voltage clamp data. Further validation was obtained in pilot screening of a library of FDA-approved drugs that identified α7 subtype-selective positive allosteric modulation by novel compounds. These assays provide new tools for profiling of nicotinic receptor selectivity. PMID:27505073

  19. Electrophysiology-Based Assays to Detect Subtype-Selective Modulation of Human Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Kirsch, Glenn E; Fedorov, Nikolai B; Kuryshev, Yuri A; Liu, Zhiqi; Armstrong, Lucas C; Orr, Michael S

    2016-08-01

    The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-31) gave the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the responsibility for regulating tobacco products. Nicotine is the primary addictive component of tobacco and its effects can be modulated by additional ingredients in manufactured products. Nicotine acts by mimicking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine on neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which function as ion channels in cholinergic modulation of neurotransmission. Subtypes within the family of neuronal nAChRs are defined by their α- and β-subunit composition. The subtype-selective profiles of tobacco constituents are largely unknown, but could be essential for understanding the physiological effects of tobacco products. In this report, we report the development and validation of electrophysiology-based high-throughput screens (e-HTS) for human nicotinic subtypes, α3β4, α3β4α5, α4β2, and α7 stably expressed in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells. Assessment of agonist sensitivity and acute desensitization gave results comparable to those obtained by conventional manual patch clamp electrophysiology assays. The potency of reference antagonists for inhibition of the receptor channels and selectivity of positive allosteric modulators also were very similar between e-HTS and conventional manual patch voltage clamp data. Further validation was obtained in pilot screening of a library of FDA-approved drugs that identified α7 subtype-selective positive allosteric modulation by novel compounds. These assays provide new tools for profiling of nicotinic receptor selectivity. PMID:27505073

  20. Effects of alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor positive allosteric modulator on lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammatory pain in mice.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Muzaffar; Rahman, Shafiqur

    2016-07-15

    Evidence indicates that microglial activation contributes to the pathophysiology and maintenance of neuroinflammatory pain involving central nervous system alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of 3a,4,5,9b-Tetrahydro-4-(1-naphthalenyl)-3H-cyclopentan[c]quinoline-8-sulfonamide (TQS), an alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor positive allosteric modulator (PAM), on tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia following lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced microglial activation in hippocampus, a neuroinflammatory pain model in mice. In addition, we examined the effects of TQS on microglial activation marker, an ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1), in the hippocampus may be associated with neuroinflammatory pain. Pretreatment of TQS (4mg/kg) significantly reduced LPS (1mg/kg)-induced tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. Moreover, pretreatment of methyllycaconitine (3mg/kg) significantly reversed TQS-induced antiallodynic and antihyperalgesic responses indicating the involvement of alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Pretreatment of TQS significantly decreased LPS-induced increased in hippocampal Iba-1 expression. Overall, these results suggest that TQS reduces LPS-induced neuroinflammatory pain like symptoms via modulating microglial activation likely in the hippocampus and/or other brain region by targeting alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Therefore, alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor PAM such as TQS could be a potential drug candidate for the treatment of neuroinflammatory pain. PMID:27154173

  1. Heterogeneity of Drosophila nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: SAD, a novel developmentally regulated alpha-subunit.

    PubMed Central

    Sawruk, E; Schloss, P; Betz, H; Schmitt, B

    1990-01-01

    Two genes, ard and als, are known to encode subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in Drosophila. Here we describe the isolation of cDNA clones encoding a novel member (SAD, or alpha 2) of this receptor protein family. The deduced amino acid sequence displays high homology to the ALS protein and shares structural features with ligand binding nAChR alpha-subunits. Sad transcripts accumulate during major periods of neuronal differentiation and, in embryos, are localized in the central nervous system. Expression of SAD cRNA in Xenopus oocytes generates cation channels that are gated by nicotine. These data indicate heterogeneity of nAChRs in Drosophila. Images Fig. 3. Fig. 4. PMID:1697262

  2. Sub-anesthetic concentrations of (R,S)-ketamine metabolites inhibit acetylcholine-evoked currents in α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Moaddel, Ruin; Abdrakhmanova, Galia; Kozak, Joanna; Jozwiak, Krzysztof; Toll, Lawrence; Jimenez, Lucita; Rosenberg, Avraham; Tran, Thao; Xiao, Yingxian; Zarate, Carlos A.; Wainer, Irving W.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of the (R,S)-ketamine metabolites (R,S)-norketamine, (R,S)-dehydronorketamine, (2S,6S)-hydroxynorketamine and (2R,6R)- hydroxynorketamine on the activity of α7 and α3β4 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was investigated using patch-clamp techniques. The data indicated that (R,S)-dehydronorketamine inhibited acetylcholine-evoked currents in α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, IC50 = 55 ± 6 nM, and that (2S,6S)-hydroxynorketamine, (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine and (R,S)-norketamine also inhibited α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function at concentrations ≤1μM, while (R,S)-ketamine was inactive at these concentrations. The inhibitory effect of (R,S)-dehydronorketamine was voltage-independent and the compound did not competitively displace selective α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands [125I]-α-bungarotoxin and [3H]-epibatidine indicating that (R,S)-dehydronorketamine is a negative allosteric modulator of the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. (R,S)-Ketamine and (R,S)-norketamine inhibited (S)-nicotine-induced whole-cell currents in cells expressing α3β4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, IC50 3.1 and 9.1μM, respectively, while (R,S)-dehydronorketamine, (2S,6S)-hydroxynorketamine and (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine were weak inhibitors, IC50 >100μM. The binding affinities of (R,S)-dehydronorketamine, (2S,6S)-hydroxynorketamine and (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine at the NMDA receptor were also determined using rat brain membranes and the selective NMDA receptor antagonist [3H]-MK-801. The calculated Ki values were 38.95 μM for (S)-dehydronorketamine, 21.19 μM for (2S,6S)-hydroxynorketamine and > 100 μM for (2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine. The results suggest that the inhibitory activity of ketamine metabolites at the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor may contribute to the clinical effect of the drug. PMID:23183107

  3. Mood and anxiety regulation by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A potential pathway to modulate aggression and related behavioral states.

    PubMed

    Picciotto, Marina R; Lewis, Alan S; van Schalkwyk, Gerrit I; Mineur, Yann S

    2015-09-01

    The co-morbidity between smoking and mood disorders is striking. Preclinical and clinical studies of nicotinic effects on mood, anxiety, aggression, and related behaviors, such as irritability and agitation, suggest that smokers may use the nicotine in tobacco products as an attempt to self-medicate symptoms of affective disorders. The role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in circuits regulating mood and anxiety is beginning to be elucidated in animal models, but the mechanisms underlying the effects of nicotine on aggression-related behavioral states (ARBS) are still not understood. Clinical trials of nicotine or nicotinic medications for neurological and psychiatric disorders have often found effects of nicotinic medications on ARBS, but few trials have studied these outcomes systematically. Similarly, the increase in ARBS resulting from smoking cessation can be resolved by nicotinic agents, but the effects of nicotinic medications on these types of mental states and behaviors in non-smokers are less well understood. Here we review the literature on the role of nAChRs in regulating mood and anxiety, and subsequently on the closely related construct of ARBS. We suggest avenues for future study to identify how nAChRs and nicotinic agents may play a role in these clinically important areas. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25582289

  4. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Modulate Bone Marrow-Derived Pro-Inflammatory Monocyte Production and Survival

    PubMed Central

    St-Pierre, Stéphanie; Jiang, Wei; Roy, Patrick; Champigny, Camille; LeBlanc, Éric; Morley, Barbara J.; Hao, Junwei; Simard, Alain R.

    2016-01-01

    It is increasingly clear that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are involved in immune regulation, and that their activation can protect against inflammatory diseases. Previous data have shown that nicotine diminishes the numbers of peripheral monocytes and macrophages, especially those of the pro-inflammatory phenotype. The goal of the present study was to determine if nicotine modulates the production of bone marrow -derived monocytes/macrophages. In this study, we first found that murine bone marrow cells express multiple nAChR subunits, and that the α7 and α9 nAChRs most predominant subtypes found in immune cells and their precursors. Using primary cultures of murine bone marrow cells, we then determined the effect of nicotine on monocyte colony-stimulating factor and interferon gamma (IFNγ)-induced monocyte production. We found that nicotine lowered the overall number of monocytes, and more specifically, inhibited the IFNγ-induced increase in pro-inflammatory monocytes by reducing cell proliferation and viability. These data suggested that nicotine diminishes the ratio of pro-inflammatory versus anti-inflammatory monocyte produced in the bone marrow. We thus confirmed this hypothesis by measuring cytokine expression, where we found that nicotine inhibited the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IL-1β and IL-12, while stimulating the secretion of IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Finally, nicotine also reduced the number of pro-inflammatory monocytes in the bone marrow of LPS-challenged mice. Overall, our data demonstrate that both α7 and α9 nAChRs are involved in the regulation of pro-inflammatory M1 monocyte numbers. PMID:26925951

  5. The α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit influences ethanol-induced sedation.

    PubMed

    Kamens, Helen M; Hoft, Nicole R; Cox, Ryan J; Miyamoto, Jill H; Ehringer, Marissa A

    2012-08-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are often co-used and data from human and animals studies have demonstrated that common genes underlie responses to these two drugs. Recently, the genes that code for the subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have been implicated as a common genetic mediator for alcohol and nicotine responses. The mammalian genes that code for the α6 and β3 subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (Chrna6 and Chrnb3, respectively) are located adjacent to each other on human and mouse chromosome 8. These subunits have gained attention as potential regulators of drug behaviors because of their expression in the striatum where they have been shown to modulate dopamine release. Human genetic studies have shown that variation in these genes is associated with alcohol phenotypes. In the current experiments, mice lacking the Chrna6 or Chrnb3 gene were tested for three ethanol behaviors: choice ethanol consumption, ataxia, and sedation. Wildtype (WT), heterozygous (HET), and knockout (KO) mice of each strain went through a standard 2-bottle choice drinking paradigm, the balance beam, and the Loss of Righting Reflex (LORR) paradigm. No genotypic effects on any of the 3 behavioral tasks were observed in Chrnb3 animals. While the Chrna6 gene did not significantly influence ethanol consumption (g/kg) or ataxia, mice lacking the α6 subunit took significantly longer to recover their righting reflex than WT animals. These data provide evidence that receptors containing this subunit modulate the sedative effects of ethanol. Further work examining other models of ethanol consumption and behavioral responses to ethanol is needed to fully characterize the role of these receptor subunits in modulating ethanol responses. PMID:22572056

  6. The α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit influences ethanol-induced sedation

    PubMed Central

    Kamens, Helen M.; Hoft, Nicole R.; Cox, Ryan J.; Miyamoto, Jill; Ehringer, Marissa A.

    2012-01-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are often co-used and data from human and animals studies have demonstrated that common genes underlie responses to these two drugs. Recently, the genes that code for the subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have been implicated as a common genetic mediator for alcohol and nicotine responses. The mammalian genes that code for the α6 and β3 subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (Chrna6 and Chrnb3, respectively) are located adjacent to each other on human and mouse chromosome 8. These subunits have gained attention as potential regulators of drug behaviors because of their expression in the striatum where they have been shown to modulate dopamine release. Human genetic studies have shown that variation in these genes is associated with alcohol phenotypes. In the current experiments, mice lacking the Chrna6 or Chrnb3 gene were tested for three ethanol behaviors: choice ethanol consumption, ataxia, and sedation. Wildtype (WT), heterozygous (HET), and knockout (KO) mice of each strain went through a standard 2-bottle choice drinking paradigm, the balance beam, and the Loss of Righting Reflex (LORR) paradigm. No genotypic effects on any of the 3 behavioral tasks were observed in Chrnb3 animals. While the Chrna6 gene did not significantly influence ethanol consumption (g/kg) or ataxia, mice lacking the α6 subunit took significantly longer to recover their righting reflex than WT animals. These data provide evidence that receptors containing this subunit modulate the sedative effects of ethanol. Further work examining other models of ethanol consumption and behavioral responses to ethanol is needed to fully characterize the role of these receptor subunits in modulating ethanol responses. PMID:22572056

  7. Neuronal Acetylcholine Nicotinic Receptors as New Targets for Lung Cancer Treatment.

    PubMed

    Mucchietto, Vanessa; Crespi, Arianna; Fasoli, Francesca; Clementi, Francesco; Gotti, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Smoking accounts for approximately 70% of the cases of non- small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 90% of the cases of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), although some patients develop lung cancer without a history of smoking. Nicotine is the most active addictive component of tobacco smoke. It does not initiate tumorigenesis in humans and rodents, but it alters the pathophysiology of lung cells by inducing the secretion of growth factors, neurotransmitters and cytokines, and promotes tumour growth and metastases by inducing cell cycle progression, migration, invasion, angiogenesis and the evasion of apoptosis. Most of these effects are a result of nicotine binding and activation of cell-surface neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and downstream intracellular signalling cascades, and many are blocked by nAChR subtype-selective antagonists. Recent genome-wide association studies have revealed single nucleotide polymorphisms of nAChR subunits that influence nicotine dependence and lung cancer. This review describes the molecular basis of nAChR structural and functional diversity in normal and cancer lung cells, and the genetic alterations facilitating smoking-induced lung cancers. It also summarises current knowledge concerning the intracellular pathways activated by nicotine and other compounds present in tobacco smoke. PMID:26845123

  8. α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Signaling Inhibits Inflammasome Activation by Preventing Mitochondrial DNA Release

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Ben; Kwan, Kevin; Levine, Yaakov A; Olofsson, Peder S; Yang, Huan; Li, Jianhua; Joshi, Sonia; Wang, Haichao; Andersson, Ulf; Chavan, Sangeeta S; Tracey, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    The mammalian immune system and the nervous system coevolved under the influence of cellular and environmental stress. Cellular stress is associated with changes in immunity and activation of the NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, a key component of innate immunity. Here we show that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAchR)-signaling inhibits inflammasome activation and prevents release of mitochondrial DNA, an NLRP3 ligand. Cholinergic receptor agonists or vagus nerve stimulation significantly inhibits inflammasome activation, whereas genetic deletion of α7 nAchR significantly enhances inflammasome activation. Acetylcholine accumulates in macrophage cytoplasm after adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stimulation in an α7 nAchR-independent manner. Acetylcholine significantly attenuated calcium or hydrogen oxide–induced mitochondrial damage and mitochondrial DNA release. Together, these findings reveal a novel neurotransmitter-mediated signaling pathway: acetylcholine translocates into the cytoplasm of immune cells during inflammation and inhibits NLRP3 inflammasome activation by preventing mitochondrial DNA release. PMID:24849809

  9. Pesticide exposure during pregnancy, like nicotine, affects the brainstem α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression, increasing the risk of sudden unexplained perinatal death.

    PubMed

    Lavezzi, Anna Maria; Cappiello, Achille; Pusiol, Teresa; Corna, Melissa Felicita; Termopoli, Veronica; Matturri, Luigi

    2015-01-15

    This study indicates the impact of nicotine and pesticides (organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides used in agriculture) on neuronal α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in brainstem regions receiving cholinergic projections in human perinatal life. An in-depth anatomopathological examination of the autonomic nervous system and immunohistochemistry to analyze the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in the brainstem from 44 fetuses and newborns were performed. In addition, the presence of selected agricultural pesticides in cerebral cortex samples of the victims was determined by specific analytical procedures. Hypodevelopment of brainstem structures checking the vital functions, frequently associated with α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor immunopositivity and smoke absorption in pregnancy, was observed in high percentages of victims of sudden unexpected perinatal death. In nearly 30% of cases however the mothers never smoked, but lived in rural areas. The search for pesticides highlighted in many of these cases traces of both organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides. We detain that exposition to pesticides in pregnancy produces homologous actions to those of nicotine on neuronal α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, allowing to developmental alterations of brainstem vital centers in victims of sudden unexplained death. PMID:25433450

  10. Menthol Enhances the Desensitization of Human α3β4 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Ton, Hoai T; Smart, Amanda E; Aguilar, Brittany L; Olson, Thao T; Kellar, Kenneth J; Ahern, Gerard P

    2015-08-01

    The α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype is widely expressed in the peripheral and central nervous systems, including in airway sensory nerves. The nAChR subtype transduces the irritant effects of nicotine in tobacco smoke and, in certain brain areas, may be involved in nicotine addiction and/or withdrawal. Menthol, a widely used additive in cigarettes, is a potential analgesic and/or counterirritant at sensory nerves and may also influence nicotine's actions in the brain. We examined menthol's effects on recombinant human α3β4 nAChRs and native nAChRs in mouse sensory neurons. Menthol markedly decreased nAChR activity as assessed by Ca(2+) imaging, (86)Rb(+) efflux, and voltage-clamp measurements. Coapplication of menthol with acetylcholine or nicotine increased desensitization, demonstrated by an increase in the rate and magnitude of the current decay and a reduction of the current integral. These effects increased with agonist concentration. Pretreatment with menthol followed by its washout did not affect agonist-induced desensitization, suggesting that menthol must be present during the application of agonist to augment desensitization. Notably, menthol acted in a voltage-independent manner and reduced the mean open time of single channels without affecting their conductance, arguing against a simple channel-blocking effect. Further, menthol slowed or prevented the recovery of nAChRs from desensitization, indicating that it probably stabilizes a desensitized state. Moreover, menthol at concentrations up to 1 mM did not compete for the orthosteric nAChR binding site labeled by [(3)H]epibatidine. Taken together, these data indicate that menthol promotes desensitization of α3β4 nAChRs by an allosteric action. PMID:25964258

  11. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and its prokaryotic homologues: Structure, conformational transitions & allosteric modulation.

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Marco; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2015-09-01

    Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) play a central role in intercellular communications in the nervous system by converting the binding of a chemical messenger - a neurotransmitter - into an ion flux through the postsynaptic membrane. Here, we present an overview of the most recent advances on the signal transduction mechanism boosted by X-ray crystallography of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic homologues of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in conjunction with time-resolved analyses based on single-channel electrophysiology and Molecular Dynamics simulations. The available data consistently point to a global mechanism of gating that involves a large reorganization of the receptor mediated by two distinct quaternary transitions: a global twisting and a radial expansion/contraction of the extracellular domain. These transitions profoundly modify the organization of the interface between subunits, which host several sites for orthosteric and allosteric modulatory ligands. The same mechanism may thus mediate both positive and negative allosteric modulations of pLGICs ligand binding at topographically distinct sites. The emerging picture of signal transduction is expected to pave the way to new pharmacological strategies for the development of allosteric modulators of nAChR and pLGICs in general. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25529272

  12. Prior nicotine self-administration attenuates subsequent dopaminergic deficits of methamphetamine in rats: role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Baladi, Michelle G; Nielsen, Shannon M; McIntosh, J Michael; Hanson, Glen R; Fleckenstein, Annette E

    2016-08-01

    Preclinical studies have demonstrated that oral nicotine exposure attenuates long-term dopaminergic damage induced by toxins, including repeated, high doses of methamphetamine. It is suggested that alterations in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) expression, including α4β2* and α6β2* subtypes, likely contribute to this protection. The current study extended these findings by investigating whether nicotine self-administration in male, Sprague-Dawley rats (a) attenuates short-term dopaminergic damage induced by methamphetamine and (b) causes alterations in levels of α4β2* and α6β2* nAChR subtypes. The findings indicate that nicotine self-administration (0.032 mg/kg/infusion for 14 days) per se did not alter α4β2* and α6β2* nAChR expression or dopamine transporter (DAT) expression and function. Interestingly, prior nicotine self-administration attenuated methamphetamine-induced decreases in DAT function when assessed 24 h, but not 1 h, after methamphetamine treatment (4×7.5 mg/kg/injection). The ability of nicotine to attenuate the effects of methamphetamine on DAT function corresponded with increases in α4β2*, but not α6β2*, nAChR binding density. Understanding the role of nAChRs in methamphetamine-induced damage has the potential to elucidate mechanisms underlying the etiology of disorders involving dopaminergic dysfunction, as well as to highlight potential new therapeutic strategies for prevention or reduction of dopaminergic neurodegeneration. PMID:26871405

  13. Glutamatergic synapse formation is promoted by α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Lozada, Adrian F; Wang, Xulong; Gounko, Natalia V; Massey, Kerri A; Duan, Jingjing; Liu, Zhaoping; Berg, Darwin K

    2012-05-30

    Glutamate is the primary excitatory transmitter in adult brain, acting through synapses on dendritic spines and shafts. Early in development, however, when glutamatergic synapses are only beginning to form, nicotinic cholinergic excitation is already widespread; it is mediated by acetylcholine activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that generate waves of activity across brain regions. A major class of nAChRs contributing at this time is a species containing α7 subunits (α7-nAChRs). These receptors are highly permeable to calcium, influence a variety of calcium-dependent events, and are diversely distributed throughout the developing CNS. Here we show that α7-nAChRs unexpectedly promote formation of glutamatergic synapses during development. The dependence on α7-nAChRs becomes clear when comparing wild-type (WT) mice with mice constitutively lacking the α7-nAChR gene. Ultrastructural analysis, immunostaining, and patch-clamp recording all reveal synaptic deficits when α7-nAChR input is absent. Similarly, nicotinic activation of α7-nAChRs in WT organotypic culture, as well as cell culture, increases the number of glutamatergic synapses. RNA interference demonstrates that the α7-nAChRs must be expressed in the neuron being innervated for normal innervation to occur. Moreover, the deficits persist throughout the developmental period of major de novo synapse formation and are still fully apparent in the adult. GABAergic synapses, in contrast, are undiminished in number under such conditions. As a result, mice lacking α7-nAChRs have an altered balance in the excitatory/inhibitory input they receive. This ratio represents a fundamental feature of neural networks and shows for the first time that endogenous nicotinic cholinergic signaling plays a key role in network construction. PMID:22649244

  14. Molecular environment of the phencyclidine binding site in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Palma, A.L.; Wang, H.H. )

    1991-06-01

    Phencyclidine is a highly specific noncompetitive inhibitor of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. In a novel approach to study this site, a spin-labeled analogue of phencyclidine, 4-phenyl-4-(1-piperidinyl)-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinoxyl (PPT) was synthesized. The binding of PPT inhibits 86Rb flux (IC50 = 6.6 microM), and (3H)phencyclidine binding to both resting and desensitized acetylcholine receptor (IC50 = 17 microM and 0.22 microM, respectively). From an indirect Hill plot of the inhibition of (3H)phencyclidine binding by PPT, a Hill coefficient of approximately one was obtained in the presence of carbamylcholine and 0.8 in alpha-bungarotoxin-treated preparations. Taken together, these results indicate that PPT mimics phencyclidine in its ability to bind to the noncompetitive inhibitor site and is functionally active in blocking ion flux across the acetylcholine receptor channel. Analysis of the electron spin resonance signal of the bound PPT suggests that the environment surrounding the probe within the ion channel is hydrophobic, with a hydrophobicity parameter of 1.09. A dielectric constant for the binding site was estimated to be in the range of 2-3 units.

  15. Galantamine-induced amyloid-{beta} clearance mediated via stimulation of microglial nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Takata, Kazuyuki; Kitamura, Yoshihisa; Saeki, Mana; Terada, Maki; Kagitani, Sachiko; Kitamura, Risa; Fujikawa, Yasuhiro; Maelicke, Alfred; Tomimoto, Hidekazu; Taniguchi, Takashi; Shimohama, Shun

    2010-12-17

    Reduction of brain amyloid-β (Aβ) has been proposed as a therapeutic target for Alzheimer disease (AD), and microglial Aβ phagocytosis is noted as an Aβ clearance system in brains. Galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor approved for symptomatic treatment of AD. Galantamine also acts as an allosterically potentiating ligand (APL) for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). APL-binding site is located close to but distinct from that for acetylcholine on nAChRs, and FK1 antibody specifically binds to the APL-binding site without interfering with the acetylcholine-binding site. We found that in human AD brain, microglia accumulated on Aβ deposits and expressed α7 nAChRs including the APL-binding site recognized with FK1 antibody. Treatment of rat microglia with galantamine significantly enhanced microglial Aβ phagocytosis, and acetylcholine competitive antagonists as well as FK1 antibody inhibited the enhancement. Thus, the galantamine-enhanced microglial Aβ phagocytosis required the combined actions of an acetylcholine competitive agonist and the APL for nAChRs. Indeed, depletion of choline, an acetylcholine-competitive α7 nAChR agonist, from the culture medium impeded the enhancement. Similarly, Ca(2+) depletion or inhibition of the calmodulin-dependent pathways for the actin reorganization abolished the enhancement. These results suggest that galantamine sensitizes microglial α7 nAChRs to choline and induces Ca(2+) influx into microglia. The Ca(2+)-induced intracellular signaling cascades may then stimulate Aβ phagocytosis through the actin reorganization. We further demonstrated that galantamine treatment facilitated Aβ clearance in brains of rodent AD models. In conclusion, we propose a further advantage of galantamine in clinical AD treatment and microglial nAChRs as a new therapeutic target. PMID:20947502

  16. Identification, characterization, and regulation of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on bovine adrenal chromaffin cells in culture

    SciTech Connect

    Higgins, L.S.

    1988-01-01

    Synaptic input to bovine adrenal chromaffin cells is mediated by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) and results in secretion of catecholamines. Three probes previously shown to recognize AChRs on neurons were used to identify the AChR on bovine adrenal chromaffin cells in culture: monoclonal antibody mAb 35, a toxin that blocks receptor function, and the agonist nicotine. Competition for {sup 3}H-nicotine binding was used to measure the affinity of cholinergic ligands, and revealed the pharmacological profile expected for a neuronal-type AChR. At steady state the rate both of receptor insertion into and loss from the plasma membrane is about 3%/hour, resulting in a half-life in the surface of about 24 hours. Exposure to the anti-AChR antibody results in a loss of AChRs from the surface of the cells through a process that has the characteristics of antigenic modulation. The number of AChRs on the surface of the chromaffin cells can also be modulated by agonists and hormones, including glucocotricoids. Catecholamines, three peptides that may be secreted by chromaffin cells, and K{sup +}-induced secretion reduce agonist-induced catecholamine release by decreasing the number of AChRs, providing a mechanism for autoregulation.

  17. Structure-activity relationships of alpha-conotoxins targeting neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Millard, Emma L; Daly, Norelle L; Craik, David J

    2004-06-01

    alpha-Conotoxins that target the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor have a range of potential therapeutic applications and are valuable probes for examining receptor subtype selectivity. The three-dimensional structures of about half of the known neuronal specific alpha-conotoxins have now been determined and have a consensus fold containing a helical region braced by two conserved disulfide bonds. These disulfide bonds define the two-loop framework characteristic for alpha-conotoxins, CCX(m)CX(n)C, where loop 1 comprises four residues (m = 4) and loop 2 between three and seven residues (n = 3, 6 or 7). Structural studies, particularly using NMR spectroscopy have provided an insight into the role and spatial location of residues implicated in receptor binding and biological activity. PMID:15182347

  18. Evaluation of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Associated Proteome at Baseline and Following Nicotine Exposure in Human and Mouse Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Esterlis, Irina; Stone, Kathryn L.; Grady, Sharon R.; Lindstrom, Jon M.; Marks, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) support the initiation and maintenance of smoking, but the long-term changes occurring in the protein complex as a result of smoking and the nicotine in tobacco are not known. Human studies and animal models have also demonstrated that increasing cholinergic tone increases behaviors related to depression, suggesting that the nAChR-associated proteome could be altered in individuals with mood disorders. We therefore immunopurified nAChRs and associated proteins for quantitative proteomic assessment of changes in protein–protein interactions of high-affinity nAChRs containing the β2 subunit (β2*-nAChRs) from either cortex of mice treated with saline or nicotine, or postmortem human temporal cortex tissue from tobacco-exposed and nonexposed individuals, with a further comparison of diagnosed mood disorder to control subjects. We observed significant effects of nicotine exposure on the β2*-nAChR-associated proteome in human and mouse cortex, particularly in the abundance of the nAChR subunits themselves, as well as putative interacting proteins that make up core components of neuronal excitability (Na/K ATPase subunits), presynaptic neurotransmitter release (syntaxins, SNAP25, synaptotagmin), and a member of a known nAChR protein chaperone family (14-3-3ζ). These findings identify candidate-signaling proteins that could mediate changes in cholinergic signaling via nicotine or tobacco use. Further analysis of identified proteins will determine whether these interactions are essential for primary function of nAChRs at presynaptic terminals. The identification of differences in the nAChR-associated proteome and downstream signaling in subjects with various mood disorders may also identify novel etiological mechanisms and reveal new treatment targets. PMID:27559543

  19. Evaluation of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Associated Proteome at Baseline and Following Nicotine Exposure in Human and Mouse Cortex.

    PubMed

    McClure-Begley, Tristan D; Esterlis, Irina; Stone, Kathryn L; Lam, TuKiet T; Grady, Sharon R; Colangelo, Christopher M; Lindstrom, Jon M; Marks, Michael J; Picciotto, Marina R

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) support the initiation and maintenance of smoking, but the long-term changes occurring in the protein complex as a result of smoking and the nicotine in tobacco are not known. Human studies and animal models have also demonstrated that increasing cholinergic tone increases behaviors related to depression, suggesting that the nAChR-associated proteome could be altered in individuals with mood disorders. We therefore immunopurified nAChRs and associated proteins for quantitative proteomic assessment of changes in protein-protein interactions of high-affinity nAChRs containing the β2 subunit (β2*-nAChRs) from either cortex of mice treated with saline or nicotine, or postmortem human temporal cortex tissue from tobacco-exposed and nonexposed individuals, with a further comparison of diagnosed mood disorder to control subjects. We observed significant effects of nicotine exposure on the β2*-nAChR-associated proteome in human and mouse cortex, particularly in the abundance of the nAChR subunits themselves, as well as putative interacting proteins that make up core components of neuronal excitability (Na/K ATPase subunits), presynaptic neurotransmitter release (syntaxins, SNAP25, synaptotagmin), and a member of a known nAChR protein chaperone family (14-3-3ζ). These findings identify candidate-signaling proteins that could mediate changes in cholinergic signaling via nicotine or tobacco use. Further analysis of identified proteins will determine whether these interactions are essential for primary function of nAChRs at presynaptic terminals. The identification of differences in the nAChR-associated proteome and downstream signaling in subjects with various mood disorders may also identify novel etiological mechanisms and reveal new treatment targets. PMID:27559543

  20. Multiple binding sites in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: An opportunity for polypharmacolgy.

    PubMed

    Iturriaga-Vásquez, Patricio; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Bermudez, Isabel; Varas, Rodrigo; Reyes-Parada, Miguel

    2015-11-01

    For decades, the development of selective compounds has been the main goal for chemists and biologists involved in drug discovery. However, diverse lines of evidence indicate that polypharmacological agents, i.e. those that act simultaneously at various protein targets, might show better profiles than selective ligands, regarding both efficacy and side effects. On the other hand, the availability of the crystal structure of different receptors allows a detailed analysis of the main interactions between drugs and receptors in a specific binding site. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) constitute a large and diverse family of ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) that, as a product of its modulation, regulate neurotransmitter release, which in turns produce a global neuromodulation of the central nervous system. nAChRs are pentameric protein complexes in such a way that expression of compatible subunits can lead to various receptor assemblies or subtypes. The agonist binding site, located at the extracellular region, exhibits different properties depending on the subunits that conform the receptor. In the last years, it has been recognized that nAChRs could also contain one or more allosteric sites which could bind non-classical nicotinic ligands including several therapeutically useful drugs. The presence of multiple binding sites in nAChRs offers an interesting possibility for the development of novel polypharmacological agents with a wide spectrum of actions. PMID:26318763

  1. Cloning and mapping of the mouse {alpha}7-neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Orr-Urtreger, A.; Baldini, A.; Beaudet, A.L.

    1995-03-20

    We report the isolation of cDNA clones for the mouse {alpha}7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit (gene symbol Acra7), the only nicotinic receptor subunit known to bind a-bungarotoxin in mammalian brain. This gene may have relevance to nicotine sensitivity and to some electrophysiologic findings in schizophrenia. The mouse {alpha}7 subunit gene encodes a protein of 502 amino acids with substantial identity to the rat (99.6%), human (92.8%), and chicken (87.5%) amino acid sequences. The {alpha}7 gene was mapped to mouse chromosome 7 near the p locus with the following gene order from proximal to distal: Myod1-3.5 {+-}1.7 cM-Gas2-0.9 cM {+-} 0.9 cM-D7Mit70-1.8 {+-} 1.2 cM- Acra7-4.4 {+-}1.0 cM-Hras1-ps11/Igf1r/Snrp2a. The human gene was confirmed to map to the homologous region of human chromosome 15q13-q14. 26 refs., 3 figs.

  2. Counting Bungarotoxin Binding Sites of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Mammalian Cells with High Signal/Noise Ratios

    PubMed Central

    Simonson, Paul D.; DeBerg, Hannah A.; Ge, Pinghua; Alexander, John K.; Jeyifous, Okunola; Green, William N.; Selvin, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are some of the most studied synaptic proteins; however, many questions remain that can only be answered using single molecule approaches. Here we report our results from single α7 and neuromuscular junction type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mammalian cell membranes. By labeling the receptors with fluorophore-labeled bungarotoxin, we can image individual receptors and count the number of bungarotoxin-binding sites in receptors expressed in HEK 293 cells. Our results indicate that there are two bungarotoxin-binding sites in neuromuscular junction receptors, as expected, and five in α7 receptors, clarifying previous uncertainty. This demonstrates a valuable technique for counting subunits in membrane-bound proteins at the single molecule level, with nonspecialized optics and with higher signal/noise ratios than previous fluorescent protein-based techniques. PMID:21081055

  3. Isotopic rubidium ion efflux assay for the functional characterization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on clonal cell lines

    SciTech Connect

    Lukas, R.J.; Cullen, M.J.

    1988-11-15

    An isotopic rubidium ion efflux assay has been developed for the functional characterization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on cultured neurons. This assay first involves the intracellular sequestration of isotopic potassium ion analog by the ouabain-sensitive action of a sodium-potassium ATPase. Subsequently, the release of isotopic rubidium ion through nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-coupled monovalent cation channels is activated by application of nicotinic agonists. Specificity of receptor-mediated efflux is demonstrated by its sensitivity to blockade by nicotinic, but not muscarinic, antagonists. The time course of agonist-mediated efflux, within the temporal limitations of the assay, indicates a slow inactivation of receptor function on prolonged exposure to agonist. Dose-response profiles (i) have characteristic shapes for different nicotinic agonists, (ii) are described by three operationally defined parameters, and (iii) reflect different affinities of agonists for binding sites that control receptor activation and functional inhibition. The rubidium ion efflux assay provides fewer hazards but greater sensitivity and resolution than isotopic sodium or rubidium ion influx assays for functional nicotinic receptors.

  4. Activation and desensitization of peripheral muscle and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by selected, naturally-occurring pyridine alkaloids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Teratogenic alkaloids can cause developmental defects due to inhibition of fetal movement that results from desensitization of fetal muscletype nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We investigated the ability of two known teratogens, the piperidinyl-pyridine anabasine and its 1,2-dehydropiper...

  5. The role of the a7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the acute toxicosis of methyllycaconitine in mice.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The adverse physiological effects of methyllycaconitine (MLA) have been attributed to its competitive antagonism of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Recent research demonstrated a correlation between the LD50 of MLA and the amount of a7 nAChR in various mouse strains, suggesting that mice...

  6. Ventral hippocampal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate stress-induced analgesia in mice.

    PubMed

    Ghasemzadeh, Zahra; Rezayof, Ameneh

    2015-01-01

    Evidence suggests that various stressful procedures induce an analgesic effect in laboratory animals commonly referred to as stress-induced analgesia (SIA). The aim of the present study was to assess the role of ventral hippocampal (VH) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in SIA in adult male NMRI mice. The VHs of animals were bilaterally cannulated and nociceptive threshold was measured using infrared source in a tail-flick apparatus. Acute stress was evoked by placing the animals on an elevated platform for 10, 20 and 30 min. The results showed that exposure to 20 and 30 min acute stress produced analgesia, while exposure to 10 min stress had no effect on the pain response. Intra-VH microinjection of nicotine (0.001-0.1 μg/mouse), 5 min before an ineffective stress (10 min stress), induced analgesia, suggesting the potentiative effect of nicotine on SIA. It is important to note that bilateral intra-VH microinjections of the same doses of nicotine without stress had no effect on the tail-flick test. On the other hand, intra-VH microinjection of mecamylamine (0.5-1 μg/mouse) 5 min before 20-min stress inhibited SIA. However, bilateral intra-VH microinjections of the same doses of mecamylamine without stress had no effect on the tail-flick response. In addition, the microinjection of mecamylamine into the VH reversed the potentiative effect of nicotine on SIA. Taken together, it can be concluded that exposure to acute stress induces SIA in a time-dependent manner and the ventral hippocampal cholinergic system may be involved in SIA via nAChRs. PMID:25281932

  7. Orthosteric and Allosteric Ligands of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors for Smoking Cessation

    PubMed Central

    Mohamed, Tasnim S.; Jayakar, Selwyn S.; Hamouda, Ayman K.

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine addiction, the result of tobacco use, leads to over six million premature deaths world-wide per year, a number that is expected to increase by a third within the next two decades. While more than half of smokers want and attempt to quit, only a small percentage of smokers are able to quit without pharmacological interventions. Therefore, over the past decades, researchers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry have focused their attention on the development of more effective smoking cessation therapies, which is now a growing 1.9 billion dollar market. Because the role of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in nicotine addiction is well established, nAChR based therapeutics remain the leading strategy for smoking cessation. However, the development of neuronal nAChR drugs that are selective for a nAChR subpopulation is challenging, and only few neuronal nAChR drugs are clinically available. Among the many neuronal nAChR subtypes that have been identified in the brain, the α4β2 subtype is the most abundant and plays a critical role in nicotine addiction. Here, we review the role of neuronal nAChRs, especially the α4β2 subtype, in the development and treatment of nicotine addiction. We also compare available smoking cessation medications and other nAChR orthosteric and allosteric ligands that have been developed with emphasis on the difficulties faced in the development of clinically useful compounds with high nAChR subtype selectivity. PMID:26635524

  8. Pemphigus vulgaris antibodies target the mitochondrial nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that protect keratinocytes from apoptolysis.

    PubMed

    Chernyavsky, Alex; Chen, Yumay; Wang, Ping H; Grando, Sergei A

    2015-11-01

    The mechanism of detachment and death of keratinocytes in pemphigus vulgaris (PV) involves pro-apoptotic action of constellations of autoantibodies determining disease severity and response to treatment. The presence of antibodies to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and the therapeutic efficacy of cholinomimetics in PV is well-established. Recently, adsorption of anti-mitochondrial antibodies abolished the ability of PVIgGs to cause acantholysis, demonstrating their pathophysiological significance. Since, in addition to cell membrane, nAChRs are also present on the mitochondrial outer membrane, wherein they act to prevent activation of intrinsic (mitochondrial apoptosis), we hypothesized that mitochondrial (mt)-nAChRs might be targeted by PVIgGs. To test this hypothesis, we employed the immunoprecipitation-western blot assay of keratinocyte mitochondrial proteins that visualized the α3, α5, α7, α9, α10, β2 and β4 mt-nAChR subunits precipitated by PV IgGs, suggesting that functions of mt-nAChRs are compromised in PV. To pharmacologically counteract the pro-apoptotic action of anti-mitochondrial antibodies in PV, we exposed naked keratinocyte mitochondria to PVIgGs in the presence of the nicotinic agonist nicotine ± antagonists, and measured cytochrome c (CytC) release. Nicotine abolished PVIgG-dependent CytC release, showing a dose-dependent effect, suggesting that protection of mitochondria can be a novel mechanism of therapeutic action of nicotinic agonists in PV. The obtained results indicated that the mt-nAChRs targeted by anti-mitochondrial antibodies produced by PV patients are coupled to inhibition of CytC release, and that nicotinergic stimulation can abolish PVIgG-dependent activation of intrinsic apoptosis in KCs. Future studies should determine if and how the distinct anti-mt-nAChR antibodies penetrate KCs and correlate with disease severity. PMID:25998908

  9. Tracking the Molecular Evolution of Calcium Permeability in a Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Lipovsek, Marcela; Fierro, Angélica; Pérez, Edwin G.; Boffi, Juan C.; Millar, Neil S.; Fuchs, Paul A.; Katz, Eleonora; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are a family of ligand-gated nonselective cationic channels that participate in fundamental physiological processes at both the central and the peripheral nervous system. The extent of calcium entry through ligand-gated ion channels defines their distinct functions. The α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor, expressed in cochlear hair cells, is a peculiar member of the family as it shows differences in the extent of calcium permeability across species. In particular, mammalian α9α10 receptors are among the ligand-gated ion channels which exhibit the highest calcium selectivity. This acquired differential property provides the unique opportunity of studying how protein function was shaped along evolutionary history, by tracking its evolutionary record and experimentally defining the amino acid changes involved. We have applied a molecular evolution approach of ancestral sequence reconstruction, together with molecular dynamics simulations and an evolutionary-based mutagenesis strategy, in order to trace the molecular events that yielded a high calcium permeable nicotinic α9α10 mammalian receptor. Only three specific amino acid substitutions in the α9 subunit were directly involved. These are located at the extracellular vestibule and at the exit of the channel pore and not at the transmembrane region 2 of the protein as previously thought. Moreover, we show that these three critical substitutions only increase calcium permeability in the context of the mammalian but not the avian receptor, stressing the relevance of overall protein structure on defining functional properties. These results highlight the importance of tracking evolutionarily acquired changes in protein sequence underlying fundamental functional properties of ligand-gated ion channels. PMID:25193338

  10. Tracking the molecular evolution of calcium permeability in a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Lipovsek, Marcela; Fierro, Angélica; Pérez, Edwin G; Boffi, Juan C; Millar, Neil S; Fuchs, Paul A; Katz, Eleonora; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2014-12-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are a family of ligand-gated nonselective cationic channels that participate in fundamental physiological processes at both the central and the peripheral nervous system. The extent of calcium entry through ligand-gated ion channels defines their distinct functions. The α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor, expressed in cochlear hair cells, is a peculiar member of the family as it shows differences in the extent of calcium permeability across species. In particular, mammalian α9α10 receptors are among the ligand-gated ion channels which exhibit the highest calcium selectivity. This acquired differential property provides the unique opportunity of studying how protein function was shaped along evolutionary history, by tracking its evolutionary record and experimentally defining the amino acid changes involved. We have applied a molecular evolution approach of ancestral sequence reconstruction, together with molecular dynamics simulations and an evolutionary-based mutagenesis strategy, in order to trace the molecular events that yielded a high calcium permeable nicotinic α9α10 mammalian receptor. Only three specific amino acid substitutions in the α9 subunit were directly involved. These are located at the extracellular vestibule and at the exit of the channel pore and not at the transmembrane region 2 of the protein as previously thought. Moreover, we show that these three critical substitutions only increase calcium permeability in the context of the mammalian but not the avian receptor, stressing the relevance of overall protein structure on defining functional properties. These results highlight the importance of tracking evolutionarily acquired changes in protein sequence underlying fundamental functional properties of ligand-gated ion channels. PMID:25193338

  11. Activation of α2A-Containing Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Mediates Nicotine-Induced Motor Output in Embryonic Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Udvadia, Ava J.; Tanguay, Robert L.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that cholinergic signaling has critical roles during central nervous system development. In physiological and behavioral studies, activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors has been implicated in mediating cholinergic signaling. In developing spinal cord, cholinergic transmission is associated with neural circuits responsible for producing locomotor behaviors. In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of the α2A nAChR subunit as evidence from others suggested it could be expressed by spinal neurons. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed that the α2A nAChR subunits are expressed in spinal Rohon-Beard (RB) neurons and olfactory sensory neurons in young embryos. In order to examine the functional role of the α2A nAChR subunit during embryogenesis, we blocked its expression using antisense modified oligonucleotides. Blocking the expression of α2A nAChR subunits had no effect on spontaneous motor activity. However, it did alter the embryonic nicotine-induced motor output. This reduction in motor activity was not accompanied by defects in neuronal and muscle elements associated with the motor output. Moreover, the anatomy and functionality of RB neurons was normal even in the absence of the α2A nAChR subunit. Thus, we propose that α2A-containing nAChR are dispensable for normal RB development. However, in the context of nicotine-induced motor output, α2A-containing nAChRs on RB neurons provide the substrate that nicotine acts upon to induce the motor output. These findings also indicate that functional neuronal nAChRs are present within spinal cord at the time when locomotor output in zebrafish first begins to manifest itself. PMID:24738729

  12. Recent Developments in Novel Antidepressants Targeting α4β2-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been investigated for developing drugs that can potentially treat various central nervous system disorders. Considerable evidence supports the hypothesis that modulation of the cholinergic system through activation and/or desensitization/inactivation of nAChR holds promise for the development of new antidepressants. The introductory portion of this Miniperspective discusses the basic pharmacology that underpins the involvement of α4β2-nAChRs in depression, along with the structural features that are essential to ligand recognition by the α4β2-nAChRs. The remainder of this Miniperspective analyzes reported nicotinic ligands in terms of drug design considerations and their potency and selectivity, with a particular focus on compounds exhibiting antidepressant-like effects in preclinical or clinical studies. This Miniperspective aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the potential for using nicotinic ligands in the treatment of depression, which may hold some promise in addressing an unmet clinical need by providing relief from depressive symptoms in refractory patients. PMID:24901260

  13. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes involved in facilitation of GABAergic inhibition in mouse superficial superior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Endo, Toshiaki; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Obata, Kunihiko; Isa, Tadashi

    2005-12-01

    The superficial superior colliculus (sSC) is a key station in the sensory processing related to visual salience. The sSC receives cholinergic projections from the parabigeminal nucleus, and previous studies have revealed the presence of several different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in the sSC. In this study, to clarify the role of the cholinergic inputs to the sSC, we examined current responses induced by ACh in GABAergic and non-GABAergic sSC neurons using in vitro slice preparations obtained from glutamate decarboxylase 67-green fluorescent protein (GFP) knock-in mice in which GFP is specifically expressed in GABAergic neurons. Brief air pressure application of acetylcholine (ACh) elicited nicotinic inward current responses in both GABAergic and non-GABAergic neurons. The inward current responses in the GABAergic neurons were highly sensitive to a selective antagonist for alpha3beta2- and alpha6beta2-containing receptors, alpha-conotoxin MII (alphaCtxMII). A subset of these neurons exhibited a faster alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive inward current component, indicating the expression of alpha7-containing nAChRs. We also found that the activation of presynaptic nAChRs induced release of GABA, which elicited a burst of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by GABA(A) receptors in non-GABAergic neurons. This ACh-induced GABA release was mediated mainly by alphaCtxMII-sensitive nAChRs and resulted from the activation of voltage-dependent calcium channels. Morphological analysis revealed that recorded GFP-positive neurons are interneurons and GFP-negative neurons include projection neurons. These findings suggest that nAChRs are involved in the regulation of GABAergic inhibition and modulate visual processing in the sSC. PMID:16107532

  14. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors regulate type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor expression via calmodulin kinase IV activation.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, Koji; Kurokawa, Kazuhiro; Ohkuma, Seitaro

    2015-04-01

    Type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3 R-1) are among the important calcium channels regulating intracellular Ca(2+) concentration in the central nervous system. In a previous study, we showed that drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and ethanol, induced IP3 R-1 upregulation via the calcium signal transduction pathway in psychological dependence. Although nicotine, a major component in tobacco smoke, participates in psychological and/or physical dependence, it has not yet been clarified how nicotine alters IP3 R-1 expression. The present study, therefore, seeks to clarify the mechanism bgy which nicotine modifies IP3 R-1 expression by using mouse cerebral cortical neurons in primary culture. Nicotine induced dose- and time-dependent upregulation of IP3 R-1 protein following its mRNA increase, and the latter was significantly suppressed by a nonselective nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) antagonist, mecamylamine. Both cFos and phosphorylated-cJun (p-cJun) were immediately increased in the nucleus, together with an increase of calmodulin kinase (CaMK) IV but not CaMKII expression after nicotine exposure. A nonselective inhibitor of CaMKs, KN-93, and a calcium chelating regent, BAPTA-AM, completely suppressed the expression of cFos and p-cJun in the nucleus as well as the nicotine-induced IP3 R-1 upregulation. These results indicate that nAChR activation by nicotine upregulates IP3 R-1 via increase of activator protein-1, which is a cFos and cJun dimmer, in the nucleus, with activation of Ca(2+) signaling transduction processes. PMID:25430056

  15. Quinuclidine compounds differently act as agonists of Kenyon cell nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and induced distinct effect on insect ganglionic depolarizations.

    PubMed

    Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Swale, Daniel; Leray, Xavier; Benzidane, Yassine; Lebreton, Jacques; Bloomquist, Jeffrey R; Thany, Steeve H

    2013-12-01

    We have recently demonstrated that a new quinuclidine benzamide compound named LMA10203 acted as an agonist of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Its specific pharmacological profile on cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons (DUM) helped to identify alpha-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2 receptors. In the present study, we tested its effect on cockroach Kenyon cells. We found that it induced an inward current demonstrating that it bounds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed on Kenyon cells. Interestingly, LMA10203-induced currents were completely blocked by the nicotinic antagonist α-bungarotoxin. We suggested that LMA10203 effect occurred through the activation of α-bungarotoxin-sensitive receptors and did not involve α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2, previously identified in DUM neurons. In addition, we have synthesized two new compounds, LMA10210 and LMA10211, and compared their effects on Kenyon cells. These compounds were members of the 3-quinuclidinyl benzamide or benzoate families. Interestingly, 1 mM LMA10210 was not able to induce an inward current on Kenyon cells compared to LMA10211. Similarly, we did not find any significant effect of LMA10210 on cockroach ganglionic depolarization, whereas these three compounds were able to induce an effect on the central nervous system of the third instar M. domestica larvae. Our data suggested that these three compounds could bind to distinct cockroach nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PMID:23884575

  16. Exon-intron structure of the human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor {alpha}4 subunit (CHRNA4)

    SciTech Connect

    Steinlein, O.; Weiland, S.; Stoodt, J.; Propping, P.

    1996-03-01

    The human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor {alpha}4 subunit gene (CHRNA4) is located in the candidate region for three different phenotypes: benign familial neonatal convulsions, autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, and low-voltage EEG. Recently, a missense mutation in transmembrane domain 2 of CHRNA4 was found to be associated with autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy in one extended pedigree. We have determined the genomic organization of CHRNA4, which consists of six exons distributed over approximately 17 kb of genomic DNA. The nucleotide sequence obtained from the genomic regions adjacent to the exon boundaries enabled us to develop a set of primer pairs for PCR amplification of the complete coding region. The sequence analysis provides the basis for a comprehensive mutation screening of CHRNA4 in the above-mentioned phenotypes and possibly in other types of idopathic epilepsies. 29 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  17. Allosteric modifiers of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: new methods, new opportunities.

    PubMed

    Moaddel, Ruin; Jozwiak, Krzysztof; Wainer, Irving W

    2007-09-01

    Allosteric, non-competitive inhibitors (NCIs) of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been shown to produce a wide variety of clinically relevant responses. Many of the observed effects are desired as the nAChR is the therapeutic target, while others are undesired consequences due to off-target binding at the nAChR. Thus, the determination of whether or not a lead drug candidate is an NCI should play an important role in drug discovery programs. However, the current experimental techniques used to identify NCIs are challenging, expensive, and time consuming. This review focuses on an alternative approach to the investigation of interactions between test compounds and nAChRs based upon liquid chromatographic stationary phases containing cellular fragments from cell lines expressing nAChRs. The development and validation of these phases as well as their use in drug discovery and pharmacophore modeling are discussed. PMID:17238157

  18. Genes expressed in the brain define three distinct neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed Central

    Nef, P; Oneyser, C; Alliod, C; Couturier, S; Ballivet, M

    1988-01-01

    Four genes encode the related protein subunits that assemble to form the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) at the motor endplate of vertebrates. We have isolated from the chicken genome four additional members of the same gene family whose protein products, termed alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4 and n alpha (non-alpha) probably define three distinct neuronal nAChR subtypes. The neuronal nAChR genes have identical structures consisting of six protein-coding exons and specify proteins that are best aligned with the chicken endplate alpha subunit, whose gene we have also characterized. mRNA transcripts encoding alpha 4 and n alpha are abundant in embryonic and in adult avian brain, whereas alpha 2 and alpha 3 transcripts are much scarcer. The same set of neuronal genes probably exists in all vertebrates since their counterparts have also been identified in the rat genome. Images PMID:3267226

  19. Characterization of alpha-conotoxin interactions with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed Central

    Ashcom, J D; Stiles, B G

    1997-01-01

    The venoms of predatory marine cone snails, Conus species, contain numerous peptides and proteins with remarkably diverse pharmacological properties. One group of peptides are the alpha-conotoxins, which consist of 13-19 amino acids constrained by two disulphide bonds. A biologically active fluorescein derivative of Conus geographus alpha-conotoxin GI (FGI) was used in novel solution-phase-binding assays with purified Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) and monoclonal antibodies developed against the toxin. The binding of FGI to nAchR or antibody had apparent dissociation constants of 10-100 nM. Structure-function studies with alpha-conotoxin GI analogues composed of a single disulphide loop revealed that different conformational restraints are necessary for effective toxin interactions with nAchR or antibodies. PMID:9359860

  20. Comparison between ab initio and semiempirical net atomic charges of some nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists

    SciTech Connect

    Yadav, J.S.; Hermsmeier, M.; Gund, T. )

    1989-01-01

    We have calculated the net atomic charges and molecular electrostatic potentials of two potent nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists, isoarecolone and acetylpiperazine, by three different methods to see how well they correlate and if the simplest method gives the same predictive results. The calculational methods involved calculating net atomic charges by semiempirical (MNDO from MOPAC) and ab initio (Mulliken) and ab initio (potential derived) at STO-3G basis set level. Some deviations were observed when comparisons were made atom by atom, but when group comparisons were made, good correlations were observed. When these partial charges were used to calculate the respective molecular electrostatic potentials on the van der Waals surface, very good correlations were obtained. This study shows that for routine electrostatic calculations, semiempirical MNDO Calculations give similar results and thus lead to similar predictions.

  1. AzoCholine Enables Optical Control of Alpha 7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Neural Networks.

    PubMed

    Damijonaitis, Arunas; Broichhagen, Johannes; Urushima, Tatsuya; Hüll, Katharina; Nagpal, Jatin; Laprell, Laura; Schönberger, Matthias; Woodmansee, David H; Rafiq, Amir; Sumser, Martin P; Kummer, Wolfgang; Gottschalk, Alexander; Trauner, Dirk

    2015-05-20

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are essential for cellular communication in higher organisms. Even though a vast pharmacological toolset to study cholinergic systems has been developed, control of endogenous neuronal nAChRs with high spatiotemporal precision has been lacking. To address this issue, we have generated photoswitchable nAChR agonists and re-evaluated the known photochromic ligand, BisQ. Using electrophysiology, we found that one of our new compounds, AzoCholine, is an excellent photoswitchable agonist for neuronal α7 nAChRs, whereas BisQ was confirmed to be an agonist for the muscle-type nAChR. AzoCholine could be used to modulate cholinergic activity in a brain slice and in dorsal root ganglion neurons. In addition, we demonstrate light-dependent perturbation of behavior in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:25741856

  2. Airway-related vagal preganglionic neurons express multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits

    PubMed Central

    Dehkordi, Ozra; Kc, Prabha; Balan, Kannan V.; Haxhiu, Musa A.

    2007-01-01

    Nicotine acting centrally increases bronchomotor tone and airway secretion, suggesting that airway-related vagal preganglionic neurons (AVPNs) within the rostral nucleus ambiguus (rNA) express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In the present study, we examined the three main functionally characterized subtypes of nAChRs in the CNS, the α7 homomeric and α4β2 heteromeric receptors. First, we characterized the expression of these subunits at the message (mRNA) and protein levels in brain tissues taken from the rNA region, the site where AVPNs are located. In addition, double labeling fluorescent immunohistochemistry and confocal laser microscopy were used to define the presence of α7, α4, and β2 nAChRs on AVPNs that were retrogradely labeled with cholera toxin h subunit (CTb), injected into the upper lung lobe (n = 4) or extrathoracic trachea (n = 4). Our results revealed expression of all three studied subunits at mRNA and protein levels within the rNA region. Furthermore, virtually all identified AVPNs innervating intrapulmonary airways express α7 and α4 nAChR subunits. Similarly, a majority of labeled AVPNs projecting to extrathoracic trachea contain α7 and β2 subunits, but less than half of them show detectable α4 nAChR traits. These results suggest that AVPNs express three major nAChR subunits (α7, α4, and β2) that could assemble into functional homologous or heterologous pentameric receptors, mediating fast and sustained nicotinic effects on cholinergic outflow to the airways. PMID:16616705

  3. The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor {alpha}7 subunit gene: Cloning, mapping, structure, and targeting in mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Orr-Urtreger, A.; Baldini, A.; Beaudet, A.L.

    1994-09-01

    The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor {alpha}7 subunit is a member of a family of ligand-gated ion channels, and is the only subunit know to bind {alpha}-bungarotoxin in mammalian brain. {alpha}-Bungarotoxin binding sites are known to be more abundant in the hippocampus of mouse strains that are particularly sensitive to nicotine-induced seizures. The {alpha}7 receptor is highly permeable to calcium, which could suggest a role in synaptic plasticity in the nervous system. Auditory gating deficiency, an abnormal response to a second auditory stimulus, is characteristic of schizophrenia. Mouse strains that exhibit a similar gating deficit have reduced hippocampal expression of the {alpha}7 subunit. We have cloned and sequenced the full length cDNA for the mouse {alpha}7 gene (Acra-7) and characterized its gene structure. The murine {alpha}7 shares amino acid identity of 99% and 93% with the rat and human {alpha}7 subunits, respectively. Using an interspecies backcross panel, the murine gene was mapped to chromosome 7 near the p locus, a region syntenic with human chromosome 15; the human gene (CHRNA7) was confirmed to map to 15q13-q14 by FISH. To generate a mouse {alpha}7 mutant by homologous recombination, we have constructed a replacement vector which will delete transmembrane domains II-IV and the cytoplasmic domain from the gene product. Recombinant embryonic stem (ES) cell clones were selected and used to develop mouse chimeras that are currently being bred to obtain germline transmission.

  4. Autoradiographic localization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata)

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, J.T.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Whiting, P.; Lindstrom, J.M.; Podleski, T.R.

    1988-08-08

    We have localized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the zebra finch brain by using three 125I-labelled ligands: alpha bungarotoxin and two monoclonal antibodies to neuronal nicotinic receptors. Unfixed brains from intact adult male and female zebra finches were prepared for in vitro autoradiography. Low-resolution film autoradiograms and high-resolution emulsion autoradiograms were prepared for each of the three ligands. The major brain structures that bind all three of the ligands are hippocampus; hyperstriatum dorsalis; hyperstriatum ventralis; nucleus lentiformis mesencephali; nucleus pretectalis, some layers of the optic tectum; nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis; pars dorsalis; locus ceruleus; and all cranial motor nuclei except nucleus nervi hypoglossi. The major structures labelled only by (125I)-alpha bungarotoxin binding included hyperstriatum accessorium and the nuclei: preopticus medialis, medialis hypothalami posterioris, semilunaris, olivarius inferior, and the periventricular organ. Of the song control nuclei, nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum; hyperstriatum ventralis, pars caudalis; nucleus intercollicularis; and nucleus hypoglossus were labelled. The binding patterns of the two antibodies were similar to one another but not identical. Both labelled nucleus spiriformis lateralis and nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis especially heavily and also labelled the nucleus habenula medialis; nucleus subpretectalis; nucleus isthmi, pars magnocellularis; nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis; nucleus reticularis lateralis; nucleus tractus solitarii; nucleus vestibularis dorsolateralis; nucleus vestibularis lateralis; nucleus descendens nervi trigemini; and the deep cerebellar nuclei.

  5. Expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits from parasitic nematodes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Megan A; Reaves, Barbara J; Maclean, Mary J; Storey, Bob E; Wolstenholme, Adrian J

    2015-11-01

    The levamisole-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptor present at nematode neuromuscular junctions is composed of multiple different subunits, with the exact composition varying between species. We tested the ability of two well-conserved nicotinic receptor subunits, UNC-38 and UNC-29, from Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum to rescue the levamisole-resistance and locomotion defects of Caenorhabditis elegans strains with null deletion mutations in the unc-38 and unc-29 genes. The parasite cDNAs were cloned downstream of the relevant C. elegans promoters and introduced into the mutant strains via biolistic transformation. The UNC-38 subunit of H. contortus was able to completely rescue both the locomotion defects and levamisole resistance of the null deletion mutant VC2937 (ok2896), but no C. elegans expressing the A. suum UNC-38 could be detected. The H. contortus UNC-29.1 subunit partially rescued the levamisole resistance of a C. elegans null mutation in unc-29 VC1944 (ok2450), but did cause increased motility in a thrashing assay. In contrast, only a single line of worms containing the A. suum UNC-29 subunit showed a partial rescue of levamisole resistance, with no effect on thrashing. PMID:26747395

  6. Minimum number of lipids are required to support the functional properties of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, O.T.; Eubanks, J.H.; Earnest, J.P.; McNamee, M.G.

    1988-05-17

    The detergent sodium cholate was used to both solubilize and partially delipidate the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica. Using both native membranes and reconstituted membranes, it is shown that the detergent to lipid molar ratio is the most important parameter in determining the effect of the detergent on the functional properties of the receptor. Receptor-lipid complexes were quantitatively separated from detergent and excess lipids by centrifugation through detergent-free sucrose gradients. The lipid to protein molar ratio of the complexes could be precisely controlled by adjusting the cholate and lipid concentrations of the starting membranes. Analyses of both ion influx activity and ligand binding revealed that a minimum of 45 lipids per receptor was required for stabilization of the receptor in a fully functional state. Progressive irreversible inactivation occurred as the lipid to protein mole ratio was decreased below 45, and complete inactivation occurred below a ratio of 20. The results are consistent with a functional requirement for a single shell of lipids around the perimeter of the receptor.

  7. Positive allosteric modulation of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a new approach to smoking reduction: evidence from a rat model of nicotine self-administration

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiu

    2013-01-01

    Rationale The α4β2 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) plays a central role in the mediation of nicotine reinforcement. Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) at α4β2 nAChRs facilitate the intrinsic efficiency of these receptors although they do not directly activate the receptors. α4β2 PAMs are hypothesized to reduce nicotine self-administration in subjects engaged in routine nicotine consumption. The present study tested this hypothesis using a rat model of nicotine self-administration. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in daily 1 h sessions to intravenously self-administer nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion, free base) on a fixed-ratio 5 schedule. Effects of the α4β2 PAM desformylflustrabromine (dFBr), α4β2 agonist 5-iodo-A-85380, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor galantamine on nicotine intake were examined. The ability of dFBr and 5-iodo-A-85380 to substitute for nicotine was also assessed. Results dFBr and 5-iodo-A-85380 dose-dependently reduced nicotine self-administration without changing lever responses for food. Galantamine decreased self-administration of nicotine and food at high doses. Unlike 5-iodo-A-85380, dFBr failed to substitute for nicotine in supporting self-administration behavior. Conclusions These results demonstrated the effectiveness of dFBr in reducing nicotine intake and the inability of dFBr to support self-administration behavior. These findings suggest that positive allosteric modulation of α4β2 nAChRs may be a promising target for the treatment of nicotine addiction. Moreover, α4β2 PAMs, in contrast to agonist medications, may have clinical advantages because they may have little liability for abuse because of their lack of reinforcing actions on their own. PMID:23712602

  8. Selective actions of Lynx proteins on different nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Bao, Haibo; Sun, Huahua; Zhang, Yixi; Fang, Jichao; Liu, Qinghong; Liu, Zewen

    2015-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are major neurotransmitter receptors and targets of neonicotinoid insecticides in the insect nervous system. The full function of nAChRs is often dependent on associated proteins, such as chaperones, regulators and modulators. Here, three Lynx (Ly-6/neurotoxin) proteins, Loc-lynx1, Loc-lynx2 and Loc-lynx3, were identified in the locust, Locusta migratoria manilensis. Co-expression with Lynx resulted in a dramatic increase in agonist-evoked macroscopic currents on nAChRs Locα1/β2 and Locα2/β2 in Xenopus oocytes, but no changes in agonist sensitivity. Loc-lynx1 and Loc-lynx3 only modulated nAChRs Locα1/β2 while Loc-lynx2 modulated Locα2/β2 specifically. Meanwhile, Loc-lynx1 induced a more significant increase in currents evoked by imidacloprid and epibatidine than Loc-lynx3, and the effects of Loc-lynx1 on imidacloprid and epibatidine were significantly higher than those on acetylcholine. Among three lynx proteins, only Loc-lynx1 significantly increased [(3) H]epibatidine binding on Locα1/β2. The results indicated that Loc-lynx1 had different modulation patterns in nAChRs compared to Loc-lynx2 and Loc-lynx3. Taken together, these findings indicated that three Lynx proteins were nAChR modulators and had selective activities in different nAChRs. Lynx proteins might display their selectivities from three aspects: nAChR subtypes, various agonists and different modulation patterns. Insect Lynx (Ly-6/neurotoxin) proteins act as the allosteric modulators on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the important targets of insecticides. We found that insect lynx proteins showed their selectivities from at least three aspects: nAChR subtypes, various agonists and different modulation patterns. PMID:25951893

  9. Presynaptic α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors increase glutamate release and serotonin neuron excitability in the dorsal raphe nucleus.

    PubMed

    Garduño, Julieta; Galindo-Charles, Luis; Jiménez-Rodríguez, Javier; Galarraga, Elvira; Tapia, Dagoberto; Mihailescu, Stefan; Hernandez-Lopez, Salvador

    2012-10-24

    Several behavioral effects of nicotine are mediated by changes in serotonin (5-HT) release in brain areas that receive serotonergic afferents from the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). In vitro experiments have demonstrated that nicotine increases the firing activity in the majority of DRN 5-HT neurons and that DRN contains nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) located at both somata and presynaptic elements. One of the most common presynaptic effects of nicotine is to increase glutamate release. Although DRN receives profuse glutamatergic afferents, the effect of nicotine on glutamate release in the DRN has not been studied in detail. Using whole-cell recording techniques, we investigated the effects of nicotine on the glutamatergic input to 5-HT DRN neurons in rat midbrain slices. Low nicotine concentrations, in the presence of bicuculline and tetrodotoxin (TTX), increased the frequency but did not change the amplitude of glutamate-induced EPSCs, recorded from identified 5-HT neurons. Nicotine-induced increase of glutamatergic EPSC frequency persisted 10-20 min after drug withdrawal. This nicotinic effect was mimicked by exogenous administration of acetylcholine (ACh) or inhibition of ACh metabolism. In addition, the nicotine-induced increase in EPSC frequency was abolished by blockade of α4β2 nAChRs, voltage-gated calcium channels, or intracellular calcium signaling but not by α7 nAChR antagonists. These data suggest that both nicotine and endogenous ACh can increase glutamate release through activation of presynaptic α4β2 but not α7 nAChRs in the DRN. The effect involves long-term changes in synaptic function, and it is dependent on voltage-gated calcium channels and presynaptic calcium stores. PMID:23100436

  10. α6β2*-subtype nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are more sensitive than α4β2*-subtype receptors to regulation by chronic nicotine administration

    PubMed Central

    Marks, MJ; Grady, SR; Salminen, O; Paley, MA; Wageman, CR; McIntosh, JM; Whiteaker, P

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) of the α6β2* subtype (where * indicates the possible presence of additional subunits) are prominently expressed on dopaminergic neurons. Because of this, their role in tobacco use and nicotine dependence has received much attention. Previous studies have demonstrated that α6β2*-nAChR are downregulated following chronic nicotine exposure (unlike other subtypes that have been investigated – most prominently α4β2* nAChR). This study examines, for the first time, effects across a comprehensive chronic nicotine dose range. Chronic nicotine dose-responses and quantitative ligand-binding autoradiography were used to define nicotine sensitivity of changes in α4β2*-nAChR and α6β2*-nAChR expression. α6β2*-nAChR downregulation by chronic nicotine exposure in dopaminergic and optic-tract nuclei was ≈three-fold more sensitive than upregulation of α4β2*-nAChR. In contrast, nAChR-mediated [3H]-dopamine release from dopamine-terminal region synaptosomal preparations changed only in response to chronic treatment with high nicotine doses, while dopaminergic parameters (transporter expression and activity, dopamine receptor expression) were largely unchanged. Functional measures in olfactory tubercle preparations were made for the first time; both nAChR expression levels and nAChR-mediated functional measures changed differently between striatum and olfactory tubercles. These results show that functional changes measured using synaptosomal [3H]-DA release are primarily due to changes in nAChR, rather than in dopaminergic, function. PMID:24661093

  11. α4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor modulated by galantamine on nigrostriatal terminals regulates dopamine receptor-mediated rotational behavior.

    PubMed

    Inden, Masatoshi; Takata, Kazuyuki; Yanagisawa, Daijiro; Ashihara, Eishi; Tooyama, Ikuo; Shimohama, Shun; Kitamura, Yoshihisa

    2016-03-01

    Galantamine, an acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibitor used to treat dementia symptoms, also acts as an allosteric potentiating ligand (APL) at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This study was designed to evaluate the allosteric effect of galantamine on nAChR regulation of nigrostrial dopaminergic neuronal function in the hemiparkinsonian rat model established by unilateral nigral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection. Methamphetamine, a dopamine releaser, induced ipsilateral rotation, whereas dopamine agonists apomorphine (a non-selective dopamine receptor agonist), SKF38393 (a selective dopamine D1 receptor agonist), and quinpirole (a selective dopamine D2 receptor agonist) induced contralateral rotation. When 6-OHDA-injected rats were co-treated with nomifensine, a dopamine transporter inhibitor, a more pronounced and a remarkable effect of nicotine and galantamine was observed. Under these conditions, the combination of nomifensine with nicotine or galantamine induced the ipsilateral rotation similar to the methamphetamine-induced rotational behavior, indicating that nicotine and galantamine also induce dopamine release from striatal terminals. Both nicotine- and galantamine-induced rotations were significantly blocked by flupenthixol (an antagonist of both D1 and D2 dopamine receptors) and mecamylamine (an antagonist of nAChRs), suggesting that galantamine modulation of nAChRs on striatal dopaminergic terminals regulates dopamine receptor-mediated movement. Immunohistochemical staining showed that α4 nAChRs were highly expressed on striatal dopaminergic terminals, while no α7 nAChRs were detected. Pretreatment with the α4 nAChR antagonist dihydroxy-β-erythroidine significantly inhibited nicotine- and galantamine-induced rotational behaviors, whereas pretreatment with the α7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine was ineffective. Moreover, the α4 nAChR agonist ABT-418 induced ipsilateral rotation, while the α7 nAChR agonist PNU282987 had no

  12. Functional characterisation of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α subunit from the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus☆

    PubMed Central

    Lees, Kristin; Jones, Andrew K.; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B.; Woods, Debra J.; Bowman, Alan S.

    2014-01-01

    Ticks and tick-borne diseases have a major impact on human and animal health worldwide. Current control strategies rely heavily on the use of chemical acaricides, most of which target the CNS and with increasing resistance, new drugs are urgently needed. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are targets of highly successful insecticides. We isolated a full-length nAChR α subunit from a normalised cDNA library from the synganglion (brain) of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Phylogenetic analysis has shown this R. sanguineus nAChR to be most similar to the insect α1 nAChR group and has been named Rsanα1. Rsanα1 is distributed in multiple tick tissues and is present across all life-stages. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes Rsanα1 failed to function as a homomer, with and without the addition of either Caenorhabditis elegans resistance-to-cholinesterase (RIC)-3 or X. laevis RIC-3. When co-expressed with chicken β2 nAChR, Rsanα1 evoked concentration-dependent, inward currents in response to acetylcholine (ACh) and showed sensitivity to nicotine (100 μM) and choline (100 μM). Rsanα1/β2 was insensitive to both imidacloprid (100 μM) and spinosad (100 μM). The unreliable expression of Rsanα1 in vitro suggests that additional subunits or chaperone proteins may be required for more robust expression. This study enhances our understanding of nAChRs in arachnids and may provide a basis for further studies on the interaction of compounds with the tick nAChR as part of a discovery process for novel acaricides. PMID:24291321

  13. An Accessory Agonist Binding Site Promotes Activation of α4β2* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jingyi; Kuryatov, Alexander; Sriram, Aarati; Jin, Zhuang; Kamenecka, Theodore M.; Kenny, Paul J.; Lindstrom, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing α4, β2, and sometimes other subunits (α4β2* nAChRs) regulate addictive and other behavioral effects of nicotine. These nAChRs exist in several stoichiometries, typically with two high affinity acetylcholine (ACh) binding sites at the interface of α4 and β2 subunits and a fifth accessory subunit. A third low affinity ACh binding site is formed when this accessory subunit is α4 but not if it is β2. Agonists selective for the accessory ACh site, such as 3-[3-(3-pyridyl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-5-yl]benzonitrile (NS9283), cannot alone activate a nAChR but can facilitate more efficient activation in combination with agonists at the canonical α4β2 sites. We therefore suggest categorizing agonists according to their site selectivity. NS9283 binds to the accessory ACh binding site; thus it is termed an accessory site-selective agonist. We expressed (α4β2)2 concatamers in Xenopus oocytes with free accessory subunits to obtain defined nAChR stoichiometries and α4/accessory subunit interfaces. We show that α2, α3, α4, and α6 accessory subunits can form binding sites for ACh and NS9283 at interfaces with α4 subunits, but β2 and β4 accessory subunits cannot. To permit selective blockage of the accessory site, α4 threonine 126 located on the minus side of α4 that contributes to the accessory site, but not the α4β2 sites, was mutated to cysteine. Alkylation of this cysteine with a thioreactive reagent blocked activity of ACh and NS9283 at the accessory site. Accessory agonist binding sites are promising drug targets. PMID:25869137

  14. Activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors increases the rate of fusion of cultured human myoblasts.

    PubMed Central

    Krause, R M; Hamann, M; Bader, C R; Liu, J H; Baroffio, A; Bernheim, L

    1995-01-01

    1. Fusion of myogenic cells is important for muscle growth and repair. The aim of this study was to examine the possible involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the fusion process of myoblasts derived from postnatal human satellite cells. 2. Acetylcholine-activated currents (ACh currents) were characterized in pure preparations of freshly isolated satellite cells, proliferating myoblasts, myoblasts triggered to fuse and myotubes, using whole-cell and single-channel voltage clamp recordings. Also, the effect of cholinergic agonists on myoblast fusion was tested. 3. No nAChR were observed in freshly isolated satellite cells. nAChR were first observed in proliferating myoblasts, but ACh current densities increased markedly only just before fusion. At that time most mononucleated myoblasts had ACh current densities similar to those of myotubes. ACh channels had similar properties at all stages of myoblast maturation. 4. The fraction of myoblasts that did not fuse under fusion-promoting conditions had no ACh current and thus resembled freshly isolated satellite cells. 5. The rate of myoblast fusion was increased by carbachol, an effect antagonized by alpha-bungarotoxin, curare and decamethonium, but not by atropine, indicating that nAChR were involved. Even though a prolonged exposure to carbachol led to desensitization, a residual ACh current persisted after several days of exposure to the nicotinic agonist. 6. Our observations suggest that nAChR play a role in myoblast fusion and that part of this role is mediated by the flow of ions through open ACh channels. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:8788942

  15. Different patterns of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit transcription in human thymus.

    PubMed

    Bruno, Roxana; Sabater, Lidia; Tolosa, Eva; Sospedra, Mireia; Ferrer-Francesch, Xavier; Coll, Jaume; Foz, Marius; Melms, Arthur; Pujol-Borrell, Ricardo

    2004-04-01

    Clinical observations suggest that the thymus is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG), but questions such as the level and location of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit expression that are fundamental to postulate any pathogenic mechanism, remain controversial. We have re-examined this question by combining calibrated RT-PCR and real-time PCR to study nicotinic AChR subunit mRNA expression in a panel of normal and myasthenic thymi. The results suggest that the expression of the different AChR subunits follows three distinct patterns: constitutive for, neonatal for gamma and individually variable for alpha1, beta1 and delta. Experiments using confocal laser microdissection suggest that AChR is mainly expressed in the medullary compartment of the thymus but there is not a clear compartmentalization of subunit expression. The different patterns of subunit expression may influence decisively the level of central tolerance to the subunits and explain the focusing of the T cell response to the alpha and gamma subunits. PMID:15020075

  16. Insight into the Binding Mode of Agonists of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor from Calculated Electron Densities

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Michael E; Gutbrod, Oliver; Matthiesen, Svend

    2015-01-01

    Insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are among the most prominent and most economically important insecticide targets. Thus, an understanding of the modes of binding of respective agonists is important for the design of specific compounds with favorable vertebrate profiles. In the case of nAChRs, the lack of available high-resolution X-ray structures leaves theoretical considerations as the only viable option. Starting from classical homology and docking approaches, binding mode hypotheses are created for five agonists of the nAChR, covering insecticides in the main group 4 of the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) mode of action (MoA) classification, namely, neonicotinoids, nicotine, sulfoxaflor, and butenolides. To better understand these binding modes, the topologies of calculated electron densities of small-model systems are analyzed in the framework of the quantum theory of atoms in molecules. The theoretically obtained modes of binding are very much in line with the biology-driven IRAC MoA classification of the investigated ligands. PMID:26175091

  17. Effects of cannabidiol on the function of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Mahgoub, Mohamed; Keun-Hang, Susan Yang; Sydorenko, Vadym; Ashoor, Abrar; Kabbani, Nadine; Al Kury, Lina; Sadek, Bassem; Howarth, Christopher F; Isaev, Dmytro; Galadari, Sehamuddin; Oz, Murat

    2013-11-15

    The effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive ingredient of cannabis plant, on the function of the cloned α7 subunit of the human nicotinic acetylcholine (α7 nACh) receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes were tested using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. CBD reversibly inhibited ACh (100 μM)-induced currents with an IC50 value of 11.3 µM. Other phytocannabinoids such as cannabinol and Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol did not affect ACh-induced currents. CBD inhibition was not altered by pertussis toxin treatment. In addition, CBD did not change GTP-γ-S binding to the membranes of oocytes injected with α7 nACh receptor cRNA. The effect of CBD was not dependent on the membrane potential. CBD (10 µM) did not affect the activity of endogenous Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels, since the extent of inhibition by CBD was unaltered by intracellular injection of the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA and perfusion with Ca(2+)-free bathing solution containing 2mM Ba(2+). Inhibition by CBD was not reversed by increasing ACh concentrations. Furthermore, specific binding of [(125)I] α-bungarotoxin was not inhibited by CBD (10 µM) in oocytes membranes. Using whole cell patch clamp technique in CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons of rat hippocampal slices, currents induced by choline, a selective-agonist of α7-receptor induced currents were also recoded. Bath application of CBD (10 µM) for 10 min caused a significant inhibition of choline induced currents. Finally, in hippocampal slices, [(3)H] norepinephrine release evoked by nicotine (30 µM) was also inhibited by 10 µM CBD. Our results indicate that CBD inhibits the function of the α7-nACh receptor. PMID:24140434

  18. The Role of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus in Trace Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Raybuck, J. D.; Gould, T. J.

    2010-01-01

    Acute nicotine enhances multiple types of learning including trace fear conditioning but the underlying neural substrates of these effects are not well understood. Trace fear conditioning critically involves the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which both express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Therefore, nicotine could act in either or both areas to enhance trace fear conditioning. To identify the underlying neural areas and nAChR subtypes, we examined the effects of infusion of nicotine, or nicotinic antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHβE: high-affinity nAChRs) or methyllycaconitine (MLA: low-affinity nAChRs) into the dorsal hippocampus, ventral hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) on trace and contextual fear conditioning. We found that the effects of nicotine on trace and contextual fear conditioning vary by brain region and nAChR subtype. The dorsal hippocampus was involved in the effects of nicotine on both trace and contextual fear conditioning but each task was sensitive to different doses of nicotine. Additionally, dorsal hippocampal infusion of the antagonist DHβE produced deficits in trace but not contextual fear conditioning. Nicotine infusion into the ventral hippocampus produced deficits in both trace and contextual fear conditioning. In the mPFC, nicotine enhanced trace but not contextual fear conditioning. Interestingly, infusion of the antagonists MLA or DHβE in the mPFC also enhanced trace fear conditioning. These findings suggest that nicotine acts on different substrates to enhance trace versus contextual fear conditioning, and that nicotine-induced desensitization of nAChRs in the mPFC may contribute to the effects of nicotine on trace fear conditioning. PMID:20727979

  19. Lynx1 and Aβ1-42 bind competitively to multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Morten S; Arvaniti, Maria; Jensen, Majbrit M; Shulepko, Mikhail A; Dolgikh, Dmitry A; Pinborg, Lars H; Härtig, Wolfgang; Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Mikkelsen, Jens D

    2016-10-01

    Lynx1 regulates synaptic plasticity in the brain by regulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). It is not known to which extent Lynx1 can bind to endogenous nAChR subunits in the brain or how this interaction is affected by Alzheimer's disease pathology. We apply affinity purification to demonstrate that a water-soluble variant of human Lynx1 (Ws-Lynx1) isolates α3, α4, α5, α6, α7, β2, and β4 nAChR subunits from human and rat cortical extracts, and rat midbrain and olfactory bulb extracts, suggesting that Lynx1 forms complexes with multiple nAChR subtypes in the human and rodent brain. Incubation with Ws-Lynx1 decreases nicotine-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in PC12 cells and striatal neurons, indicating that binding of Ws-Lynx1 is sufficient to inhibit signaling downstream of nAChRs. The effect of nicotine in PC12 cells is independent of α7 or α4β2 nAChRs, suggesting that Lynx1 can affect the function of native non-α7, non-α4β2 nAChR subtypes. We further show that Lynx1 and oligomeric β-amyloid1-42 compete for binding to several nAChR subunits, that Ws-Lynx1 prevents β-amyloid1-42-induced cytotoxicity in cortical neurons, and that cortical Lynx1 levels are decreased in a transgenic mouse model with concomitant β-amyloid and tau pathology. Our data suggest that Lynx1 binds to multiple nAChR subtypes in the brain and that this interaction might have functional and pathophysiological implications in relation to Alzheimer's disease. PMID:27460145

  20. Positive allosteric modulators as an approach to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor- targeted therapeutics: advantages and limitations

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Dustin K.; Wang, Jingyi; Papke, Roger L.

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR), recognized targets for drug development in cognitive and neuro-degenerative disorders, are allosteric proteins with dynamic interconversions between multiple functional states. Activation of the nAChR ion channel is primarily controlled by the binding of ligands (agonists, partial agonists, competitive antagonists) at conventional agonist binding sites, but is also regulated in either negative or positive ways by the binding of ligands to other modulatory sites. In this review, we discuss models for the activation and desensitization of nAChR, and the discovery of multiple types of ligands that influence those processes in both heteromeric nAChR, such as the high affinity nicotine receptors of the brain, and homomeric α7-type receptors. In recent years, α7 nAChRs have been identified as a potential target for therapeutic indications leading to the development of α7-selective agonists and partial agonists. However, unique properties of α7 nAChR, including low probability of channel opening and rapid desensitization, may limit the therapeutic usefulness of ligands binding exclusively to conventional agonist binding sites. New enthusiasm for the therapeutic targeting of α7 has come from the identification of α7-selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) that work effectively on the intrinsic factors that limit α7 ion channel activation. While these new drugs appear promising for therapeutic development, we also consider potential caveats and possible limitations for their use, including PAM-insensitive forms of desensitization and cytotoxicity issues. PMID:21575610

  1. Multiple Pharmacophores for the Selective Activation of Nicotinic α7-Type Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Horenstein, Nicole A.; Leonik, Fedra M.; Papke, Roger L.

    2010-01-01

    The activation of heteromeric and homomeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was studied in Xenopus laevis oocytes to identify key structures of putative agonist molecules associated with the selective activation of homomeric α7 receptors. We observed that selectivity between α7 and α4β2 was more readily obtained than selectivity between α7 and α3β4. Based on structural comparisons of previously characterized selective and nonselective agonists, we hypothesize at least three chemical motifs exist that, when present in molecules containing an appropriate cationic center, could be associated with the selective activation of α7 receptors. We identify the three distinct structural motifs based on prototypical drugs as the choline motif, the tropane motif, and the benzylidene motif. The choline motif involves the location of an oxygen-containing polar group such as a hydroxyl or carbonyl separated by two carbons from the charged nitrogen. The tropane motif provides α7-selectivity based on the addition of multiple small hydrophobic groups positioned away from the cationic center in specific orientations. We show that this motif can convert the nonselective agonists quinuclidine and ethyltrimethyl-ammonium to the α7-selective analogs methyl-quinuclidine and diethyldimethyl-ammonium, respectively. We have shown previously that the benzylidene group of 3–2,4, dimethoxy-benzylidene anabaseine (GTS-21) converts anabaseine into an α7-selective agonist. The benzylidene motif was also applied to quinuclidine to generate another distinct family of α7-selective agonists. Our results provide insight for the further development of nicotinic therapeutics and will be useful to direct future experiments with protein structure-based modeling and site-directed mutagenesis. PMID:18768388

  2. Fixation of allosteric states of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by chemical cross-linking

    PubMed Central

    Watty, Anke; Methfessel, Christoph; Hucho, Ferdinand

    1997-01-01

    Receptor activity can be described in terms of ligand-induced transitions between functional states. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), a prototypic ligand-gated ion channel, is an “unconventional allosteric protein” which exists in at least three interconvertible conformations, referred to as resting (low agonist affinity, closed channel), activated (open channel), and desensitized (high agonist affinity, closed channel). Here we show that 3,3′-dimethyl suberimidate (DMS) is an agonistic bifunctional cross-linking reagent, which irreversibly “freezes” the nAChR in a high agonist affinity/closed-channel state. The monofunctional homologue methyl acetoimidate, which is also a weak cholinergic agonist, has no such irreversible effect. Glutardialdehyde, a cross-linker that is not a cholinergic effector, fixes the receptor in a low-affinity state in the absence of carbamoylcholine, but, like DMS, in a high-affinity state in its presence. Covalent cross-linking thus allows us to arrest the nAChR in defined conformational states. PMID:9223339

  3. Structural characteristics of the recognition site for cholinergic ligands in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from squid optical ganglia

    SciTech Connect

    Plyashkevich, Yu.G.; Demushkin, V.P.

    1986-01-20

    The influence of chemical modification on the parameters of the binding of cholinergic ligands by the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of squid optical ganglia was investigated. The presence of two subpopulations of recognition sites, differing in the composition of the groups contained in them, was detected. It was established with high probability that subpopulation I contains arginine and tyrosine residues and a carboxyl group while subpopulation II contains an amino group, a thyrosine residue, and a carboxyl group. Moreover, in both subpopulations there is an amino group important only for the binding of tubocurarin. On the basis of the results obtained, a model of the recognition sites for cholinergic ligands of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of squid optical ganglia is proposed.

  4. Brain α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in MPTP-lesioned monkeys and parkinsonian patients.

    PubMed

    Morissette, Marc; Morin, Nicolas; Grégoire, Laurent; Rajput, Alex; Rajput, Ali H; Di Paolo, Thérèse

    2016-06-01

    L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LID) appear in the majority of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor-mediated signaling has been implicated in PD and LID and modulation of brain α7 nACh receptors might be a potential therapeutic target for PD. This study used [(125)I]α-Bungarotoxin autoradiography to investigate α7 nACh receptors in LID in post-mortem brains from PD patients (n=14) and control subjects (n=11), and from 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-lesioned monkeys treated with saline (n=5), L-DOPA (n=4) or L-DOPA+2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP) (n=5), and control monkeys (n=4). MPEP is the prototypal metabotropic glutamate 5 (mGlu5) receptor antagonist; it reduced the development of LID in these monkeys. [(125)I]α-Bungarotoxin specific binding to striatal and pallidal α7 nACh receptors were only increased in L-DOPA-treated dyskinetic MPTP monkeys as compared to controls, saline and L-DOPA+MPEP MPTP monkeys; dyskinesia scores correlated positively with this binding. The total group of Parkinsonian patients had higher [(125)I]α-Bungarotoxin specific binding compared to controls in the caudate nucleus but not in the putamen. PD patients without motor complications had higher [(125)I]α-Bungarotoxin specific binding compared to controls only in the caudate nucleus. PD patients with LID only had higher [(125)I]α-Bungarotoxin specific binding compared to controls in the caudate nucleus and compared to those without motor complications and controls in the putamen. PD patients with wearing-off only, had [(125)I]α-Bungarotoxin specific binding at control values in the caudate nucleus and lower in the putamen. Reduced motor complications were associated with normal striatal α7 nACh receptors, suggesting the potential of this receptor to manage motor complications in PD. PMID:27038656

  5. Olfactory discrimination varies in mice with different levels of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Jennifer L.; Arevalo, Nicole L.; Blatner, Megan J.; Dang, An K.; Clevenger, Amy C.; Adams, Catherine E.; Restrepo, Diego

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that schizophrenics have decreased expression of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine (α7) receptors in the hippocampus and other brain regions, paranoid delusions, disorganized speech, deficits in auditory gating (i.e., inability to inhibit neuronal responses to repetitive auditory stimuli), and difficulties in odor discrimination and detection. Here we use mice with decreased α7 expression that also show a deficit in auditory gating to determine if these mice have similar deficits in olfaction. In the adult mouse olfactory bulb (OB), α7 expression localizes in the glomerular layer; however, the functional role of α7 is unknown. We show that inbred mouse strains (i.e., C3H and C57) with varying α7 expression (e.g., α7 wild-type [α7+/+], α7 heterozygous knock-out [α7+/−] and α7 homozygous knockout mice [α7−/−]) significantly differ in odor discrimination and detection of chemically related odorant pairs. Using [125I] α-bungarotoxin (α-BGT) autoradiography, α7 expression was measured in the OB. As previously demonstrated, α-BGT binding was localized to the glomerular layer. Significantly more expression of α7 was observed in C57 α7+/+ mice compared to C3H α7+/+ mice. Furthermore, C57 α7+/+ mice were able to detect a significantly lower concentration of an odor in a mixture compared to C3H α7+/+ mice. Both C57 and C3H α7+/+ mice discriminated between chemically related odorants sooner than α7+/− or α7−/− mice. These data suggest that α7-nicotinic-receptors contribute strongly to olfactory discrimination and detection in mice and may be one of the mechanisms producing olfactory dysfunction in schizophrenics. PMID:20713028

  6. Heteromeric α7β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jie; Liu, Qiang; Tang, Pei; Mikkelsen, Jens D; Shen, Jianxin; Whiteaker, Paul; Yakel, Jerrel L

    2016-07-01

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) is highly expressed in the brain, where it maintains various neuronal functions including (but not limited to) learning and memory. In addition, the protein expression levels of α7 nAChRs are altered in various brain disorders. The classic rule governing α7 nAChR assembly in the mammalian brain was that it was assembled from five α7 subunits to form a homomeric receptor pentamer. However, emerging evidence demonstrates the presence of heteromeric α7 nAChRs in heterologously expressed systems and naturally in brain neurons, where α7 subunits are co-assembled with β2 subunits to form a novel type of α7β2 nAChR. Interestingly, the α7β2 nAChR exhibits distinctive function and pharmacology from traditional homomeric α7 nAChRs. We review recent advances in probing the distribution, function, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and stoichiometry of the heteromeric α7β2 nAChR, which have provided new insights into the understanding of a novel target of cholinergic signaling. PMID:27179601

  7. Neuregulin 1 as an endogenous regulator of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in adult major pelvic ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Kim, Han-Gyu; Cho, Sung-Min; Lee, Choong-Ku; Jeong, Seong-Woo

    2015-08-01

    We investigated whether endogenous neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is released in a soluble form (called sNRG1) and upregulates expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in autonomic major pelvic ganglion (MPG) neurons of adult rats. To elicit the release of sNRG1, either the hypogastric nerve or the pelvic nerve was electrically stimulated. Then, the MPG-conditioned medium (CM) was subjected to western blotting using an antibody directed against the N-terminal ectodomain of NRG1. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve activation elicited the release of sNRG1 from MPG neurons in a frequency-dependent manner. The sNRG1 release was also induced by treatment of MPG neurons with either high KCl or neurotrophic factors. The biological activity of the released sNRG1 was detected by tyrosine phosphorylation (p185) of the ErbB2 receptors in MPG neurons. When MPG neurons were incubated for 6 h in the CM, the protein level of the nAChR α3 subunit and ACh-induced current (IACh) density were significantly increased. The CM-induced changes in IACh was abolished by a selective ErbB2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Taken together, these data suggest that NRG1 functions as an endogenous regulator of nAChR expression in adult MPG neurons. PMID:26043693

  8. Local Application of Drugs to Study Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Function in Mouse Brain Slices

    PubMed Central

    Engle, Staci E.; Broderick, Hilary J.; Drenan, Ryan M.

    2012-01-01

    Tobacco use leads to numerous health problems, including cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and stroke. Addiction to cigarette smoking is a prevalent neuropsychiatric disorder that stems from the biophysical and cellular actions of nicotine on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) throughout the central nervous system. Understanding the various nAChR subtypes that exist in brain areas relevant to nicotine addiction is a major priority. Experiments that employ electrophysiology techniques such as whole-cell patch clamp or two-electrode voltage clamp recordings are useful for pharmacological characterization of nAChRs of interest. Cells expressing nAChRs, such as mammalian tissue culture cells or Xenopus laevis oocytes, are physically isolated and are therefore easily studied using the tools of modern pharmacology. Much progress has been made using these techniques, particularly when the target receptor was already known and ectopic expression was easily achieved. Often, however, it is necessary to study nAChRs in their native environment: in neurons within brain slices acutely harvested from laboratory mice or rats. For example, mice expressing "hypersensitive" nAChR subunits such as α4 L9′A mice 1 and α6 L9′S mice 2, allow for unambiguous identification of neurons based on their functional expression of a specific nAChR subunit. Although whole-cell patch clamp recordings from neurons in brain slices is routinely done by the skilled electrophysiologist, it is challenging to locally apply drugs such as acetylcholine or nicotine to the recorded cell within a brain slice. Dilution of drugs into the superfusate (bath application) is not rapidly reversible, and U-tube systems are not easily adapted to work with brain slices. In this paper, we describe a method for rapidly applying nAChR-activating drugs to neurons recorded in adult mouse brain slices. Standard whole-cell recordings are made from neurons in slices, and a second micropipette filled with a drug of

  9. Nicotine promotes cell proliferation via {alpha}7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes-mediated pathway in human colon adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Helen Pui Shan; Yu Le; Lam, Emily Kai Yee; Tai, Emily Kin Ki; Wu, William Ka Kei; Cho, Chi Hin . E-mail: chcho@cuhk.edu.hk

    2007-06-15

    Cigarette smoking has been implicated in colon cancer. Nicotine is a major alkaloid in cigarette smoke. In the present study, we showed that nicotine stimulated HT-29 cell proliferation and adrenaline production in a dose-dependent manner. The stimulatory action of nicotine was reversed by atenolol and ICI 118,551, a {beta}{sub 1}- and {beta}{sub 2}-selective antagonist, respectively, suggesting the role of {beta}-adrenoceptors in mediating the action. Nicotine also significantly upregulated the expression of the catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes [tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-{beta}-hydroxylase (D{beta}H) and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase]. Inhibitor of TH, a rate-limiting enzyme in the catecholamine-biosynthesis pathway, reduced the actions of nicotine on cell proliferation and adrenaline production. Expression of {alpha}7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ({alpha}7-nAChR) was demonstrated in HT-29 cells. Methyllycaconitine, an {alpha}7-nAChR antagonist, reversed the stimulatory actions of nicotine on cell proliferation, TH and D{beta}H expression as well as adrenaline production. Taken together, through the action on {alpha}7-nAChR nicotine stimulates HT-29 cell proliferation via the upregulation of the catecholamine-synthesis pathway and ultimately adrenaline production and {beta}-adrenergic activation. These data reveal the contributory role {alpha}7-nAChR and {beta}-adrenoceptors in the tumorigenesis of colon cancer cells and partly elucidate the carcinogenic action of cigarette smoke on colon cancer.

  10. Effects of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist mecamylamine on the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine in male rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Banks, Matthew L

    2014-06-01

    Preclinical drug discrimination procedures have been useful in understanding the pharmacological mechanisms of the subjective-like effects of abused drugs. Converging lines of evidence from neurochemical and behavioral studies implicate a potential role of nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors in the abuse-related effects of cocaine. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of the nACh receptor antagonist mecamylamine on the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine in nonhuman primates. The effects of mecamylamine on the cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine were also examined. Male rhesus monkeys (n = 5) were trained to discriminate 0.32 mg/kg, IM cocaine from saline in a 2-key, food-reinforced discrimination procedure. Initially, potency and time course of cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects were determined for nicotine and mecamylamine alone. Test sessions were then conducted examining the effects of mecamylamine on cocaine or the cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine. Curiously, mecamylamine produced partial cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects. Mecamylamine did not significantly alter the discriminative stimulus effects of cocaine up to doses that significantly decreased rates of operant responding. Mecamylamine and nicotine combinations were not different than saline. These results confirm previous nonhuman primate studies of partial substitution with nicotine and extend these findings with mecamylamine. Furthermore, these results extend previous results in rats suggesting cocaine may have nACh receptor antagonist properties. PMID:24548245

  11. The cholesterol dependence of activation and fast desensitization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Rankin, S E; Addona, G H; Kloczewiak, M A; Bugge, B; Miller, K W

    1997-01-01

    When nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are reconstituted into lipid bilayers lacking cholesterol, agonists no longer stimulate cation flux. The kinetics of this process are difficult to study because variations in vesicle morphology cause errors in flux measurements. We developed a new stopped-flow fluorescence assay to study activation independently of vesicle morphology. When receptors were rapidly mixed with agonist plus ethidium, the earliest fluorescence increase reported the fraction of channels that opened and their apparent rate of fast desensitization. These processes were absent when the receptor was reconstituted into dioleoylphosphatidylcholine or into a mixture of that lipid with dioleoylphosphatidic acid (12 mol%), even though a fluorescent agonist reported that resting-state receptors were still present. The agonist-induced channel opening probability increased with bilayer cholesterol, with a midpoint value of 9 +/- 1.7 mol% and a Hill coefficient of 1.9 +/- 0.69, reaching a plateau above 20-30 mol% cholesterol that was equal to the native value. On the other hand, the observed fast desensitization rate was comparable to that for native membranes from the lowest cholesterol concentration examined (5 mol%). Thus the ability to reach the open state after activation varies with the cholesterol concentration in the bilayer, whereas the rate of the open state to fast desensitized state transition is unaffected. The structural basis for this is unknown, but an interesting corollary is that the channels of newly synthesized receptors are not fully primed by cholesterol until they are inserted into the plasma membrane--a novel form of posttranslational processing. PMID:9370438

  12. Molecular-Dynamics Simulations of ELIC a Prokaryotic Homologue of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Xiaolin; Ivanov, Ivaylo N; Wang, Hailong; McCammon, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    The ligand-gated ion channel from Erwinia chrysanthemi (ELIC) is a prokaryotic homolog of the eukaryotic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) that responds to the binding of neurotransmitter acetylcholine and mediates fast signal transmission. ELIC is similar to the nAChR in its primary sequence and overall subunit organization, but despite their structural similarity, it is not clear whether these two ligand-gated ion channels operate in a similar manner. Further, it is not known to what extent mechanistic insights gleaned from the ELIC structure translate to eukaryotic counterparts such as the nAChR. Here we use molecular-dynamics simulations to probe the conformational dynamics and hydration of the transmembrane pore of ELIC. The results are compared with those from our previous simulation of the human ?7 nAChR. Overall, ELIC displays increased stability compared to the nAChR, whereas the two proteins exhibit remarkable similarity in their global motion and flexibility patterns. The majority of the increased stability of ELIC does not stem from the deficiency of the models used in the simulations, and but rather seems to have a structural basis. Slightly altered dynamical correlation features are also observed among several loops within the membrane region. In sharp contrast to the nAChR, ELIC is completely dehydrated from the pore center to the extracellular end throughout the simulation. Finally, the simulation of an ELIC mutant substantiates the important role of F246 on the stability, hydration and possibly function of the ELIC channel.

  13. Mode of action of triflumezopyrim: A novel mesoionic insecticide which inhibits the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Daniel; Benner, Eric A; Schroeder, Mark E; Holyoke, Caleb W; Zhang, Wenming; Pahutski, Thomas F; Leighty, Robert M; Vincent, Daniel R; Hamm, Jason C

    2016-07-01

    Triflumezopyrim, a newly commercialized molecule from DuPont Crop Protection, belongs to the novel class of mesoionic insecticides. This study characterizes the biochemical and physiological action of this novel insecticide. Using membranes from the aphid, Myzus persicae, triflumezopyrim was found to displace (3)H-imidacloprid with a Ki value of 43 nM with competitive binding results indicating that triflumezopyrim binds to the orthosteric site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). In voltage clamp studies using dissociated Periplaneta americana neurons, triflumezopyrim inhibits nAChR currents with an IC50 of 0.6 nM. Activation of nAChR currents was minimal and required concentrations ≥100 μM. Xenopus oocytes expressing chimeric nAChRs (Drosophila α2/chick β2) showed similar inhibitory effects from triflumezopyrim. In P. americana neurons, co-application experiments with acetylcholine reveal the inhibitory action of triflumezopyrim to be rapid and prolonged in nature. Such physiological action is distinct from other insecticides in IRAC Group 4 in which the toxicological mode of action is attributed to nAChR agonism. Mesoionic insecticides act via inhibition of the orthosteric binding site of the nAChR despite previous beliefs that such action would translate to poor insect control. Triflumezopyrim is the first commercialized insecticide from this class and provides outstanding control of hoppers, including the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, which is already displaying strong resistance to neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid. PMID:27130855

  14. Nicotine ameliorates NMDA receptor antagonist-induced deficits in contextual fear conditioning through high-affinity nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    André, Jessica M; Leach, Prescott T; Gould, Thomas J

    2011-03-01

    NMDA glutamate receptors (NMDARs) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are both involved in learning and synaptic plasticity. Increasing evidence suggests processes mediated by these receptors may interact to modulate learning; however, little is known about the neural substrates involved in these interactive processes. The present studies investigated the effects of nicotine on MK-801 hydrogen maleate (MK-801) and DL-2-Amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV)-induced disruption of contextual fear conditioning in male C57BL/6J mice, using direct drug infusion and selective nAChR antagonists to define the brain regions and the nAChR subtypes involved. Mice treated with MK-801 showed a deficit in contextual fear conditioning that was ameliorated by nicotine. Direct drug infusion demonstrated that the NMDAR antagonists disrupted hippocampal function and that nicotine acted in the dorsal hippocampus to ameliorate the deficit in learning. The high-affinity nAChR antagonist Dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide (DhβE) blocked the effects of nicotine on MK-801-induced deficits while the α7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine citrate salt hydrate (MLA) did not. These results suggest that NMDARs and nAChRs may mediate similar hippocampal processes involved in contextual fear conditioning. Furthermore, these results may have implications for developing effective therapeutics for the cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia because a large subset of patients with schizophrenia exhibit cognitive deficits that may be related to NMDAR dysfunction and smoke at much higher rates than the healthy population, which may be an attempt to ameliorate cognitive deficits. PMID:21167848

  15. Prostate stem cell antigen interacts with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and is affected in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Majbrit M; Arvaniti, Maria; Mikkelsen, Jens D; Michalski, Dominik; Pinborg, Lars H; Härtig, Wolfgang; Thomsen, Morten S

    2015-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder involving impaired cholinergic neurotransmission and dysregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Ly-6/neurotoxin (Lynx) proteins have been shown to modulate cognition and neural plasticity by binding to nAChR subtypes and modulating their function. Hence, changes in nAChR regulatory proteins such as Lynx proteins could underlie the dysregulation of nAChRs in AD. Using Western blotting, we detected bands corresponding to the Lynx proteins prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) and Lypd6 in human cortex indicating that both proteins are present in the human brain. We further showed that PSCA forms stable complexes with the α4 nAChR subunit and decreases nicotine-induced extracellular-signal regulated kinase phosphorylation in PC12 cells. In addition, we analyzed protein levels of PSCA and Lypd6 in postmortem tissue of medial frontal gyrus from AD patients and found significantly increased PSCA levels (approximately 70%). In contrast, no changes in Lypd6 levels were detected. In concordance with our findings in AD patients, PSCA levels were increased in the frontal cortex of triple transgenic mice with an AD-like pathology harboring human transgenes that cause both age-dependent β-amyloidosis and tauopathy, whereas Tg2576 mice, which display β-amyloidosis only, had unchanged PSCA levels compared to wild-type animals. These findings identify PSCA as a nAChR-binding protein in the human brain that is affected in AD, suggesting that PSCA-nAChR interactions may be involved in the cognitive dysfunction observed in AD. PMID:25680266

  16. Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists and PAMs as adjunctive treatment in schizophrenia. An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Marcus, Monica M; Björkholm, Carl; Malmerfelt, Anna; Möller, Annie; Påhlsson, Ninni; Konradsson-Geuken, Åsa; Feltmann, Kristin; Jardemark, Kent; Schilström, Björn; Svensson, Torgny H

    2016-09-01

    Nicotine has been found to improve cognition and reduce negative symptoms in schizophrenia and a genetic and pathophysiological link between the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and schizophrenia has been demonstrated. Therefore, there has been a large interest in developing drugs affecting the α7 nAChRs for schizophrenia. In the present study we investigated, in rats, the effects of a selective α7 agonist (PNU282987) and a α7 positive allosteric modulator (PAM; NS1738) alone and in combination with the atypical antipsychotic drug risperidone for their utility as adjunct treatment in schizophrenia. Moreover we also investigated their utility as adjunct treatment in depression in combination with the SSRI citalopram. We found that NS1738 and to some extent also PNU282987, potentiated a subeffective dose of risperidone in the conditioned avoidance response test. Both drugs also potentiated the effect of a sub-effective concentration of risperidone on NMDA-induced currents in pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex. Moreover, NS1738 and PNU282987 enhanced recognition memory in the novel object recognition test, when given separately. Both drugs also potentiated accumbal but not prefrontal risperidone-induced dopamine release. Finally, PNU282987 reduced immobility in the forced swim test, indicating an antidepressant-like effect. Taken together, our data support the utility of drugs targeting the α7 nAChRs, perhaps especially α7 PAMs, to potentiate the effect of atypical antipsychotic drugs. Moreover, our data suggest that α7 agonists and PAMs can be used to ameliorate cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia and depression. PMID:27474687

  17. The marine phycotoxin gymnodimine targets muscular and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes with high affinity.

    PubMed

    Kharrat, Riadh; Servent, Denis; Girard, Emmanuelle; Ouanounou, Gilles; Amar, Muriel; Marrouchi, Riadh; Benoit, Evelyne; Molgó, Jordi

    2008-11-01

    Gymnodimines (GYMs) are phycotoxins exhibiting unusual structural features including a spirocyclic imine ring system and a trisubstituted tetrahydrofuran embedded within a 16-membered macrocycle. The toxic potential and the mechanism of action of GYM-A, highly purified from contaminated clams, have been assessed. GYM-A in isolated mouse phrenic hemidiaphragm preparations produced a concentration- and time-dependent block of twitch responses evoked by nerve stimulation, without affecting directly elicited muscle twitches, suggesting that it may block the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR). This was confirmed by the blockade of miniature endplate potentials and the recording of subthreshold endplate potentials in GYM-A paralyzed frog and mouse isolated neuromuscular preparations. Patch-clamp recordings in Xenopus skeletal myocytes revealed that nicotinic currents evoked by constant iontophoretical ACh pulses were blocked by GYM-A in a reversible manner. GYM-A also blocked, in a voltage-independent manner, homomeric human alpha7 nAChR expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Competition-binding assays confirmed that GYM-A is a powerful ligand interacting with muscle-type nAChR, heteropentameric alpha3beta2, alpha4beta2, and chimeric alpha7-5HT(3) neuronal nAChRs. Our data show for the first time that GYM-A broadly targets nAChRs with high affinity explaining the basis of its neurotoxicity, and also pave the way for designing specific tests for accurate GYM-A detection in shellfish samples. PMID:18990115

  18. Functional Human α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Generated from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Tillman, Tommy S; Alvarez, Frances J D; Reinert, Nathan J; Liu, Chuang; Wang, Dawei; Xu, Yan; Xiao, Kunhong; Zhang, Peijun; Tang, Pei

    2016-08-26

    Human Cys-loop receptors are important therapeutic targets. High-resolution structures are essential for rational drug design, but only a few are available due to difficulties in obtaining sufficient quantities of protein suitable for structural studies. Although expression of proteins in E. coli offers advantages of high yield, low cost, and fast turnover, this approach has not been thoroughly explored for full-length human Cys-loop receptors because of the conventional wisdom that E. coli lacks the specific chaperones and post-translational modifications potentially required for expression of human Cys-loop receptors. Here we report the successful production of full-length wild type human α7nAChR from E. coli Chemically induced chaperones promote high expression levels of well-folded proteins. The choice of detergents, lipids, and ligands during purification determines the final protein quality. The purified α7nAChR not only forms pentamers as imaged by negative-stain electron microscopy, but also retains pharmacological characteristics of native α7nAChR, including binding to bungarotoxin and positive allosteric modulators specific to α7nAChR. Moreover, the purified α7nAChR injected into Xenopus oocytes can be activated by acetylcholine, choline, and nicotine, inhibited by the channel blockers QX-222 and phencyclidine, and potentiated by the α7nAChR specific modulators PNU-120596 and TQS. The successful generation of functional human α7nAChR from E. coli opens a new avenue for producing mammalian Cys-loop receptors to facilitate structure-based rational drug design. PMID:27385587

  19. Localized low-level re-expression of high-affinity mesolimbic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors restores nicotine-induced locomotion but not place conditioning.

    PubMed

    Mineur, Y S; Brunzell, D H; Grady, S R; Lindstrom, J M; McIntosh, J M; Marks, M J; King, S L; Picciotto, M R

    2009-04-01

    High-affinity, beta2-subunit-containing (beta2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are essential for nicotine reinforcement; however, these nAChRs are found on both gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and also on terminals of glutamatergic and cholinergic neurons projecting from the pedunculopontine tegmental area and the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus. Thus, systemic nicotine administration stimulates many different neuronal subtypes in various brain nuclei. To identify neurons in which nAChRs must be expressed to mediate effects of systemic nicotine, we investigated responses in mice with low-level, localized expression of beta2* nAChRs in the midbrain/VTA. Nicotine-induced GABA and DA release were partially rescued in striatal synaptosomes from transgenic mice compared with tissue from beta2 knockout mice. Nicotine-induced locomotor activation, but not place preference, was rescued in mice with low-level VTA expression, suggesting that low-level expression of beta2* nAChRs in DA neurons is not sufficient to support nicotine reward. In contrast to control mice, transgenic mice with low-level beta2* nAChR expression in the VTA showed no increase in overall levels of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) but did show an increase in CREB phosphorylation in response to exposure to a nicotine-paired chamber. Thus, CREB activation in the absence of regulation of total CREB levels during place preference testing was not sufficient to support nicotine place preference in beta2 trangenic mice. This suggests that partial activation of high-affinity nAChRs in VTA might block the rewarding effects of nicotine, providing a potential mechanism for the ability of nicotinic partial agonists to aid in smoking cessation. PMID:19077117

  20. Alpha9 alpha10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as target for the treatment of chronic pain.

    PubMed

    Del Bufalo, Alessandra; Cesario, Alfredo; Salinaro, Gianluca; Fini, Massimo; Russo, Patrizia

    2014-01-01

    Chronic pain is a widespread healthcare problem affecting not only the patient but in many ways all the society. Chronic pain is a disease itself that endures for a long period of time and it is resistant to the majority of medical treatments that provide modest improvements in pain and minimum improvements in physical and emotional functioning. More co-existing chronic pain conditions may be present in the same individual (patient). The α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) may be a potential target in the pathophysiology of chronic pain, as well in the development of breast and lung cancers. α-conotoxins (α-CNT) are small peptides used offensively by carnivorous marine snails known as Conus that target nAChR. Among α-CNT there are potent and selective antagonists of α9α10 nAChR such as RgIA and Vc1.1 that produces both acute and long lasting analgesia. Moreover, these peptides accelerate the recovery of nerve function after injury, likely through immune/inflammatory-mediated mechanisms. We review the background, findings, implications and problems in using compounds that act on α9α10 nAChR. PMID:24641230

  1. Catharanthine alkaloids are noncompetitive antagonists of muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Feuerbach, Dominik; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna M; Jozwiak, Krzysztof

    2010-09-01

    We compared the interaction of several catharanthine alkaloids including, ibogaine, vincristine, and vinblastine, with that for the noncompetitive antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) at muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in different conformational states. The results established that catharanthine alkaloids: (a) inhibit, in a noncompetitive manner, (+/-)-epibatidine-induced Ca(2+) influx in TE671-halpha1beta1gammadelta cells with similar potencies (IC(50)=17-25microM), (b) inhibit [(3)H]TCP binding to the desensitized Torpedo AChR with higher affinity compared to the resting AChR, and (c) enhance [(3)H]cytisine binding to resting but activatable Torpedo AChRs, suggesting desensitizing properties. Interestingly, PCP inhibits [(3)H]ibogaine binding to the AChR in a steric fashion. This is corroborated by additional docking experiments indicating that the amino groups of neutral ibogaine form hydrogen bonds with the serine ring (position 6'), a location shared with PCP. Since protonated ibogaine forms a salt bridge with one of the acidic residues at the outer ring (position 20'), this ligand could be first attracted to the entrance of the channel by electrostatic interactions. Our data indicate that the catharanthine moiety is a minimum structural requirement for AChR inhibition including, ion channel blocking and desensitization, and that ibogaine and PCP bind to overlapping sites in the desensitized AChR ion channel. PMID:20493225

  2. Interaction of 18-methoxycoronaridine with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in different conformational states.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Rosenberg, Avraham; Feuerbach, Dominik; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna M; Maciejewski, Ryszard; Jozwiak, Krzysztof; Moaddel, Ruin; Glick, Stanley D; Wainer, Irving W

    2010-06-01

    The interaction of 18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC) with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) was compared with that for ibogaine and phencyclidine (PCP). The results established that 18-MC: (a) is more potent than ibogaine and PCP inhibiting (+/-)-epibatidine-induced AChR Ca(2+) influx. The potency of 18-MC is increased after longer pre-incubation periods, which is in agreement with the enhancement of [(3)H]cytisine binding to resting but activatable Torpedo AChRs, (b) binds to a single site in the Torpedo AChR with high affinity and inhibits [(3)H]TCP binding to desensitized AChRs in a steric fashion, suggesting the existence of overlapping sites. This is supported by our docking results indicating that 18-MC interacts with a domain located between the serine (position 6') and valine (position 13') rings, and (c) inhibits [(3)H]TCP, [(3)H]ibogaine, and [(3)H]18-MC binding to desensitized AChRs with higher affinity compared to resting AChRs. This can be partially attributed to a slower dissociation rate from the desensitized AChR compared to that from the resting AChR. The enthalpic contribution is more important than the entropic contribution when 18-MC binds to the desensitized AChR compared to that for the resting AChR, and vice versa. Ibogaine analogs inhibit the AChR by interacting with a luminal domain that is shared with PCP, and by inducing desensitization. PMID:20303928

  3. Diacylglycerol levels modulate the cellular distribution of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Kamerbeek, Constanza B; Mateos, Melina V; Vallés, Ana S; Pediconi, María F; Barrantes, Francisco J; Borroni, Virginia

    2016-05-01

    Diacylglycerol (DAG), a second messenger involved in different cell signaling cascades, activates protein kinase C (PKC) and D (PKD), among other kinases. The present work analyzes the effects resulting from the alteration of DAG levels on neuronal and muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) distribution. We employ CHO-K1/A5 cells, expressing adult muscle-type AChR in a stable manner, and hippocampal neurons, which endogenously express various subtypes of neuronal AChR. CHO-K1/A5 cells treated with dioctanoylglycerol (DOG) for different periods showed augmented AChR cell surface levels at short incubation times (30min-4h) whereas at longer times (18h) the AChR was shifted to intracellular compartments. Similarly, in cultured hippocampal neurons surface AChR levels increased as a result of DOG incubation for 4h. Inhibition of endogenous DAG catabolism produced changes in AChR distribution similar to those induced by DOG treatment. Specific enzyme inhibitors and Western blot assays revealed that DAGs exert their effect on AChR distribution through the modulation of the activity of classical PKC (cPKC), novel PKC (nPKC) and PKD activity. PMID:26898898

  4. Functional interaction of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and Na+/K+ ATPase from Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen)

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Haibo; Sun, Huahua; Xiao, Youxin; Zhang, Yixi; Wang, Xin; Xu, Xiaoyong; Liu, Zewen; Fang, Jichao; Li, Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Associated proteins are important for the correct functioning of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In the present study, a neonicotinoid-agarose affinity column was used to isolate related proteins from a solubilized membrane preparation from the nervous system of Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen). 1530 peptides were identified and most of them were involved in the membranous structure, molecular interaction and cellular communication. Among these peptides, Na+/K+ ATPase had the highest MASCOT score and were involved in the molecular interaction, which suggested that Na+/K+ ATPase and nAChRs might have strong and stable interactions in insect central nervous system. In the present study, functional interactions between nAChRs and Na+/K+ ATPase were examined by heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. The results showed that the activated nAChRs increased pump currents of Na+/K+ ATPase, which did not require current flow through open nAChRs. In turn, Na+/K+ ATPase significantly increased agonist sensitivities of nAChRs in a pump activity-independent manner and reduced the maximum current (Imax) of nAChRs. These findings provide novel insights concerning the functional interactions between insect nAChRs and Na+/K+ ATPase. PMID:25743085

  5. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-04-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species.

  6. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T; Samson, Andrew J; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey T-J; Connolly, Christopher N

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species. PMID:27124107

  7. Mouse muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gamma subunit: cDNA sequence and gene expression.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, L; LaPolla, R J; Davidson, N

    1986-01-01

    Clones coding for the mouse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) gamma subunit precursor have been selected from a cDNA library derived from a mouse myogenic cell line and sequenced. The deduced protein sequence consists of a signal peptide of 22 amino acid residues and a mature gamma subunit of 497 amino acid residues. There is a high degree of sequence conservation between this mouse sequence and published human and calf AChR gamma subunits and, after allowing for functional amino acid substitutions, also to the more distantly related chicken and Torpedo AChR gamma subunits. The degree of sequence conservation is especially high in the four putative hydrophobic membrane spanning regions, supporting the assignment of these domains. RNA blot hybridization showed that the mRNA level of the gamma subunit increases by 30 fold or more upon differentiation of the two mouse myogenic cell lines, BC3H-1 and C2C12, suggesting that the primary controls for changes in gene expression during differentiation are at the level of transcription. One cDNA clone was found to correspond to a partially processed nuclear transcript containing two as yet unspliced intervening sequences. Images PMID:3010242

  8. Conservation of neural nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from Drosophila to vertebrate central nervous systems.

    PubMed Central

    Bossy, B; Ballivet, M; Spierer, P

    1988-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are found both in vertebrate and insect central nervous systems. We have isolated a Drosophila gene by crosshybridization with a vertebrate probe. Structural conservation of domains of the deduced protein and of intron/exon boundaries indicate that the Drosophila gene encodes an nAChR alpha-like subunit (ALS). That the Drosophila gene product most resembles the neuronal set of vertebrate nAChRs alpha-subunits is also indicated by the failure of an ALS-beta-galactosidase fusion protein to bind alpha-bungarotoxin on blots in contrast to vertebrate endplate alpha-subunit constructions. The ALS encoding gene exceeds 54 kb in length and the transcript has a very long and unusual 5' leader. As we found previously for a gene whose product is also involved in cholinergic synapses, acetylcholinesterase, the leader encodes short open reading frames, which might be involved in translation control. We also note the presence of opa repeats in the gene, as has been found for various Drosophila genes expressed in the nervous system. Images PMID:2840281

  9. Mutations of Cytosolic Loop Residues Impair Assembly and Maturation of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Jayanta; Kuryatov, Alexander; Moss, Stephen J.; Lindstrom, Jon M.; Anand, Rene

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms that regulate early events in the biogenesis of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 AChR) are not well understood. Data presented here show that single amino acid mutations in the cytoplasmic loop of the α7 AChR, between position 335 and 343, abolish or attenuate expression of mature pentameric α7 AChRs in both human embryonic kidney tsA201 (HEK) and neuronal SH-SY5Y cells. Although the number of mature α7 AChRs is increased significantly in the presence of the chaperone protein RIC-3 in HEK cells, sucrose gradient sedimentation reveals that the vast majority of α7 subunits are aggregated or improperly assembled. Transfection of α7 AChRs in SH-SY5Y cells, which endogenously express the α7 AChR, results in a much larger fraction of subunits assembled into mature AChRs. Thus, efficient assembly of α7 AChRs is influenced by several regions of the large cytoplasmic domain, as well perhaps by other parts of its structure, and requires as yet unknown factors not required by other AChR subtypes. PMID:19627445

  10. A positive relationship between harm avoidance and brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor availability.

    PubMed

    Storage, Steven; Mandelkern, Mark A; Phuong, Jonathan; Kozman, Maggie; Neary, Meaghan K; Brody, Arthur L

    2013-12-30

    Prior research indicates that disturbance of cholinergic neurotransmission reduces anxiety, leading to the hypothesis that people with heightened cholinergic function have a greater tendency toward anxiety-like and/or harm-avoidant behavior. We sought to determine if people with elevated levels of harm avoidance (HA), a dimension of temperament from the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), have high α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) availability. Healthy adults (n=105; 47 non-smokers and 58 smokers) underwent bolus-plus-continuous infusion positron emission tomography (PET) scanning using the radiotracer 2-[18F]fluoro-3-(2(S)azetidinylmethoxy) pyridine (abbreviated as 2-FA). During the uptake period of 2-FA, participants completed the TCI. The central study analysis revealed a significant association between total HA and mean nAChR availability, with higher total HA scores being linked with greater nAChR availability. In examining HA subscales, both 'Fear of Uncertainty' and 'Fatigability' were significant, based on higher levels of these characteristics being associated with greater nAChR availabilities. This study adds to a growing body of knowledge concerning the biological basis of personality and may prove useful in understanding the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders (such as anxiety disorders) that have similar characteristics to HA. Study findings may indicate that heightened cholinergic neurotransmission is associated with increased anxiety-like traits. PMID:24148908

  11. Functional interaction of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and Na+/K+ ATPase from Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen).

    PubMed

    Bao, Haibo; Sun, Huahua; Xiao, Youxin; Zhang, Yixi; Wang, Xin; Xu, Xiaoyong; Liu, Zewen; Fang, Jichao; Li, Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Associated proteins are important for the correct functioning of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In the present study, a neonicotinoid-agarose affinity column was used to isolate related proteins from a solubilized membrane preparation from the nervous system of Locusta migratoria manilensis (Meyen). 1530 peptides were identified and most of them were involved in the membranous structure, molecular interaction and cellular communication. Among these peptides, Na(+)/K(+) ATPase had the highest MASCOT score and were involved in the molecular interaction, which suggested that Na(+)/K(+) ATPase and nAChRs might have strong and stable interactions in insect central nervous system. In the present study, functional interactions between nAChRs and Na(+)/K(+) ATPase were examined by heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. The results showed that the activated nAChRs increased pump currents of Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, which did not require current flow through open nAChRs. In turn, Na(+)/K(+) ATPase significantly increased agonist sensitivities of nAChRs in a pump activity-independent manner and reduced the maximum current (Imax) of nAChRs. These findings provide novel insights concerning the functional interactions between insect nAChRs and Na(+)/K(+) ATPase. PMID:25743085

  12. Functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptor reconstitution in Au(111)-supported thiolipid monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pissinis, Diego E.; Diaz, Carolina; Maza, Eliana; Bonini, Ida C.; Barrantes, Francisco J.; Salvarezza, Roberto C.; Schilardi, Patricia L.

    2015-09-01

    The insertion and function of the muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in Au(111)-supported thiolipid self-assembled monolayers have been studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and electrochemical techniques. It was possible for the first time to resolve the supramolecular arrangement of the protein spontaneously inserted in a thiolipid monolayer in an aqueous solution. Geometric supramolecular arrays of nAChRs were observed, most commonly in a triangular form compatible with three nAChR dimers of ~20 nm each. Addition of the full agonist carbamoylcholine activated and opened the nAChR ion channel, as revealed by the increase in capacitance relative to that of the nAChR-thiolipid system under basal conditions. Thus, the self-assembled system appears to be a viable biomimetic model to measure ionic conductance mediated by ion-gated ion channels under different experimental conditions, with potential applications in biotechnology and pharmacology.

  13. Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Buckland, Stephen T.; Samson, Andrew J.; McArthur, Robin; Chamosa Pino, Victor; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey T.-J.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species. PMID:27124107

  14. Electron spin resonance studies of acyl chain motion in reconstituted nicotinic acetylcholine receptor membranes.

    PubMed Central

    Raines, D E; Wu, G; Dalton, L A; Miller, K W

    1995-01-01

    The electron spin resonance spectra of spin-label positional isomers of stearic acid (n-SASL) incorporated into nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAcChoR) reconstituted into dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC) were deconvoluted into bilayer- and protein-associated components by subtraction under conditions of slow exchange. The selectivity of n-SASL (n = 6, 9, 12, and 14) for the lipid-protein interface of the nAcChoR was threefold greater than that of DOPC and independent of the spin label position. The temperature at which exchange became apparent as judged from lineshape broadening of the mobile lipid component spectrum was dependent upon the position of the spin-label moiety; near the bilayer center, exchange broadening occurred at lower temperatures than it did closer to the lipid headgroup. This suggests that the lipid headgroup region of boundary lipids is relatively fixed, whereas its acyl chain whips on and off the protein with increasing frequency near the bilayer center. Motions on the microsecond time scale were examined by microwave power saturation. Each n-SASL saturated more readily when incorporated into vesicles containing the nAcChoR than when in pure DOPC liposomes. Therefore, lipid mobility is perturbed by the nAcChoR on the microsecond time scale with an apparent magnitude that is relatively modest, probably due to exchange on this time scale. PMID:8527664

  15. Exposure to nicotine increases nicotinic acetylcholine receptor density in the reward pathway and binge ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J adolescent female mice.

    PubMed

    Locker, Alicia R; Marks, Michael J; Kamens, Helen M; Klein, Laura Cousino

    2016-05-01

    Nearly 80% of adult smokers begin smoking during adolescence. Binge alcohol consumption is also common during adolescence. Past studies report that nicotine and ethanol activate dopamine neurons in the reward pathway and may increase synaptic levels of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens through nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) stimulation. Activation of the reward pathway during adolescence through drug use may produce neural alterations affecting subsequent drug consumption. Consequently, the effect of nicotine exposure on binge alcohol consumption was examined along with an assessment of the neurobiological underpinnings that drive adolescent use of these drugs. Adolescent C57BL/6J mice (postnatal days 35-44) were exposed to either water or nicotine (200μg/ml) for ten days. On the final four days, ethanol intake was examined using the drinking-in-the-dark paradigm. Nicotine-exposed mice consumed significantly more ethanol and displayed higher blood ethanol concentrations than did control mice. Autoradiographic analysis of nAChR density revealed higher epibatidine binding in frontal cortical regions in mice exposed to nicotine and ethanol compared to mice exposed to ethanol only. These data show that nicotine exposure during adolescence increases subsequent binge ethanol consumption, and may affect the number of nAChRs in regions of the brain reward pathway, specifically the frontal cortex. PMID:26428091

  16. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the honey bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Andrew K.; Raymond-Delpech, Valerie; Thany, Steeve H.; Gauthier, Monique; Sattelle, David B.

    2006-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission and play roles in many cognitive processes. They are under intense research as potential targets of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Invertebrate nAChRs are targets of anthelmintics as well as a major group of insecticides, the neonicotinoids. The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of the most beneficial insects worldwide, playing an important role in crop pollination, and is also a valuable model system for studies on social interaction, sensory processing, learning, and memory. We have used the A. mellifera genome information to characterize the complete honey bee nAChR gene family. Comparison with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae shows that the honey bee possesses the largest family of insect nAChR subunits to date (11 members). As with Drosophila and Anopheles, alternative splicing of conserved exons increases receptor diversity. Also, we show that in one honey bee nAChR subunit, six adenosine residues are targeted for RNA A-to-I editing, two of which are evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila melanogaster and Heliothis virescens orthologs, and that the extent of editing increases as the honey bee lifecycle progresses, serving to maximize receptor diversity at the adult stage. These findings on Apis mellifera enhance our understanding of nAChR functional genomics and provide a useful basis for the development of improved insecticides that spare a major beneficial insect species. PMID:17065616

  17. Effects of varenicline on alpha4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression and cognitive performance in mice.

    PubMed

    Lange-Asschenfeldt, Christian; Schäble, Sandra; Suvorava, Tatsiana; Fahimi, Ehsan Gholamreza; Bisha, Marion; Stermann, Torben; Henning, Uwe; Kojda, Georg

    2016-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes containing the α4 subunit, particularly α4β2 nAChRs, play an important role in cognitive functioning. The impact of the smoking cessation aid varenicline, a selective partial α4β2 nAChR agonist, on (1) changes of central protein and mRNA expression of this receptor and (2) on memory deficits in a mouse model of cognitive impairment was investigated. Protein and mRNA expression of both the α4 and β2 receptor subunits in mouse brain endothelial and hippocampal cells as well as hippocampus and neocortex tissues were determined by western blot and realtime PCR, respectively. The β2 antibody showed low specificity, though. Tissues were examined following a 2-week oral treatment with various doses of varenicline (0.01, 0.1, 1, 3 mg/kg/day) or vehicle. In addition, episodic memory of mice was assessed following this treatment with an object recognition task using (1) normal mice and (2) animals with anticholinergic-induced memory impairment (i.p. injection of 0.5 mg/kg scopolamine). Varenicline dose-dependently increased protein expression of both the α4 and β2 subunit in cell cultures and brain tissues, respectively, but had no effect on mRNA expression of both subunits. Scopolamine injection induced a significant reduction of object memory in vehicle-treated mice. By contrast, cognitive performance was not altered by scopolamine in varenicline-treated mice. In conclusion, a 2-week oral treatment with varenicline prevented memory impairment in the scopolamine mouse model. In parallel, protein, but not mRNA expression was upregulated, suggesting a posttranscriptional mechanism. Our findings suggest a beneficial effect of varenicline on cognitive dysfunction. PMID:27012889

  18. Evaluation of Ca2+ permeability of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in hypothalamic histaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Uteshev, Victor V.

    2010-01-01

    Hypothalamic histaminergic tuberomammillary (TM) neurons express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with kinetic and pharmacological properties resembling those of highly Ca2+ permeable α7 nAChRs. However, the Ca2+ permeability of TM nAChR channels has not been determined. To directly evaluate the Ca2+ permeability of TM nAChRs, patch-clamp recordings were conducted using non-cultured acutely dissociated TM neurons and external solutions containing low (2 mM) and high (20 mM) concentrations of Ca2+. A shift in the reversal potentials was determined from the current–voltage relationships and the permeability ratio, PCa/PNa, was estimated within the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz constant field approximation. TM nAChRs were found to be highly Ca2+ permeable with the permeability ratio, PCa/PNa(nAChR) being ∼5.9 and the fractional Ca2+ current, Pf(nAChR) being ∼10.1% at −60 mV. As a positive control for the applied methods and analysis, the permeability ratio, PCa/PNa(NMDAR) being ∼8.3 and the fractional Ca2+ current, Pf(NMDAR) being ∼13.6% at −60 mV for NMDA receptors were determined using non-cultured acutely dissociated hippocampal pyramidal neurons and found similar to previously reported values. Therefore, these results demonstrate that native TM nAChRs are highly Ca2+ permeable, but ∼1.4 fold less permeable to Ca2+ than native hippocampal pyramidal NMDA receptors. PMID:20043042

  19. Delayed procedural learning in α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Young, J. W.; Meves, J. M.; Tarantino, I. S.; Caldwell, S.; Geyer, M. A.

    2014-01-01

    The α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) has long been a procognitive therapeutic target to treat schizophrenia. Evidence on the role of this receptor in cognition has been lacking, however, in part due to the limited availability of suitable ligands. The behavior of α7-nAChR knockout (KO) mice has been examined previously, but cognitive assessments using tests with cross-species translatability have been limited to date. Here, we assessed the cognitive performance of α7-nAChR KO and wild-type (WT) littermate mice in the attentional set-shifting task of executive functioning, the radial arm maze test of spatial working memory span capacity and the novel object recognition test of short-term memory. The reward motivation of these mutants was assessed using the progressive ratio breakpoint test. In addition, we assessed the exploratory behavior and sensorimotor gating using the behavioral pattern monitor and prepulse inhibition, respectively. α7-nAChR KO mice exhibited normal set-shifting, but impaired procedural learning (rule acquisition) in multiple paradigms. Spatial span capacity, short-term memory, motivation for food, exploration and sensorimotor gating were all comparable to WT littermates. The data presented here support the notion that this receptor is important for such procedural learning, when patterns in the environment become clear and a rule is learned. In combination with the impaired attention observed previously in these mice, this finding suggests that agonist treatments should be examined in clinical studies of attention and procedural learning, perhaps in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy. PMID:21679297

  20. Selectivity optimization of substituted 1,2,3-triazoles as α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Arunrungvichian, Kuntarat; Fokin, Valery V; Vajragupta, Opa; Taylor, Palmer

    2015-08-19

    Three series of substituted anti-1,2,3-triazoles (IND, PPRD, and QND), synthesized by cycloaddition from azide and alkyne building blocks, were designed to enhance selectivity and potency profiles of a lead α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) agonist, TTIn-1. Designed compounds were synthesized and screened for affinity by a radioligand binding assay. Their functional characterization as agonists and antagonists was performed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay using cell lines expressing transfected cDNAs, α7-nAChRs, α4β2-nAChRs, and 5HT3A receptors, and a fluorescence cell reporter. In the IND series, a tropane ring of TTIn-1, substituted at N1, was replaced by mono- and bicyclic amines to vary length and conformational flexibility of a carbon linker between nitrogen atom and N1 of the triazole. Compounds with a two-carbon atom linker optimized binding with Kd's at the submicromolar level. Further modification at the hydrophobic indole of TTIn-1 was made in PPRD and QND series by fixing the amine center with the highest affinity building blocks in the IND series. Compounds from IND and PPRD series are selective as agonists for the α7-nAChRs over α4β2-nAChRs and 5HT3A receptors. Lead compounds in the three series have EC50's between 28 and 260 nM. Based on the EC50, affinity, and selectivity determined from the binding and cellular responses, two of the leads have been advanced to behavioral studies described in the companion article (DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00059). PMID:25932897

  1. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors contribute to learning-induced metaplasticity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Becker, Benjamin; Klein, Eva M; Striepens, Nadine; Mihov, Yoan; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Reul, Juergen; Goossens, Liesbet; Schruers, Koen; Kendrick, Keith M; Hurlemann, René

    2013-07-01

    Hippocampal learning is thought to induce metaplasticity, which can facilitate subsequent learning. Administered at single low doses, the N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate receptor antagonist memantine predominantly blocks α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7 nAChRs). Placebo-controlled administration of a single low dose of memantine in a pharmaco-fMRI experiment may thus help characterize the role of α7 nAChRs in hippocampal metaplasticity. We hypothesized that if α7 nAChRs contribute to learning-induced metaplasticity in the hippocampus, blockade of these receptors with low-dose memantine would selectively interfere with a facilitation of subsequent learning without impairing hippocampal learning per se. To specifically test this hypothesis, we devised a randomized controlled trial in which healthy volunteers were administered a 20-mg single oral dose of memantine or placebo and scanned on three subsequent runs of a hippocampal learning task. Our results indicate no discrepancies in behavioral learning between low-dose memantine- and placebo-treated participants in the first and second run of this task. In the third run, however, only the placebo-treated group showed facilitated behavioral learning, an effect paralleled by decreased neural responses in the hippocampal cornu ammonis region. Our findings suggest that blockade of α7 nAChRs selectively interfered with a learning-induced facilitation of subsequent learning while leaving unimpaired hippocampal learning per se. Taken together, our results provide support for a relevant contribution of α7 nAChRs to learning-associated metaplasticity in the hippocampus. PMID:23469888

  2. Single-channel properties of α3β4, α3β4α5 and α3β4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mice lacking specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits

    PubMed Central

    Ciuraszkiewicz, Anna; Schreibmayer, Wolfgang; Platzer, Dieter; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Scholze, Petra; Huck, Sigismund

    2013-01-01

    Previous attempts to measure the functional properties of recombinant nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) composed of known receptor subunits have yielded conflicting results. The use of knockout mice that lack α5, β2, α5β2 or α5β2α7 nAChR subunits enabled us to measure the single-channel properties of distinct α3β4, α3β4α5 and α3β4β2 receptors in superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. Using this approach, we found that α3β4 receptors had a principal conductance level of 32.6 ± 0.8 pS (mean ± SEM) and both higher and lower secondary conductance levels. α3β4α5 receptors had the same conductance as α3β4 receptors, but differed from α3β4 receptors by having an increased channel open time and increased burst duration. By contrast, α3β4β2 receptors differed from α3β4 and α3β4α5 receptors by having a significantly smaller conductance level (13.6 ± 0.5 pS). After dissecting the single-channel properties of these receptors using our knockout models, we then identified these properties – and hence the receptors themselves – in wild-type SCG neurons. This study is the first to identify the single-channel properties of distinct neuronal nicotinic receptors in their native environment. PMID:23613527

  3. Chalcones as positive allosteric modulators of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: a new target for a privileged structure.

    PubMed

    Balsera, Beatriz; Mulet, José; Fernández-Carvajal, Asia; de la Torre-Martínez, Roberto; Ferrer-Montiel, Antonio; Hernández-Jiménez, José G; Estévez-Herrera, Judith; Borges, Ricardo; Freitas, Andiara E; López, Manuela G; García-López, M Teresa; González-Muñiz, Rosario; Pérez de Vega, María Jesús; Valor, Luis M; Svobodová, Lucie; Sala, Salvador; Sala, Francisco; Criado, Manuel

    2014-10-30

    The α7 acetylcholine nicotine receptor is a ligand-gated ion channel that is involved in cognition disorders, schizophrenia, pain and inflammation among other diseases. Therefore, the development of new agents that target this receptor has great significance. Positive allosteric modulators might be advantageous, since they facilitate receptor responses without directly interacting with the agonist binding site. Here we report the search for and further design of new positive allosteric modulators having the relatively simple chalcone structure. From the natural product isoliquiritigenin as starting point, chalcones substituted with hydroxyl groups at defined locations were identified as optimal and specific promoters of α7 nicotinic function. The most potent compound (2,4,2',5'-tetrahydroxychalcone, 111) was further characterized showing its potential as neuroprotective, analgesic and cognitive enhancer, opening the way for future developments around the chalcone structure. PMID:25232969

  4. Propofol and AZD3043 Inhibit Adult Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Expressed in Xenopus Oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Jonsson Fagerlund, Malin; Krupp, Johannes; Dabrowski, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Propofol is a widely used general anaesthetic with muscle relaxant properties. Similarly as propofol, the new general anaesthetic AZD3043 targets the GABAA receptor for its anaesthetic effects, but the interaction with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has not been investigated. Notably, there is a gap of knowledge about the interaction between propofol and the nAChRs found in the adult neuromuscular junction. The objective was to evaluate whether propofol or AZD3043 interact with the α1β1δε, α3β2, or α7 nAChR subtypes that can be found in the neuromuscular junction and if there are any differences in affinity for those subtypes between propofol and AZD3043. Human nAChR subtypes α1β1δε, α3β2, and α7 were expressed into Xenopus oocytes and studied with an automated voltage-clamp. Propofol and AZD3043 inhibited ACh-induced currents in all of the nAChRs studied with inhibitory concentrations higher than those needed for general anaesthesia. AZD3043 was a more potent inhibitor at the adult muscle nAChR subtype compared to propofol. Propofol and AZD3043 inhibit nAChR subtypes that can be found in the adult NMJ in concentrations higher than needed for general anaesthesia. This finding needs to be evaluated in an in vitro nerve-muscle preparation and suggests one possible explanation for the muscle relaxant effect of propofol seen during higher doses. PMID:26861354

  5. (-)-Reboxetine inhibits muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by interacting with luminal and non-luminal sites.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Ortells, Marcelo O; Feuerbach, Dominik

    2013-11-01

    The interaction of (-)-reboxetine, a non-tricyclic norepinephrine selective reuptake inhibitor, with muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in different conformational states was studied by functional and structural approaches. The results established that (-)-reboxetine: (a) inhibits (±)-epibatidine-induced Ca(2+) influx in human (h) muscle embryonic (hα1β1γδ) and adult (hα1β1εδ) AChRs in a non-competitive manner and with potencies IC50=3.86±0.49 and 1.92±0.48 μM, respectively, (b) binds to the [(3)H]TCP site with ~13-fold higher affinity when the Torpedo AChR is in the desensitized state compared to the resting state, (c) enhances [(3)H]cytisine binding to the resting but activatableTorpedo AChR but not to the desensitized AChR, suggesting desensitizing properties, (d) overlaps the PCP luminal site located between rings 6' and 13' in the Torpedo but not human muscle AChRs. In silico mutation results indicate that ring 9' is the minimum structural component for (-)-reboxetine binding, and (e) interacts to non-luminal sites located within the transmembrane segments from the Torpedo AChR γ subunit, and at the α1/ε transmembrane interface from the adult muscle AChR. In conclusion, (-)-reboxetine non-competitively inhibits muscle AChRs by binding to the TCP luminal site and by inducing receptor desensitization (maybe by interacting with non-luminal sites), a mechanism that is shared by tricyclic antidepressants. PMID:23917086

  6. Targeting the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors (nAChRs) in Astrocytes as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Jurado-Coronel, Juan Camilo; Avila-Rodriguez, Marco; Capani, Francisco; Gonzalez, Janneth; Moran, Valentina Echeverria; Barreto, George E

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a relatively common disorder of the Central Nervous System (CNS), whose etiology is characterized by a selective and progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, and the presence of Lewy bodies in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra, and gaping dopamine depletion in the striatum. Patients with this disease suffer from tremors, slowness of movements, gait instability, and rigidity. These patients may also present functional disability, reduced quality of life, and rapid cognitive decline. It has been shown that nicotine exerts beneficial effects in patients with PD and in in-vitro and in-vivo models of this disease. Astrocytes are an important component in the immune response associated with PD, and that nicotine might be able to inhibit the inflammation-related apoptosis of these cells, being this a potential strategy for PD treatment. This action of nicotine could be due mainly to activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) expressed in glial cells. However, nicotine administration can protect dopaminergic neurons against degeneration by inhibiting astrocytes activation in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and therefore reduce inflammation. Owing to the toxicity and capacity of nicotine to induce addiction, analogues of this substance have been designed and tested in various experimental paradigms, and targeting α7-nAChRs expressed in glial cells may be a novel therapeutic strategy for PD treatment. PMID:26972289

  7. Analysis of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4β2 activation at the single-channel level.

    PubMed

    Carignano, Camila; Barila, Esteban Pablo; Spitzmaul, Guillermo

    2016-09-01

    The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4β2 forms pentameric proteins with two alternate stoichiometries. The high-sensitivity receptor is related to (α4)2(β2)3 stoichiometry while the low-sensitivity receptor to (α4)3(β2)2 stoichiometry. Both subtypes share two binding sites at the α4((+))/β2((-)) interface with high affinity for agonists. (α4)3(β2)2 has an additional binding site at the α4((+))/α4((-)) interface with low affinity for agonists. We investigated activation kinetics of both receptor subtypes by patch-clamp recordings of single-channel activity in the presence of several concentrations of acetylcholine (0.5 to 300μM). We used kinetic software to fit these data with kinetic models. We found that the high-sensitivity subtype correlates with the low-conductance channel (g-70=29pS) and does not activate with high efficacy. On the contrary, the low-sensitivity subtype correlated with a high-conductance channel (g-70=44pS) and exhibited higher activation efficacy. Opening events of individual nAChRs at high agonist concentrations occurred in clusters, which allowed us to determine kinetic constants for the activation of the triliganded receptor. Our kinetic modeling identified an intermediate state, between resting and open conformation of the receptor. Binding of the third molecule increases the efficacy of receptor activation by favoring the transition between resting and intermediate state around 18 times. The low rate for this transition in the diliganded receptor explains the action of acetylcholine as partial agonist when it binds to the high-affinity sites. The presence of the third binding site emerges as a potent modulator of nicotinic receptor α4β2 activation which may display different functions depending on agonist concentration. PMID:27233449

  8. TC-1734: an orally active neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor modulator with antidepressant, neuroprotective and long-lasting cognitive effects.

    PubMed

    Gatto, Gregory J; Bohme, G Andrees; Caldwell, William S; Letchworth, Sharon R; Traina, Vincent M; Obinu, M Carmen; Laville, Michel; Reibaud, Michel; Pradier, Laurent; Dunbar, Geoffrey; Bencherif, Merouane

    2004-01-01

    The development of selective ligands targeting neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to alleviate symptoms associated with neurodegenerative diseases presents the advantage of affecting multiple deficits that are the hallmarks of these pathologies. TC-1734 is an orally active novel neuronal nicotinic agonist with high selectivity for neuronal nicotinic receptors. Microdialysis studies indicate that TC-1734 enhances the release of acetylcholine from the cortex. TC-1734, by either acute or repeated administration, exhibits memory enhancing properties in rats and mice and is neuroprotective following excitotoxic insult in fetal rat brain in cultures and against alterations of synaptic transmission induced by deprivation of glucose and oxygen in hippocampal slices. At submaximal doses, TC-1734 produced additive cognitive effects when used in combination with tacrine or donepezil. Unlike (-)-nicotine, behavioral sensitization does not develop following repeated administration of TC-1734. Its pharmacokinetic (PK) profile (half-life of 2 h) contrasts with the long lasting improvement in working memory (18 h) demonstrating that cognitive improvement extends beyond the lifetime of the compound. The very low acute toxicity of TC-1734 and its receptor activity profile provides additional mechanistic basis for its suggested potential as a clinical candidate. TC-1734 was very well tolerated in acute and chronic oral toxicity studies in mice, rats and dogs. Phase I clinical trials demonstrated TC-1734's favorable pharmacokinetic and safety profile by acute oral administration at doses ranging from 2 to 320 mg. The bioavailability, pharmacological, pharmacokinetic, and safety profile of TC-1734 provides an example of a safe, potent and efficacious neuronal nicotinic modulator that holds promise for the management of the hallmark symptomatologies observed in dementia. PMID:15179444

  9. Structure-activity relationship of ibogaine analogs interacting with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in different conformational states.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Feuerbach, Dominik; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna M; Jozwiak, Krzysztof

    2011-09-01

    The interaction of ibogaine analogs with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in different conformational states was studied by functional and structural approaches. The results established that ibogaine analogs: (a) inhibit (±)-epibatidine-induced Ca²⁺ influx in human embryonic muscle AChRs with the following potency sequence (IC(50) in μM): (±)-18-methylaminocoronaridine (5.9±0.3)∼(±)-18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC) (6.8±0.8)>(-)-ibogaine (17±3)∼(+)-catharanthine (20±1)>(±)-albifloranine (46±13), (b) bind to the [³H]TCP binding site with higher affinity when the Torpedo AChR is in the desensitized state compared to that in the resting state. Similar results were obtained using [³H]18-MC. These and docking results suggest a steric interaction between TCP and ibogaine analogs for the same site, (c) enhance [³H]cytisine binding to resting but not to desensitized AChRs, with desensitizing potencies (apparent EC₅₀) that correlate very well with the pK(i) values in the desensitized state, and (d) there are good bilinear correlations between the ligand molecular volumes and their affinities in the desensitized and resting states, with an optimal volume of ∼345 ų for the ibogaine site. These results indicate that the size of the binding sites for ibogaine analogs, located between the serine and nonpolar rings and shared with TCP, is an important structural feature for binding and for inducing desensitization. PMID:21642011

  10. Interaction of ibogaine with human alpha3beta4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in different conformational states.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Rosenberg, Avraham; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna M; Feuerbach, Dominik; Yuan, Xiao Juan; Jozwiak, Krzysztof; Moaddel, Ruin; Wainer, Irving W

    2010-09-01

    The interaction of ibogaine and phencyclidine (PCP) with human (h) alpha3beta4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in different conformational states was determined by functional and structural approaches including, radioligand binding assays, Ca2+ influx detections, and thermodynamic and kinetics measurements. The results established that (a) ibogaine inhibits (+/-)-epibatidine-induced Ca2+ influx in h(alpha)3beta4 AChRs with approximately 9-fold higher potency than that for PCP, (b) [3H]ibogaine binds to a single site in the h(alpha)3beta4 AChR ion channel with relatively high affinity (Kd = 0.46 +/- 0.06 microM), and ibogaine inhibits [3H]ibogaine binding to the desensitized h(alpha)3beta4 AChR with slightly higher affinity compared to the resting AChR. This is explained by a slower dissociation rate from the desensitized ion channel compared to the resting ion channel, and (c) PCP inhibits [3H]ibogaine binding to the h(alpha)3beta4 AChR, suggesting overlapping sites. The experimental results correlate with the docking simulations suggesting that ibogaine and PCP interact with a binding domain located between the serine (position 6') and valine/phenylalanine (position 13') rings. This interaction is mediated mainly by van der Waals contacts, which is in agreement with the observed enthalpic contribution determined by non-linear chromatography. However, the calculated entropic contribution also indicates local conformational changes. Collectively our data suggest that ibogaine and PCP bind to overlapping sites located between the serine and valine/phenylalanine rings, to finally block the AChR ion channel, and in the case of ibogaine, to probably maintain the AChR in the desensitized state for longer time. PMID:20684041

  11. Transient Cholesterol Effects on Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Cell-Surface Mobility

    PubMed Central

    Almarza, Gonzalo; Sánchez, Francisco; Barrantes, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    To what extent do cholesterol-rich lipid platforms modulate the supramolecular organization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR)? To address this question, the dynamics of AChR particles at high density and its cholesterol dependence at the surface of mammalian cells were studied by combining total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and single-particle tracking. AChR particles tagged with a monovalent ligand, fluorescent α-bungarotoxin (αBTX), exhibited two mobile pools: i) a highly mobile one undergoing simple Brownian motion (16%) and ii) one with restricted motion (∼50%), the rest being relatively immobile (∼44%). Depletion of membrane cholesterol by methyl-α-cyclodextrin increased the fraction of the first pool to 22% and 33% after 15 and 40 min, respectively; the pool undergoing restricted motion diminished from 50% to 44% and 37%, respectively. Monoclonal antibody binding results in AChR crosslinking-internalization after 2 h; here, antibody binding immobilized within minutes ∼20% of the totally mobile AChR. This proportion dramatically increased upon cholesterol depletion, especially during the initial 10 min (83.3%). Thus, antibody crosslinking and cholesterol depletion exhibited a mutually synergistic effect, increasing the average lifetime of cell-surface AChRs∼10 s to ∼20 s. The instantaneous (microscopic) diffusion coefficient D2–4 of the AChR obtained from the MSD analysis diminished from ∼0.001 µm2 s−1 to ∼0.0001–0.00033 µm2 s−1 upon cholesterol depletion, ∼30% of all particles falling into the stationary mode. Thus, muscle-type AChR exhibits heterogeneous motional regimes at the cell surface, modulated by the combination of intrinsic (its supramolecular organization) and extrinsic (membrane cholesterol content) factors. PMID:24971757

  12. Molecular cloning and characterization of two nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β subunit genes from Apis cerana cerana.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaoli; Wang, Mian; Kang, Mingjiang; Liu, Li; Guo, Xingqi; Xu, Baohua

    2011-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission in the insect nervous system and are important targets for insecticides. In this study, we identified and characterized two novel β subunit genes (Accβ1 and Accβ2) from Apis cerana cerana. Homology analysis indicated that Accβ1 and Accβ2 possess characteristics that are typical of nAChR subunits although Accβ2 was distinct from Accβ1 and the other nAChR subunits, due to its unusual transmembrane structure and uncommon exon-intron boundary within the genomic region encoding the TM1 transmembrane domain. Analysis of the 5' flanking regions indicated that Accβ1 and Accβ2 possess different regulatory elements, suggesting that the genes might exhibit various expression and regulatory patterns. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that Accβ2 was expressed at a much higher level than Accβ1 in the tissues of adult bees. During development, Accβ1 was highly expressed at the pupal stages, whereas Accβ2 was abundantly expressed at the larval stages. Furthermore, Accβ1 and Accβ2 were both induced by exposure to various insecticides and environmental stresses although Accβ2 was more responsive than Accβ1. These results indicate that Accβ1 and Accβ2 may have distinct roles in insect growth and development and that they may belong to separate regulatory pathways involved in the response to insecticides and environmental stresses. This report is the first description of the differences between the nAChR β subunit genes in the Chinese honey bee and establishes an initial foundation for further study. PMID:21618599

  13. Glycosylation sites selectively interfere with alpha-toxin binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Kreienkamp, H J; Sine, S M; Maeda, R K; Taylor, P

    1994-03-18

    Sequence analysis reveals unique features in the alpha-subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the alpha-toxin-resistant cobra and mongoose. Included are N-linked glycosylation signals just amino-terminal to the Tyr190, Cys192-Cys193 region of the ligand binding domain, substitution of Trp187 and Phe189 by non-aromatic residues and alteration of the proline sequence Pro194-X-X-Pro197. Glycosylation signals were inserted into the toxin-sensitive mouse alpha-subunit by the mutations F189N and W187N/F189T. The F189N alpha-subunit, when transfected with beta, gamma and delta, showed a 140-fold loss of alpha-bungarotoxin affinity, whereas the W187N/F189T double mutation exhibited a divergence in alpha-toxin affinities at the two sites, one class showing a 600-fold and the other showing an 11-fold reduction. The W187N mutant and the double mutant F189N/S191A lacking the requisite glycosylation signals exhibited little alteration in affinity, as did the P194L and P197H mutations. The glycosylation sites had little or no influence on binding of toxins of intermediate (alpha-conotoxin, 1500 Da) or small mass (lophotoxin, 500 Da) and of the agonist, carbamylcholine. The two sites for the binding of alpha-conotoxin M1 have widely divergent dissociation constants of 2.1 and 14,800 nM. Expression of alpha/gamma- and alpha/delta-subunit pairs indicated that the high and low affinity sites are formed by the alpha/delta and alpha/gamma contacts, respectively. PMID:7907588

  14. Gastrointestinal hypomotility with loss of enteric nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: active immunization model in mice

    PubMed Central

    Meeusen, Jeffrey W.; Haselkorn, Keegan E.; Fryer, James P.; Kryzer, Thomas J.; Gibbons, Simon J.; Xiao, Yingxian; Lennon, Vanda A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Autoimmune gastrointestinal dysmotility (AGID) is a limited form of dysautonomia. The only proven effector to date is IgG specific for ganglionic nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors containing α3 subunits (α3*-nAChR). Rabbits immunized with recombinant α3-polypeptide produce α3*-nAChR autoantibodies, and profound AGID ensues. Human and rabbit α3*-nAChR-specific-IgGs induce transient hypomotility when injected into mice. Here we describe success and problems encountered inducing gastrointestinal hypomotility in mice by active immunization. Methods We repeatedly injected young adult mice of seven different strains susceptible to autoimmunity (spontaneous diabetes or neural antigen immunization-induced myasthenia gravis or encephalomyelitis) with: i) α3-polypeptide, intradermally, or ii) live α3*-nAChR-expressing xenogeneic cells, intraperitoneally. We measured serum α3*-nAChR-IgG twice monthly, and terminally assessed blue dye gastrointestinal transit, total small intestinal α3*-nAChR content (radiochemically) and myenteric plexus neuron numbers (immunohistochemically, ileal-jejunal whole-mount preparations). Key Results Standard cutaneous inoculation with α3-polypeptide was minimally immunogenic, regardless of dose. Intraperitoneally-injected live cells were potently immunogenic. Self-reactive α3*-nAChR-IgG was induced only by rodent immunogen; small intestinal transit slowing and enteric α3*-nAChR loss required high serum levels. Ganglionic neurons were not lost. Conclusions & Inferences AGID is inducible in mice by active immunization. Accompanying enteric α3*-nAChR reduction without neuronal death is consistent with an IgG-mediated rather than T cell-mediated pathogenesis, as is improvement of symptoms in patients receiving antibody-depleting therapies. PMID:23072523

  15. The binding site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in animal species resistant to alpha-bungarotoxin.

    PubMed

    Barchan, D; Ovadia, M; Kochva, E; Fuchs, S

    1995-07-18

    The ligand binding site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is located in the alpha-subunit, within a small fragment containing the tandem cysteines at positions 192 and 193. We have been analyzing the binding site domain of AChRs from several animal species exhibiting various degrees of resistance to alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTX). Our earlier work on the snake and mongoose AChR, both of which do not bind alpha-BTX, suggested that amino acid substitutions at positions 187, 189, and 194 of the AChR alpha-subunit are important in determining the resistance of these AChRs to alpha-BTX. In the present study, we have examined the correlation between alpha-BTX binding and the structure of the binding site domain of AChR from the hedgehog, shrew, cat, and human. Fragments of the AChR alpha-subunit corresponding to residues 122-205 from these species were cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The hedgehog fragment does not bind alpha-BTX, in common with the snake and mongoose AChR, and the human fragment is a partial binder. The shrew and cat fragments bind alpha-BTX to a similar extent as the mouse fragment. The hedgehog and human AChRs have nonaromatic amino acid residues at positions 187 and 189 of the alpha-subunit, as is seen with the "toxin resistant" snake and mongoose, and in contrast with the "toxin binders", which have aromatic residues at these two positions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7619817

  16. The Minimal Pharmacophore for Silent Agonism of the α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Chojnacka, Kinga; Horenstein, Nicole A.

    2014-01-01

    The minimum pharmacophore for activation of the human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is the tetramethylammonium cation. Previous work demonstrated that larger quaternary ammonium compounds, such as diethyldimethylammonium or 1-methyl quinuclidine, were α7-selective partial agonists, but additional increase in the size of the ammonium cation or the quinuclidine N-alkyl group by a single carbon to an N-ethyl group led to a loss of efficacy for ion channel activation. We report that although such compounds are ineffective at inducing the normal channel open state, they nonetheless regulate the induction of specific conformational states normally considered downstream of channel activation. We synthesized several panels of quaternary ammonium nAChR ligands that systematically varied the size of the substituents bonded to the central positively charged nitrogen atom. In these molecular series, we found a correlation between the molecular volume of the ligand and/or charge density, and the receptor’s preferred distribution among conformational states including the closed state, the active state, a nonconducting state that could be converted to an activated state by a positive allosteric modulator (PAM), and a PAM-insensitive nonconducting state. We hypothesize that the changes of molecular volume of an agonist’s cationic core subtly impact interactions at the subunit interface constituting the orthosteric binding site in such a way as to regulate the probability of conversions among the conformational states. We define a new minimal pharmacophore for the class of compounds we have termed “silent agonists,” which are able to induce allosteric modulator-dependent activation but not the normal activated state. PMID:24990939

  17. Central loop of non-conventional toxin WTX from Naja kaouthia is important for interaction with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Shulepko, Mikhail A; Shenkarev, Zakhar O; Kasheverov, Igor E; Chugunov, Anton O; Kulbatskii, Dmitrii S; Myshkin, Mikhail Yu; Utkin, Yuri N; Efremov, Roman G; Tsetlin, Victor I; Arseniev, Alexander S; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P; Dolgikh, Dmitry A

    2016-09-01

    'Three-finger' toxin WTX from Naja kaouthia interacts with nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and mAChRs). Mutagenesis and competition experiments with (125)I-α-bungarotoxin revealed that Arg31 and Arg32 residues from the WTX loop II are important for binding to Torpedo californica and human α7 nAChRs. Computer modeling suggested that loop II occupies the orthosteric binding site at α7 nAChR. The similar toxin interface was previously described as a major determinant of allosteric interactions with mAChRs. PMID:27343701

  18. Mydriasis in association with MMIHS in a female infant: evidence for involvement of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, M; Murphy, M S; Ainsworth, J R; Arul, G S

    2007-07-01

    We report a case of megacystis-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome (MMIHS), occurring in association with mydriasis, in a female infant born to consanguineous Asian parents. This association has not previously been reported and is of interest because mydriasis has been found in a murine MMIHS model produced by knockout of the genes coding for the alpha3 subunit or the beta2 and beta4 subunits of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. This may provide an important clue to the genetic basis of MMIHS in humans. PMID:17618899

  19. Non-competitive Inhibition of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors by Ladybird Beetle Alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Leong, Ron L; Xing, Hong; Braekman, Jean-Claude; Kem, William R

    2015-10-01

    Ladybird beetles (Family Coccinellidae) secrete an alkaloid rich venom from their leg joints that protects them from predators. Coccinellines, the major venom constituents, are alkaloids composed of three fused piperidine rings that share a common nitrogen atom. Although many coccinellines have been isolated and chemically characterized, their pharmacological properties are essentially unknown. Using radioligand binding and functional assays we investigated the actions of several coccinellines on skeletal muscle and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The alkaloids were shown to displace the specific binding of tritiated piperidyl-N-(1-(2-thienyl)cyclohexyl)-3,4-piperidine ([(3)H]-TCP), which has been shown to bind deep within the ion channel of the electric fish (Torpedo) muscle nAChR. The stereoisomers precoccinelline and hippodamine (whose nitrogens are predicted to be ionized at physiological pH) and their respective analogs N-methyl-precoccinelline and N-methyl-hippodamine (whose quaternary nitrogens are permanently charged) displayed similar IC50s for inhibition of [(3)H]-TCP binding. However, the corresponding precoccinelline and hippodamine N-oxides, coccinelline and convergine (which have an electronegative oxygen bonded to an electropositive nitrogen) displayed significantly higher binding IC50s. Finally, exochomine, a dimeric coccinelline containing the hippodamine structure, displayed the highest IC50 (lowest affinity) for displacing specific [(3)H]-TCP binding. The presence of a desensitizing concentration (10(-3) M) of carbachol (CCh) had little or no effect on the affinity of the Torpedo nAChR for the three coccinellines tested. High concentrations of the coccinellid alkaloids did not affect binding of [(3)H]-cytisine to Torpedo receptor ACh binding sites. Inhibition of the alpha7 nAChR with pre-equilibrated precoccinelline was insurmountable with respect to ACh concentration. We conclude that the coccinellines bind to one or more

  20. Activation and Desensitization of Peripheral Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors by Selected, Naturally-Occurring Pyridine Alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Green, Benedict T; Lee, Stephen T; Welch, Kevin D; Cook, Daniel; Kem, William R

    2016-01-01

    Teratogenic alkaloids can cause developmental defects due to the inhibition of fetal movement that results from desensitization of fetal muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We investigated the ability of two known teratogens, the piperidinyl-pyridine anabasine and its 1,2-dehydropiperidinyl analog anabaseine, to activate and desensitize peripheral nAChRs expressed in TE-671 and SH-SY5Y cells. Activation-concentration response curves for each alkaloid were obtained in the same multi-well plate. To measure rapid desensitization, cells were first exposed to five potentially-desensitizing concentrations of each alkaloid in log10 molar increments from 10 nM to 100 µM and then to a fixed concentration of acetylcholine (ACh), which alone produces near-maximal activation. The fifty percent desensitization concentration (DC50) was calculated from the alkaloid concentration-ACh response curve. Agonist fast desensitization potency was predicted by the agonist potency measured in the initial response. Anabaseine was a more potent desensitizer than anabasine. Relative to anabaseine, nicotine was more potent to autonomic nAChRs, but less potent to the fetal neuromuscular nAChRs. Our experiments have demonstrated that anabaseine is more effective at desensitizing fetal muscle-type nAChRs than anabasine or nicotine and, thus, it is predicted to be more teratogenic. PMID:27384586

  1. Activation and Desensitization of Peripheral Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors by Selected, Naturally-Occurring Pyridine Alkaloids

    PubMed Central

    Green, Benedict T.; Lee, Stephen T.; Welch, Kevin D.; Cook, Daniel; Kem, William R.

    2016-01-01

    Teratogenic alkaloids can cause developmental defects due to the inhibition of fetal movement that results from desensitization of fetal muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We investigated the ability of two known teratogens, the piperidinyl-pyridine anabasine and its 1,2-dehydropiperidinyl analog anabaseine, to activate and desensitize peripheral nAChRs expressed in TE-671 and SH-SY5Y cells. Activation-concentration response curves for each alkaloid were obtained in the same multi-well plate. To measure rapid desensitization, cells were first exposed to five potentially-desensitizing concentrations of each alkaloid in log10 molar increments from 10 nM to 100 µM and then to a fixed concentration of acetylcholine (ACh), which alone produces near-maximal activation. The fifty percent desensitization concentration (DC50) was calculated from the alkaloid concentration-ACh response curve. Agonist fast desensitization potency was predicted by the agonist potency measured in the initial response. Anabaseine was a more potent desensitizer than anabasine. Relative to anabaseine, nicotine was more potent to autonomic nAChRs, but less potent to the fetal neuromuscular nAChRs. Our experiments have demonstrated that anabaseine is more effective at desensitizing fetal muscle-type nAChRs than anabasine or nicotine and, thus, it is predicted to be more teratogenic. PMID:27384586

  2. NeuroD1 mediates nicotine-induced migration and invasion via regulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in a subset of neural and neuroendocrine carcinomas

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, Jihan K.; Guerra, Marcy L.; Gonzales, Joshua X.; McMillan, Elizabeth A.; Minna, John D.; Cobb, Melanie H.

    2014-01-01

    Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for acquisition of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). A role has been demonstrated for the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD1 in the pathogenesis of neural and neuroendocrine lung cancer, including SCLC. In the present study we investigate the possible function of NeuroD1 in established tumors, as well as actions early on in pathogenesis, in response to nicotine. We demonstrate that nicotine up-regulates NeuroD1 in immortalized normal bronchial epithelial cells and a subset of undifferentiated carcinomas. Increased expression of NeuroD1 subsequently leads to regulation of expression and function of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit cluster of α3, α5, and β4. In addition, we find that coordinated expression of these subunits by NeuroD1 leads to enhanced nicotine-induced migration and invasion, likely through changes in intracellular calcium. These findings suggest that aspects of the pathogenesis of neural and neuroendocrine lung cancers may be affected by a nicotine- and NeuroD1-induced positive feedback loop. PMID:24719457

  3. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists: pharmacophores, evolutionary QSAR and 3D-QSAR models.

    PubMed

    Nicolotti, Orazio; Altomare, Cosimo; Pellegrini-Calace, Marialuisa; Carotti, Angelo

    2004-01-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine ion channel receptors (nAChRs) exist as several subtypes and are involved in a variety of functions and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The lack of reliable information on the 3D structure of nAChRs prompted us to focus efforts on pharmacophore and structure-affinity relationships (SAFIRs). The use of DISCO (DIStance COmparison) and Catalyst/HipHop led to the formulation of a pharmacophore that is made of three geometrically unrelated features: (i) an ammonium head involved in coulombic and/or H-bond interactions, (ii) a lone pair of a pyridine nitrogen or a carbonyl oxygen, as H-bond acceptor site, and (iii) a hydrophobic molecular region generally constituted by aliphatic cycles. The quantitative SAFIR (QSAFIR) study was carried out on about three hundred nicotinoid agonists, and coherent results were obtained from classical Hansch-type approach, 3D QSAFIRs, based on Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA), and trade-off models generated by Multi-objective Genetic QSAR (MoQSAR), a novel evolutionary software that makes use of Genetic Programming (GP) and multi-objective optimization (MO). Within each congeneric series, Hansch-type equations revealed detrimental steric effects as the major factors modulating the receptor affinity, whereas CoMFA allowed us to merge progressively single-class models in a more global one, whose robustness was supported by crossvalidation, high prediction statistics and satisfactory predictions of the affinity data of a true external ligand set (r(2)(pred) = 0.796). Next, MoQSAR was used to analyze a data set of 58 highly active nicotinoids characterized by 56 descriptors, that are log P, MR and 54 low inter-correlated WHIM (Weighted Holistic Invariant Molecular) indices. Equivalent QSAFIR models, that represent different compromises between structural model complexity, fitting and internal model complexity, were found. Our attention was

  4. The immunomodulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in Zhikong scallop Chlamys farreri.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiaowei; Zhou, Zhi; Wang, Lingling; Wang, Mengqiang; Shi, Shaoying; Wang, Zhen; Song, Linsheng

    2015-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), the best-studied ionotropic neuron receptor protein, is a key player in neuronal communication, and it has been reported to play an important role in immunomodulation of vertebrates. Although nAChRs have also been identified in most invertebrates, the knowledge about their immunomodulation is still limited. In the present study, two scallop nAChR genes were identified from Chlamys farreri (designed as CfnAChR1 and CfnAChR2), which encoded 384 and 443 amino acids, respectively. The conserved disulfide-linked cystines, ion selectivity residues and the hydrophobic gating residues (L251, V255 and V259) were identified in CfnAChR1 and CfnAChR2. The immunoreactivities of CfnAChR1 and CfnAChR2 were observed in all the tested scallop tissues, including adductor muscle, mantle, gill, hepatopancreas, kidney and gonad. After LPS (0.5 mg mL(-1)) stimulation, the expression of CfnAChR1 mRNA in haemocytes increased significantly by 9.83-fold (P < 0.05) and 12.93-fold (P < 0.05) at 3 h and 24 h, respectively. While the expression level of CfnAChR2 mRNA increased 43.94% at 12 h after LPS stimulation (P < 0.05). After TNF-α (50 ng mL(-1)) stimulation, the expression levels of CfnAChR1 and CfnAChR2 both increased significantly at 1 h, which were 21.33-fold (P < 0.05) and 2.44-fold (P < 0.05) of that in the PBS group, respectively. The results collectively indicated that the cholinergic nervous system in scallops could be activated by immune stimulations through CfnAChR1 and CfnAChR2, which function as the links between the cholinergic nervous system and immune system. PMID:26455648

  5. Structural and functional changes induced in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by membrane phospholipids.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Carvajal, Asia M; Encinar, José A; Poveda, José Antonio; de Juan, Entilio; Martínez-Pinna, Juan; Ivorra, Isabel; Ferragut, José Antonio; Morales, Andrés; González-Ros, José Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Ligand-gated ion channels (LGICs) constitute an important family of complex membrane proteins acting as receptors for neurotransmitters (Barnard, 1992; Ortells and Lunt, 1995). The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo is the most extensively studied member of the LGIC family and consists of a pentameric transmembrane glycoprotein composed of four different polypeptide subunits (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) in a 2:1:1:1 stoichiometry (Galzi and Changeux, 1995; Hucho et al., 1996) that are arranged pseudosymmetrically around a central cation-selective ion channel. Conformational transitions, from the closed (nonconducting), to agonist-induced open (ion-conducting), to desensitized (nonconducting) states, are critical for functioning of the nAChR (Karlin, 2002). The ability of the nAChR to undergo these transitions is profoundly influenced by the lipid composition of the bilayer (Barrantes, 2004). Despite existing information on lipid dependence of AChR function, no satisfactory explanation has been given on the molecular events by which specific lipids exert such effects on the activity of an integral membrane protein. To date, several hypotheses have been entertained, including (1) indirect effects of lipids through the alteration of properties of the bilayer, such as fluidity (an optimal fluidity hypothesis [Fong and McNamee, 1986]) or membrane curvature and lateral pressure (Cantor, 1997; de Kruijff, 1997), or (2) direct effects through binding of lipids to defined sites on the transmembrane portion of the protein (Jones and McNamee, 1988; Blanton and Wang, 1990; Fernández et al., 1993; Fernández-Ballester et al., 1994), which has led to the postulation of a possible role of certain lipids as peculiar allosteric ligands of the protein. In this paper we have reconstituted purified AChRs from Torpedo into complex multicomponent lipid vesicles in which the phospholipid composition has been systematically altered. Stopped-flow rapid kinetics of

  6. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor induces lateral segregation of phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylcholine in reconstituted membranes.

    PubMed

    Wenz, Jorge J; Barrantes, Francisco J

    2005-01-11

    Purified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) protein was reconstituted into synthetic lipid membranes having known effects on receptor function in the presence and absence of cholesterol (Chol). The phase behavior of a lipid system (DPPC/DOPC) possessing a known lipid phase profile and favoring nonfunctional, desensitized AChR was compared with that of a lipid system (POPA/POPC) containing the anionic phospholipid phosphatidic acid (PA), which stabilizes the functional resting form of the AChR. Fluorescence quenching of diphenylhexatriene (DPH) extrinsic fluorescence and AChR intrinsic fluorescence by a nitroxide spin-labeled phospholipid showed that the AChR diminishes the degree of DPH quenching and promotes DPPC lateral segregation into an ordered lipid domain, an effect that was potentiated by Chol. Fluorescence anisotropy of the probe DPH increased in the presence of AChR or Chol and also made apparent shifts to higher values in the transition temperature of the lipid system in the presence of Chol and/or AChR. The values were highest when both Chol and AChR were present, further reinforcing the view that their effect on lipid segregation is additive. These results can be accounted for by the increase in the size of quencher-free, ordered lipid domains induced by AChR and/or Chol. Pyrene phosphatidylcholine (PyPC) excimer (E) formation was strongly reduced owing to the restricted diffusion of the probe induced by the AChR protein. The analysis of Forster energy transfer (FRET) from the protein to DPH further indicates that AChR partitions preferentially into these ordered lipid microdomains, enriched in saturated lipid (DPPC or POPA), which segregate from liquid phase-enriched DOPC or POPC domains. Taken together, the results suggest that the AChR organizes its immediate microenvironment in the form of microdomains with higher lateral packing density and rigidity. The relative size of such microdomains depends not only on the phospholipid polar headgroup

  7. The novel small molecule α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist ZZ-204G is analgesic

    PubMed Central

    Holtman, Joseph R.; Dwoskin, Linda P.; Dowell, Cheryl; Wala, Elzbieta P.; Zhang, Zhenfa; Crooks, Peter A.; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2011-01-01

    Chronic pain is inadequately managed with currently available classes of analgesic drugs. Recently, peptide antagonists of the α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor were shown to be analgesic. The present study was conducted to characterize a novel small molecule, non-peptide antagonist at nicotinic receptors. The tetrakis-quaternary ammonium compound ZZ-204G was evaluated for functional activity on cloned nicotinic receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. In-vivo efficacy was assessed in rat models of tonic inflammatory pain (formalin test), neuropathic pain (chronic constriction nerve injury), and thermal nociception (tail flick test). ZZ-204G was an antagonist at nicotinic receptors inhibiting the α9α10 subtype with an IC50 of 0.51 (0.35–0.72) nM. Antagonist activity at other nicotinic subtypes (α1β1δε, α2β2, α2β4, α3β2, α3β4, α4β2, α4β4, α6/α3β2β3, α6/α3β4 and α7) was 10–1000-fold lower than at the α9α10 subtype. In competition binding assays, the ki of ZZ-204G at γ-aminobutyric acid(A), serotonin(3), γ-aminobutyric acid(B), κ- and μ-opioid receptors was 1000- to >10,000- fold lower than at α9α10 nicotinic receptors. Parenteral administration of ZZ-204G dose-dependently decreased nociceptive behaviors (paw flinches) in the formalin test and mechanical hyperalgesia in the chronic constriction nerve injury model of neuropathic pain. ZZ-204G was not antinociceptive in the tail flick assay. Results from the rotarod assay indicated that lower doses of ZZ-204G that were analgesic did not alter motor function. In summary, ZZ-204G represents a prototype small molecule antagonist for α9α10 nicotinic receptors and provides a novel molecular scaffold for analgesic agents with the potential to treat chronic inflammatory or neuropathic pain. PMID:21944926

  8. Nicotine enhances invasion and metastasis of human colorectal cancer cells through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor downstream p38 MAPK signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Tao; Fei, Rushan; Wang, Zhe; Shen, Zhonglei; Qian, Jing; Chen, Wenbin

    2016-01-01

    Nicotine as a cigarette component is an established risk factor for colorectal cancer tumorigenesis. The downstream signaling pathways of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAchRs) are believed to be responsible for the cellular effects. In the present study, we evaluated the effects and novel mechanisms for nicotine on the capacity for colorectal cancer cell invasion and metastasis. LOVO and SW620 colorectal cancer cells were stimulated with nicotine in vitro. A Transwell chamber model was applied to detect the capacity for tumor cell invasion. Assays for gelatin zymography and western blotting were applied to detect the activity and expression of metastasis-related matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), respectively. Signal transduction was assessed by immunoblotting for the phosphorylation of relevant signal molecules and the application of pharmaceutical inhibitors. We showed that nicotine increased LOVO and SW620 colorectal cancer cell invasion along with enhanced activity and expression of MMP-1, -2 and -9. Nicotine increased phosphorylation of p38, ERK, Akt and PI3K p85 but had no effect on phosphorylation of JNK, or NF-κB. Of the pharmaceutical inhibitors of U0126 (ERK1/2 inhibitor), LY294002 (Akt activation inhibitor), SB239063 (p38 MAPK activation inhibitor) and hexamethonium (Hex) (nAchRs inhibitor), the cellular and molecular effects were reduced by the applications of SB239063 and Hex. We concluded that nicotine stimulates the invasion and metastasis of colon cancer cells in vitro via activation of the nAchRs and the p38 MAPK downstream signaling pathway. Therefore, p38 MAPK may have potential as a therapeutic target for smoking-related human colorectal cancer metastasis. PMID:26530054

  9. The Conserved RIC-3 Coiled-Coil Domain Mediates Receptor-specific Interactions with Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Biala, Yoav; Liewald, Jana F.; Ben-Ami, Hagit Cohen; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    RIC-3 belongs to a conserved family of proteins influencing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) maturation. RIC-3 proteins are integral membrane proteins residing in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and containing a C-terminal coiled-coil domain (CC-I). Conservation of CC-I in all RIC-3 family members indicates its importance; however, previous studies could not show its function. To examine the role of CC-I, we studied effects of its deletion on Caenorhabditis elegans nAChRs in vivo. Presence of CC-I promoted maturation of particular nAChRs expressed in body-wall muscle, whereas it was not required for other nAChR subtypes expressed in neurons or pharyngeal muscles. This effect is receptor-specific, because it could be reproduced after heterologous expression. Consistently, coimmunoprecipitation analysis showed that CC-I enhances the interaction of RIC-3 with a nAChR that requires CC-I in vivo; thus CC-I appears to enhance affinity of RIC-3 to specific nAChRs. However, we found that this function of CC-I is redundant with functions of sequences downstream to CC-I, potentially a second coiled-coil. Alternative splicing in both vertebrates and invertebrates generates RIC-3 transcripts that lack the entire C-terminus, or only CC-I. Thus, our results suggest that RIC-3 alternative splicing enables subtype specific regulation of nAChR maturation. PMID:19116311

  10. The role of the M4 lipid-sensor in the folding, trafficking, and allosteric modulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Hénault, Camille M; Sun, Jiayin; Therien, J P Daniel; daCosta, Corrie J B; Carswell, Casey L; Labriola, Jonathan M; Juranka, Peter F; Baenziger, John E

    2015-09-01

    With the availability of high resolution structural data, increasing attention has focused on the mechanisms by which drugs and endogenous compounds allosterically modulate nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function. Lipids are potent modulators of the nAChR from Torpedo. Membrane lipids influence nAChR function by both conformational selection and kinetic mechanisms, stabilizing varying proportions of pre-existing resting, open, desensitized, and uncoupled conformations, as well as influencing the transitions between these conformational states. Structural and functional data highlight a role for the lipid-exposed M4 transmembrane α-helix of each subunit in lipid sensing, and suggest that lipids influence gating by altering the binding of M4 to the adjacent transmembrane α-helices, M1 and M3. M4 has also been implicated in both the folding and trafficking of nAChRs to the cell surface, as well as in the potentiation of nAChR gating by neurosteroids. Here, we discuss the roles of M4 in the folding, trafficking, and allosteric modulation of nAChRs. We also consider the hypothesis that variable chemistry at the M4-M1/M3 transmembrane α-helical interface in different nAChR subunits governs the capacity for potentiation by activating lipids. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25433148

  11. Contributions from Caenorhabditis elegans functional genetics to antiparasitic drug target identification and validation: nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, a case study.

    PubMed

    Brown, L A; Jones, A K; Buckingham, S D; Mee, C J; Sattelle, D B

    2006-05-31

    Following the complete sequencing of the genome of the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, in 1998, rapid advances have been made in assigning functions to many genes. Forward and reverse genetics have been used to identify novel components of synaptic transmission as well as determine the key components of antiparasitic drug targets. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are prototypical ligand-gated ion channels. The functions of these transmembrane proteins and the roles of the different members of their extensive subunit families are increasingly well characterised. The simple nervous system of C. elegans possesses one of the largest nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene families known for any organism and a combination of genetic, microarray, physiological and reporter gene expression studies have added greatly to our understanding of the components of nematode muscle and neuronal nAChR subtypes. Chemistry-to-gene screens have identified five subunits that are components of nAChRs sensitive to the antiparasitic drug, levamisole. A novel, validated target acting downstream of the levamisole-sensitive nAChR has also been identified in such screens. Physiology and molecular biology studies on nAChRs of parasitic nematodes have also identified levamisole-sensitive and insensitive subtypes and further subdivisions are under investigation. PMID:16620825

  12. Heterologous expression and nonsense suppression provide insights into agonist behavior at α6β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Post, Michael R; Limapichat, Walrati; Lester, Henry A; Dougherty, Dennis A

    2015-10-01

    The α6-containing subtypes of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) are localized to presynaptic terminals of the dopaminergic pathways of the central nervous system. Selective ligands for these nAChRs are potentially useful in both Parkinson's disease and addiction. For these and other goals, it is important to distinguish the binding behavior of agonists at the α6-β2 binding site versus other subtypes. To study this problem, we apply nonsense suppression-based non-canonical amino acid mutagenesis. We report a combination of four mutations in α6β2 that yield high-level heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. By varying mRNA injection ratios, two populations were observed with unique characteristics, likely due to differing stoichiometries. Responses to nine known nAChR agonists were analyzed at the receptor, and their corresponding EC50 values and efficacies are reported. The system is compatible with nonsense suppression, allowing structure-function studies between Trp149 - a conserved residue on loop B found to make a cation-π interaction at several nAChR subtypes - and several agonists. These studies reveal that acetylcholine forms a strong cation-π interaction with the conserved tryptophan, while nicotine and TC299423 do not, suggesting a unique pharmacology for the α6β2 nAChR. PMID:25908401

  13. The α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mediates the sensitivity of gastric cancer cells to taxanes.

    PubMed

    Tu, Chao-Chiang; Huang, Chien-Yu; Cheng, Wan-Li; Hung, Chin-Sheng; Uyanga, Batzorig; Wei, Po-Li; Chang, Yu-Jia

    2016-04-01

    Gastric cancer is difficult to cure because most patients are diagnosed at an advanced disease stage. Systemic chemotherapy remains an important therapy for gastric cancer, but both progression-free survival and disease-free survival associated with various combination regimens are limited because of refractoriness and chemoresistance. Accumulating evidence has revealed that the homomeric α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (A7-nAChR) promotes human gastric cancer by driving cancer cell proliferation, migration, and metastasis. Therefore, A7-nAChR may serve as a potential therapeutic target for gastric cancer. However, the role of A7-nAChR in taxane therapy for gastric cancer was unclear. Cells were subjected to A7-nAChR knockdown (A7-nAChR KD) using short interfering RNA (siRNA). The anti-proliferative effects of taxane were assessed via 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling (TUNEL), and cell cycle distribution assays. A7-nAChR-KD cells exhibited low resistance to docetaxel and paclitaxel treatment, as measured by the MTT assay. Following paclitaxel treatment, the proportion of apoptotic cells was higher among A7-nAChR-KD cells than among scrambled control cells, as measured by cell cycle distribution and TUNEL assays. Further molecular analyses showed a reduction in the pAKT levels and a dramatic increase in the Bad levels in paclitaxel-treated A7-nAChR-KD cells but not in scrambled control cells. Following paclitaxel treatment, the level of Bax was slightly increased in both cell populations, whereas Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage was increased only in A7-nAChR-KD cells. These findings indicate that A7-nAChR-KD cells are more sensitive to paclitaxel treatment. We conclude that A7-nAChR may be a key biomarker for assessing the chemosensitivity of gastric cancer cells to taxane. PMID:26499946

  14. Heterogeneous Inhibition in Macroscopic Current Responses of Four Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subtypes by Cholesterol Enrichment.

    PubMed

    Báez-Pagán, Carlos A; Del Hoyo-Rivera, Natalie; Quesada, Orestes; Otero-Cruz, José David; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2016-08-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), located in the cell membranes of neurons and muscle cells, mediates the transmission of nerve impulses across cholinergic synapses. In addition, the nAChR is also found in the electric organs of electric rays (e.g., the genus Torpedo). Cholesterol, which is a key lipid for maintaining the correct functionality of membrane proteins, has been found to alter the nAChR function. We were thus interested to probe the changes in the functionality of different nAChRs expressed in a model membrane with modified cholesterol to phospholipid ratios (C/P). In this study, we examined the effect of increasing the C/P ratio in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the neuronal α7, α4β2, muscle-type, and Torpedo californica nAChRs in their macroscopic current responses. Using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique, it was found that the neuronal α7 and Torpedo nAChRs are significantly more sensitive to small increases in C/P than the muscle-type nAChR. The peak current versus C/P profiles during enrichment display different behaviors; α7 and Torpedo nAChRs display a hyperbolic decay with two clear components, whereas muscle-type and α4β2 nAChRs display simple monophasic decays with different slopes. This study clearly illustrates that a physiologically relevant increase in membrane cholesterol concentration produces a remarkable reduction in the macroscopic current responses of the neuronal α7 and Torpedo nAChRs functionality, whereas the muscle nAChR appears to be the most resistant to cholesterol inhibition among all four nAChR subtypes. Overall, the present study demonstrates differential profiles for cholesterol inhibition among the different types of nAChR to physiological cholesterol increments in the plasmatic membrane. This is the first study to report a cross-correlation analysis of cholesterol sensitivity among different nAChR subtypes in a model membrane. PMID:27116687

  15. Activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors protects astrocytes against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis: implications for Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Zeng, Xiaoning; Hui, Yujian; Zhu, Chenlei; Wu, Jie; Taylor, Devin H; Ji, Juan; Fan, Weimin; Huang, Zuhu; Hu, Jun

    2015-04-01

    Astrocytes have been implicated in the immune responses associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). Inhibition of astrocyte apoptosis is a novel strategy for the treatment of PD. Recent studies suggest that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) expressed in glial cells are critical links between inflammation and neurodegeneration in PD. However, little is known about their contribution to astrocyte apoptosis during the development of this disorder. In the present study, we showed that nicotine exerts a protective effect on H2O2-induced astrocyte apoptosis and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) downregulation, and this effect was abolished by an α7-nAChR-selective antagonist. The underlying mechanisms might involve alleviation of mitochondrial membrane potential loss, stabilization of the Bax/Bcl-2 balance, and inhibition of cleaved caspase-9 activity through α7-nAChR activation. Systemic administration of nicotine dramatically alleviated MPTP-induced symptoms, protected dopaminergic neurons against degeneration, inhibited astrocytes and microglia activation in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and blocked the decrease of GDNF in the striatum by activating α7-nAChRs. Taken together these findings demonstrate, for the first time, that nicotine suppresses H2O2-induced astrocyte apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway through the stimulation of α7-nAChRs. Targeting α7-nAChRs expressed in astrocytes may be a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25486621

  16. Agonist and antagonist effects of tobacco-related nitrosamines on human α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Brusco, Simone; Ambrosi, Paola; Meneghini, Simone; Becchetti, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Regulation of the “neuronal” nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is implicated in both tobacco addiction and smoking-dependent tumor promotion. Some of these effects are caused by the tobacco-derived N-nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic compounds that avidly bind to nAChRs. However, the functional effects of these drugs on specific nAChR subtypes are largely unknown. By using patch-clamp methods, we tested 4-(methylnitrosamine)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) on human α4β2 nAChRs. These latter are widely distributed in the mammalian brain and are also frequently expressed outside the nervous system. NNK behaved as a partial agonist, with an apparent EC50 of 16.7 μM. At 100 μM, it activated 16% of the maximal current activated by nicotine. When NNK was co-applied with nicotine, it potentiated the currents elicited by nicotine concentrations ≤ 100 nM. At higher concentrations of nicotine, NNK always inhibited the α4β2 nAChR. In contrast, NNN was a pure inhibitor of this nAChR subtype, with IC50 of approximately 1 nM in the presence of 10 μM nicotine. The effects of both NNK and NNN were mainly competitive and largely independent of Vm. The different actions of NNN and NNK must be taken into account when interpreting their biological effects in vitro and in vivo. PMID:26441658

  17. Roles of Amino Acids and Subunits in Determining the Inhibition of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors by Competitive Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Dilger, James P.; Vidal, Ana Maria; Liu, Man; Mettewie, Claire; Suzuki, Takahiro; Pham, Anh; Demazumder, Deeptankar

    2008-01-01

    Background Binding sites for agonists and competitive antagonists (nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents) are located at the α–δ and α–ε subunit interfaces of adult nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Most information about the amino acids that participate in antagonist binding comes from binding studies with (+)-tubocurarine and metocurine. These bind selectively to the α–ε interface but are differentially sensitive to mutations. To test the generality of this observation, the authors measured current inhibition by five competitive antagonists on wild-type and mutant acetylcholine receptors. Methods HEK293 cells were transfected with wild-type or mutant (αY198F, εD59A, εD59N, εD173A, εD173N, δD180K) mouse muscle acetylcholine receptor complementary DNA. Outside-out patches were excised and perfused with acetylcho-line in the absence and presence of antagonist. Concentration–response curves were constructed to determine antagonist IC50. An antagonist-removal protocol was used to determine dissociation and association rates. Results Effects of mutations were antagonist specific. αY198F decreased the IC50 of (+)-tubocurarine 10-fold, increased the IC50 of vecuronium 5-fold, and had smaller effects on other antagonists. (+)-Tubocurarine was the most sensitive antagonist to εD173 mutations. εD59 mutations had large effects on metocurine and cisatracurium. δD180K decreased inhibition by pancuronium, vecuronium, and cisatracurium. Inhibition by these antagonists was increased for receptors containing two δ subunits but no ε subunit. Differences in IC50 arose from differences in both dissociation and association rates. Conclusion Competitive antagonists exhibited different patterns of sensitivity to mutations. Except for pancuronium, the antagonists were sensitive to mutations at the α–ε interface. Pancuronium, vecuronium, and cisatracurium were selective for the α–δ interface. This suggests the possibility of synergistic

  18. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors containing the α6 subunit contribute to ethanol activation of ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liwang; Zhao-Shea, Rubing; McIntosh, J. Michael; Tapper, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    Nicotine and alcohol are often co-abused suggesting a common mechanism of action may underlie their reinforcing properties. Both drugs acutely increase activity of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons, a phenomenon associated with reward behavior. Recent evidence indicates that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), ligand-gated cation channels activated by ACh and nicotine, may contribute to ethanol-mediated activation of VTA DAergic neurons although the nAChR subtype(s) involved has not been fully elucidated. Here we show that expression and activation of nAChRs containing the α6 subunit contribute to ethanol-induced activation of VTA DAergic neurons. In wild-type (WT) mouse midbrain sections that contain the VTA, ethanol (50 or 100 mM) significantly increased firing frequency of DAergic neurons. In contrast, ethanol did not significantly increase activity of VTA DAergic neurons in mice that do not express CHRNA6, the gene encoding the α6 nAChR subunit (α6 knock-out (KO) mice). Ethanol-induced activity in WT slices was also reduced by pre-application of the α6 subtype-selective nAChR antagonist, α-conotoxin MII[E11A]. When co-applied, ethanol potentiated the response to ACh in WT DAergic neurons; whereas co-application of ACh and ethanol failed to significantly increase activity of DAergic neurons in α6 KO slices. Finally, pre-application of α-conotoxin MII[E11A] in WT slices reduced ethanol potentiation of ACh responses. Together our data indicate that α6-subunit containing nAChRs may contribute to ethanol activation of VTA DAergic neurons. These receptors are predominantly expressed in DAergic neurons and known to be critical for nicotine reinforcement, providing a potential common therapeutic molecular target to reduce nicotine and alcohol co-abuse. PMID:23811312

  19. α6β2* and α4β2* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors As Drug Targets for Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wonnacott, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is a debilitating movement disorder characterized by a generalized dysfunction of the nervous system, with a particularly prominent decline in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. Although there is currently no cure, drugs targeting the dopaminergic system provide major symptomatic relief. As well, agents directed to other neurotransmitter systems are of therapeutic benefit. Such drugs may act by directly improving functional deficits in these other systems, or they may restore aberrant motor activity that arises as a result of a dopaminergic imbalance. Recent research attention has focused on a role for drugs targeting the nicotinic cholinergic systems. The rationale for such work stems from basic research findings that there is an extensive overlap in the organization and function of the nicotinic cholinergic and dopaminergic systems in the basal ganglia. In addition, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) drugs could have clinical potential for Parkinson's disease. Evidence for this proposition stems from studies with experimental animal models showing that nicotine protects against neurotoxin-induced nigrostriatal damage and improves motor complications associated with l-DOPA, the “gold standard” for Parkinson's disease treatment. Nicotine interacts with multiple central nervous system receptors to generate therapeutic responses but also produces side effects. It is important therefore to identify the nAChR subtypes most beneficial for treating Parkinson's disease. Here we review nAChRs with particular emphasis on the subtypes that contribute to basal ganglia function. Accumulating evidence suggests that drugs targeting α6β2* and α4β2* nAChR may prove useful in the management of Parkinson's disease. PMID:21969327

  20. Subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists can improve cognitive flexibility in an attentional set shifting task.

    PubMed

    Wood, Christopher; Kohli, Shivali; Malcolm, Emma; Allison, Claire; Shoaib, Mohammed

    2016-06-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are considered to be viable targets to enhance cognition in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Activation of nAChRs with selective nicotinic receptor agonists may provide effective means to pharmacologically treat cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. Cognitive flexibility is one aspect of cognition, which can be assessed in a rodent model of the attentional set-shifting task (ASST). The aim of the present study was two-fold, firstly, to evaluate the efficacy of a series of subtype selective nAChR agonists, such as those that target α7 and α4β2 nAChR subtypes in non-compromised rodents. Secondly, nicotine as a prototypic agonist was evaluated for its effects to restore attentional deficits produced by sub-chronic ketamine exposure in the ASST. Male hooded Lister rats underwent habituation, consisting of a simple odour and medium discrimination with subsequent assessment 24 h later. In experimentally naïve rats, α7 subtype selective agonists, compound-A and SSR180711 along with PNU-120596, an α7 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), were compared against the β2* selective agonist, 5IA-85380. All compounds except for PNU-120596 were observed to significantly improve extra-dimensional (ED) shift performance, nicotine, 5IA-85380 and SSR180711 further enhanced the final reversal (REV3) stage of the task. In another experiment, sub-chronic ketamine treatment produced robust deficits during the ED and the REV3 stages of the discriminations; rodents required significantly more trials to reach criterion during these discriminations. These deficits were attenuated in rodents treated acutely with nicotine (0.1 mg/kg SC) 10 min prior to the ED shift. These results highlight the potential utility of targeting nAChRs to enhance cognitive flexibility, particularly the α7 and β2* receptor subtypes. The improvement with nicotine was much greater in rodents that were impaired following the sub-chronic ketamine

  1. Probing the Non-Canonical Interface for Agonist Interaction with an α5 Containing Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor*

    PubMed Central

    Marotta, Christopher B.; Dilworth, Crystal N.; Lester, Henry A.; Dougherty, Dennis A.

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing the α5 subunit are of interest because genome-wide association studies and candidate gene studies have identified polymorphisms in the α5 gene that are linked to an increased risk for nicotine dependence, lung cancer, and/or alcohol addiction. To probe the functional impact of an α5 subunit on nAChRs, a method to prepare a homogeneous population of α5-containing receptors must be developed. Here we use a gain of function (9') mutation to isolate populations of α5-containing nAChRs for characterization by electrophysiology. We find that the α5 subunit modulates nAChR rectification when co-assembled with α4 and β2 subunits. We also probe the α5–α4 interface for possible ligand binding interactions. We find that mutations expected to ablate an agonist binding site involving the α5 subunit have no impact on receptor function. The most straightforward interpretation of this observation is that agonists do not bind at the α5–α4 interface, in contrast to what has recently been demonstrated for the α4–α4 interface in related receptors. In addition, our mutational results suggest that the α5 subunit does not replace the α4 or β2 subunits and is relegated to occupying only the auxiliary position of the pentameric receptor. PMID:24144909

  2. Colorimetric microtiter plate receptor-binding assay for the detection of freshwater and marine neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubio, Fernando; Kamp, Lisa; Carpino, Justin; Faltin, Erin; Loftin, Keith A.; Molgó, Jordi; Aráoz, Rómulo

    2014-01-01

    Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, produced by cyanobacteria, are agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Pinnatoxins, spirolides, and gymnodimines, produced by dinoflagellates, are antagonists of nAChRs. In this study we describe the development and validation of a competitive colorimetric, high throughput functional assay based on the mechanism of action of freshwater and marine toxins against nAChRs. Torpedo electrocyte membranes (rich in muscle-type nAChR) were immobilized and stabilized on the surface of 96-well microtiter plates. Biotinylated α-bungarotoxin (the tracer) and streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase (the detector) enabled the detection and quantitation of anatoxin-a in surface waters and cyclic imine toxins in shellfish extracts that were obtained from different locations across the US. The method compares favorably to LC/MS/MS and provides accurate results for anatoxin-a and cyclic imine toxins monitoring. Study of common constituents at the concentrations normally found in drinking and environmental waters, as well as the tolerance to pH, salt, solvents, organic and inorganic compounds did not significantly affect toxin detection. The assay allowed the simultaneous analysis of up to 25 samples within 3.5 h and it is well suited for on-site or laboratory monitoring of low levels of toxins in drinking, surface, and ground water as well as in shellfish extracts.

  3. Colorimetric microtiter plate receptor-binding assay for the detection of freshwater and marine neurotoxins targeting the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Rubio, Fernando; Kamp, Lisa; Carpino, Justin; Faltin, Erin; Loftin, Keith; Molgó, Jordi; Aráoz, Rómulo

    2014-12-01

    Anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, produced by cyanobacteria, are agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Pinnatoxins, spirolides, and gymnodimines, produced by dinoflagellates, are antagonists of nAChRs. In this study we describe the development and validation of a competitive colorimetric, high throughput functional assay based on the mechanism of action of freshwater and marine toxins against nAChRs. Torpedo electrocyte membranes (rich in muscle-type nAChR) were immobilized and stabilized on the surface of 96-well microtiter plates. Biotinylated α-bungarotoxin (the tracer) and streptavidin-horseradish peroxidase (the detector) enabled the detection and quantitation of anatoxin-a in surface waters and cyclic imine toxins in shellfish extracts that were obtained from different locations across the US. The method compares favorably to LC/MS/MS and provides accurate results for anatoxin-a and cyclic imine toxins monitoring. Study of common constituents at the concentrations normally found in drinking and environmental waters, as well as the tolerance to pH, salt, solvents, organic and inorganic compounds did not significantly affect toxin detection. The assay allowed the simultaneous analysis of up to 25 samples within 3.5 h and it is well suited for on-site or laboratory monitoring of low levels of toxins in drinking, surface, and ground water as well as in shellfish extracts. PMID:25260255

  4. The role of the a7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on motor coordination in mice treated with methyllcaconitine and anabasine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The adverse effects of methyllycaconitine (MLA) have been attributed to competitive antagonism of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Research has indicated a correlation between the LD50 of MLA and the amount of a7 nAChR in various mouse strains, suggesting that mice with more a7 nAChR requi...

  5. Phosphocholine - an agonist of metabotropic but not of ionotropic functions of α9-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Richter, K; Mathes, V; Fronius, M; Althaus, M; Hecker, A; Krasteva-Christ, G; Padberg, W; Hone, A J; McIntosh, J M; Zakrzewicz, A; Grau, V

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrated previously that phosphocholine and phosphocholine-modified macromolecules efficiently inhibit ATP-dependent release of interleukin-1β from human and murine monocytes by a mechanism involving nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Interleukin-1β is a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine of innate immunity that plays pivotal roles in host defence. Control of interleukin-1β release is vital as excessively high systemic levels cause life threatening inflammatory diseases. In spite of its structural similarity to acetylcholine, there are no other reports on interactions of phosphocholine with nAChR. In this study, we demonstrate that phosphocholine inhibits ion-channel function of ATP receptor P2X7 in monocytic cells via nAChR containing α9 and α10 subunits. In stark contrast to choline, phosphocholine does not evoke ion current responses in Xenopus laevis oocytes, which heterologously express functional homomeric nAChR composed of α9 subunits or heteromeric receptors containing α9 and α10 subunits. Preincubation of these oocytes with phosphocholine, however, attenuated choline-induced ion current changes, suggesting that phosphocholine may act as a silent agonist. We conclude that phophocholine activates immuno-modulatory nAChR expressed by monocytes but does not stimulate canonical ionotropic receptor functions. PMID:27349288

  6. Phosphocholine – an agonist of metabotropic but not of ionotropic functions of α9-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Richter, K.; Mathes, V.; Fronius, M.; Althaus, M.; Hecker, A.; Krasteva-Christ, G.; Padberg, W.; Hone, A. J.; McIntosh, J. M.; Zakrzewicz, A.; Grau, V.

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrated previously that phosphocholine and phosphocholine-modified macromolecules efficiently inhibit ATP-dependent release of interleukin-1β from human and murine monocytes by a mechanism involving nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Interleukin-1β is a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine of innate immunity that plays pivotal roles in host defence. Control of interleukin-1β release is vital as excessively high systemic levels cause life threatening inflammatory diseases. In spite of its structural similarity to acetylcholine, there are no other reports on interactions of phosphocholine with nAChR. In this study, we demonstrate that phosphocholine inhibits ion-channel function of ATP receptor P2X7 in monocytic cells via nAChR containing α9 and α10 subunits. In stark contrast to choline, phosphocholine does not evoke ion current responses in Xenopus laevis oocytes, which heterologously express functional homomeric nAChR composed of α9 subunits or heteromeric receptors containing α9 and α10 subunits. Preincubation of these oocytes with phosphocholine, however, attenuated choline-induced ion current changes, suggesting that phosphocholine may act as a silent agonist. We conclude that phophocholine activates immuno-modulatory nAChR expressed by monocytes but does not stimulate canonical ionotropic receptor functions. PMID:27349288

  7. Blockade by 2,2',2''-tripyridine of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channels in embryonic Xenopus muscle cells.

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, K. S.; Fu, W. M.; Lin-Shiau, S. Y.

    1993-01-01

    1. The effects of 2,2',2''-tripyridine on the nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor channels were studied in the cultured myocytes of 1-day-old Xenopus embryos. 2. 2,2',2''-Tripyridine depressed the amplitude of iontophoretic ACh-induced current at a low frequency of 0.7 Hz stimulation and it not only decreased the initial responses but also enhanced the run-down of ACh-induced current at higher frequency stimulation of 7 Hz and 30 Hz. 3. Single ACh channel recordings showed that 2,2',2''-tripyridine decreased the channel conductance, the opening frequency and mean open time of both types of low- and high-conductance channels. 4. These results suggest that the blocking actions of 2,2',2''-tripyridine on ACh receptor channels in the skeletal muscle may contribute to the depression of the nerve-evoked contraction of the mouse diaphragm as reported previously. PMID:7693275

  8. Characterization of the retina in the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mouse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Marci L.

    Acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) are involved in visual processing and are expressed by inner retinal neurons in all species studied to date (Keyser et al., 2000; Dmitrieva et al., 2007; Liu et al., 2009), but their distribution in the mouse retina remains unknown. Reductions in alpha7 nicotinic AChRs (nAChRs) are thought to contribute to memory and visual deficits observed in Alzheimer's and schizophrenia (Coyle et al., 1983; Nordberg et al., 1999; Leonard et al., 2006). However, the alpha7 nAChR knockout (KO) mouse has a mild phenotype (Paylor et al., 1998; Fernandes et al., 2006; Young et al., 2007; Origlia et al., 2012). The purpose of this study was to determine the expression of AChRs in wildtype (WT) mouse retina and to assess whether up-regulation of other AChRs in the alpha7 nAChR KO retina may explain the minimal deficits described in the KO mouse. Reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) showed that mRNA transcripts for alpha2-7, alpha 9, alpha10, beta2-4 nAChR subunits and m1-m5 muscarinic AChR (mAChR) subtypes were present in WT murine retina. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of alpha3-5, alpha9, and m1-m5 AChR proteins and immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated nAChR and mAChR proteins expressed by subsets of bipolar, amacrine and ganglion cells. This is the first reported expression of alpha9 and alpha10 nAChR transcripts and alpha9 nAChR proteins in the retina of any species. Quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR) showed changes in AChR transcript expression in the alpha7 nAChR KO mouse retina relative to WT. Within whole retina alpha2, alpha9, alpha10, beta4, m1 and m4 AChR transcripts were up-regulated, while alpha5 nAChR transcripts were down-regulated. However, cell populations showed subtle differences; m4 mAChR transcripts were up-regulated in the ganglion cell layer and outer portion of the inner nuclear layer (oINL),while beta4 nAChR transcript up-regulation was limited to the oINL. Surprisingly, alpha2, alpha9, beta4, m2 and m4 transcripts were

  9. Functional interactions between the SK2 channel and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in enteric neurons of the guinea pig ileum.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, Hidemitsu; Goto, Hiroto; Azuma, Yasu-Taka; Fujita, Akikazu; Takeuchi, Tadayoshi

    2007-12-01

    The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) plays a critical role in gastrointestinal function. The role of the small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) channel in ACh release was examined using myenteric plexus preparations of guinea pig ileum. Apamin, an inhibitor of the SK channel, significantly enhanced nicotine-induced ACh release, but neither electrical field stimulation- nor 5-hydroxytryptamine-induced ACh release, suggesting that SK channels might be selectively involved in the regulation of nicotine-induced ACh release. Therefore, we investigated the distribution of SK2 and SK3 subunits and the interaction between SK2 channels and nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) in the guinea pig ileum. The immunoreactivity of SK2 subunits was located in enteric neuronal cells. Furthermore, SK2-immunoreactive cells stained with an antibody for choline acetyltransferase, a marker for cholinergic neurons, and with an antibody for the alpha3/5 subunits of nAChR. In contrast, immunoreactivity of SK3 subunits was not found in enteric neurons. A co-immunoprecipitation assay with Triton X-100-soluble membrane fractions prepared from the ileum revealed an association of the SK2 subunit with the alpha3/5 subunits of nAChR. These results suggest that SK2 channels negatively regulate the excitation of enteric neurons via functional interactions with nAChRs. PMID:17953675

  10. Effects of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists on cognition in rhesus monkeys with a chronic cocaine self-administration history.

    PubMed

    Gould, Robert W; Garg, Pradeep K; Garg, Sudha; Nader, Michael A

    2013-01-01

    Cocaine use is associated with impaired cognitive function, which may negatively impact treatment outcomes. One pharmacological strategy to improve cognition involves nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) stimulation. However, the effects of chronic cocaine exposure on nAChR distribution and function have not been characterized. Thus, one goal of this study was to examine nAChR availability in rhesus monkeys with an extensive cocaine self-administration history (n = 4; ~6 years, mean intake, 1463 mg/kg) compared to age-matched cocaine-naive control monkeys (n = 5). Using [¹¹C]-nicotine and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, cocaine-experienced monkeys showed significantly higher receptor availability in the hippocampus compared to cocaine-naive monkeys. A second goal was to examine the effects of nAChR agonists on multiple domains of cognitive performance in these same monkeys. For these studies, working memory was assessed using a delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task, associative learning and behavioral flexibility using stimulus discrimination and reversal learning tasks. When administered acutely, the nonselective high-efficacy agonist nicotine, the low-efficacy α4β2* subtype-selective agonist varenicline and the high-efficacy α7 subtype-selective agonist, PNU-282987 significantly improved DMS performance in both cocaine-naive and cocaine-experienced monkeys. Individual doses of nicotine and varenicline that engendered maximum cognitive enhancing effects on working memory did not affect discrimination or reversal learning, while PNU-282987 disrupted reversal learning in the cocaine-naive monkeys. These findings indicate that a cocaine self-administration history influenced nAChR distribution and the effects of nAChR agonists on cognitive performance, including a reduced sensitivity to the disrupting effects on reversal learning. The cognitive enhancing effects of nAChR agonists may be beneficial in combination with behavioral treatments for

  11. Low Dose Nicotine and Antagonism of β2 Subunit Containing Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Have Similar Effects on Affective Behavior in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Shawn M.; Brunzell, Darlene H.

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine leads to both activation and desensitization (inactivation) of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This study tested the hypothesis that nicotine and a selective antagonist of β2*nAChRs would have similar effects on affective behavior. Adult C57BL/6J male mice were tested in a conditioned emotional response (CER) assay which evaluates the ability of an aversive stimulus to inhibit goal-directed behavior. Mice lever-pressed for a saccharin reinforcer according to a variable schedule of reinforcement during sessions in which two presentations of a compound light/tone conditioned stimulus (CS) co-terminated with a 0.1 or 0.3 mA, 0.5 s footshock unconditioned stimulus (US). During testing in the absence of the US, mice received doses of i.p. nicotine (0, 0.0032, 0.01, 0.032, 0.1 mg/kg) or a selective β2 subunit containing nAChR (β2*nAChR) antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (0, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0 mg/kg DHβE). There was a dose-dependent effect of nicotine revealing that only low doses (0.01, 0.032 mg/kg) increased CER suppression ratios (SR) in these mice. DHβE also dose-dependently increased SR at the 3 mg/kg dose. In ethological measures of fear−/anxiety-like behavior, these doses of nicotine and DHβE significantly reduced digging behavior in a marble burying task and 0.3 mg/kg DHβE promoted open-arm activity in the elevated plus maze. Doses of nicotine and DHβE that altered affective behavior had no effect on locomotor activity. Similar to previous reports with anxiolytic drugs, low dose nicotine and DHβE reversed SR in a CER assay, decreased digging in a marble burying assay and increased open arm activity in the elevated plus maze. This study provides evidence that inactivation of β2*nAChRs reduces fear-like and anxiety-like behavior in rodents and suggests that smokers may be motivated to smoke in part to desensitize their β2*nAChRs. These data further identify β2*nAChR antagonism as a potential therapeutic strategy for relief of

  12. Presynaptic Type III Neuregulin 1 Is Required for Sustained Enhancement of Hippocampal Transmission by Nicotine and for Axonal Targeting of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Chongbo; Du, Chuang; Hancock, Melissa; Mertz, Marjolijn; Talmage, David A.; Role, Lorna W.

    2009-01-01

    Both the neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7*nAChRs) genes have been linked to schizophrenia and associated sensory–motor gating deficits. The prominence of nicotine addiction in schizophrenic patients is reflected in the normalization of gating deficits by nicotine self-administration. To assess the role of presynaptic type III Nrg1 at hippocampal–accumbens synapses, an important relay in sensory–motor gating, we developed a specialized preparation of chimeric circuits in vitro. Synaptic relays from Nrg1tm1Lwr heterozygote ventral hippocampal slices to wild-type (WT) nucleus accumbens neurons (1) lack a sustained, α7*nAChRs-mediated phase of synaptic potentiation seen in comparable WT/WT circuits and (2) are deficient in targeting α7*nAChRs to presynaptic sites. Thus, selective alteration of the level of presynaptic type III Nrg1 dramatically affects the modulation of glutamatergic transmission at ventral hippocampal to nucleus accumbens synapses. PMID:18784291

  13. The influence of allosteric modulators and transmembrane mutations on desensitisation and activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Chatzidaki, Anna; D'Oyley, Jarryl M.; Gill-Thind, JasKiran K.; Sheppard, Tom D.; Millar, Neil S.

    2015-01-01

    Acetylcholine activates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) by binding at an extracellular orthosteric site. Previous studies have described several positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) that are selective for homomeric α7 nAChRs. These include type I PAMs, which exert little or no effect on the rate of receptor desensitisation, and type II PAMs, which cause a dramatic loss of agonist-induced desensitisation. Here we report evidence that transmembrane mutations in α7 nAChRs have diverse effects on receptor activation and desensitisation by allosteric ligands. It has been reported previously that the L247T mutation, located toward the middle of the second transmembrane domain (at the 9′ position), confers reduced levels of desensitisation. In contrast, the M260L mutation, located higher up in the TM2 domain (at the 22′ position), does not show any difference in desensitisation compared to wild-type receptors. We have found that in receptors containing the L247T mutation, both type I PAMs and type II PAMs are converted into non-desensitising agonists. In contrast, in receptors containing the M260L mutation, this effect is seen only with type II PAMs. These findings, indicating that the M260L mutation has a selective effect on type II PAMs, have been confirmed both with previously described PAMs and also with a series of novel α7-selective PAMs. The novel PAMs examined in this study have close chemical similarity but diverse pharmacological properties. For example, they include compounds displaying effects on receptor desensitisation that are typical of classical type I and type II PAMs but, in addition, they include compounds with intermediate properties. PMID:25998276

  14. Alpha5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mediates nicotine-induced HIF-1α and VEGF expression in non-small cell lung cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Xiaoli; Jia, Yanfei; Zu, Shanshan; Li, Ruisheng; Jia, Ying; Zhao, Yun; Xiao, Dongjie; Dang, Ningning; Wang, Yunshan

    2014-07-15

    By binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), nicotine induces the proliferation and apoptosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Previous studies have indicated that α5-nAChR is highly associated with lung cancer risk and nicotine dependence. However, the mechanisms through which α5-nAChRs may influence lung carcinogenesis are far from clear. In the present study, we investigated the roles of α5-nAChR in the nicotine-induced expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of α5-nAChR and HIF-1α in 60 specimens of lung cancer and para-carcinoma tissue. The correlations between the expression levels of α5-nAChR and HIF-1α and other clinicopathological data were analyzed. In a cell line that highly expressed α5-nAChR, the loss of α5-nAChR function by siRNA was used to study whether α5-nAChR is involved in the nicotine-induced expression of HIF-1α and VEGF through the activation of the ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. Cell growth was detected using the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8). α5-nAChR (78.3%) and HIF-1α (88.3%) were both overexpressed in NSCLC, and their expression levels were found to be correlated with each other (P < 0.05). In the A549 cell line, α5-nAChR and HIF-1α were found to be expressed under normal conditions, and their expression levels were significantly increased in response to nicotine treatment. The silencing of α5-nAChR significantly inhibited the nicotine-induced cell proliferation compared with the control group and attenuated the nicotine-induced upregulation of HIF-1α and VEGF, and these effects required the cooperation of the ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. These results show that the α5-nAChR/HIF-1α/VEGF axis is involved in nicotine-induced tumor cell proliferation, which suggests that α5-nAChR may serve as a potential anticancer target in nicotine-associated lung cancer. - Highlights

  15. The channel opening rate of adult- and fetal-type mouse muscle nicotinic receptors activated by acetylcholine

    PubMed Central

    Maconochie, David J; Steinbach, Joe Henry

    1998-01-01

    In this paper, we examine acetylcholine (ACh)-induced currents in quail fibroblast cell lines expressing either the fetal (Q-F18) or the adult (Q-A33) complement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits derived from mouse skeletal muscle. Pulses of ACh were applied to outside-out patches of cell membrane by means of a fast perfusion system, at concentrations from 100 nM to 10 mM. We obtained current records with intracellular potentials of -60 and +40 mV. The goal of this study was to estimate the channel opening rate.By fitting sums of exponentials to averaged responses, we estimated the rate of development of the current on the application of acetylcholine. The rate constant of the predominant exponential component (the on-rate) ranges over 3 orders of magnitude, from around 100 s−1 (fetal) at low concentrations of ACh to over 100 000 s−1 (fetal and adult) at the highest concentrations.We establish that our measurement of the on-rate is not limited by technical constraints, and can therefore be related to the rate constants of a kinetic scheme. Our observations are consistent with a model having a rate-limiting channel opening step with a forwards rate constant (β) of 80 000 s−1 on average for adult receptors and 60 000 s−1 for fetal receptors, and a minimum opening to closing ratio (β/α) of around 33 (adult) or 50 (fetal). The channel opening rate, β, varies from around 30 000 s−1 to well over 100 000 s−1 for different patches. The large variation cannot all be ascribed to errors of measurement, but indicates patch to patch variation. PMID:9481672

  16. Calcium-dependent effect of the thymic polypeptide thymopoietin on the desensitization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Revah, F.; Mulle, C.; Pinset, C.; Audhya, T.; Goldstein, G.; Changeux, J.P.

    1987-05-01

    The effects of the thymic polypeptide thymopoietin (Tpo) on the properties of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AcChoR) were investigated by patch clamp techniques on mouse C/sub 2/ myotubes and by biochemical assays on AcChoR-rich membrane fragments purified from the Torpedo marmorata electric organ. At high concentrations (> 100 nM), Tpo inhibits the binding of cholinergic agonists to the AcChoR in a Ca/sup 2 +/-insensitive manner. At lower concentrations (2 nM), Tpo applied on C/sub 2/ myotubes simultaneously with nondesensitizing concentrations of acetylcholine results in the appearance of long closed times separating groups of openings. This effect depends on the presence of Ca/sup 2 +/ in the external medium. Outside-out recordings, performed with various concentrations of EGTA in the intracellular medium, suggest that Ca/sup 2 +/ acts on the cytoplasmic face of the membrane after entry through acetylcholine-activated channels. Parallel studies with T. marmorata AcChoR-rich membranes show that in the presence of Ca/sup 2 +/ Tpo causes a decrease in the apparent equilibrium dissociation constant of the noncompetitive blocker (/sup 3/H)phencyclidine, enhances, at low concentrations, the binding of (/sup 3/H)acetylcholine, and also alters the binding kinetics of the fluorescent agonist 6-(5-dimethylamino-1-naphthalenesulfonamido)-n-hexanoic acid ..beta..-(N-trimethylammonium bromide) ethyl ester to the AcChoR. It was concluded that, in the presence of Ca/sup 2 +/, Tpo displaces the conformational equilibrium of the AcChoR towards a high-affinity desensitized state and increases the transition rate towards the same state.

  17. Neuronal specificity of the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor promoter develops during morphogenesis of the central nervous system.

    PubMed Central

    Matter-Sadzinski, L; Hernandez, M C; Roztocil, T; Ballivet, M; Matter, J M

    1992-01-01

    A transient transfection assay has been developed to analyse promoter activity in neuronal cells freshly dissociated from the chick central nervous system. The assay enabled us to identify cis-acting regulatory elements within the 5'-flanking region of the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene. In differentiated retina, regulatory elements direct reporter gene expression to a small subset of neurons which has been identified as ganglion cells, i.e. to the population of neurons in which alpha 7 transcripts were localized by in situ hybridization. However, these promoter elements exhibit ubiquitous activity in undifferentiated neural cells and in mesodermal stem cells. Our study supports the idea that alpha 7 regulatory elements acquire their neuronal specificity in the course of embryogenesis. Images PMID:1425587

  18. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunits with a C2 cytoplasmic loop yellow fluorescent protein insertion form functional receptors

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Teresa A; Liu, Qiang; Whiteaker, Paul; Wu, Jie; Lukas, Ronald J

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Several nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits have been engineered as fluorescent protein (FP) fusions and exploited to illuminate features of nAChRs. The aim of this work was to create a FP fusion in the nAChR α7 subunit without compromising formation of functional receptors. Methods: A gene construct was generated to introduce yellow fluorescent protein (YFP), in frame, into the otherwise unaltered, large, second cytoplamsic loop between the third and fourth transmembrane domains of the mouse nAChR α7 subunit (α7Y). SH-EP1 cells were transfected with mouse nAChR wild type α7 subunits (α7) or with α7Y subunits, alone or with the chaperone protein, hRIC-3. Receptor function was assessed using whole-cell current recording. Receptor expression was measured with 125I-labeled α-bungarotoxin (I-Bgt) binding, laser scanning confocal microscopy, and total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. Results: Whole-cell currents revealed that α7Y nAChRs and α7 nAChRs were functional with comparable EC50 values for the α7 nAChR-selective agonist, choline, and IC50 values for the α7 nAChR-selective antagonist, methyllycaconitine. I-Bgt binding was detected only after co-expression with hRIC-3. Confocal microscopy revealed that α7Y had primarily intracellular rather than surface expression. TIRF microscopy confirmed that little α7Y localized to the plasma membrane, typical of α7 nAChRs. Conclusion: nAChRs composed as homooligomers of α7Y subunits containing cytoplasmic loop YFP have functional, ligand binding, and trafficking characteristics similar to those of α7 nAChRs. α7Y nAChRs may be used to elucidate properties of α7 nAChRs and to identify and develop novel probes for these receptors, perhaps in high-throughput fashion. PMID:19498423

  19. Bladder outlet obstruction causes up-regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in bladder-projecting pelvic ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Chung, Hyun-Chul; Lee, Choong-Ku; Park, Kwang-Hwa; Jeong, Seong-Woo

    2015-03-30

    Pelvic ganglion (PG) neurons relay sympathetic and parasympathetic signals to the lower urinary tract, comprising the urinary bladder and bladder outlet, and are thus essential for both storage and voiding reflexes. Autonomic transmission is mediated by activation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in PG neurons. Previously, bladder outlet obstruction (BOO), secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia, was found to increase soma sizes of bladder-projecting PG neurons. To date, however, it remains unknown whether these morphological changes are accompanied by functional plasticity in PG neurons. In the present study, we investigated whether BOO alters acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) transcript expression and current density in bladder PG neurons. Partial ligation of the rat urethra for six weeks induced detrusor overactivity (DO), as observed during cystometrical measurement. In rats exhibiting DO, membrane capacitance of parasympathetic bladder PG neurons was selectively increased. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that BOO enhanced the expression of the transcripts encoding the nAChR α3 and β4 subunits in PG neurons. Notably, BOO significantly increased ACh-evoked current density in parasympathetic bladder PG neurons, whereas no changes were observed in sympathetic bladder and parasympathetic penile PG neurons. In addition, other ligand-gated ionic currents were immune to BOO in bladder PG neurons. Taken together, these data suggest that BOO causes upregulation of nAChR in parasympathetic bladder PG neurons, which in turn may potentiate ganglionic transmission and contribute to the development of DO. PMID:25625357

  20. The role of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in modulation of heart rate dynamics in endotoxemic rats.

    PubMed

    Mazloom, Roham; Eftekhari, Golnar; Rahimi-Balaei, Maryam; Rahimi, Maryam; Khori, Vahid; Hajizadeh, Sohrab; Dehpour, Ahmad R; Mani, Ali R

    2013-01-01

    Previous reports have indicated that artificial stimulation of the vagus nerve reduces systemic inflammation in experimental models of sepsis. This phenomenon is a part of a broader cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway which activates the vagus nerve to modulate inflammation through activation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nACHR). Heart rate variability represents the complex interplay between autonomic nervous system and cardiac pacemaker cells. Reduced heart rate variability and increased cardiac cycle regularity is a hallmark of clinical conditions that are associated with systemic inflammation (e.g. endotoxemia and sepsis). The present study was aimed to assess the role of α7nACHR in modulation of heart rate dynamics during systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation was induced by injection of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) in rats. Electrocardiogram and body temperature were recorded in conscious animals using a telemetric system. Linear and non-linear indices of heart rate variability (e.g. sample entropy and fractal-like temporal structure) were assessed. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry studies showed that α7nACHR is expressed in rat atrium and is mainly localized at the endothelial layer. Systemic administration of an α7nACHR antagonist (methyllycaconitine) did not show a significant effect on body temperature or heart rate dynamics in naïve rats. However, α7nACHR blockade could further reduce heart rate variability and elicit a febrile response in endotoxemic rats. Pre-treatment of endotoxemic animals with an α7nACHR agonist (PHA-543613) was unable to modulate heart rate dynamics in endotoxemic rats but could prevent the effect of endotoxin on body temperature within 24 h experiment. Neither methyllycaconitine nor PHA-543613 could affect cardiac beating variability of isolated perfused hearts taken from control or endotoxemic rats. Based on our observations we suggest a tonic role for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in

  1. Absence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit amplifies inflammation and accelerates onset of fibrosis: an inflammatory kidney model

    PubMed Central

    Truong, Luan D.; Trostel, Jessica; Garcia, Gabriela E.

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation is regulated by endogenous mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory cytokines, adenosine, and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit (α7nAChR). We investigated the role of α7nAChR in protection against the progression of tissue injury in a model of severe, macrophage-mediated, cytokine-dependent anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) glomerulonephritis (GN), in α7nAChR-deficient (α7−/−) mice . At d 7 after the injection of anti-GBM antibody, kidneys from α7−/− mice displayed severe glomeruli (P < 0.0001) and tubulointerstitial lesions (P < 0.001) compared to kidneys from WT mice. An important finding was the presence of severe glomerulosclerosis in α7−/− mice in this early phase of the disease. Kidneys of α7−/− mice showed greater accumulation of inflammatory cells and higher expression of chemokines and cytokines than did those of WT mice. In addition, in α7−/− fibrotic kidneys, the expression of fibrin, collagen, TGF-β, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-2 increased, and the expression of TIMP3 declined. The increase in counterregulatory responses to inflammation in α7−/− nephritic kidneys did not compensate for the lack of α7nAChR. These findings indicate that α7nAChR plays a key role in regulating the inflammatory response in anti-GBM GN and that disruption of the endogenous protective α7nAChR amplifies inflammation to accelerate kidney damage and fibrosis.—Truong, L. D., Trostel. J., Garcia, G. E. Absence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit amplifies inflammation and accelerates onset of fibrosis: an inflammatory kidney model. PMID:25985801

  2. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors used in treatment of Alzheimer's disease prevent glutamate neurotoxicity via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase cascade.

    PubMed

    Takada-Takatori, Yuki; Kume, Toshiaki; Sugimoto, Mitsuhiro; Katsuki, Hiroshi; Sugimoto, Hachiro; Akaike, Akinori

    2006-09-01

    We show here that donepezil, galanathamine and tacrine, therapeutic acetylcholinesterase inhibitors currently being used for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, protect neuronal cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner from glutamate neurotoxicity that involves apoptosis. The neuroprotective effects were antagonized by mecamylamine, an inhibitor of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Dihydro-beta-erythroidine and methyllycaconitine, antagonists for alpha4-nAChR and alpha7-nAChR, respectively, antagonized the protective effect of donepezil and galanthamine, but not that of tacrine. Previous reports suggest the involvement of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway in the nicotine-induced neuroprotection. Inhibitors for a non-receptor type tyrosine kinase, Fyn, and janus-activated kinase 2, suppressed the neuroprotective effect of donepezil and galanthamine, but not that of tacrine. Furthermore, LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, also suppressed the neuroprotective effect of donepezil and galanthamine, but not that of tacrine. The phosphorylation of Akt, an effector of PI3K, and the expression level of Bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic protein, increased with donepezil and galanthamine treatment, but not with tacrine treatment. These results suggest that donepezil and galanthamine prevent glutamate neurotoxicity through alpha4- and alpha7-nAChRs, followed by the PI3K-Akt pathway, and that tacrine protects neuronal cells through a different pathway. PMID:16762377

  3. Immunisation with Torpedo acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Elfman, L

    1984-01-01

    Acetylcholine mediates the transfer of information between neurons in the electric organ of, for example, Torpedo as well as in vertebrate skeletal muscle. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor complex translates the binding of acetylcholine into ion permeability changes. This leads to an action potential in the muscle fibre. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor protein has been purified from Torpedo by use of affinity chromatography. The receptor is an intrinsic membrane glycoprotein composed of five polypeptide chains. When various animals are immunised with the receptor they demonstrate clinical signs of severe muscle weakness coincident with high antibody titres in their sera. The symptoms resemble those found in the autoimmune neuromuscular disease myasthenia gravis in humans. This animal model has constituted a unique model for studying autoimmune diseases. This paper reviews some of the work using Torpedo acetylcholine receptor in order to increase the understanding of the motor nervous system function and myasthenia gravis. It is now known that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor protein is the antigen involved in myasthenia gravis. The mechanism of immune damage involves a direct block of the receptor function. This depends on the presence of antibodies which crosslink the postsynaptic receptors leading to their degradation. The questions to be answered in the future are; (a) what initiates or triggers the autoimmune response, (b) how do the antibodies cause the symptoms--is there a steric hindrance of the interaction of acetylcholine and the receptor, (c) why is there not a strict relationship between antibody titre and severity of symptoms, and (d) why are some muscles affected and other spared? With help of the experimental model, answers to these questions may result in improved strategies for the treatment of the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis. PMID:6097937

  4. Nicotine-Mediated Regulation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Non-Small Cell Lung Adenocarcinoma by E2F1 and STAT1 Transcription Factors

    PubMed Central

    Schaal, Courtney; Chellappan, Srikumar

    2016-01-01

    Cigarette smoking is the major risk factor for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for 80% of all lung cancers. Nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco smoke, can induce proliferation, migration, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), angiogenesis, and survival in NSCLC cell lines, as well as growth and metastasis of NSCLC in mice. This nicotine-mediated tumor progression is facilitated through activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), specifically the α7 subunit; however, how the α7 nAChR gene is regulated in lung adenocarcinoma is not fully clear. Here we demonstrate that the α7 nAChR gene promoter is differentially regulated by E2F and STAT transcription factors through a competitive interplay; E2F1 induces the promoter, while STAT transcription factors repress it by binding to an overlapping site at a region -294 through -463bp upstream of the transcription start site. Treatment of cells with nicotine induced the mRNA and protein levels of α7 nAChR; this could be abrogated by treatment with inhibitors targeting Src, PI3K, MEK, α7 nAChR, CDK4/6 or a disruptor of the Rb-Raf-1 interaction. Further, nicotine–mediated induction of α7 nAChR was reduced when E2F1 was depleted and in contrast elevated when STAT1 was depleted by siRNAs. Interestingly, extracts from e-cigarettes, which have recently emerged as healthier alternatives to traditional cigarette smoking, can also induce α7 nAChR expression in a manner similar to nicotine. These results suggest an autoregulatory feed-forward loop that induces the levels of α7 nAChR upon exposure to nicotine, which enhances the strength of the signal. It can be imagined that such an induction of α7 nAChR contributes to the tumor-promoting functions of nicotine. PMID:27228072

  5. Pharmacological characterisation of strychnine and brucine analogues at glycine and alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Anders A; Gharagozloo, Parviz; Birdsall, Nigel J M; Zlotos, Darius P

    2006-06-01

    Strychnine and brucine from the plant Strychnos nux vomica have been shown to have interesting pharmacological effects on several neurotransmitter receptors, including some members of the superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels. In this study, we have characterised the pharmacological properties of tertiary and quaternary analogues as well as bisquaternary dimers of strychnine and brucine at human alpha1 and alpha1beta glycine receptors and at a chimera consisting of the amino-terminal domain of the alpha7 nicotinic receptor (containing the orthosteric ligand binding site) and the ion channel domain of the 5-HT3A serotonin receptor. Although the majority of the analogues displayed significantly increased Ki values at the glycine receptors compared to strychnine and brucine, a few retained the high antagonist potencies of the parent compounds. However, mirroring the pharmacological profiles of strychnine and brucine, none of the analogues displayed significant selectivity between the alpha1 and alpha1beta subtypes. The structure-activity relationships for the compounds at the alpha7/5-HT3 chimera were significantly different from those at the glycine receptors. Most strikingly, quaternization of strychnine and brucine with substituents possessing different steric and electronic properties completely eliminated the activity at the glycine receptors, whereas binding affinity to the alpha7/5-HT3 chimera was retained for the majority of the quaternary analogues. This study provides an insight into the structure-activity relationships for strychnine and brucine analogues at these ligand-gated ion channels. PMID:16687139

  6. Functional characterization of a mutated chicken α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit with a leucine residue inserted in transmembrane domain 2

    PubMed Central

    Buckingham, Steven D; Adcock, Charlotte; Sansom, Mark S P; Sattelle, David B; Baylis, Howard A

    1998-01-01

    Site-directed mutagenesis was used to create an altered form of the chicken α7 nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor subunit (α7x61) in which a leucine residue was inserted between residues Leu9′ and Ser10′ in transmembrane domain 2. The properties of α7x61 receptors are distinct from those of the wild-type receptor.Oocytes expressing wild-type α7 receptors responded to 10 μM nicotine with rapid inward currents that desensitized with a time-constant of 710±409 ms (mean±s.e.mean, n=5). However in α7x61 receptors 10 μM nicotine resulted in slower onset inward currents that desensitized with a time-constant of 5684±3403 ms (mean±s.e.mean, n=4). No significant difference in the apparent affinity of nicotine or acetylcholine between mutant and wild-type receptors was observed. Dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) acted as an antagonist on both receptors.Molecular modelling of the α7x61 receptor channel pore formed by a bundle of M2 α-helices suggested that three of the channel lining residues would be altered by the leucine insertion i.e.; Ser10′ would be replaced by the leucine insertion, Val13′ and Phe14′ would be replaced, by Thr and Val, respectively.When present in the LEV-1 nicotinic ACh receptor subunit from Caenorhabditis elegans the same alteration conferred resistance to levamisole anthelmintic drug. Levamisole blocked responses to nicotine of wild-type and α7x61 receptors. However, block was more dependent on membrane potential for the α7x61 receptors.We conclude that the leucine insertion in transmembrane domain 2 has the unusual effect of slowing desensitization without altering apparent agonist affinity. PMID:9690867

  7. Nicotine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone induce cyclooxygenase-2 activity in human gastric cancer cells: Involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and {beta}-adrenergic receptor signaling pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Vivian Yvonne; Jin, H.C.; Ng, Enders K.O.; Yu Jun; Leung, W.K.; Cho, C.H.; Sung, J.J.Y.

    2008-12-01

    Induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) associates with cigarette smoke exposure in many malignancies. Nicotine and its derivative, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), are the two important components in cigarette smoke that contributes to cancer development. However, the molecular mechanism(s) by which nicotine or NNK promotes gastric carcinogenesis remains largely unknown. We found that nicotine and NNK significantly enhanced cell proliferation in AGS cells that expressed both alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ({alpha}7 nAChR) and {beta}-adrenergic receptors. Treatment of cells with {alpha}-bungarotoxin ({alpha}-BTX, {alpha}7nAChR antagonist) or propranolol ({beta}-adrenergic receptor antagonist) blocked NNK-induced COX-2/PGE{sub 2} and cell proliferation, while nicotine-mediated cell growth and COX-2/PGE{sub 2} induction can only be suppressed by propranolol, but not {alpha}-BTX. Moreover, in contrast to the dependence of growth promoting effect of nicotine on Erk activation, inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) repressed NNK-induced COX-2 upregulation and resulted in suppression of cell growth. In addition, nicotine and NNK mediated COX-2 induction via different receptors to modulate several G1/S transition regulatory proteins and promote gastric cancer cell growth. Selective COX-2 inhibitor (SC-236) caused G1 arrest and abrogated nicotine/NNK-induced cell proliferation. Aberrant expression of cyclin D1 and other G1 regulatory proteins are reversed by blockade of COX-2. These results pointed to the importance of adrenergic and nicotinic receptors in gastric tumor growth through MAPK/COX-2 activation, which may perhaps provide a chemoprevention strategy for cigarette smoke-related gastric carcinogenesis.

  8. Immunological studies on the structure and function of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in mammalian muscle

    SciTech Connect

    Gu, Y.

    1989-01-01

    The specificity of the antibodies in the serum of a patient with myasthenia gravis for a the {alpha}-bungarotoxin binding sites of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) was examined using AChRs in the C2 mouse muscle cell line as a model. The antibodies were shown to be specific for one of the two toxin-binding sites. The effect of the antibodies in this myasthenic serum on the functional response of the receptor to cholinergic agonists was also examined using carbamylcholine-induced {sup 22}Na uptake into C2 myotubes as a measured of the receptor function. Antibodies specific for the {gamma}, {delta}, and {epsilon} subunit, respectively, of mammalian muscle AChRs were developed using subunit-specific synthetic peptides as antigens. Using these antibodies and monoclonal antibodies for other subunits as probes, I have identified four ({alpha}, {beta}, {gamma}, and {delta}) subunits of mammalian muscle AChRs on immunoblots. When AChRs from embryonic, neonatal, normal and denervated adult muscles were compared on immunoblots, the {alpha}, {beta}, and {delta} subunits were identical in all four receptor preparations, with or without endoglycosidase digestion. The spatial and temporal distribution of the {gamma}- and {epsilon}- AChRs in developing and in denervated muscles corresponds to the distribution of AChRs with slow and fast channels, respectively, and that the development changes in the channel properties of the receptor arise from a change in the subunit composition of the receptor, in which the {gamma} is replaced by {epsilon}.

  9. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated responses in medial vestibular and prepositus hypoglossi nuclei neurons showing distinct neurotransmitter phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yue; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Saito, Yasuhiko

    2016-06-01

    Cholinergic transmission in both the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) and prepositus hypoglossi nucleus (PHN) plays an important role in horizontal eye movements. We previously demonstrated that the current responses mediated via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) were larger than those mediated via muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) in cholinergic MVN and PHN neurons that project to the cerebellum. In this study, to clarify the predominant nAChR responses and the expression patterns of nAChRs in MVN and PHN neurons that exhibit distinct neurotransmitter phenotypes, we identified cholinergic, inhibitory, and glutamatergic neurons using specific transgenic rats and investigated current responses to the application of acetylcholine (ACh) using whole cell recordings in brain stem slices. ACh application induced larger nAChR-mediated currents than mAChR-mediated currents in every neuronal phenotype. In the presence of an mAChR antagonist, we found three types of nAChR-mediated currents that exhibited different rise and decay times and designated these as fast (F)-, slow (S)-, and fast and slow (FS)-type currents. F-type currents were the predominant response in inhibitory MVN neurons, whereas S-type currents were observed in the majority of glutamatergic MVN and PHN neurons. No dominant response type was observed in cholinergic neurons. Pharmacological analyses revealed that the F-, S-, and FS-type currents were mainly mediated by α7, non-α7, and both α7 and non-α7 nAChRs, respectively. These findings suggest that cholinergic responses in the major neuronal populations of the MVN and PHN are predominantly mediated by nAChRs and that the expression of α7 and non-α7 nAChRs differ among the neuronal phenotypes. PMID:26936981

  10. Agonist actions of clothianidin on synaptic and extrasynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed on cockroach sixth abdominal ganglion.

    PubMed

    Thany, Steeve H

    2009-11-01

    Clothianidin is new neonicotinoid insecticide acting selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Its effects on nAChRs expressed on cercal afferent/giant interneuron synapses and DUM neurons have been studied using mannitol-gap and whole-cell patch-clamp techniques, respectively. Bath-application of clothianidin-induced dose-dependent depolarizations of cockroach cercal afferent/giant interneuron synapses which were not reversed after wash-out suggesting a strong desensitization of postsynaptic interneurons at the 6th abdominal ganglion (A6). Clothinidin activity on the nerve preparation was characterized by an increased firing rate of action potentials which then ceased when the depolarization reached a peak. Clothianidin responses were insensitive to all muscarinic antagonists tested but were blocked by co-application of specific nicotinic antagonists methyllicaconitine, alpha-bungarotoxin and d-tubocurarine. In a second round of experiment, clothianidin actions were tested on DUM neurons isolated from the A6. There was a strong desensitization of nAChRs which was not affected by muscarinic antagonists, pirenzepine and atropine, but was reduced with nicotinic antagonist alpha-bungarotoxin. In addition, clothianidin-induced currents were completely blocked by methyllicaconitine suggesting that (1) clothianidin acted as a specific agonist of nAChR subtypes and (2) a small proportion of receptors blocked by MLA was insensitive to alpha-bungarotoxin. Moreover, because clothianidin currents were blocked by d-tubocurarine and mecamylamine, we provided that clothianidin was an agonist of both nAChRs: imidacloprid-sensitive nAChR1 and -insensitive nAChR2 subtypes. PMID:19583978