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Sample records for ach receptor nachr

  1. Modulation of recombinant, α2*, α3* or α4*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function by nAChR β3 subunits.

    PubMed

    Dash, Bhagirathi; Bhakta, Minoti; Chang, Yongchang; Lukas, Ronald J

    2012-05-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) β3 subunit is thought to serve an accessory role in nAChR subtypes expressed in dopaminergic regions implicated in drug dependence and reward. When β3 subunits are expressed in excess, they have a dominant-negative effect on function of selected nAChR subtypes. In this study, we show, in Xenopus oocytes expressing α2, α3 or α4 plus either β2 or β4 subunits, that in the presumed presence of similar amounts of each nAChR subunit, co-expression with wild-type β3 subunits generally (except for α3*-nAChR) lowers amplitudes of agonist-evoked, inward peak currents by 20-50% without having dramatic effects (≤ 2-fold) on agonist potencies. By contrast, co-expression with mutant β3(V9'S) subunits generally (except for α4β2*-nAChR) increases agonist potencies, consistent with an expected gain-of-function effect. This most dramatically demonstrates formation of complexes containing three kinds of subunit. Moreover, for oocytes expressing nAChR containing any α subunit plus β4 and β3(V9'S) subunits, there is spontaneous channel opening sensitive to blockade by the open channel blocker, atropine. Collectively, the results indicate that β3 subunits integrate into all of the studied receptor assemblies and suggest that natural co-expression with β3 subunits can influence levels of expression and agonist sensitivities of several nAChR subtypes.

  2. Reporter mutation studies show that nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α5 Subunits and/or variants modulate function of α6*-nAChR.

    PubMed

    Dash, Bhagirathi; Chang, Yongchang; Lukas, Ronald J

    2011-11-04

    To further the understanding of functional α6α5*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR; the asterisk (*) indicates known or possible presence of other subunits), we have heterologously expressed in oocytes different, mouse or human, nAChR subunit combinations. Coexpression with wild-type α5 subunits or chimeric α5/β3 subunits (in which the human α5 subunit N-terminal, extracellular domain is linked to the remaining domains of the human β3 subunit) almost completely abolishes the very small amount of function seen for α6β4*-nAChR and does not induce function of α6β2*-nAChR. Coexpression with human α5(V9)'(S) subunits bearing a valine 290 to serine mutation in the 9' position of the second transmembrane domain does not rescue the function of α6β4*-nAChR or induce function of α6β2*-nAChR. However, coexpression with mutant chimeric α5/β3(V9)'(S) subunits has a gain-of-function effect (higher functional expression and agonist sensitivity and spontaneous opening inhibited by mecamylamine) on α6β4*-nAChR. Moreover, N143D + M145V mutations in the α6 subunit N-terminal domain enable α5/β3(V9)'(S) subunits to have a gain-of-function effect on α6β2*-nAChR. nAChR containing chimeric α6/α3 subunits plus either β2 or β4 subunits have some function that is modulated in the presence of α5 or α5/β3 subunits. Coexpression with α5/β3(V9)'(S) subunits has a gain-of-function effect more pronounced than that in the presence of α5(V9)'(S) subunits. Gain-of-function effects are dependent, sometimes subtly, on the nature and apparently the extracellular, cytoplasmic, and/or transmembrane domain topology of partner subunits. These studies yield insight into assembly of functional α6α5*-nAChR and provide tools for development of α6*-nAChR-selective ligands that could be important in the treatment of nicotine dependence, and perhaps other neurological diseases.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Two rare variations, D478N and D478E, that occur at the same amino acid residue in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α2 subunit influence nAChR function.

    PubMed

    Dash, Bhagirathi; Li, Ming D

    2014-10-01

    There occur two rare variations, Asp(D)478Asn(N) and Asp(D)478Glu(E), in the putative cytoplasmic amphipathic α-helices of human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α2 subunit as a result of mutation in the 1st (G → A: rs141072985) and 3rd (C → A: rs56344740) nucleotide of its 478th triplet codon (GAC). We assessed the effects of these two variations on the function of α2β2- and α2β4-nAChRs as they could alter the electronegativity and/or the structure of the cytoplasmic 'portals' (framed by subunit amphipathic α-helices) necessary for obligate ion permeation from extracellular space to cytoplasm. We injected decreasing ratio of subunit cRNAs (α:β; 10:1, 1:1 and 1:10) into Xenopus oocytes to express putative low-sensitivity (LS; 10:1), intermediate-sensitivity (IS; 1:1) and high sensitivity (HS; 1:10) isoforms of wild type and variant α2β2- and α2β4-nAChRs. Two-electrode voltage clamp analyses indicate that the agonist (ACh or nicotine) induced peak current responses (Imax) of α2β2-nAChR isoforms and those of α2β4-nAChR isoforms are increased (1.3-4.7-fold) as a result of D478E variation. The α2 subunit D478N variation only increases the Imax of IS (∼2-fold) or HS (1.4-2.1-fold) α2β2-nAChRs. Concentration-response curves constructed indicate no effect on agonist sensitivities of LS and HS isoforms of α2β2- or α2β4-nAChRs as a result of either variation in α2 subunit. Between the two variant nAChRs, α2(D478E)*-nAChR isoforms generally yield higher Imax than those of respective α2(D478N)*-nAChR isoforms. These effects could be attributed to alteration in cytoplasmic 'portals' and/or ion permeation through it owing to change in amino acid electronegativity (D → N) and side chain length (D → E) in nAChR α2 subunit.

  6. Effects of a7nAChR agonist on the tissue estrogen receptor expression of castrated rats

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Feng; Gong, Fan; Lv, Jinhan; Gao, Jun; Ma, Jingzu

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is one common disease in postmenopausal women due to depressed estrogen level. It has been known that inflammatory factors are involved in osteoporosis pathogenesis. One regulator of inflammatory cascade reaction, a7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (a7nAChR), therefore, may exert certain role in osteoporosis. This study thus investigated this question on an osteoporosis rat model after castration. Rats were firstly castrated to induce osteoporosis, and then received a7nAChR agonist (PNU-282987), diethylstilbestrol or saline via intraperitoneal injection. After 6 or 12 weeks, bone samples were collected for counting osteoblast number, bone density and estrogen receptor (ERα and ERβ) expression, in addition to the serum laboratory of inflammatory factors. Bone density, osteoclast number, ERα and ERβ expression level were significantly depressed in model group, and were remarkable potentiated in the drug treatment group (P<0.05). The levels of BGP and PTH in drug treatment group were decreased compared to diethylstilbestrol group, while E2 and IGF-1 showed up-regulation. Agonist of a7nAChR can up-regulate estrogen receptor expression and may prevent the occurrence and development of osteoporosis. PMID:26722551

  7. Nicotine-Induced Effects on Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors (nAChRs), Ca2+ and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in STC-1 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Jie; Mummalaneni, Shobha K.; Alkahtani, Reem M.; Mahavadi, Sunila; Murthy, Karnam S.; Grider, John R.

    2016-01-01

    In addition to the T2R bitter taste receptors, neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have recently been shown to be involved in the bitter taste transduction of nicotine, acetylcholine and ethanol. However, at present it is not clear if nAChRs are expressed in enteroendocrine cells other than beta cells of the pancreas and enterochromaffin cells, and if they play a role in the synthesis and release of neurohumoral peptides. Accordingly, we investigated the expression and functional role of nAChRs in enteroendocrine STC-1 cells. Our studies using RT-PCR, qRT-PCR, immunohistochemical and Western blotting techniques demonstrate that STC-1 cells express several α and β nAChR subunits. Exposing STC-1 cells to nicotine acutely (24h) or chronically (4 days) induced a differential increase in the expression of nAChR subunit mRNA and protein in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Mecamylamine, a non-selective antagonist of nAChRs, inhibited the nicotine-induced increase in mRNA expression of nAChRs. Exposing STC-1 cells to nicotine increased intracellular Ca2+ in a dose-dependent manner that was inhibited in the presence of mecamylamine or dihydro-β-erythroidine, a α4β2 nAChR antagonist. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA and protein were detected in STC-1 cells using RT-PCR, specific BDNF antibody, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Acute nicotine exposure (30 min) decreased the cellular content of BDNF in STC-1 cells. The nicotine-induced decrease in BDNF was inhibited in the presence of mecamylamine. We also detected α3 and β4 mRNA in intestinal mucosal cells and α3 protein expression in intestinal enteroendocrine cells. We conclude that STC-1 cells and intestinal enteroendocrine cells express nAChRs. In STC-1 cells nAChR expression is modulated by exposure to nicotine in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Nicotine interacts with nAChRs and inhibits BDNF expression in STC-1 cells. PMID:27846263

  8. [18F]ASEM, a radiolabeled antagonist for imaging the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) with positron emission tomography (PET)

    PubMed Central

    Horti, Andrew G.; Gao, Yongjun; Kuwabara, Hiroto; Wang, Yuchuan; Abazyan, Sofya; Yasuda, Robert P.; Tran, Thao; Xiao, Yingxian; Sahibzada, Niaz; Holt, Daniel P.; Kellar, Kenneth J.; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.; Pomper, Martin G.; Wong, Dean F.; Dannals, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    The α7-nicotinic cholinergic receptor (α7-nAChR) is a key mediator of brain communication and has been implicated in a wide variety of central nervous system disorders. None of the currently available PET radioligands for α7-nAChR are suitable for quantitative PET imaging, mostly due to insufficient specific binding. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential of [18F]ASEM ([18F]JHU82132) as an α7-nAChR radioligand for PET. Methods Inhibition binding assay and receptor functional properties of ASEM were assessed in vitro. The brain regional distribution of [18F]ASEM in baseline and blockade were evaluated in DISC1 mice (dissection) and baboons (PET). Results ASEM is an antagonist for the α7-nAChR with high binding affinity (Ki = 0.3 nM). [18F]ASEM readily entered the baboon brain and specifically labeled α7-nAChR. The in vivo specific binding of [18F]ASEM in the brain regions enriched with α7-nAChRs was 80–90%. SSR180711, an α7-nAChR selective partial agonist, blocked [18F]ASEM binding in the baboon brain in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that the binding of [18F]ASEM was mediated by α7-nAChRs and the radioligand was suitable for drug evaluation studies. In the baboon baseline studies, the brain regional volume of distribution (VT) values for [18F]ASEM were 23 (thalamus), 22 (insula), 18 (hippocampus) and 14 (cerebellum), whereas in the binding selectivity (blockade) scan, all regional VT values were reduced to less than 4. The range of regional binding potential (BPND) values in the baboon brain was from 3.9 to 6.6. In vivo cerebral binding of [18F]ASEM and α7-nAChR expression in mutant DISC1 mice, a rodent model of schizophrenia, was significantly lower than in control animals, which is in agreement with previous post-mortem human data. Conclusion [18F]ASEM holds promise as a radiotracer with suitable imaging properties for quantification of α7-nAChR in the human brain. PMID:24556591

  9. Cellular protein and mRNA expression of β1 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit in brain, skeletal muscle and placenta.

    PubMed

    Aishah, Atqiya; Hinton, Tina; Machaalani, Rita

    2017-01-30

    The β1 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit is a muscle type subunit of this family and as such, is found predominantly in muscle. Recent reports document its expression in other tissues and cell lines including adrenal glands, carcinomas, lung and brain. However, the majority of studies were of tissue lysates, thus the cellular distribution was not determined. This study aimed to determine the cellular distribution of the β1 nAChR subunit in the brain, at both the mRNA and protein levels, using non-radioactive in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively, and to compare it to two muscle tissue types, skeletal and placenta. Tissue was formalin fixed and paraffin embedded (all tissue types) and frozen (placenta) from humans. Additional control tissue from the piglet and mouse brain were also studied, as was mRNA for the α3 nAChR and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor 1 (NR1) subunit. We found no β1 nAChR subunit mRNA expression in the human and piglet brain despite strong protein expression. Some signal was seen in the mouse brain but considered inconclusive given the probes designed were not of 100% homology to the mouse. In the skeletal muscle and placenta tissues, β1 nAChR subunit mRNA expression was prominent and mirrored protein expression. No α3 nAChR or NR1 mRNA was seen in the skeletal muscle, as expected, although both subunit mRNAs were present in the placenta. This study concludes that further experiments are required to conclusively state that the β1 nAChR subunit is expressed in the human, piglet and mouse brain.

  10. Identification of novel α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists based on an isoxazole ether scaffold that demonstrate antidepressant-like activity.

    PubMed

    Yu, Li-Fang; Tückmantel, Werner; Eaton, J Brek; Caldarone, Barbara; Fedolak, Allison; Hanania, Taleen; Brunner, Dani; Lukas, Ronald J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2012-01-26

    There is considerable evidence to support the hypothesis that the blockade of nAChR is responsible for the antidepressant action of nicotinic ligands. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist, mecamylamine, has been shown to be an effective add-on in patients that do not respond to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This suggests that nAChR ligands may address an unmet clinical need by providing relief from depressive symptoms in refractory patients. In this study, a new series of nAChR ligands based on an isoxazole-ether scaffold have been designed and synthesized for binding and functional assays. Preliminary structure-activity relationship (SAR) efforts identified a lead compound 43, which possesses potent antidepressant-like activity (1 mg/kg, IP; 5 mg/kg, PO) in the classical mouse forced swim test. Early stage absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADME-Tox) studies also suggested favorable drug-like properties, and broad screening toward other common neurotransmitter receptors indicated that compound 43 is highly selective for nAChRs over the other 45 neurotransmitter receptors and transporters tested.

  11. Endogenous activation of nAChRs and NMDA receptors contributes to the excitability of CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons in rat hippocampal slices: effects of kynurenic acid.

    PubMed

    Alkondon, Manickavasagom; Pereira, Edna F R; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2011-10-15

    CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons (SRIs) express α7 nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) and receive inputs from glutamatergic neurons/axons that express α3β4β2 nAChRs. To test the hypothesis that endogenously active α7 and/or α3β4β2 nAChRs control the excitability of CA1 SRIs in the rat hippocampus, we examined the effects of selective receptor antagonists on spontaneous fast current transients (CTs) recorded from these interneurons under cell-attached configuration. The frequency of CTs, which represent action potentials, increased in the absence of extracellular Mg(2+) and decreased in the presence of the α3β4β2 nAChR antagonist mecamylamine (3 μM) or the NMDA receptor antagonist APV (50 μM). However, it was unaffected by the α7 nAChR antagonist MLA (10 nM) or the AMPA receptor antagonist CNQX (10 μM). Thus, in addition to synaptically and tonically activated NMDA receptors, α3β4β2 nAChRs that are present on glutamatergic axons/neurons synapsing onto SRIs and are activated by basal levels of acetylcholine contribute to the maintenance of the excitability of these interneurons. Kynurenic acid (KYNA), an astrocyte-derived kynurenine metabolite whose levels are increased in the brains of patients with schizophrenia, also controls the excitability of SRIs. At high micromolar concentrations, KYNA, acting primarily as an NMDA receptor antagonist, decreased the CT frequency recorded from the interneurons. At 2 μM, KYNA reduced the CA1 SRI excitability via mechanisms independent of NMDA receptor block. KYNA-induced reduction of excitability of SRIs may contribute to sensory gating deficits that have been attributed to deficient hippocampal GABAergic transmission and high levels of KYNA in the brain of patients with schizophrenia.

  12. Varenicline enhances oxidized LDL uptake by increasing expression of LOX-1 and CD36 scavenger receptors through α7 nAChR in macrophages.

    PubMed

    Kanaoka, Yuki; Koga, Mitsuhisa; Sugiyama, Keita; Ohishi, Kaoru; Kataoka, Yasufumi; Yamauchi, Atsushi

    2017-04-01

    Varenicline is a widely used and effective drug for smoking cessation. It is a partial agonist of the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and full agonist of α7 nAChR. We have reported that varenicline aggravates formation of atherosclerotic plaques through α7 nAChR in apolipoprotein E knockout mice. However, little is known about its effects on macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques. Here, we ascertained whether varenicline promotes oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) uptake in mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro and clarified its mechanism. We investigated the effects of varenicline (1-10μM) on expression of scavenger receptors (lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1), cluster of differentiation (CD) 36 and scavenger receptor class A (SR-A)) in RAW264.7 cells. Expression of protein and mRNA was determined by western blotting and real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Effects of varenicline (10μM) on oxLDL uptake were examined by counting the number of macrophages stained with oil red O and hematoxylin. Varenicline significantly increased expression of the protein and mRNA of LOX-1 and CD36, but not SR-A, in RAW264.7 cells, and increased oxLDL uptake in macrophages. These effects of varenicline were blocked significantly by an α7 nAChR antagonist, methyllycaconitine (MLA) (50nM), but not by an α4β2 nAChR antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide (DHβE) (1μM). These data suggest that varenicline promotes oxLDL uptake by upregulating expression of LOX-1 and CD36 through α7 nAChR in macrophages. We found that varenicline significantly activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathways in RAW264.7 cells. This activation was blocked by MLA but not DHβE. Therefore, ERK1/2-NF-κB signaling pathway is highly likely to be responsible for varenicline-induced upregulation of LOX-1 and CD36 expression through α7 nAChR in

  13. Investigation of Acetylcholine Receptor Diversity in a Nematode Parasite Leads to Characterization of Tribendimidine- and Derquantel-Sensitive nAChRs

    PubMed Central

    Neveu, Cedric; Cabaret, Jacques; Cortet, Jacques; Peineau, Nicolas; Abongwa, Melanie; Courtot, Elise; Robertson, Alan P.; Martin, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) of parasitic nematodes are required for body movement and are targets of important “classical” anthelmintics like levamisole and pyrantel, as well as “novel” anthelmintics like tribendimidine and derquantel. Four biophysical subtypes of nAChR have been observed electrophysiologically in body muscle of the nematode parasite Oesophagostomum dentatum, but their molecular basis was not understood. Additionally, loss of one of these subtypes (G 35 pS) was found to be associated with levamisole resistance. In the present study, we identified and expressed in Xenopus oocytes, four O. dentatum nAChR subunit genes, Ode-unc-38, Ode-unc-63, Ode-unc-29 and Ode-acr-8, to explore the origin of the receptor diversity. When different combinations of subunits were injected in Xenopus oocytes, we reconstituted and characterized four pharmacologically different types of nAChRs with different sensitivities to the cholinergic anthelmintics. Moreover, we demonstrate that the receptor diversity may be affected by the stoichiometric arrangement of the subunits. We show, for the first time, different combinations of subunits from a parasitic nematode that make up receptors sensitive to tribendimidine and derquantel. In addition, we report that the recombinant levamisole-sensitive receptor made up of Ode-UNC-29, Ode-UNC-63, Ode-UNC-38 and Ode-ACR-8 subunits has the same single-channel conductance, 35 pS and 2.4 ms mean open-time properties, as the levamisole-AChR (G35) subtype previously identified in vivo. These data highlight the flexible arrangements of the receptor subunits and their effects on sensitivity and resistance to the cholinergic anthelmintics; pyrantel, tribendimidine and/or derquantel may still be effective on levamisole-resistant worms. PMID:24497826

  14. Cigarette smoking during pregnancy regulates the expression of specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in the human placenta

    SciTech Connect

    Machaalani, R.; Ghazavi, E.; Hinton, T.; Waters, K.A.; Hennessy, A.

    2014-05-01

    Smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, premature delivery, and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Nicotine, a major pathogenic compound of cigarette smoke, binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). A total of 16 nAChR subunits have been identified in mammals (9 α, 4 β, and 1 δ, γ and ε subunits). The effect of cigarette smoking on the expression of these subunits in the placenta has not yet been determined, thus constituting the aim of this study. Using RT-qPCR and western blotting, this study investigated all 16 mammalian nAChR subunits in the normal healthy human placenta, and compared mRNA and protein expressions in the placentas from smokers (n = 8) to controls (n = 8). Our data show that all 16 subunit mRNAs are expressed in the normal, non-diseased human placenta and that the expression of α2, α3, α4, α9, β2 and β4 subunits is greater than the other subunits. For mRNA, cigarette smoke exposure was associated with increased expression of the α9 subunit, and decreased expression of the δ subunit. At the protein level, expression of both α9 and δ was increased. Thus, cigarette smoking in pregnancy is sufficient to regulate nAChR subunits in the placenta, specifically α9 and δ subunits, and could contribute to the adverse effects of vasoconstriction and decreased re-epithelialisation (α9), and increased calcification and apoptosis (δ), seen in the placentas of smoking women. - Highlights: • All 16 mammalian nAChR subunits are expressed in the human placenta. • Cigarette smoking increases α9 mRNA and protein in the placenta. • Cigarette smoking decreases δ mRNA but increases δ protein in the placenta.

  15. Menthol Alone Upregulates Midbrain nAChRs, Alters nAChR Subtype Stoichiometry, Alters Dopamine Neuron Firing Frequency, and Prevents Nicotine Reward.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Brandon J; Wall, Teagan R; Henley, Beverley M; Kim, Charlene H; Nichols, Weston A; Moaddel, Ruin; Xiao, Cheng; Lester, Henry A

    2016-03-09

    Upregulation of β2 subunit-containing (β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is implicated in several aspects of nicotine addiction, and menthol cigarette smokers tend to upregulate β2* nAChRs more than nonmenthol cigarette smokers. We investigated the effect of long-term menthol alone on midbrain neurons containing nAChRs. In midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons from mice containing fluorescent nAChR subunits, menthol alone increased the number of α4 and α6 nAChR subunits, but this upregulation did not occur in midbrain GABAergic neurons. Thus, chronic menthol produces a cell-type-selective upregulation of α4* nAChRs, complementing that of chronic nicotine alone, which upregulates α4 subunit-containing (α4*) nAChRs in GABAergic but not DA neurons. In mouse brain slices and cultured midbrain neurons, menthol reduced DA neuron firing frequency and altered DA neuron excitability following nAChR activation. Furthermore, menthol exposure before nicotine abolished nicotine reward-related behavior in mice. In neuroblastoma cells transfected with fluorescent nAChR subunits, exposure to 500 nm menthol alone also increased nAChR number and favored the formation of (α4)3(β2)2 nAChRs; this contrasts with the action of nicotine itself, which favors (α4)2(β2)3 nAChRs. Menthol alone also increases the number of α6β2 receptors that exclude the β3 subunit. Thus, menthol stabilizes lower-sensitivity α4* and α6 subunit-containing nAChRs, possibly by acting as a chemical chaperone. The abolition of nicotine reward-related behavior may be mediated through menthol's ability to stabilize lower-sensitivity nAChRs and alter DA neuron excitability. We conclude that menthol is more than a tobacco flavorant: administered alone chronically, it alters midbrain DA neurons of the nicotine reward-related pathway.

  16. Roles for N-terminal extracellular domains of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) β3 subunits in enhanced functional expression of mouse α6β2β3- and α6β4β3-nAChRs.

    PubMed

    Dash, Bhagirathi; Li, Ming D; Lukas, Ronald J

    2014-10-10

    Functional heterologous expression of naturally expressed mouse α6*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (mα6*-nAChRs; where "*" indicates the presence of additional subunits) has been difficult. Here we expressed and characterized wild-type (WT), gain-of-function, chimeric, or gain-of-function chimeric nAChR subunits, sometimes as hybrid nAChRs containing both human (h) and mouse (m) subunits, in Xenopus oocytes. Hybrid mα6mβ4hβ3- (∼ 5-8-fold) or WT mα6mβ4mβ3-nAChRs (∼ 2-fold) yielded higher function than mα6mβ4-nAChRs. Function was not detected when mα6 and mβ2 subunits were expressed together or in the additional presence of hβ3 or mβ3 subunits. However, function emerged upon expression of mα6mβ2mβ3(V9'S)-nAChRs containing β3 subunits having gain-of-function V9'S (valine to serine at the 9'-position) mutations in transmembrane domain II and was further elevated 9-fold when hβ3(V9'S) subunits were substituted for mβ3(V9'S) subunits. Studies involving WT or gain-of-function chimeric mouse/human β3 subunits narrowed the search for domains that influence functional expression of mα6*-nAChRs. Using hβ3 subunits as templates for site-directed mutagenesis studies, substitution with mβ3 subunit residues in extracellular N-terminal domain loops "C" (Glu(221) and Phe(223)), "E" (Ser(144) and Ser(148)), and "β2-β3" (Gln(94) and Glu(101)) increased function of mα6mβ2*- (∼ 2-3-fold) or mα6mβ4* (∼ 2-4-fold)-nAChRs. EC50 values for nicotine acting at mα6mβ4*-nAChR were unaffected by β3 subunit residue substitutions in loop C or E. Thus, amino acid residues located in primary (loop C) or complementary (loops β2-β3 and E) interfaces of β3 subunits are some of the molecular impediments for functional expression of mα6mβ2β3- or mα6mβ4β3-nAChRs.

  17. Residues Responsible for the Selectivity of α-Conotoxins for Ac-AChBP or nAChRs

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Bo; Xiang, Shihua; Li, Mengsen

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are targets for developing new drugs to treat severe pain, nicotine addiction, Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, etc. α-Conotoxins are biologically and chemically diverse. With 12–19 residues and two disulfides, they can be specifically selected for different nAChRs. Acetylcholine-binding proteins from Aplysia californica (Ac-AChBP) are homologous to the ligand-binding domains of nAChRs and pharmacologically similar. X-ray structures of the α-conotoxin in complex with Ac-AChBP in addition to computer modeling have helped to determine the binding site of the important residues of α-conotoxin and its affinity for nAChR subtypes. Here, we present the various α-conotoxin residues that are selective for Ac-AChBP or nAChRs by comparing the structures of α-conotoxins in complex with Ac-AChBP and by modeling α-conotoxins in complex with nAChRs. The knowledge of these binding sites will assist in the discovery and design of more potent and selective α-conotoxins as drug leads. PMID:27727162

  18. Menthol Alone Upregulates Midbrain nAChRs, Alters nAChR Subtype Stoichiometry, Alters Dopamine Neuron Firing Frequency, and Prevents Nicotine Reward

    PubMed Central

    Henderson, Brandon J.; Wall, Teagan R.; Henley, Beverley M.; Kim, Charlene H.; Nichols, Weston A.; Moaddel, Ruin; Xiao, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Upregulation of β2 subunit-containing (β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is implicated in several aspects of nicotine addiction, and menthol cigarette smokers tend to upregulate β2* nAChRs more than nonmenthol cigarette smokers. We investigated the effect of long-term menthol alone on midbrain neurons containing nAChRs. In midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons from mice containing fluorescent nAChR subunits, menthol alone increased the number of α4 and α6 nAChR subunits, but this upregulation did not occur in midbrain GABAergic neurons. Thus, chronic menthol produces a cell-type-selective upregulation of α4* nAChRs, complementing that of chronic nicotine alone, which upregulates α4 subunit-containing (α4*) nAChRs in GABAergic but not DA neurons. In mouse brain slices and cultured midbrain neurons, menthol reduced DA neuron firing frequency and altered DA neuron excitability following nAChR activation. Furthermore, menthol exposure before nicotine abolished nicotine reward-related behavior in mice. In neuroblastoma cells transfected with fluorescent nAChR subunits, exposure to 500 nm menthol alone also increased nAChR number and favored the formation of (α4)3(β2)2 nAChRs; this contrasts with the action of nicotine itself, which favors (α4)2(β2)3 nAChRs. Menthol alone also increases the number of α6β2 receptors that exclude the β3 subunit. Thus, menthol stabilizes lower-sensitivity α4* and α6 subunit-containing nAChRs, possibly by acting as a chemical chaperone. The abolition of nicotine reward-related behavior may be mediated through menthol's ability to stabilize lower-sensitivity nAChRs and alter DA neuron excitability. We conclude that menthol is more than a tobacco flavorant: administered alone chronically, it alters midbrain DA neurons of the nicotine reward-related pathway. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Menthol, the most popular flavorant for tobacco products, has been considered simply a benign flavor additive. However, as we show here

  19. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel hybrids of highly potent and selective α4β2-Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Han-Kun; Eaton, J Brek; Fedolak, Allison; Gunosewoyo, Hendra; Onajole, Oluseye K; Brunner, Dani; Lukas, Ronald J; Yu, Li-Fang; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2016-11-29

    We previously reported the cyclopropylpyridine and isoxazolylpyridine ether scaffolds to be versatile building blocks for creating potent α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonists with excellent selectivity over the α3β4 subtype. In our continued efforts to develop therapeutic nicotinic ligands, seven novel hybrid compounds were rationally designed, synthesized, and evaluated in [(3)H]epibatidine binding competition studies. Incorporation of a cyclopropane- or isoxazole-containing side chain onto the 5-position of 1-(pyridin-3-yl)-1,4-diazepane or 2-(pyridin-3-yl)-2,5-diazabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane led to highly potent and selective α4β2* nAChR partial agonists with Ki values of 0.5-51.4 nM for α4β2 and negligible affinities for α3β4 and α7. Moreover, compounds 21, 25, and 30 maintained the functional profiles (EC50 and IC50 values of 15-50 nM) of the parent azetidine-containing compounds 3 and 4 in the (86)Rb(+) ion flux assays. In vivo efficacy of the most promising compound 21 was confirmed in the mouse SmartCube(®) platform and classical forced swim tests, supporting the potential use of α4β2 partial agonists for treatment of depression.

  20. The analgesic-like properties of the alpha7 nAChR silent agonist NS6740 is associated with non-conducting conformations of the receptor

    PubMed Central

    Papke, Roger L.; Bagdas, Deniz; Kulkarni, Abhijit R.; Gould, Timothy; AlSharari, Shakir D.; Thakur, Ganesh A.; Damaj, M. Imad

    2014-01-01

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a promising drug target for a number of neurological disorders including chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Since α7 can function as a ligand-gated ion channel, drug development initially focused on ligands that were selective activators of the α7 ion channel. However, the best α7 drugs for chronic pain and inflammation indications may not be ion channel activators but rather “silent agonists”, which bind to the receptor but preferentially induce non-conducting states that modulate signal transduction in non-neuronal cells. One such compound is NS6740. We show that NS6740 selectively induces prolonged desensitization of α7 nAChRs. There are two forms of α7 desensitization that can be distinguished by their sensitivity to the positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). At high concentrations, NS6740 preferentially induces PAM-insensitive desensitization, which over the course of several minutes reverts to the sensitive form. NS6740 was tested in several pain models after in vivo administration in the mouse. Although it had no effects in acute thermal pain, NS6740 induced significant dose- and time-dependent antinociceptive activity in formalin- and acetic acid-induced nociceptive behaviors as well as in the chronic constrictive nerve injury (CCI) model for neuropathic pain. The antinociceptive activity of NS6740 in these models was α7-dependent. In addition, NS6740 administration reversed pain-induced aversion, an important affective component of pain. The time and concentration dependence of the effects were consistent with NS6740 induction of PAM-insensitive non-conducting states, suggesting that signal transduction required for analgesia is accomplished by α7 receptors in that conformation. PMID:25497451

  1. Solution conformation of a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist {alpha}-conotoxin OmIA that discriminates {alpha}3 vs. {alpha}6 nAChR subtypes

    SciTech Connect

    Chi, Seung-Wook; Kim, Do-Hyoung; Olivera, Baldomero M.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Han, Kyou-Hoon . E-mail: khhan600@kribb.re.kr

    2006-06-23

    {alpha}-Conotoxin OmIA from Conus omaria is the only {alpha}-conotoxin that shows a {approx}20-fold higher affinity to the {alpha}3{beta}2 over the {alpha}6{beta}2 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. We have determined a three-dimensional structure of {alpha}-conotoxin OmIA by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. {alpha}-Conotoxin OmIA has an '{omega}-shaped' overall topology with His{sup 5}-Asn{sup 12} forming an {alpha}-helix. Structural features of {alpha}-conotoxin OmIA responsible for its selectivity are suggested by comparing its surface characteristics with other functionally related {alpha}4/7 subfamily conotoxins. Reduced size of the hydrophilic area in {alpha}-conotoxin OmIA seems to be associated with the reduced affinity towards the {alpha}6{beta}2 nAChR subtype.

  2. Chronic treatment with varenicline changes expression of four nAChR binding sites in mice

    PubMed Central

    Marks, Michael J.; O’Neill, Heidi C.; Wynalda-Camozzi, Kelly M.; Ortiz, Nick C.; Simmons, Emily E.; Short, Caitlin A.; Butt, Christopher M.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Grady, Sharon R.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Chronic treatment with nicotine is known to increase the α4β2-nAChR sites in brain, to decrease α6β2-nAChR sites and to have minimal effect on α3β4- and α7-nAChR populations. Varenicline is now used as a smoking cessation treatment, with and without continued smoking or nicotine replacement therapy. Varenicline, like nicotine, upregulates the α4β2-nAChR sites; however, it is not known whether varenicline treatment changes expression of the other nAChR subtypes. Methods Using a mouse model, chronic treatments (10 days) with varenicline (0.12mg/kg/hr) and/or nicotine (1 mg/kg/hr), alone or in combination, were compared for plasma and brain levels of drugs, tolerance to subsequent acute nicotine and expression of four subtypes of nAChR using autoradiography. Results The upregulation of α4β2-nAChR sites elicited by chronic varenicline was very similar to that elicited by chronic nicotine. Treatment with both drugs somewhat increased up-regulation, indicating that these doses were not quite at maximum effect. Similar down-regulation was seen for α6β2-nAChR sites. Varenicline significantly increased both α3β4- and α7-nAChR sites while nicotine had less effect on these sites. The drug combination was similar to varenicline alone for α3β4-nAChR sites, while for α7 sites the drug combination was less effective than varenicline alone. Varenicline had small but significant effects on tolerance to acute nicotine. Conclusions Effects of varenicline in vivo may not be limited to the α4β2*-nAChR subtype. In addition, smoking cessation treatment with varenicline may not allow receptor numbers to be restored to baseline and may, in addition, change expression of other receptor subtypes. PMID:26192545

  3. Pharmacological properties and predicted binding mode of arylmethylene quinuclidine-like derivatives at the α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR).

    PubMed

    Kombo, David C; Hauser, Terry A; Grinevich, Vladimir P; Melvin, Matthew S; Strachan, Jon-Paul; Sidach, Serguei S; Chewning, Joseph; Fedorov, Nikolai; Tallapragada, Kartik; Breining, Scott R; Miller, Craig H

    2013-03-01

    We have carried out a pharmacological evaluation of arylmethylene quinuclidine derivatives interactions with human α3β4 nAChRs subtype, using cell-based receptor binding, calcium-influx, electrophysiological patch-clamp assays and molecular modeling techniques. We have found that the compounds bind competitively to the α3β4 receptor with micromolar affinities and some of the compounds behave as non-competitive antagonists (compounds 1, 2 and 3), displaying submicromolar IC(50) values. These evidences suggest a mixed mode of action for these compounds, having interactions at the orthosteric site and more pronounced interactions at an allosteric site to block agonist effects. One of the compounds, 1-benzyl-3-(diphenylmethylene)-1-azoniabicyclo[2.2.2]octane chloride (compound 3), exhibited poorly reversible use-dependent block of α3β4 channels. We also found that removal of a phenyl group from compound 1 confers a partial agonism to the derived analog (compound 6). Introducing a hydrogen-bond acceptor into the 3-benzylidene quinuclidine derivative (compound 7) increases agonism potency at the α3β4 receptor subtype. Docking into the orthosteric binding site of a α3β4 protein structure derived by comparative modeling accurately predicted the experimentally-observed trend in binding affinity. Results supported the notion that binding requires a hydrogen bond formation between the ligand basic nitrogen and the backbone carbonyl oxygen atom of the conserved Trp-149.

  4. Relationship between alpha 7 nAChR and apoptosis in human lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    De Rosa, María José; Esandi, María Del Carmen; Garelli, Andrés; Rayes, Diego; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2005-03-01

    The presence of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) in blood cells has been demonstrated. However, little is known about their functional roles. We have detected mRNA of alpha7 nAChR in peripheral human lymphocytes and determined that its expression is highly variable among individuals and within the same individual at different times. Upregulation of alpha7 is systematically observed after incubation of lymphocytes with nicotine or alpha-bungarotoxin. In addition, the incubation with these drugs decreases the percentage of apoptotic cells induced by the exposure to cortisol. Our results suggest that alpha7 nAChRs are involved in the modulation of cortisol-induced apoptosis.

  5. 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.

  6. The pharmacological activity of nicotine and nornicotine on nAChRs subtypes: relevance to nicotine dependence and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Papke, Roger L; Dwoskin, Linda P; Crooks, Peter A

    2007-04-01

    Cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco use deliver an array of pharmacologically active alkaloids, including nicotine and ultimately various metabolites of these substances. While nornicotine is a significant component in tobacco as well as a minor systemic metabolite of nicotine, nornicotine appears to be N-demethylated locally in the brain where it accumulates at relatively high levels after chronic nicotine administration. We have now examined the effects of nornicotine on specific combinations of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes and compared these responses to those evoked by acetylcholine and nicotine. Of the nAChR subtypes studied, we have found that alpha7 receptors are very responsive to nornicotine (EC50 approximately 17 micromol/L I(max) 50%, compared with acetylcholine (ACh)). nAChRs containing the ligand-binding domain of the alpha6 subunits (in the form of an alpha6/alpha3 chimera) are also strongly responsive to nornicotine (EC50 approximately 4 micromol/L I(max) 50%, compared with ACh). Alpha7-type nAChRs have been suggested to be potential therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and possibly other pathologies. nAChRs containing alpha6 subunits have been suggested to have a role in nicotine-evoked dopamine release. Thus, understanding the actions of nornicotine in the brain may have significance for both emerging therapeutics and the management of nicotine dependence.

  7. Anti-inflammatory role of microglial alpha7 nAChRs and its role in neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Egea, Javier; Buendia, Izaskun; Parada, Esther; Navarro, Elisa; León, Rafael; Lopez, Manuela G

    2015-10-15

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system, being expressed in neurons and non-neuronal cells, where they participate in a variety of physiological responses like memory, learning, locomotion, attention, among others. We will focus on the α7 nAChR subtype, which has been implicated in neuroprotection, synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival, and is considered as a potential therapeutic target for several neurological diseases. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are currently considered as two of the most important pathological mechanisms common in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson or Huntington diseases. In this review, we will first analysed the distribution and expression of nAChR in mammalian brain. Then, we focused on the function of the α7 nAChR subtype in neuronal and non-neuronal cells and its role in immune responses (cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway). Finally, we will revise the anti-inflammatory pathway promoted via α7 nAChR activation that is related to recruitment and activation of Jak2/STAT3 pathway, which on the one hand inhibits NF-κB nuclear translocation, and on the other hand, activates the master regulator of oxidative stress Nrf2/HO-1. This review provides a profound insight into the role of the α7 nAChR subtype in microglia and point out to microglial α7/HO-1 pathway as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic target.

  8. Calcium signalling mediated through α7 and non-α7 nAChR stimulation is differentially regulated in bovine chromaffin cells to induce catecholamine release

    PubMed Central

    del Barrio, Laura; Egea, Javier; León, Rafael; Romero, Alejandro; Ruiz, Ana; Montero, Mayte; Álvarez, Javier; López, Manuela G

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Ca2+ signalling and exocytosis mediated by nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes, especially the α7 nAChR, in bovine chromaffin cells are still matters of debate. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We have used chromaffin cell cultures loaded with Fluo-4 or transfected with aequorins directed to the cytosol or mitochondria, several nAChR agonists (nicotine, 5-iodo-A-85380, PNU282987 and choline), and the α7 nAChR allosteric modulator PNU120596. KEY RESULTS Minimal [Ca2+]c transients, induced by low concentrations of selective α7 nAChR agonists and nicotine, were markedly increased by the α7 nAChR allosteric modulator PNU120596. These potentiated responses were completely blocked by the α7 nAChR antagonist α-bungarotoxin (α7-modulated-response). Conversely, high concentrations of the α7 nAChR agonists, nicotine or 5-iodo-A-85380 induced larger [Ca2+]c transients, that were blocked by mecamylamine but were unaffected by α-bungarotoxin (non-α7 response). [Ca2+]c increases mediated by α7 nAChR were related to Ca2+ entry through non-L-type Ca2+ channels, whereas non-α7 nAChR-mediated signals were related to L-type Ca2+ channels; Ca2+-induced Ca2+-release contributed to both responses. Mitochondrial involvement in the control of [Ca2+]c transients, mediated by either receptor, was minimal. Catecholamine release coupled to α7 nAChRs was more efficient in terms of catecholamine released/[Ca2+]c. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS [Ca2+]c and catecholamine release mediated by α7 nAChRs required an allosteric modulator and low doses of the agonist. At higher agonist concentrations, the α7 nAChR response was lost and the non-α7 nAChRs were activated. Catecholamine release might therefore be regulated by different nAChR subtypes, depending on agonist concentrations and the presence of allosteric modulators of α7 nAChRs. PMID:20840468

  9. RAGE mediates the inactivation of nAChRs in sympathetic neurons under high glucose conditions.

    PubMed

    Chandna, Andrew R; Nair, Manoj; Chang, Christine; Pennington, Paul R; Yamamoto, Yasuhiko; Mousseau, Darrell D; Campanucci, Verónica A

    2015-02-01

    Autonomic dysfunction is a serious complication of diabetes and can lead to cardiovascular abnormalities and premature death. It was recently proposed that autonomic dysfunction is triggered by oxidation-mediated inactivation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), impairing synaptic transmission in sympathetic ganglia and resulting in autonomic failure. We investigated whether the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) and its role in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) could be contributing to the events that initiate sympathetic malfunction under high glucose conditions. Using biochemical, live imaging and electrophysiological tools we demonstrated that exposure of sympathetic neurons to high glucose increases RAGE expression and oxidative markers, and that incubation with RAGE ligands (e.g. AGEs, S100 and HMGB1) mimics both ROS elevation and nAChR inactivation. In contrast, co-treatment with either antioxidants or an anti-RAGE IgG prevented the inactivation of nAChRs. Lastly, a role for RAGE in this context was corroborated by the lack of sensitivity of sympathetic neurons from RAGE knock-out mice to high glucose. These data define a pivotal role for RAGE in initiating the events associated with exposure of sympathetic neurons to high glucose, and strongly support RAGE signaling as a potential therapeutic target in the autonomic complications associated with diabetes.

  10. Role of mouse cerebellar nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α(4)β(2)- and α(7) subtypes in the behavioral cross-tolerance between nicotine and ethanol-induced ataxia.

    PubMed

    Taslim, Najla; Soderstrom, Ken; Dar, M Saeed

    2011-03-01

    We have demonstrated that nicotine attenuated ethanol-induced ataxia via nicotinic-acetylcholine-receptor (nAChR) subtypes α(4)β(2) and α(7). In the present study, ethanol (2g/kg; i.p.)-induced ataxia was assessed by Rotorod performance following repeated intracerebellar infusion of α(4)β(2)- and α(7)-selective agonists. Localization of α(4)β(2) and α(7) nAChRs was confirmed immunohistochemically. Cerebellar NO(x) (nitrite+nitrate) was determined flurometrically. Repeated intracerebellar microinfusion of the α(4)β(2)-selective agonist, RJR-2403 (for 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days) or the α(7)-selective agonist, PNU-282987 (1, 2, 3 or 5 days), dose-dependently attenuated ethanol-induced ataxia. These results suggest the development of cross-tolerance between ethanol-induced ataxia and α(4)β(2) and α(7) nAChR agonists. With RJR-2403, the cross-tolerance was maximal after a 5-day treatment and lasted 48h. Cross-tolerance was maximal after a 1-day treatment with PNU-282987 and lasted 72h. Pretreatment with α(4)β(2)- and α(7)-selective antagonists, dihydro-β-erythroidine and methyllycaconitine, respectively, prevented the development of cross-tolerance confirming α(4)β(2) and α(7) involvement. Repeated agonist infusions elevated cerebellar NO(x) 16h after the last treatment while acute ethanol exposure decreased it. Pretreatment with repeated RJR-2403 or PNU-282987 reversed ethanol-induced decrease in NOx. The NO(x) data suggests the involvement of the nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP signaling pathway in the cross-tolerance that develops between α(4)β(2)- and α(7)-selective agonists and ethanol ataxia. Both α(4)β(2) and α(7) subtypes exhibited high immunoreactivity in Purkinje but sparse expression in molecular and granular cell layers. Our results support a role for α(4)β(2) and α(7) nAChR subtypes in the development of cross-tolerance between nicotine and ethanol with the NO signaling pathway as a potential mechanism.

  11. Crystal structure of a human neuronal nAChR extracellular domain in pentameric assembly: Ligand-bound α2 homopentamer

    PubMed Central

    Kouvatsos, Nikolaos; Giastas, Petros; Chroni-Tzartou, Dafni; Poulopoulou, Cornelia; Tzartos, Socrates J.

    2016-01-01

    In this study we report the X-ray crystal structure of the extracellular domain (ECD) of the human neuronal α2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit in complex with the agonist epibatidine at 3.2 Å. Interestingly, α2 was crystallized as a pentamer, revealing the intersubunit interactions in a wild type neuronal nAChR ECD and the full ligand binding pocket conferred by two adjacent α subunits. The pentameric assembly presents the conserved structural scaffold observed in homologous proteins, as well as distinctive features, providing unique structural information of the binding site between principal and complementary faces. Structure-guided mutagenesis and electrophysiological data confirmed the presence of the α2(+)/α2(−) binding site on the heteromeric low sensitivity α2β2 nAChR and validated the functional importance of specific residues in α2 and β2 nAChR subunits. Given the pathological importance of the α2 nAChR subunit and the high sequence identity with α4 (78%) and other neuronal nAChR subunits, our findings offer valuable information for modeling several nAChRs and ultimately for structure-based design of subtype specific drugs against the nAChR associated diseases. PMID:27493220

  12. Menthol Enhances Nicotine Reward-Related Behavior by Potentiating Nicotine-Induced Changes in nAChR Function, nAChR Upregulation, and DA Neuron Excitability.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Brandon J; Wall, Teagan R; Henley, Beverley M; Kim, Charlene H; McKinney, Sheri; Lester, Henry A

    2017-04-12

    Understanding why the quit rate among smokers of menthol cigarettes is lower than non-menthol smokers requires identifying the neurons that are altered by nicotine, menthol, and acetylcholine. Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) mediate the positive reinforcing effects of nicotine. Using mouse models, we show that menthol enhances nicotine-induced changes in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed on midbrain DA neurons. Menthol plus nicotine upregulates nAChR number and function on midbrain DA neurons more than nicotine alone. Menthol also enhances nicotine-induced changes in DA neuron excitability. In a conditioned place preference (CPP) assay, we observed that menthol plus nicotine produces greater reward-related behavior than nicotine alone. Our results connect changes in midbrain DA neurons to menthol-induced enhancements of nicotine reward-related behavior and may help explain how smokers of menthol cigarettes exhibit reduced cessation rates.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 12 April 2017. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.72.

  13. Activity of nAChRs containing alpha9 subunits modulates synapse stabilization via bidirectional signaling programs.

    PubMed

    Murthy, Vidya; Taranda, Julián; Elgoyhen, A Belén; Vetter, Douglas E

    2009-12-01

    Although the synaptogenic program for cholinergic synapses of the neuromuscular junction is well known, little is known of the identity or dynamic expression patterns of proteins involved in non-neuromuscular nicotinic synapse development. We have previously demonstrated abnormal presynaptic terminal morphology following loss of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha9 subunit expression in adult cochleae. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes have remained obscure. To better understand synapse formation and the role of cholinergic activity in the synaptogenesis of the inner ear, we exploit the nAChR alpha9 subunit null mouse. In this mouse, functional acetylcholine (ACh) neurotransmission to the hair cells is completely silenced. Results demonstrate a premature, effusive innervation to the synaptic pole of the outer hair cells in alpha9 null mice coinciding with delayed expression of cell adhesion proteins during the period of effusive contact. Collapse of the ectopic innervation coincides with an age-related hyperexpression pattern in the null mice. In addition, we document changes in expression of presynaptic vesicle recycling/trafficking machinery in the alpha9 null mice that suggests a bidirectional information flow between the target of the neural innervation (the hair cells) and the presynaptic terminal that is modified by hair cell nAChR activity. Loss of nAChR activity may alter transcriptional activity, as CREB binding protein expression is decreased coincident with the increased expression of N-Cadherin in the adult alpha9 null mice. Finally, by using mice expressing the nondesensitizing alpha9 L9'T point mutant nAChR subunit, we show that increased nAChR activity drives synaptic hyperinnervation.

  14. Effect of calcium on nicotine-induced current expressed by an atypical alpha-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2.

    PubMed

    Thany, Steeve H; Courjaret, Raphael; Lapied, Bruno

    2008-06-27

    Two distinct native alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-Bgt)-insensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), named nAChR1 and nAChR2, were identified in the cockroach Periplaneta americana dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons. They differed in their electrophysiological, pharmacological properties and intracellular regulation pathways. nAChR2 being an atypical nicotinic receptor closed upon agonist application and its current-voltage relationship resulted from a reduction in potassium conductance. In this study, using whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we demonstrated that calcium modulated nAChR2-mediated nicotine response. Under 0.5 microM alpha-Bgt and 20 mM d-tubocurarine, the nicotine-induced inward current amplitude was strongly reduced in the presence of intracellularly applied BAPTA or bath application of calcium-free solution. In addition, using cadmium chloride, we showed that nicotine response was modulated by extracellular calcium through plasma membrane calcium channels. Moreover, extracellular application of caffeine and thapsigargin reduced nAChR2-mediated response. Together these experiments revealed a complex calcium-dependent regulation of nAChR2.

  15. From crystal structure of α-conotoxin GIC in complex with Ac-AChBP to molecular determinants of its high selectivity for α3β2 nAChR

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Bo; Xu, Manyu; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Wu, Yong; Liu, Xi; Zhangsun, Dongting; Hu, Yuanyan; Xiang, Shi-Hua; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Tsetlin, Victor I.; Wang, Xinquan; Luo, Sulan

    2016-01-01

    Acetylcholine binding proteins (AChBPs) are unique spatial homologs of the ligand-binding domains of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and they reproduce some pharmacological properties of nAChRs. X-ray crystal structures of AСhBP in complex with α-conotoxins provide important insights into the interactions of α-conotoxins with distinct nAChR subtypes. Although considerable efforts have been made to understand why α-conotoxin GIC is strongly selective for α3β2 nAChR, this question has not yet been solved. Here we present the structure of α-conotoxin GIC in complex with Aplysia californica AChBP (Ac-AChBP) at a resolution of 2.1 Å. Based on this co-crystal structure complemented with molecular docking data, we suggest the key residues of GIC in determining its high affinity and selectivity for human α3β2 vs α3β4 nAChRs. These suggestions were checked by radioligand and electrophysiology experiments, which confirmed the functional role of detected contacts for GIC interactions with Ac-AChBP and α3β2 nAChR subtypes. While GIC elements responsible for its high affinity binding with Ac-AChBP and α3β2 nAChR were identified, our study also showed the limitations of computer modelling in extending the data from the X-ray structures of the AChBP complexes to all nAChR subtypes. PMID:26925840

  16. α7nAChR is expressed in satellite cells at different myogenic status during skeletal muscle wound healing in rats.

    PubMed

    Tian, Zhi-Ling; Jiang, Shu-Kun; Zhang, Miao; Wang, Meng; Li, Jiao-Yong; Zhao, Rui; Wang, Lin-Lin; Liu, Min; Li, Shan-Shan; Zhang, Meng-Zhou; Guan, Da-Wei

    2015-12-01

    Recent study has reported that α7 nicotine acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) is expressed in regenerated multinucleated myotubes. But the distribution of α7nAChR in satellite cells in different myogenic status is unknown. A preliminary study on the dynamic distribution of α7nAChR in satellite cells was performed by double indirect immunofluorescent procedures during skeletal muscle wound healing in rats. An animal model of skeletal muscle contusion was established in 40 Sprague-Dawley male rats. Samples were taken at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, 17 and 21 days after injury, respectively (five rats in each posttraumatic interval). Five rats were employed as control. In normal muscle specimens, weak immunoreactivity for α7nAChR was detected in a few satellite cells (considered as quiescent). α7nAChR-positive signals were observed in proliferated and differentiated satellite cells and regenerated multinucleated myotubes in the wounded areas. By morphometric analysis, the average number of α7nAChR+/Pax7+ and α7nAChR+/MyoD+ cells climaxed at 5 days post-injury. The average number of α7nAChR+/myogenin+ cells was significantly increased from 3 to 9 days post-injury as compared with other posttraumatic intervals. The protein level of α7nAChR maximized at 9 days post-injury, which implies that α7nAChR was associated with the satellite cells status. Our observations on expression of α7nAChR in satellite cells from quiescence to myotube formation suggest that α7nAChR may be involved in muscle regeneration by regulating satellite cell status.

  17. Enantiopure Cyclopropane-Bearing Pyridyldiazabicyclo[3.3.0]octanes as Selective α4β2-nAChR Ligands

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We report the synthesis and characterization of a series of enantiopure 5-cyclopropane-bearing pyridyldiazabicyclo[3.3.0]octanes that display low nanomolar binding affinities and act as functional agonists at α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype. Structure–activity relationship studies revealed that incorporation of a cyclopropane-containing side chain at the 5-position of the pyridine ring provides ligands with improved subtype selectivity for nAChR β2 subunit-containing nAChR subtypes (β2*-nAChRs) over β4*-nAChRs compared to the parent compound 4. Compound 15 exhibited subnanomolar binding affinity for α4β2- and α4β2*-nAChRs with negligible interaction. Functional assays confirm selectivity for α4β2-nAChRs. Furthermore, using the SmartCube assay system, this ligand showed antidepressant, anxiolytic, and antipsychotic features, while mouse forced-swim assay further confirm the antidepressant-like property of 15. PMID:25408831

  18. Enantiopure Cyclopropane-Bearing Pyridyldiazabicyclo[3.3.0]octanes as Selective α4β2-nAChR Ligands.

    PubMed

    Onajole, Oluseye K; Eaton, J Brek; Lukas, Ronald J; Brunner, Dani; Thiede, Lucinda; Caldarone, Barbara J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2014-11-13

    We report the synthesis and characterization of a series of enantiopure 5-cyclopropane-bearing pyridyldiazabicyclo[3.3.0]octanes that display low nanomolar binding affinities and act as functional agonists at α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype. Structure-activity relationship studies revealed that incorporation of a cyclopropane-containing side chain at the 5-position of the pyridine ring provides ligands with improved subtype selectivity for nAChR β2 subunit-containing nAChR subtypes (β2*-nAChRs) over β4*-nAChRs compared to the parent compound 4. Compound 15 exhibited subnanomolar binding affinity for α4β2- and α4β2*-nAChRs with negligible interaction. Functional assays confirm selectivity for α4β2-nAChRs. Furthermore, using the SmartCube assay system, this ligand showed antidepressant, anxiolytic, and antipsychotic features, while mouse forced-swim assay further confirm the antidepressant-like property of 15.

  19. Activation of Functional α7-Containing nAChRs in Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons by Physiological Levels of Choline in the Presence of PNU-120596

    PubMed Central

    Kalappa, Bopanna I.; Gusev, Alexander G.; Uteshev, Victor V.

    2010-01-01

    Background The level of expression of functional α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons is believed to be very low compared to hippocampal CA1 interneurons, and for many years this expression was largely overlooked. However, high densities of expression of functional α7-containing nAChRs in CA1 pyramidal neurons may not be necessary for triggering important cellular and network functions, especially if activation of α7-containing nAChRs occurs in the presence of positive allosteric modulators such as PNU-120596. Methodology/Principal Findings An approach previously developed for α7-containing nAChRs expressed in tuberomammillary neurons was applied to investigate functional CA1 pyramidal α7-containing nAChRs using rat coronal hippocampal slices and patch-clamp electrophysiology. The majority (∼71%) of tested CA1 pyramidal neurons expressed low densities of functional α7-containing nAChRs as evidenced by small whole-cell responses to choline, a selective endogenous agonist of α7 nAChRs. These responses were potentiated by PNU-120596, a novel positive allosteric modulator of α7 nAChRs. The density of functional α7-containing nAChRs expressed in CA1 pyramidal neurons (and thus, the normalized net effect of activation, i.e., response net charge per unit of membrane capacitance per unit of time) was estimated to be ∼5% of the density observed in CA1 interneurons. The results of this study demonstrate that despite low levels of expression of functional pyramidal α7-containing nAChRs, physiological levels of choline (∼10 µM) are sufficient to activate these receptors and transiently depolarize and even excite CA1 pyramidal neurons in the presence of PNU-120596. The observed effects are possible because in the presence of 10 µM choline and 1–5 µM PNU-120596, a single opening of an individual pyramidal α7-containing nAChR ion channel appears to transiently depolarize (∼4 mV) the entire pyramidal

  20. Distinct profiles of alpha7 nAChR positive allosteric modulation revealed by structurally diverse chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Grønlien, Jens Halvard; Håkerud, Monika; Ween, Hilde; Thorin-Hagene, Kirsten; Briggs, Clark A; Gopalakrishnan, Murali; Malysz, John

    2007-09-01

    Selective modulation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is thought to regulate processes impaired in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias. One approach to target alpha7 nAChRs is by positive allosteric modulation. Structurally diverse compounds, including PNU-120596, 4-naphthalene-1-yl-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3-H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-8-sulfonic acid amide (TQS), and 5-hydroxyindole (5-HI) have been identified as positive allosteric modulators (PAMs), but their receptor interactions and pharmacological profiles remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we investigated interactions of these compounds at human alpha7 nAChRs, expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, along with genistein, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Genistein was found to function as a PAM. Two types of PAM profiles were observed. 5-HI and genistein predominantly affected the apparent peak current (type I) whereas PNU-120596 and TQS increased the apparent peak current and evoked a distinct weakly decaying current (type II). Concentration-responses to agonists [ACh, 3-[(3E)-3-[(2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)methylidene]-5,6-dihydro-4H-pyridin-2-yl]pyridine dihydrochloride (GTS-21), and N-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-4-chlorobenzamide hydrochloride (PNU-282987)] were potentiated by both types, although type II PAMs had greater effects. When applied after alpha7 nAChRs were desensitized, type II, but not type I, PAMs could reactivate alpha7 currents. Both types of PAMs also increased the ACh-evoked alpha7 window currents, with type II PAMs generally showing larger potentiation. None of the PAMs tested increased nicotine-evoked Ca(2+) transients in human embryonic kidney 293 cells expressing human alpha4beta2 or alpha3beta4 nAChRs, although some inhibition was noted for 5-HI, genistein, and TQS. In summary, our studies reveal two distinct alpha7 PAM profiles, which could offer unique opportunities for modulating alpha7 nAChRs in vivo and in the development of novel

  1. Ligand Binding at the α4-α4 Agonist-Binding Site of the α4β2 nAChR Triggers Receptor Activation through a Pre-Activated Conformational State

    PubMed Central

    Indurthi, Dinesh C.; Lewis, Trevor M.; Ahring, Philip K.; Balle, Thomas; Chebib, Mary; Absalom, Nathan L.

    2016-01-01

    The α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is the most abundant subtype in the brain and exists in two functional stoichiometries: (α4)3(β2)2 and (α4)2(β2)3. A distinct feature of the (α4)3(β2)2 receptor is the biphasic activation response to the endogenous agonist acetylcholine, where it is activated with high potency and low efficacy when two α4-β2 binding sites are occupied and with low potency/high efficacy when a third α4-α4 binding site is occupied. Further, exogenous ligands can bind to the third α4-α4 binding site and potentiate the activation of the receptor by ACh that is bound at the two α4-β2 sites. We propose that perturbations of the recently described pre-activation step when a third binding site is occupied are a key driver of these distinct activation properties. To investigate this, we used a combination of simple linear kinetic models and voltage clamp electrophysiology to determine whether transitions into the pre-activated state were increased when three binding sites were occupied. We separated the binding at the two different sites with ligands selective for the α4-β2 site (Sazetidine-A and TC-2559) and the α4-α4 site (NS9283) and identified that when a third binding site was occupied, changes in the concentration-response curves were best explained by an increase in transitions into a pre-activated state. We propose that perturbations of transitions into a pre-activated state are essential to explain the activation properties of the (α4)3(β2)2 receptor by acetylcholine and other ligands. Considering the widespread clinical use of benzodiazepines, this discovery of a conserved mechanism that benzodiazepines and ACh potentiate receptor activation via a third binding site can be exploited to develop therapeutics with similar properties at other cys-loop receptors. PMID:27552221

  2. Contribution of α4β2 nAChR in nicotine-induced intracellular calcium response and excitability of MSDB neurons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiangang; Wang, Yali; Wang, Yang; Wang, Ran; Zhang, Yunpeng; Zhang, Qian; Lu, Chengbiao

    2014-12-10

    The neurons of medial septal diagonal band of broca (MSDB) project to hippocampus and play an important role in MSDB-hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and network oscillation. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, α4β2 and α7 nAChRs, are expressed in MSDB neurons and permeable to calcium ions, which may modulate the function of MSDB neurons. The aims of this study are to determine the roles of selective nAChR activation on the calcium responses and membrane currents in MSDB neurons. Our results showed that nicotine increased calcium responses in the majority of MSDB neurons, pre-treatment of MSDB slices with a α4β2 nAChR antagonist, DhβE but not a α7 nAChR antagonist, MLA prevented nicotine-induced calcium responses. The whole cell patch clamp recordings showed that nicotine-induced inward current and acetylcholine (ACh) induced-firing activity can be largely reduced or prevented by DhβE in MSDB neurons. Surprisingly, post-treatment of α4β2 or α7 nAChR antagonists failed to block nicotine׳s role, they increased calcium responses instead. Application of calcium chelator EGTA reduced calcium responses in all neurons tested. These results suggest that there was a subtype specific modulation of nAChRs on calcium signaling and membrane currents in MSDB neurons and nAChR antagonists were also able to induce calcium responses involving a distinct mechanism.

  3. nAChR dysfunction as a common substrate for schizophrenia and comorbid nicotine addiction: current trends and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Parikh, Vinay; Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The prevalence of tobacco use in the population with schizophrenia is enormously high. Moreover, nicotine dependence is found to be associated with symptom severity and poor outcome in patients with schizophrenia. The neurobiological mechanisms that explain schizophrenia-nicotine dependence comorbidity are not known. This study systematically reviews the evidence highlighting the contribution of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) to nicotine abuse in schizophrenia. Methods Electronic data bases (Medline, Google Scholar, and Web of Science) were searched using the selected key words that match the aims set forth for this review. A total of 275 articles were used for the qualitative synthesis of this review. Results Substantial evidence from preclinical and clinical studies indicated that dysregulation of α7 and β2-subunit containing nAChRs account for the cognitive and affective symptoms of schizophrenia and nicotine use may represent a strategy to remediate these symptoms. Additionally, recent meta-analyses proposed that early tobacco use may itself increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. Genetic studies demonstrating that nAChR dysfunction that may act as a shared vulnerability factor for comorbid tobacco dependence and schizophrenia were found to support this view. The development of nAChR modulators was considered an effective therapeutic strategy to ameliorate psychiatric symptoms and to promote smoking cessation in schizophrenia patients. Conclusions The relationship between schizophrenia and smoking is complex. While the debate for the self-medication versus addiction vulnerability hypothesis continues, it is widely accepted that a dysfunction in the central nAChRs represent a common substrate for various symptoms of schizophrenia and comorbid nicotine dependence. PMID:26803692

  4. High therapeutic potential of positive allosteric modulation of α7 nAChRs in a rat model of traumatic brain injury: Proof-of-concept

    PubMed Central

    Gatson, Joshua W.; Simpkins, James W.; Uteshev, Victor V.

    2015-01-01

    There are currently no clinically-efficacious drug therapies to treat brain damage secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this proof-of-concept study, we used a controlled cortical impact model of TBI in young adult rats to explore a novel promising approach that utilizes PNU-120596, a previously-reported highly selective Type-II positive allosteric modulator (α7-PAM) of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). α7-PAMs enhance and prolong α7 nAChR activation, but do not activate α7 nAChRs when administered without an agonist. The rational basis for the use of an α7-PAM as a post-TBI treatment is tripartite and arises from: 1) the intrinsic ability of brain injury to elevate extracellular levels of choline (a ubiquitous cell membrane-building material and a selective endogenous agonist of α7 nAChRs) due to the breakdown of cell membranes near the site and time of injury; 2) the ubiquitous expression of functional α7 nAChRs in neuronal and glial/immune brain cells; and 3) the potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of α7 nAChR activation. Therefore, both neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects can be achieved post-TBI by targeting only a single player (i.e., the α7 nAChR) using α7-PAMs to enhance the activation of α7 nAChRs by injury-elevated extracellular choline. Our data support this hypothesis and demonstrate that subcutaneous administration of PNU-120596 post-TBI in young adult rats significantly reduces both brain cell damage and reactive gliosis. Therefore, our results introduce post-TBI systemic administration of α7-PAMs as a promising therapeutic intervention that could significantly restrict brain injury post-TBI and facilitate recovery of TBI patients. PMID:25647232

  5. Discovery of Highly Potent and Selective α4β2-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Partial Agonists Containing an Isoxazolylpyridine Ether Scaffold that Demonstrate Antidepressant-like Activity. Part II

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Li-Fang; Eaton, J. Brek; Fedolak, Allison; Zhang, Han-Kun; Hanania, Taleen; Brunner, Dani; Lukas, Ronald J.; Kozikowski, Alan P.

    2012-01-01

    In our continued efforts to develop α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonists as novel antidepressants having a unique mechanism of action, structure activity relationship (SAR) exploration of certain isoxazolylpyridine ethers is presented. In particular, modifications to both the azetidine ring present in the starting structure 4 and its metabolically liable hydroxyl side chain substituent have been explored to improve compound druggability. The pharmacological characterization of all new compounds has been carried out using [3H]epibatidine binding studies together with functional assays based on 86Rb+ ion flux measurements. We found that the deletion of the metabolically liable hydroxyl group or its replacement by a fluoromethyl group not only maintained potency and selectivity, but also resulted in compounds showing antidepressant-like properties in the mouse forced swim test. These isoxazolylpyridine ethers appear to represent promising lead candidates in the design of innovative chemical tools containing reporter groups for imaging purposes and of possible therapeutics. PMID:23092294

  6. Discovery of highly potent and selective α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonists containing an isoxazolylpyridine ether scaffold that demonstrate antidepressant-like activity. Part II.

    PubMed

    Yu, Li-Fang; Eaton, J Brek; Fedolak, Allison; Zhang, Han-Kun; Hanania, Taleen; Brunner, Dani; Lukas, Ronald J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2012-11-26

    In our continued efforts to develop α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonists as novel antidepressants having a unique mechanism of action, structure-activity relationship (SAR) exploration of certain isoxazolylpyridine ethers is presented. In particular, modifications to both the azetidine ring present in the starting structure 4 and its metabolically liable hydroxyl side chain substituent have been explored to improve compound druggability. The pharmacological characterization of all new compounds has been carried out using [(3)H]epibatidine binding studies together with functional assays based on (86)Rb(+) ion flux measurements. We found that the deletion of the metabolically liable hydroxyl group or its replacement by a fluoromethyl group not only maintained potency and selectivity but also resulted in compounds showing antidepressant-like properties in the mouse forced swim test. These isoxazolylpyridine ethers appear to represent promising lead candidates in the design of innovative chemical tools containing reporter groups for imaging purposes and of possible therapeutics.

  7. Vagus nerve stimulation mediates protection from kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury through α7nAChR+ splenocytes

    PubMed Central

    Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Abe, Chikara; Sung, Sun-sang J.; Moscalu, Stefan; Jankowski, Jakub; Huang, Liping; Ye, Hong; Guyenet, Patrice G.

    2016-01-01

    The nervous and immune systems interact in complex ways to maintain homeostasis and respond to stress or injury, and rapid nerve conduction can provide instantaneous input for modulating inflammation. The inflammatory reflex referred to as the cholinergic antiinflammatory pathway regulates innate and adaptive immunity, and modulation of this reflex by vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is effective in various inflammatory disease models, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Effectiveness of VNS in these models necessitates the integration of neural signals and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) on splenic macrophages. Here, we sought to determine whether electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve attenuates kidney ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), which promotes the release of proinflammatory molecules. Stimulation of vagal afferents or efferents in mice 24 hours before IRI markedly attenuated acute kidney injury (AKI) and decreased plasma TNF. Furthermore, this protection was abolished in animals in which splenectomy was performed 7 days before VNS and IRI. In mice lacking α7nAChR, prior VNS did not prevent IRI. Conversely, adoptive transfer of VNS-conditioned α7nAChR splenocytes conferred protection to recipient mice subjected to IRI. Together, these results demonstrate that VNS-mediated attenuation of AKI and systemic inflammation depends on α7nAChR-positive splenocytes. PMID:27088805

  8. Synthesis and biological activity of a novel class nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) ligands structurally related to anatoxin-a.

    PubMed

    Simoni, Daniele; Rondanin, Riccardo; Marchetti, Paolo; Rullo, Cinzia; Baruchello, Riccardo; Grisolia, Giuseppina; Barbato, Giuseppina; Giovannini, Riccardo; Marchioro, Carla; Capelli, Anna Maria; Virginio, Caterina; Bozzoli, Andrea; Borea, Pier Andrea; Merighi, Stefania; Donati, Daniele

    2011-09-15

    The introduction of the isoxazole ring as bioisosteric replacement of the acetyl group of anatoxin-a led to a new series of derivatives binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Bulkier substitutions than methyl at the 3 position of isoxazole were shown to be detrimental for the activity. The binding potency of the most interesting compounds with α1, α7 and α3β4 receptor subtypes, was, anyway, only at micromolar level. Moreover, differently from known derivatives with pyridine, isoxazole condensed to azabicyclo ring led to no activity.

  9. Enhanced synthesis and release of dopamine in transgenic mice with gain-of-function α6* nAChRs.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuexiang; Lee, Jang-Won; Oh, Gyeon; Grady, Sharon R; McIntosh, J Michael; Brunzell, Darlene H; Cannon, Jason R; Drenan, Ryan M

    2014-04-01

    α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)s in the ventral tegmental area to nucleus accumbens (NAc) pathway are implicated in the response to nicotine, and recent work suggests these receptors play a role in the rewarding action of ethanol. Here, we studied mice expressing gain-of-function α6β2* nAChRs (α6L9'S mice) that are hypersensitive to nicotine and endogenous acetylcholine. Evoked extracellular dopamine (DA) levels were enhanced in α6L9'S NAc slices compared to control, non-transgenic (non-Tg) slices. Extracellular DA levels in both non-Tg and α6L9'S slices were further enhanced in the presence of GBR12909, suggesting intact DA transporter function in both mouse strains. Ongoing α6β2* nAChR activation by acetylcholine plays a role in enhancing DA levels, as α-conotoxin MII completely abolished evoked DA release in α6L9'S slices and decreased spontaneous DA release from striatal synaptosomes. In HPLC experiments, α6L9'S NAc tissue contained significantly more DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, and homovanillic acid compared to non-Tg NAc tissue. Serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and norepinephrine (NE) were unchanged in α6L9'S compared to non-Tg tissue. Western blot analysis revealed increased tyrosine hydroxylase expression in α6L9'S NAc. Overall, these results show that enhanced α6β2* nAChR activity in NAc can stimulate DA production and lead to increased extracellular DA levels.

  10. Contributions of β2 subunit-containing nAChRs to chronic nicotine-induced alterations in cognitive flexibility in mice

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Robert D.; Poole, Rachel L.; Guzman, Dawn M.; Gould, Thomas J.; Parikh, Vinay

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Deficits in executive functions underlie compulsive drug use and understanding how nicotine influences these cognitive processes may provide important information on neurobiological substrates of nicotine addiction. Accumulating evidence suggests that β2 subunit-containing nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) are involved in the reinforcing process of nicotine addiction. Whether these nAChRs also contributes to the detrimental effects of chronic nicotine on flexible decision-making is not known. Objectives In the present study, the effects of chronic nicotine were assessed in mice with partial or complete deletion of the β2-subunit containing nAChR gene (β2+/- or β2-/-) performing an operant cognitive flexibility task. Results Visual discrimination learning was not affected in saline-treated β2 nAChR mutants as compared to the wild-type (β2+/+) mice; yet, chronic nicotine facilitated acquisition of visual discrimination in all genotypes. The acquisition of new egocentric response strategy set-shifting remained similar in all genotypes and there was no effect of treatment. Chronic nicotine treatment impaired reversal learning in β2+/+ mice by increasing response perseveration to the previously rewarded stimulus. Moreover, the acquisition of inverted stimulus-reward contingencies did not differ between β2+/+ and β2-/- mice exposed to chronic nicotine. Interestingly, nicotine-induced reversal learning deficits were not observed in β2+/- mice. Conclusions Collectively, these findings suggest that β2 subunit-containing nAChRs are not critical for visual discrimination learning and extradimensional rule shift. However, sustained activation of these nAChRs with nicotine may interfere with inhibitory control processes influencing affective shifts in stimulus-reward contingencies. PMID:25281224

  11. New-generation radiotracers for nAChR and NET.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yu-Shin; Fowler, Joanna

    2005-10-01

    Advances in radiotracer chemistry and instrumentation have merged to make positron emission tomography (PET) a powerful tool in the biomedical sciences. Positron emission tomography has found increased application in the study of drugs affecting the brain and whole body, including the measurement of drug pharmacokinetics (using a positron-emitter-labeled drug) and drug pharmacodynamics (using a labeled tracer). Thus, radiotracers are major scientific tools enabling investigations of molecular phenomena, which are at the heart of understanding human disease and developing effective treatments; however, there is evidently a bottleneck in translating basic research to clinical practice. In the meantime, the poor ability to predict the in vivo behavior of chemical compounds based on their log P's and affinities emphasizes the need for more knowledge in this area. In this article, we focus on the development and translation of radiotracers for PET studies of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and the norepinephrine transporter (NET), two molecular systems that urgently need such an important tool to better understand their functional significance in the living human brain.

  12. Blockade of Neuronal α7-nAChR by α-Conotoxin ImI Explained by Computational Scanning and Energy Calculations

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Rilei; Craik, David J.; Kaas, Quentin

    2011-01-01

    α-Conotoxins potently inhibit isoforms of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are essential for neuronal and neuromuscular transmission. They are also used as neurochemical tools to study nAChR physiology and are being evaluated as drug leads to treat various neuronal disorders. A number of experimental studies have been performed to investigate the structure-activity relationships of conotoxin/nAChR complexes. However, the structural determinants of their binding interactions are still ambiguous in the absence of experimental structures of conotoxin-receptor complexes. In this study, the binding modes of α-conotoxin ImI to the α7-nAChR, currently the best-studied system experimentally, were investigated using comparative modeling and molecular dynamics simulations. The structures of more than 30 single point mutants of either the conotoxin or the receptor were modeled and analyzed. The models were used to explain qualitatively the change of affinities measured experimentally, including some nAChR positions located outside the binding site. Mutational energies were calculated using different methods that combine a conformational refinement procedure (minimization with a distance dependent dielectric constant or explicit water, or molecular dynamics using five restraint strategies) and a binding energy function (MM-GB/SA or MM-PB/SA). The protocol using explicit water energy minimization and MM-GB/SA gave the best correlations with experimental binding affinities, with an R2 value of 0.74. The van der Waals and non-polar desolvation components were found to be the main driving force for binding of the conotoxin to the nAChR. The electrostatic component was responsible for the selectivity of the various ImI mutants. Overall, this study provides novel insights into the binding mechanism of α-conotoxins to nAChRs and the methodological developments reported here open avenues for computational scanning studies of a rapidly expanding range of wild

  13. Human Brain Imaging of α7 nAChR with [18F]ASEM: a New PET Radiotracer for Neuropsychiatry and Determination of Drug Occupancy

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Dean F.; Kuwabara, Hiroto; Pomper, Martin; Holt, Daniel P.; Brasic, James R.; George, Noble; Frolov, Boris; Willis, William; Gao, Yongjun; Valentine, Heather; Nandi, Ayon; Gapasin, Lorena; Dannals, Robert F.; Horti, Andrew G.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Using the α7-nAChR radiotracer, [18F]ASEM, we present the first successful human positron emission tomography (PET) studies. Rodent occupancy with three clinically employed α7-nAChR drugs confirms the specificity of the radiotracer. Procedures Five healthy male subjects were imaged for 90 min following IV [18F]ASEM. Two subjects were scanned for the second time (test/retest; TRV). Mouse biodistribution of [18F]ASEM was carried out in CD1 mice injected with using human equivalent doses of DMXB-A, EVP-6124, and varenicline to block specific binding. Results [18F]ASEM readily entered the brain and peaked at 15 min post-injection with reversible kinetics and a peak %SUV of about 400 %. The regional human brain distribution of [18F]ASEM matched previous in vitro data and baboon PET results. The precuneus, parietal, occipital, cingulate cortexes, putamen, and thalamus showed high values of distribution volume (>20 ml/ml) and binding potentials >1 with TRV averaged 10.8±5.1 %. In mouse distribution studies, there was significant dose-dependent blockade in the mouse brain with DMXB-A as well as the other two α7-nAChR drugs. Conclusions The characteristics of [18F]ASEM are consistent with the ability to quantify α7-nAChR in the human brain. [18F]ASEM is suitable for imaging neuropsychiatric disorders and target engagement (receptor occupancy) of potential α7-nAChR drugs. PMID:25145965

  14. AT–1001: a high-affinity α3β4 nAChR ligand with novel nicotine-suppressive pharmacology

    PubMed Central

    Cippitelli, Andrea; Wu, Jinhua; Gaiolini, Kelly A; Mercatelli, Daniela; Schoch, Jennifer; Gorman, Michelle; Ramirez, Alejandra; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Khroyan, Taline V; Yasuda, Dennis; Zaveri, Nurulain T; Pascual, Conrado; Xie, Xinmin (Simon); Toll, Lawrence

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose The α3β4 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has been implicated in mediating nicotine reinforcement processes. AT-1001 has been recently described as a high-affinity and selective α3β4 nAChR antagonist that blocks nicotine self-administration in rats. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of action underlying the nicotine-suppressive effects of AT-1001. Experimental Approach Effects of AT-1001 were determined using in vitro assays and rat models of nicotine addiction, and compared with varenicline. Key Results AT-1001 and its analogue AT-1012 were functionally selective as antagonists for α3β4 over α4β2 nAChRs, but not to the same extent as the binding selectivity, and had partial agonist activity at α3β4 nAChRs. In contrast, varenicline was a partial agonist at α4β2, a weak agonist at α3β4 and inhibited α4β2 at a much lower concentration than it inhibited α3β4 nAChRs. AT-1001 and varenicline also had very different in vivo properties. Firstly, AT-1001 did not exhibit reinforcing properties per se while varenicline was self-administered. Secondly, systemic treatment with AT-1001 did not induce reinstatement of nicotine seeking but rather attenuated reinstatement induced by varenicline, as well as nicotine. Finally, unlike varenicline, AT-1001 selectively blocked nicotine self-administration without altering alcohol lever pressing as assessed in an operant co-administration paradigm. Conclusions and Implications These findings describe a more complex AT-1001 in vitro profile than previously appreciated and provide further support for the potential of AT-1001 and congeners as clinically useful compounds for smoking cessation, with a mechanism of action distinct from currently available medications. PMID:25440006

  15. Engineering α4β2 nAChRs with reduced or increased nicotine sensitivity via selective disruption of consensus sites in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α4 subunit

    PubMed Central

    Biaggi-Labiosa, Nilza M.; Avilés-Pagán, Emir; Caballero-Rivera, Daniel; Báez-Pagán, Carlos; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A.

    2015-01-01

    The α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays a crucial role in nicotine addiction. These receptors are known to desensitize and up-regulate after chronic nicotine exposure, but the mechanism remains unknown. Currently, the structure and functional role of the intracellular domains of the nAChR are obscure. To study the effect of subunit phosphorylation on α4β2 nAChR function and expression, eleven residues located in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop were mutated to alanine and aspartic acid. Two-electrode voltage clamp and 125I-labeled epibatidine binding assays were performed on Xenopus oocytes to assess agonist activation and receptor expression. When ACh was used as an agonist, a decrease in receptor activation was observed for the majority of the mutations. When nicotine was used as an agonist, four mutations exhibited a statistically significant hypersensitivity to nicotine (S438D, S469A, Y576A, and S589A). Additionally, two mutations (S516D and T536A) that displayed normal activation with ACh displayed remarkable reductions in sensitivity to nicotine. Binding assays revealed a constitutive up-regulation in these two nicotine mutations with reduced nicotine sensitivity. These results suggest that consensus phosphorylation residues in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α4 subunit play a crucial role in regulating α4β2 nAChR agonist selectivity and functional expression. Furthermore, these results suggest that disruption of specific interactions at PKC putative consensus sites can render α4β2 nAChRs almost insensitive to nicotine without substantial effects on normal AChR function. Therefore, these PKC consensus sites in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α4 nAChR subunit could be a target for smoking cessation drugs. PMID:25957813

  16. Engineering α4β2 nAChRs with reduced or increased nicotine sensitivity via selective disruption of consensus sites in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α4 subunit.

    PubMed

    Biaggi-Labiosa, Nilza M; Avilés-Pagán, Emir; Caballero-Rivera, Daniel; Báez-Pagán, Carlos A; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2015-12-01

    The α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays a crucial role in nicotine addiction. These receptors are known to desensitize and up-regulate after chronic nicotine exposure, but the mechanism remains unknown. Currently, the structure and functional role of the intracellular domains of the nAChR are obscure. To study the effect of subunit phosphorylation on α4β2 nAChR function and expression, eleven residues located in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop were mutated to alanine and aspartic acid. Two-electrode voltage clamp and 125I-labeled epibatidine binding assays were performed on Xenopus oocytes to assess agonist activation and receptor expression. When ACh was used as an agonist, a decrease in receptor activation was observed for the majority of the mutations. When nicotine was used as an agonist, four mutations exhibited a statistically significant hypersensitivity to nicotine (S438D, S469A, Y576A, and S589A). Additionally, two mutations (S516D and T536A) that displayed normal activation with ACh displayed remarkable reductions in sensitivity to nicotine. Binding assays revealed a constitutive up-regulation in these two nicotine mutations with reduced nicotine sensitivity. These results suggest that consensus phosphorylation residues in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α4 subunit play a crucial role in regulating α4β2 nAChR agonist selectivity and functional expression. Furthermore, these results suggest that disruption of specific interactions at PKC putative consensus sites can render α4β2 nAChRs almost insensitive to nicotine without substantial effects on normal AChR function. Therefore, these PKC consensus sites in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α4 nAChR subunit could be a target for smoking cessation drugs.

  17. Induction of long-term oscillations in the γ frequency band by nAChR activation in rat hippocampal CA3 area.

    PubMed

    Zhang, X; Ge, X Y; Wang, J G; Wang, Y L; Wang, Y; Yu, Y; Li, P P; Lu, C B

    2015-08-20

    The hippocampal neuronal network oscillation at γ frequency band (γ oscillation) is generated by the precise interaction between interneurons and principle cells. γ oscillation is associated with attention, learning and memory and is impaired in the diseased conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and schizophrenia. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays an important role in the regulation of hippocampal neurotransmission and network activity. It is not known whether nicotine modulates plasticity of network activity at γ oscillations in the hippocampus. In this study we investigated the effects of nicotine on the long-term changes of KA-induced γ oscillations. We found that hippocampal γ oscillations can be enhanced by a low concentration of nicotine (1μM), such an enhancement lasts for hours after washing out of nicotine, suggesting a form of synaptic plasticity, named as long-term oscillation at γ frequency band (LTOγ). Nicotine-induced LTOγ was mimicked by the selective α4β2 but not by α7 nAChR agonist and was involved in N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation as well as depended on excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Our results indicate that nAChR activation induced plasticity in γ oscillation, which may be beneficial for the improvement of cognitive deficiency in AD and schizophrenia.

  18. Activation of α7nAChR Promotes Diabetic Wound Healing by Suppressing AGE-Induced TNF-α Production.

    PubMed

    Dong, Miao-Wu; Li, Ming; Chen, Jie; Fu, Tong-Tong; Lin, Ke-Zhi; Ye, Guang-Hua; Han, Jun-Ge; Feng, Xiang-Ping; Li, Xing-Biao; Yu, Lin-Sheng; Fan, Yan-Yan

    2016-04-01

    Diabetes frequently presents accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which might induce excessive TNF-α production from macrophages to cause impaired wound healing. Recent studies have shown that activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) on macrophages efficiently suppressed TNF-α synthesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the accumulation of AGEs in the wounds and determine whether PNU282987, an α7nAChR agonist, can improve wound repair by inhibiting AGE-mediated TNF-α production in a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mouse model. Animals were assigned into four groups: wounded control group, wounded diabetic group, wounded diabetic group treated intraperitoneally with PNU282987, or wounded diabetic group treated intraperitoneally with vehicle. Compared with the non-diabetic control mice, the diabetic mice exhibited delayed wound healing that was characterized by elevated accumulation of AGEs, increased TNF-α level and macrophage infiltration, and decreased fibroblast number and collagen deposition at the late stage of repair. Besides, macrophages of diabetic wounds showed expression of α7nAChR. During late repair, PNU282987 treatment of diabetic mice significantly reduced the level of TNF-α, accelerated wound healing, and elevated fibroblast number and collagen deposition. To investigate the cellular mechanism of these observations, RAW 264.7 cells, a macrophage cell line, were incubated with AGEs in the presence or absence of PNU282987. TNF-α production from AGE-stimulated macrophages was significantly decreased by PNU282987 in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, PNU282987 significantly inhibited AGE-induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation and receptor for AGE (RAGE) expression. These results strongly suggest that activating α7nAChR can promote diabetic wound healing by suppressing AGE-induced TNF-α production, which may be closely associated with the blockage of NF-κB activation in macrophages.

  19. A positive allosteric modulator of α7 nAChRs augments neuroprotective effects of endogenous nicotinic agonists in cerebral ischaemia

    PubMed Central

    Kalappa, Bopanna I; Sun, Fen; Johnson, Stephen R; Jin, Kunlin; Uteshev, Victor V

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) can be neuroprotective. However, endogenous choline and ACh have not been regarded as potent neuroprotective agents because physiological levels of choline/ACh do not produce neuroprotective levels of α7 activation. This limitation may be overcome by the use of type-II positive allosteric modulators (PAMs-II) of α7 nAChRs, such as 1-(5-chloro-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(5-methylisoxazol-3-yl)-urea (PNU-120596). This proof-of-concept study presents a novel neuroprotective paradigm that converts endogenous choline/ACh into potent neuroprotective agents in cerebral ischaemia by inhibiting α7 nAChR desensitization using PNU-120596. Experimental Approach An electrophysiological ex vivo cell injury assay (to quantify the susceptibility of hippocampal neurons to acute injury by complete oxygen and glucose deprivation; COGD) and an in vivo middle cerebral artery occlusion model of ischaemia were used in rats. Key Results Choline (20–200 μM) in the presence, but not absence of 1 μM PNU-120596 significantly delayed anoxic depolarization/injury of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, but not CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons, subjected to COGD in acute hippocampal slices and these effects were blocked by 20 nM methyllycaconitine, a selective α7 antagonist, thus, activation of α7 nAChRs was required. PNU-120596 alone was ineffective ex vivo. In in vivo experiments, both pre- and post-ischaemia treatments with PNU-120596 (30 mg·kg−1, s.c. and 1 mg·kg−1, i.v., respectively) significantly reduced the cortical/subcortical infarct volume caused by transient focal cerebral ischaemia. PNU-120596 (1 mg·kg−1, i.v., 30 min post-ischaemia) remained neuroprotective in rats subjected to a choline-deficient diet for 14 days prior to experiments. Conclusions and Implications PNU-120596 and possibly other PAMs-II significantly improved neuronal survival in cerebral ischaemia by augmenting

  20. Discovery and characterization of EIIB, a new α-conotoxin from Conus ermineus venom by nAChRs affinity capture monitored by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Echterbille, Julien; Gilles, Nicolas; Araóz, Romulo; Mourier, Gilles; Amar, Muriel; Servent, Denis; De Pauw, Edwin; Quinton, Loic

    2017-05-01

    Animal toxins are peptides that often bind with remarkable affinity and selectivity to membrane receptors such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The latter are, for example, targeted by α-conotoxins, a family of peptide toxins produced by venomous cone snails. nAChRs are implicated in numerous physiological processes explaining why the design of new pharmacological tools and the discovery of potential innovative drugs targeting these receptor channels appear so important. This work describes a methodology developed to discover new ligands of nAChRs from complex mixtures of peptides. The methodology was set up by the incubation of Torpedo marmorata electrocyte membranes rich in nAChRs with BSA tryptic digests (>100 peptides) doped by small amounts of known nAChRs ligands (α-conotoxins). Peptides that bind to the receptors were purified and analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry which revealed an enrichment of α-conotoxins in membrane-containing fractions. This result exhibits the binding of α-conotoxins to nAChRs. Negative controls were performed to demonstrate the specificity of the binding. The usefulness and the power of the methodology were also investigated for a discovery issue. The workflow was then applied to the screening of Conus ermineus crude venom, aiming at characterizing new nAChRs ligands from this venom, which has not been extensively investigated to date. The methodology validated our experiments by allowing us to bind two α-conotoxins (α-EI and α-EIIA) which have already been described as nAChRs ligands. Moreover, a new conotoxin, never described to date, was also captured, identified and sequenced from this venom. Classical pharmacology tests by radioligand binding using a synthetic homologue of the toxin confirm the activity of the new peptide, called α-EIIB. The Ki value of this peptide for Torpedo nicotinic receptors was measured at 2.2 ± 0.7 nM.

  1. The characterization of a novel rigid nicotine analog with alpha7-selective nAChR agonist activity and modulation of agonist properties by boron inclusion.

    PubMed

    Papke, Roger L; Zheng, Guangrong; Horenstein, Nicole A; Dwoskin, Linda P; Crooks, Peter A

    2005-09-01

    The alpha7 nAChR subtype is of particular interest as a potential therapeutic target since it has been implicated as a mediator of both cognitive and neuroprotective activity. The rigid nicotine analog ACME and the N-cyanoborane conjugate ACME-B are selective partial agonists of rat alpha7 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes, with no significant activation of either alpha3beta4 or alpha4beta2 receptors. ACME-B is both more potent and efficacious than ACME. The efficacies of ACME-B and ACME are approximately 26% and 10% of the efficacy of ACh, respectively. Similar N-conjugation of S(-)nicotine with cyanoborane decreased efficacy for alpha3beta4 and alpha4beta2 receptors, as well as for alpha7 nAChR. Structural comparison of ACME with the benzylidene anabaseines, another class of previously identified alpha7-selective agonists, suggests that they share a similar structural motif that may be applicable to other alpha7-selective agonists.

  2. Assessment of the functionality and stability of detergent purified nAChR from Torpedo using lipidic matrixes and macroscopic electrophysiology.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Morales, Luis F; Colón-Sáez, José O; González-Nieves, Joel E; Quesada-González, Orestes; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2016-01-01

    In our previous study we examined the functionality and stability of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-detergent complexes (nAChR-DCs) from affinity-purified Torpedo californica (Tc) using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) in Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) and planar lipid bilayer (PLB) recordings for phospholipid and cholesterol like detergents. In the present study we enhanced the functional characterization of nAChR-DCs by recording macroscopic ion channel currents in Xenopus oocytes using the two electrode voltage clamp (TEVC). The use of TEVC allows for the recording of macroscopic currents elicited by agonist activation of nAChR-DCs that assemble in the oocyte plasma membrane. Furthermore, we examined the stability of nAChR-DCs, which is obligatory for the nAChR crystallization, using a 30 day FRAP assay in LCP for each detergent. The present results indicate a marked difference in the fractional fluorescence recovery (ΔFFR) within the same detergent family during the 30 day period assayed. Within the cholesterol analog family, sodium cholate and CHAPSO displayed a minimum ΔFFR and a mobile fraction (MF) over 80%. In contrast, CHAPS and BigCHAP showed a marked decay in both the mobile fraction and diffusion coefficient. nAChR-DCs containing phospholipid analog detergents with an alkylphosphocholine (FC) and lysofoscholine (LFC) of 16 carbon chains (FC-16, LFC-16) were more effective in maintaining a mobile fraction of over 80% compared to their counterparts with shorter acyl chain (C12, C14). The significant differences in macroscopic current amplitudes, activation and desensitization rates among the different nAChR-DCs evaluated in the present study allow to dissect which detergent preserves both, agonist activation and ion channel function. Functionality assays using TEVC demonstrated that LFC16, LFC14, and cholate were the most effective detergents in preserving macroscopic ion channel function, however, the nAChR-cholate complex

  3. Marine Macrocyclic Imines, Pinnatoxins A and G: Structural Determinants and Functional Properties to Distinguish Neuronal α7 from Muscle α1(2)βγδ nAChRs.

    PubMed

    Bourne, Yves; Sulzenbacher, Gerlind; Radić, Zoran; Aráoz, Rómulo; Reynaud, Morgane; Benoit, Evelyne; Zakarian, Armen; Servent, Denis; Molgó, Jordi; Taylor, Palmer; Marchot, Pascale

    2015-06-02

    Pinnatoxins are macrocyclic imine phycotoxins associated with algal blooms and shellfish toxicity. Functional analysis of pinnatoxin A and pinnatoxin G by binding and voltage-clamp electrophysiology on membrane-embedded neuronal α7, α4β2, α3β2, and muscle-type α12βγδ nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) reveals high-affinity binding and potent antagonism for the α7 and α12βγδ subtypes. The toxins also bind to the nAChR surrogate, acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP), with low Kd values reflecting slow dissociation. Crystal structures of pinnatoxin-AChBP complexes (1.9-2.2 Å resolution) show the multiple anchoring points of the hydrophobic portion, the cyclic imine, and the substituted bis-spiroketal and cyclohexene ring systems of the pinnatoxins that dictate tight binding between the opposing loops C and F at the receptor subunit interface, as observed for the 13-desmethyl-spirolide C and gymnodimine A congeners. Uniquely, however, the bulky bridged EF-ketal ring specific to the pinnatoxins extends radially from the interfacial-binding pocket to interact with the sequence-variable loop F and govern nAChR subtype selectivity and central neurotoxicity.

  4. Actions between neonicotinoids and key residues of insect nAChR based on an ab initio quantum chemistry study: hydrogen bonding and cooperative pi-pi interaction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanli; Cheng, Jiagao; Qian, Xuhong; Li, Zhong

    2007-04-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides show selective actions on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Two key residues (Trp and Arg/Lys) have been identified as contributing to the neonicotinois binding. To investigate the selective mechanism, a computational model was set up to simulate the interaction between residues (Trp and Arg) of insect nAChR and neonicotinoids by quantum chemistry method. Three analogues of neonicotinoid derivatives without the chloropyridinyl moiety and 3-methyl-indole (3MI), guanidinium (Gua) were used to mimic the neonicotinoids and the side chain of key residues Trp and Arg accordingly. Interaction features of 3MI-analogues, analogues-Gua and 3MI-analogues -Gua complexes were analyzed comparatively. Hydrogen bonding between the nitro group of analogues and Gua was found to be the most important for binding. Moreover, the cooperative pi-pi interaction between analogues and the indole ring, which is strengthened by the existence of Gua, also contributes to the binding. The alternative binding model of neonicotinoids proposed here, although slightly different from others, might be close to the actual.

  5. Role of α7- and α4β2-nAChRs in the neuroprotective effect of nicotine in stress-induced impairment of hippocampus-dependent memory.

    PubMed

    Alzoubi, Karem H; Srivareerat, Marisa; Tran, Trinh T; Alkadhi, Karim A

    2013-06-01

    We have previously shown that nicotine prevents stress-induced memory impairment. In this study, we have investigated the role of α7- and α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the protective effect of nicotine during chronic stress conditions. Chronic psychosocial stress was induced using a form of rat intruder model. During stress, specific antagonist for either α7-nAChRs [methyllycaconitine (MLA)] or α4β2-nAChRs [dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE)] was infused into the hippocampus using a 4-wk osmotic pump at a rate of 82 μg/side.d and 41 μg/side.d, respectively. Three weeks after the start of infusion, all rats were subjected to a series of cognitive tests in the radial arm water maze (RAWM) for six consecutive days or until the animal reached days to criterion (DTC) in the fourth acquisition trial and in all memory tests. DTC is defined as the number of days the animal takes to make no more than one error in three consecutive days. In the short-term memory test, MLA-infused stressed/nicotine-treated rats made similar errors to those of stress and significantly more errors compared to those of stress/nicotine, nicotine or control groups. This finding was supported by the DTC values for the short memory tests. Thus, MLA treatment blocked the neuroprotective effect of nicotine during chronic stress. In contrast, DHβE infusion did not affect the RAWM performance of stress/nicotine animals. These results strongly suggest the involvement of α7-nAChRs, but not α4β2-nAChRs, in the neuroprotective effect of chronic nicotine treatment during chronic stress conditions.

  6. Nicotine activates YAP1 through nAChRs mediated signaling in esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yue; Zhou, Wei; Xue, Liyan; Zhang, Weimin; Zhan, Qimin

    2014-01-01

    Cigarette smoking is an established risk factor for esophageal cancers. Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1), the key transcription factor of the mammalian Hippo pathway, has been reported to be an oncogenic factor for many cancers. In this study, we find nicotine administration can induce nuclear translocation and activation of YAP1 in ESCC. Consistently, we observed nuclear translocation and activation of YAP1 by knockdown of CHRNA3, which is a negative regulator of nicotine signaling in bronchial and esophageal cancer cells. Nicotine administration or CHRNA3 depletion substantially increased proliferation and migration in esophageal cancer cells. Interestingly, we find that YAP1 physically interacts with nAChRs, and nAChRs-signaling dissociates YAP1 from its negative regulatory complex composed with α-catenin, β-catenin and 14-3-3 in the cytoplasm, leading to upregulation and nuclear translocation of YAP1. This process likely requires PKC activation, as PKC specific inhibitor Enzastaurin can block nicotine induced YAP1 activation. In addition, we find nicotine signaling also inhibits the interaction of YAP1 with P63, which contributes to the inhibitory effect of nicotine on apoptosis. Using immunohistochemistry analysis we observed upregulation of YAP1 in a significant portion of esophageal cancer samples. Consistently, we have found a significant association between YAP1 upregulation and cigarette smoking in the clinical esophageal cancer samples. Together, these findings suggest that the nicotine activated nAChRs signaling pathway which further activates YAP1 plays an important role in the development of esophageal cancer, and this mechanism may be of a general significance for the carcinogenesis of smoking related cancers.

  7. Identification of key amino acid differences contributing to neonicotinoid sensitivity between two nAChR α subunits from Pardosa pseudoannulata.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiangkun; Zhang, Yixi; Guo, Beina; Sun, Huahua; Liu, Chuanjun; Liu, Zewen

    2015-01-01

    Chemical insecticides are still primary methods to control rice planthoppers in China, which not only cause environmental pollution, insecticide residue and insecticide resistance, but also have negative effects on natural enemies, such as Pardosa pseudoannulata (the pond wolf spider), an important predatory enemy of rice planthoppers. Neonicotinoids insecticides, such as imidacloprid and thiacloprid, are insect-selective nAChRs agonists that are used extensively in the areas of crop protection and animal health, but have hypotoxicity to P. pseudoannulata. In the present study, two nAChR α subunits, Ppα1 or Ppα8, were found to be successfully expressed with rβ2 in Xenopus oocytes, but with much different sensitivity to imidacloprid and thiacloprid on two recombinant receptors Ppα1/rβ2 and Ppα8/rβ2. Key amino acid differences were found in and between the important loops for ligand binding. In order to well understand the relationship between the amino acid differences and neonicotinoid sensitivities, different segments in Ppα8 or Ppα1 with key amino acid differences were introduced into the corresponding regions of Ppα1 or Ppα8 to construct chimeras and then co-expressed with rβ2 subunit in Xenopus oocytes. The results from chimeras of both Ppα8 and Ppα1 showed that segments Δ5, Δ6, and Δ7 contributed to neonicotinoid sensitivities directly between two receptors. Although the segment Δ4 including all loop B region had no direct influences on neonicotinoid sensitivities, it could more remarkably influence neonicotinoid sensitivities when co-introductions with Δ5, Δ6 or Δ7. So, key amino acid differences in these four segments were important to neonicotinoid sensitivities, but the difference in Δ4 was likely ignored because of its indirect effects.

  8. A Type-II Positive Allosteric Modulator of α7 nAChRs Reduces Brain Injury and Improves Neurological Function after Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Fen; Jin, Kunlin; Uteshev, Victor V.

    2013-01-01

    In the absence of clinically-efficacious therapies for ischemic stroke there is a critical need for development of new therapeutic concepts and approaches for prevention of brain injury secondary to cerebral ischemia. This study tests the hypothesis that administration of PNU-120596, a type-II positive allosteric modulator (PAM-II) of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), as long as 6 hours after the onset of focal cerebral ischemia significantly reduces brain injury and neurological deficits in an animal model of ischemic stroke. Focal cerebral ischemia was induced by a transient (90 min) middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Animals were then subdivided into two groups and injected intravenously (i.v.) 6 hours post-MCAO with either 1 mg/kg PNU-120596 (treated group) or vehicle only (untreated group). Measurements of cerebral infarct volumes and neurological behavioral tests were performed 24 hrs post-MCAO. PNU-120596 significantly reduced cerebral infarct volume and improved neurological function as evidenced by the results of Bederson, rolling cylinder and ladder rung walking tests. These results forecast a high therapeutic potential for PAMs-II as effective recruiters and activators of endogenous α7 nAChR-dependent cholinergic pathways to reduce brain injury and improve neurological function after cerebral ischemic stroke. PMID:23951360

  9. Transcriptional Changes in nAChRs, Interactive Proteins and P450s in Locusta migratoria manilensis (Orthoptera: Acrididae) CNS in Response to High and Low Oral Doses of Imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Sun, Huahua; Zhang, Yixi; Liu, Chuanjun; Liu, Zewen

    2015-01-01

    The insect central nervous system (CNS) is the target for many insecticides, and changes in transcript levels could be expected after insecticide applications. In this study, differentially expressed genes in the locust (Locusta migratoria manilensis) CNS in response to imidacloprid treatments at low dose (LD, 10% mortality) and high dose (HD, 80% mortality) were identified. Two nicotine acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits genes and 18 interacting protein genes were regulated at LD, and only one nAChR subunit gene and 11 interacting proteins were regulated at HD. Among the 110 annotated P450 unigenes, 43 unigenes were regulated at LD and 34 unigenes were regulated at HD. Most of the differentially expressed P450 unigenes were mapped to CYP4, in which most unigenes were upregulated at LD, but downregulated at HD. Totally, the numbers and regulation levels of the regulated genes were more at LD than that at HD. Seventeen unigenes were selected to test their expression changes following insecticide treatments by qRT-PCR, in which the changes in more than half of the selected genes were verified. The results revealed the variation in the response of locusts to different insecticide pressure, such as different doses.

  10. Sperm Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Mediates α7 Acetylcholine Receptor (AChR) Activation to Promote Fertilization

    PubMed Central

    Jaldety, Yael; Glick, Yair; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Ickowicz, Debby; Gerber, Doron; Breitbart, Haim

    2012-01-01

    To attain fertilization the spermatozoon binds to the egg zona pellucida (ZP) via sperm receptor(s) and undergoes an acrosome reaction (AR). Several sperm receptors have been described in the literature; however, the identity of this receptor is not yet certain. In this study, we suggest that the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) might be a sperm receptor activated by ZP to induce epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated AR. We found that isolated ZP or α7 agonists induced the AR in sperm from WT but not α7-null spermatozoa, and the induced AR was inhibited by α7 or EGFR antagonists. Moreover, α7-null sperm showed very little binding to the egg, and microfluidic affinity in vitro assay clearly showed that α7nAChR, as well as EGFR, interacted with ZP3. Induction of EGFR activation and the AR by an α7 agonist was inhibited by a Src family kinase (SFK) inhibitor. In conclusion we suggest that activation of α7 by ZP leads to SFK-dependent EGFR activation, Ca2+ influx, and the acrosome reaction. PMID:22577141

  11. 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…

  12. BMS-933043, a Selective α7 nAChR Partial Agonist for the Treatment of Cognitive Deficits Associated with Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    King, Dalton; Iwuagwu, Christiana; Cook, Jim; McDonald, Ivar M; Mate, Robert; Zusi, F Christopher; Hill, Matthew D; Fang, Haiquan; Zhao, Rulin; Wang, Bei; Easton, Amy E; Miller, Regina; Post-Munson, Debra; Knox, Ronald J; Gallagher, Lizbeth; Westphal, Ryan; Molski, Thaddeus; Fan, Jingsong; Clarke, Wendy; Benitex, Yulia; Lentz, Kimberley A; Denton, Rex; Morgan, Daniel; Zaczek, Robert; Lodge, Nicholas J; Bristow, Linda J; Macor, John E; Olson, Richard E

    2017-03-09

    The therapeutic treatment of negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction associated with schizophrenia is a significant unmet medical need. Preclinical literature indicates that α7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor agonists may provide an effective approach to treating cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. We report herein the discovery and evaluation of 1c (BMS-933043), a novel and potent α7 nACh receptor partial agonist with high selectivity against other nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes (>100-fold) and the 5-HT3A receptor (>300-fold). In vivo activity was demonstrated in a preclinical model of cognitive impairment, mouse novel object recognition. BMS-933043 has completed Phase I clinical trials.

  13. 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...

  14. Muscarinic ACh Receptors Contribute to Aversive Olfactory Learning in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Bryon; Molina-Fernández, Claudia; Ugalde, María Beatriz; Tognarelli, Eduardo I.; Angel, Cristian; Campusano, Jorge M.

    2015-01-01

    The most studied form of associative learning in Drosophila consists in pairing an odorant, the conditioned stimulus (CS), with an unconditioned stimulus (US). The timely arrival of the CS and US information to a specific Drosophila brain association region, the mushroom bodies (MB), can induce new olfactory memories. Thus, the MB is considered a coincidence detector. It has been shown that olfactory information is conveyed to the MB through cholinergic inputs that activate acetylcholine (ACh) receptors, while the US is encoded by biogenic amine (BA) systems. In recent years, we have advanced our understanding on the specific neural BA pathways and receptors involved in olfactory learning and memory. However, little information exists on the contribution of cholinergic receptors to this process. Here we evaluate for the first time the proposition that, as in mammals, muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChRs) contribute to memory formation in Drosophila. Our results show that pharmacological and genetic blockade of mAChRs in MB disrupts olfactory aversive memory in larvae. This effect is not explained by an alteration in the ability of animals to respond to odorants or to execute motor programs. These results show that mAChRs in MB contribute to generating olfactory memories in Drosophila. PMID:26380118

  15. Acetylsalicylic acid and ascorbic acid combination improves cognition; via antioxidant effect or increased expression of NMDARs and nAChRs?

    PubMed

    Kara, Yusuf; Doguc, Duygu Kumbul; Kulac, Esin; Gultekin, Fatih

    2014-05-01

    Chronic inflammation occurs systematically in the central nervous system during ageing, it has been shown that neuroinflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative disorders. Aspirin, a nonselective COX inhibitor, as well as ascorbic acid, has been purported to protect cerebral tissue. We investigated the effects of subchronic aspirin and ascorbic acid usage on spatial learning, oxidative stress and expressions of NR2A, NR2B, nAChRα7, α4 and β2. Forty male rats (16-18 months) were divided into 4 groups, namely, control, aspirin-treated, ascorbic acid-treated, aspirin+ascorbic acid-treated groups. Following 10-weeks administration period, rats were trained and tested in the Morris water maze. 8-Hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine and malondialdehyde were evaluated by ELISA and HPLC, respectively. Receptor expressions were assessed by western blotting of hippocampi. Spatial learning performance improved partially in the aspirin group, but significant improvement was seen in the aspirin+ascorbic acid group (p < 0.05). While 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine and malondialdehyde levels were significantly decreased, NR2B and nAChRα7 expressions were significantly increased in the aspirin+ascorbic acid group as compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Subchronic treatment with aspirin+ascorbic acid in aged rats was shown to enhance cognitive performance and increase the expressions of several receptors related to learning and memory process.

  16. Increased ratio of rapsyn to ACh receptor stabilizes postsynaptic receptors at the mouse neuromuscular synapse

    PubMed Central

    Gervásio, Othon L; Phillips, William D

    2005-01-01

    The metabolic turnover of nicotinic ACh receptors (AChR) at the neuromuscular synapse is regulated over a tenfold range by innervation status, muscle electrical activity and neural agrin, but the downstream effector of such changes has not been defined. The AChR-associated protein rapsyn is essential for forming AChR clusters during development. Here, rapsyn was tagged with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to begin to probe its influence at the adult synapse. In C2 myotubes, rapsyn–EGFP participated with AChR in agrin-induced AChR cluster formation. When electroporated into the tibialis anterior muscle of young adult mice, rapsyn–EGFP accumulated in discrete subcellular structures, many of which colocalized with Golgi markers, consistent with the idea that rapsyn assembles with AChR in the exocytic pathway. Rapsyn–EGFP also targeted directly to the postsynaptic membrane where it occupied previously vacant rapsyn binding sites, thereby increasing the rapsyn to AChR ratio. At endplates displaying rapsyn–EGFP, the metabolic turnover of AChR (labelled with rhodamine-α-bungarotoxin) was slowed. Thus, the metabolic half-life of receptors at the synapse may be modulated by local changes in the subsynaptic ratio of rapsyn to AChR. PMID:15550459

  17. Docking of 6-chloropyridazin-3-yl derivatives active on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors into molluscan acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP).

    PubMed

    Artali, Roberto; Bombieri, Gabriella; Meneghetti, Fiorella

    2005-04-01

    The crystal structure of Acetylcholine Binding Protein (AChBP), homolog of the ligand binding domain of nAChR, has been used as model for computational investigations on the ligand-receptor interactions of derivatives of 6-chloropyridazine substituted at C3 with 3,8-diazabicyclo[3.2.1]octane, 2,5-diazabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane and with piperazine and homopiperazine, substituted or not at N4. The ligand-receptor complexes have been analyzed by docking techniques using the binding site of HEPES complexed with AChBP as template. The good relationship between the observed binding affinity and the calculated docking energy confirms that this model provides a good starting point for understanding the binding domain of neuronal nicotinic receptors. An analysis of the possible factors significant for the ligand recognition has evidenced, besides the cation-pi interaction, the distance between the chlorine atom of the pyridazinyl group and the carbonylic oxygen of Leu B112 as an important parameter in the modulation of the binding energy.

  18. 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

  19. The physiology of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and its importance in the administration of anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Rossman, Amanda C

    2011-10-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) can be found widely throughout the body. Although the activation of this receptor leads to multiple functions dependent on its location within the body and subunit composition, all nAChRs aid in the communication between the extracellular and intracellular compartments. The nAChR is composed of 3 domains: the extracellular, transmembrane, and intracellular. The receptor functions in response to ligands that act as an agonist or antagonist that binds to the extracellular domain causing activation or inactivation of the receptor. The activation of the nAChR causes a twisting motion of the receptor, which opens a gate allowing for the passage of sodium, potassium, and calcium cations through the cell membrane. The muscle-type nAChR and neuronal-type nAChR have important roles during the administration of anesthesia. The muscle-type nAChR, located in the neuromuscular junction, is the target of neuromuscular blockers and local anesthetics to prevent muscle contraction. General anesthetics affect the neuronal-type nAChR by inhibiting functions of the central nervous system, including memory formation. The importance of the nAChR cannot be underestimated, for it is through the manipulation of this receptor that many anesthetic goals are achieved.

  20. Insect nicotinic receptor interactions in vivo with neonicotinoid, organophosphorus, and methylcarbamate insecticides and a synergist

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Xusheng; Xia, Shanshan; Durkin, Kathleen A.; Casida, John E.

    2013-01-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) is the principal insecticide target. Nearly half of the insecticides by number and world market value are neonicotinoids acting as nAChR agonists or organophosphorus (OP) and methylcarbamate (MC) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors. There was no previous evidence for in vivo interactions of the nAChR agonists and AChE inhibitors. The nitromethyleneimidazole (NMI) analog of imidacloprid, a highly potent neonicotinoid, was used here as a radioligand, uniquely allowing for direct measurements of house fly (Musca domestica) head nAChR in vivo interactions with various nicotinic agents. Nine neonicotinoids inhibited house fly brain nAChR [3H]NMI binding in vivo, corresponding to their in vitro potency and the poisoning signs or toxicity they produced in intrathoracically treated house flies. Interestingly, nine topically applied OP or MC insecticides or analogs also gave similar results relative to in vivo nAChR binding inhibition and toxicity, but now also correlating with in vivo brain AChE inhibition, indicating that ACh is the ultimate OP- or MC-induced nAChR active agent. These findings on [3H]NMI binding in house fly brain membranes validate the nAChR in vivo target for the neonicotinoids, OPs and MCs. As an exception, the remarkably potent OP neonicotinoid synergist, O-propyl O-(2-propynyl) phenylphosphonate, inhibited nAChR in vivo without the corresponding AChE inhibition, possibly via a reactive ketene metabolite reacting with a critical nucleophile in the cytochrome P450 active site and the nAChR NMI binding site. PMID:24108354

  1. α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: a therapeutic target in the structure era.

    PubMed

    Taly, Antoine; Charon, Sebastien

    2012-05-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are ligand-gated ion channels involved in cognitive processes and are associated with brain disorders which makes them interesting drug targets. This article presents a general overview of the receptor to introduce the α7 nAChR as a drug target. The advances in understanding of the structure/function properties of the nAChR produced during the last decade are detailed as they are crucial for rational drug design. The allosteric properties of the nAChR will also be described because they also have important consequences for drug design.

  2. Alcohol's actions on neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Davis, Tiffany J; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

    Although it has been known for many years that alcoholism and tobacco addiction often co-occur, relatively little information is available on the biological factors that regulate the co-use and abuse of nicotine and alcohol. In the brain, nicotine acts at several different types of receptors collectively known as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Alcohol also acts on at least some of these receptors, enhancing the function of some nAChR subtypes and inhibiting the activity of others. Chronic alcohol and nicotine administration also lead to changes in the numbers of nAChRs. Natural variations (i.e., polymorphisms) in the genes encoding different nAChR subunits may be associated with individual differences in the sensitivity to some of alcohol's and nicotine's effects. Finally, at least one subtype of nAChR may help protect cells against alcohol-induced neurotoxicity.

  3. α7 Nicotinic Receptor Agonists: Potential Therapeutic Drugs for Treatment of Cognitive Impairments in Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Toyohara, Jun; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that α7 nicotinic receptors (α7 nAChRs), a subtype of nAChRs, play a role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A number of psychopharmacological and genetic studies shown that α7 nAChRs play an important role in the deficits of P50 auditory evoked potential in patients with schizophrenia, and that (α nAChR agonists would be potential therapeutic drugs for cognitive impairments associated with P50 deficits in schizophrenia. Furthermore, some studies have demonstrated that α7 nAChRs might play a key role in the amyloid-β (Aβ)-mediated pathology of AD, and that α7 nAChR agonists would be potential therapeutic drugs for Aβ deposition in the brains of patients with AD. Interestingly, the altered expression of α7 nAChRs in the postmortem brain tissues from patients with schizophrenia and AD has been reported. Based on all these findings, selective α7 nAChR agonists can be considered potential therapeutic drugs for cognitive impairments in both schizophrenia and AD. In this article, we review the recent research into the role of α7 nAChRs in the pathophysiology of these diseases and into the potential use of novel α7 nAChR agonists as therapeutic drugs. PMID:21249164

  4. Role of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor on Efferent Inhibition in Cochlear Hair Cell

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediates efferent inhibition of hair cell function within the auditory sensory organ. Gating of the nAChRs leads to activation of calcium-dependent potassium channels to hyperpolarize the hair cell. In efferent system, main calcium providers to SK channel are nAChR and synaptic cistern, which contribution to efferent inhibition is different between avian and mammalian species. Calcium permeation is more effective in nAChRs of mammalian cochlea than avian cochlea, and mammalian calcium permeability of nAChRs is about 3 times more than avian hair cell. Thus, mammalian nAChRs is a main component of efferent inhibition in cochlear hair cell system. PMID:24653883

  5. Functional expression of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by muscle afferent neurons

    PubMed Central

    Baxter, James C.; Ramachandra, Renuka; Mayne, Dustin R.

    2014-01-01

    The exercise pressor reflex (EPR) is generated by group III and IV muscle afferents during exercise to increase cardiovascular function. Muscle contraction is triggered by ACh, which is metabolized into choline that could serve as a signal of exercise-induced activity. We demonstrate that ACh can induce current in muscle afferents neurons isolated from male Sprague-Dawley rats. The nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) appear to be expressed by some group III-IV neurons since capsaicin (TRPV1) and/or ATP (P2X) induced current in 56% of ACh-responsive neurons. α7- And α4β2-nAChRs have been shown to be expressed in sensory neurons. An α7-nAChR antibody stained 83% of muscle afferent neurons. Functional expression was demonstrated by using the specific α7-nAChR blockers α-conotoxin ImI (IMI) and methyllycaconitine (MLA). MLA inhibited ACh responses in 100% of muscle afferent neurons, whereas IMI inhibited ACh responses in 54% of neurons. Dihydro-β-erythroidine, an α4β2-nAChR blocker, inhibited ACh responses in 50% of muscle afferent neurons, but recovery from block was not observed. Choline, an α7-nAChR agonist, elicited a response in 60% of ACh-responsive neurons. Finally, we demonstrated the expression of α7-nAChR by peripherin labeled (group IV) afferent fibers within gastrocnemius muscles. Some of these α7-nAChR-positive fibers were also positive for P2X3 receptors. Thus choline could serve as an activator of the EPR by opening α7-nAChR expressed by group IV (and possible group III) afferents. nAChRs could become pharmacological targets for suppressing the excessive EPR activation in patients with peripheral vascular disease. PMID:24966300

  6. An ER-resident membrane protein complex regulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit composition at the synapse

    PubMed Central

    Almedom, Ruta B; Liewald, Jana F; Hernando, Guillermina; Schultheis, Christian; Rayes, Diego; Pan, Jie; Schedletzky, Thorsten; Hutter, Harald; Bouzat, Cecilia; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are homo- or heteropentameric ligand-gated ion channels mediating excitatory neurotransmission and muscle activation. Regulation of nAChR subunit assembly and transfer of correctly assembled pentamers to the cell surface is only partially understood. Here, we characterize an ER transmembrane (TM) protein complex that influences nAChR cell-surface expression and functional properties in Caenorhabditis elegans muscle. Loss of either type I TM protein, NRA-2 or NRA-4 (nicotinic receptor associated), affects two different types of muscle nAChRs and causes in vivo resistance to cholinergic agonists. Sensitivity to subtype-specific agonists of these nAChRs is altered differently, as demonstrated by whole-cell voltage-clamp of dissected adult muscle, when applying exogenous agonists or after photo-evoked, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) mediated acetylcholine (ACh) release, as well as in single-channel recordings in cultured embryonic muscle. These data suggest that nAChRs desensitize faster in nra-2 mutants. Cell-surface expression of different subunits of the ‘levamisole-sensitive' nAChR (L-AChR) is differentially affected in the absence of NRA-2 or NRA-4, suggesting that they control nAChR subunit composition or allow only certain receptor assemblies to leave the ER. PMID:19609303

  7. Natural Compounds Interacting with Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: From Low-Molecular Weight Ones to Peptides and Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Kudryavtsev, Denis; Shelukhina, Irina; Vulfius, Catherine; Makarieva, Tatyana; Stonik, Valentin; Zhmak, Maxim; Ivanov, Igor; Kasheverov, Igor; Utkin, Yuri; Tsetlin, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) fulfill a variety of functions making identification and analysis of nAChR subtypes a challenging task. Traditional instruments for nAChR research are d-tubocurarine, snake venom protein α-bungarotoxin (α-Bgt), and α-conotoxins, neurotoxic peptides from Conus snails. Various new compounds of different structural classes also interacting with nAChRs have been recently identified. Among the low-molecular weight compounds are alkaloids pibocin, varacin and makaluvamines C and G. 6-Bromohypaphorine from the mollusk Hermissenda crassicornis does not bind to Torpedo nAChR but behaves as an agonist on human α7 nAChR. To get more selective α-conotoxins, computer modeling of their complexes with acetylcholine-binding proteins and distinct nAChRs was used. Several novel three-finger neurotoxins targeting nAChRs were described and α-Bgt inhibition of GABA-A receptors was discovered. Information on the mechanisms of nAChR interactions with the three-finger proteins of the Ly6 family was found. Snake venom phospholipases A2 were recently found to inhibit different nAChR subtypes. Blocking of nAChRs in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons was shown for venom C-type lectin-like proteins, appearing to be the largest molecules capable to interact with the receptor. A huge nAChR molecule sensible to conformational rearrangements accommodates diverse binding sites recognizable by structurally very different compounds. PMID:26008231

  8. Escherichia coli Protein Expression System for Acetylcholine Binding Proteins (AChBPs)

    PubMed Central

    Abraham, Nikita; Paul, Blessy; Ragnarsson, Lotten; Lewis, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are ligand gated ion channels, identified as therapeutic targets for a range of human diseases. Drug design for nAChR related disorders is increasingly using structure-based approaches. Many of these structural insights for therapeutic lead development have been obtained from co-crystal structures of nAChR agonists and antagonists with the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP). AChBP is a water soluble, structural and functional homolog of the extracellular, ligand-binding domain of nAChRs. Currently, AChBPs are recombinantly expressed in eukaryotic expression systems for structural and biophysical studies. Here, we report the establishment of an Escherichia coli (E. coli) expression system that significantly reduces the cost and time of production compared to the existing expression systems. E. coli can efficiently express unglycosylated AChBP for crystallography and makes the expression of isotopically labelled forms feasible for NMR. We used a pHUE vector containing an N-terminal His-tagged ubiquitin fusion protein to facilitate AChBP expression in the soluble fractions, and thus avoid the need to recover protein from inclusion bodies. The purified protein yield obtained from the E. coli expression system is comparable to that obtained from existing AChBP expression systems. E. coli expressed AChBP bound nAChR agonists and antagonists with affinities matching those previously reported. Thus, the E. coli expression system significantly simplifies the expression and purification of functional AChBP for structural and biophysical studies. PMID:27304486

  9. The combination of memantine and galantamine improves cognition in rats: The synergistic role of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine and NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Potasiewicz, Agnieszka; Kos, Tomasz; Popik, Piotr

    2016-10-15

    The combination of memantine and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) is used as a therapeutic strategy to improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease. Among AChEIs, galantamine, which is also a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), including α7-nAChRs, may be particularly beneficial. The α7-nAChR is involved in interactions between the cholinergic and glutamatergic systems. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of α7-nAChRs in the pro-cognitive effects of this drug combination. To this aim, cognitive performance in rats was assessed using the attentional set shifting task (ASST) and novel object recognition task (NORT). Co-administration of inactive doses of memantine with galantamine facilitated the rats' set-shifting performance and reversed delay-induced deficits in object recognition. These effects were blocked by the α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine, suggesting that the observed cognitive enhancement is α7-nAChR dependent. Moreover, combined administration of memantine with inactive doses of selective α7-nAChRs PAMs, CCMI and PNU-120596, also improved ASST and NORT performance in a methyllycaconitine-dependent manner. Stimulation of α7-nAChRs may underlie the pro-cognitive effects of combining memantine and galantamine. Our results suggest that memantine, when given with enhancers of α7-nAChRs, may represent an effective strategy for cognitive improvement.

  10. α7 and β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunits Form Heteromeric Receptor Complexes that Are Expressed in the Human Cortex and Display Distinct Pharmacological Properties

    PubMed Central

    Thomsen, Morten Skøtt; Zwart, Ruud; Ursu, Daniel; Jensen, Majbrit Myrup; Pinborg, Lars Hageman; Gilmour, Gary; Wu, Jie; Sher, Emanuele; Mikkelsen, Jens Damsgaard

    2015-01-01

    The existence of α7β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has recently been demonstrated in both the rodent and human brain. Since α7-containing nAChRs are promising drug targets for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, it is critical to determine whether α7β2 nAChRs are present in the human brain, in which brain areas, and whether they differ functionally from α7 nAChR homomers. We used α-bungarotoxin to affinity purify α7-containing nAChRs from surgically excised human temporal cortex, and found that α7 subunits co-purify with β2 subunits, indicating the presence of α7β2 nAChRs in the human brain. We validated these results by demonstrating co-purification of β2 from wild-type, but not α7 or β2 knock-out mice. The pharmacology and kinetics of human α7β2 nAChRs differed significantly from that of α7 homomers in response to nAChR agonists when expressed in Xenopus oocytes and HEK293 cells. Notably, α7β2 heteromers expressed in HEK293 cells display markedly slower rise and decay phases. These results demonstrate that α7 subunits in the human brain form heteromeric complexes with β2 subunits, and that human α7β2 nAChR heteromers respond to nAChR agonists with a unique pharmacology and kinetic profile. α7β2 nAChRs thus represent an alternative mechanism for the reported clinical efficacy of α7 nAChR ligands. PMID:26086615

  11. Differential modulation of GABAA and NMDA receptors by α7-nicotinic receptor desensitization in cultured rat hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Lei; Cui, Wen-yu; Chen, Ru-zhu; Wang, Hai

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To explore the modulatory effect of desensitized α7-containing nicotinic receptors (α7-nAChRs) on excitatory and inhibitory amino acid receptors in cultured hippocampal neurons and to identify the mechanism underlying this effect. Methods: Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on cultured rat hippocampal neurons to measure α7-nAChR currents and to determine the role of desensitized α7-nAChRs on brain amino acid receptor activity. Results: Pulse and perfusion applications of the α7-nAChR agonist choline were applied to induce different types of α7-nAChR desensitization in cultured hippocampal neurons. After a brief choline pulse, α7-nAChR was desensitized as a result of receptor activation, which reduced the response of the A type γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor to its agonist, muscimol, and enhanced the response of the NMDA receptor to its agonist NMDA. By contrast, the responses of glycine or AMPA receptors to their agonists, glycine or AMPA, respectively, were not affected. Pretreatment with the α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA, 10 nmol/L) blocked the choline-induced negative modulation of the GABAA receptor and the positive modulation of the NMDA receptor. The regulation of the GABAA and NMDA receptors was confirmed using another type of α7-nAChR desensitization, which was produced by a low concentration of choline perfusion. The negative modulation of the GABAA receptor was characterized by choline-duration dependency and intracellular calcium dependency, but the positive modulation of the NMDA receptor was not associated with cytoplasmic calcium. Conclusion: Brain GABAA and NMDA receptors are modulated negatively and positively, respectively, by desensitized α7-nAChR as a result of choline pretreatment in cultured hippocampal neurons. PMID:26806304

  12. Modulation of nicotinic acetylcholine and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors by some Hymenopteran venoms.

    PubMed

    Zalat, Samy; Elbana, Shereen; Rizzoli, Silvio; Schmidt, Justin O; Mellor, Ian R

    2005-09-01

    The effect of 19 venoms from solitary wasps, solitary bees, social wasps and ants were investigated for their effects on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and ionotropic glutamate receptors (IGRs) of both the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDAR) and non-NMDAR type. Whole-cell patch clamp of human muscle TE671 cells was used to study nAChR, and of rat cortical and cerebellar granule cells for IGRs. Solitary wasp venoms caused significant voltage-dependent antagonism of nAChR responses to 10 microM ACh and NMDAR responses to 100 microM NMDA (+10 microM glycine) when co-applied at 1 microg/ml with the agonists. At positive holding potentials (V(H)) potentiation of these receptors was observed with some venoms. Solitary bee venoms only affected nAChR by causing either voltage-independent antagonism or potentiation of their responses to 10 microM ACh. Of four social wasp venoms, one acted on nAChR by potentiating responses to 10 ACh, while another generated an ACh-like response when applied alone. They had no effect on IGRs. Of the two ant venoms, one caused voltage-independent inhibition of nAChR. Neither affected IGRs. The data indicate the presence of nAChR agonists and antagonists and NMDAR antagonists in Hymenopteran venoms and warrant further investigation to separate and identify these venom components.

  13. Naturally occurring and synthetic peptides acting on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Kasheverov, Igor E; Utkin, Yuri N; Tsetlin, Victor I

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric membrane-bound proteins belonging to the large family of ligand-gated ion channels. nAChRs possess various binding sites which interact with compounds of different chemical nature, including peptides. Historically first peptides found to act on nAChR were synthetic fragments of snake alpha-neurotoxins, competitive receptor antagonists. Later it was shown that fragments of glycoprotein from rabies virus, having homology to alpha-neurotoxins, and polypeptide neurotoxins waglerins from the venom of Wagler's pit viper Trimeresurus (Tropidolaemus) wagleri bind in a similar way, waglerins being efficient blockers of muscle-type nAChRs. Neuropeptide substance P appears to interact with the channel moiety of nAChR. beta-Amyloid, a peptide forming senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease, also can bind to nAChR, although the mode of binding is still unclear. However, the most well-studied peptides interacting with the ligand-binding sites of nAChRs are so-called alpha-conotoxins, peptide neurotoxins from marine snails of Conus genus. First alpha-conotoxins were discovered in the late 1970s, and now it is a rapidly growing family due to isolation of peptides from multiple Conus species, as well as to cloning, and chemical synthesis of new analogues. Because of their unique selectivity towards distinct nAChR subtypes, alpha-conotoxins became valuable tools in nAChR research. Recent X-ray structures of alpha-conotoxin complexes with acetylcholine-binding protein, a model of nAChR ligand-binding domains, revealed the details of the nAChR ligand-binding sites and provided the basis for design of novel ligands.

  14. Cognitive improvement by activation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: from animal models to human pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Morten S; Hansen, Henrik H; Timmerman, Daniel B; Mikkelsen, Jens D

    2010-01-01

    Agonists and positive allosteric modulators of the alpha(7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) are currently being developed for the treatment of cognitive disturbances in patients with schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease. This review describes the neurobiological properties of the alpha nAChR and the cognitive effects of alpha(7) nAChR activation, focusing on the translational aspects in the development of these drugs. The functional properties and anatomical localization of the alpha(7) nAChR makes it well suited to modulate cognitive function. Accordingly, systemic administration of alpha(7) nAChR agonists improves learning, memory, and attentional function in variety of animal models, and pro-cognitive effects of alpha(7) nAChR agonists have recently been demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease. The alpha(7) nAChR desensitizes rapidly in vitro, and this has been a major concern in the development of alpha(7) nAChR agonists as putative drugs. Our review of the existing literature shows that development of tolerance to the behavioral effects of alpha(7) nAChR agonists does not occur in animal models or humans. However, the long-term memory-enhancing effects seen in animal models are not mimicked in healthy humans and schizophrenic patients, where attentional improvement predominates. This discrepancy may result from inherent differences in testing methods or from species differences in the level of expression of alpha(7) nAChRs in limbic brain regions, and may hamper preclinical evaluation of alpha(7) nAChR activation. It is therefore important to consider the translational power of the animal models used before entering into a clinical evaluation of the pro-cognitive effects of alpha(7) nAChR activation.

  15. Acetylcholine receptors in the retinas of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mouse

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Fred G. Oliveira; Bruce, Kady S.; Strang, Christianne E.; Morley, Barbara J.; Keyser, Kent T.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is widely expressed in the nervous system, including in the inner retinal neurons in all species studied to date. Although reductions in the expression of α7 nAChRs are thought to contribute to the memory and visual deficits reported in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and schizophrenia , the α7 nAChR knockout (KO) mouse is viable and has only slight visual dysfunction. The absence of a major phenotypic abnormality may be attributable to developmental mechanisms that serve to compensate for α7 nAChR loss. We hypothesized that the upregulation of genes encoding other nAChR subunits or muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) subtypes during development partially accounts for the absence of major deficiencies in the α7 nAChR KO mouse. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the deletion of the α7 nAChR subunit in a mouse model resulted in changes in the regulation of other cholinergic receptors or other ion channels in an α7 nAChR KO mouse when compared to a wild-type (WT) mouse. Methods To examine gene expression changes, we employed a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) using whole retina RNA extracts as well as RNA extracted from selected regions of the retina. These extracts were collected using laser capture microdissection (LCM). The presence of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit and subtype proteins was determined via western blotting. To determine any differences in the number and distribution of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) amacrine cells, we employed wholemount and vertical immunohistochemistry (IHC) and cell counting. Additionally, in both WT and α7 nAChR KO mouse retinas, the distribution of the nAChR subunit and mAChR subtype proteins were determined via IHC for those KO mice that experienced mRNA changes. Results In the whole retina, there was a statistically significant upregulation of α2, α9, α10, β4, nAChR subunit, and m1 and m4 mAChR subtype

  16. 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...

  17. Identification of key amino acid differences between Cyrtorhinus lividipennis and Nilaparvata lugens nAChR α8 subunits contributing to neonicotinoid sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Guo, Beina; Zhang, Yixi; Meng, Xiangkun; Bao, Haibo; Fang, Jichao; Liu, Zewen

    2015-03-04

    High sensitivity to neonicotinoid insecticides have been reported in the miridbug Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, an important predatory enemy of rice planthoppers, such as Nilaparvata lugens (brown planthopper). In the present study, the sensitivity of neonicotinoid insecticides between C. lividipennis and N. lugens were detected and compared. The results showed that neonicotinoid insecticides were much more toxic to the miridbug than to the brown planthopper. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit was cloned from the miridbug and denoted as α8 subunit (Clα8) according to sequence similarities and important functional motifs. Key amino acid differences were found in specific loops from α8 subunits between C. lividipennis (Clα8) and N. lugens (Nlα8). In order to understand the roles of key amino acid differences in insecticide sensitivities, the different amino acid residues in specific loops of Nlα8 were introduced into the corresponding sites in Clα8 to construct several subunit mutants. Clα8 or subunit mutants were co-expressed with rat β2 to obtain the functional receptors in Xenopus oocytes. The single mutation N191F in loop B reduced imidacloprid sensitivity, with EC50 value in Clα8(N191F)/β2 of 15.21μM and 5.74μM in Clα8/β2. Interestingly, although the single mutation E240T in loop C did not cause the significant change in imidacloprid sensitivity, it could enhance the effects of N191F and cause more decrease in imidacloprid sensitivity. The results indicated that E240T might contribute to neonicotinoid sensitivity in an indirect way.

  18. Novel pyridyl ring C5 substituted analogues of epibatidine and 3-(1-methyl-2(S)-pyrrolidinylmethoxy)pyridine (A-84543) as highly selective agents for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing beta2 subunits.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhi-Liang; Xiao, Yingxian; Yuan, Hongbin; Baydyuk, Maryna; Petukhov, Pavel A; Musachio, John L; Kellar, Kenneth J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2005-03-24

    Introduction of a hydrophobic or hydrogen-bonding alkynyl group into the C5 position of the pyridyl ring of epibatidine and A-84543 significantly increased the selectivity for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing beta2 subunits over nAChRs containing beta4 subunits (K(i) ratio up to 92000-fold). Our data indicate that the extracellular domains of the nAChRs are sufficiently different to allow for the design of novel ligands with high affinity and selectivity for the nAChR subtypes.

  19. Acetylcholine Receptor Organization in Membrane Domains in Muscle Cells

    PubMed Central

    Piguet, Joachim; Schreiter, Christoph; Segura, Jean-Manuel; Vogel, Horst; Hovius, Ruud

    2011-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in muscle fibers are densely packed in the postsynaptic region at the neuromuscular junction. Rapsyn plays a central role in directing and clustering nAChR during cellular differentiation and neuromuscular junction formation; however, it has not been demonstrated whether rapsyn is the only cause of receptor immobilization. Here, we used single-molecule tracking methods to investigate nAChR mobility in plasma membranes of myoblast cells during their differentiation to myotubes in the presence and absence of rapsyn. We found that in myoblasts the majority of nAChR were immobile and that ∼20% of the receptors showed restricted diffusion in small domains of ∼50 nm. In myoblasts devoid of rapsyn, the fraction of mobile nAChR was considerably increased, accompanied by a 3-fold decrease in the immobile population of nAChR with respect to rapsyn-expressing cells. Half of the mobile receptors were confined to domains of ∼120 nm. Measurements performed in heterologously transfected HEK cells confirmed the direct immobilization of nAChR by rapsyn. However, irrespective of the presence of rapsyn, about one-third of nAChR were confined in 300-nm domains. Our results show (i) that rapsyn efficiently immobilizes nAChR independently of other postsynaptic scaffold components; (ii) nAChR is constrained in confined membrane domains independently of rapsyn; and (iii) in the presence of rapsyn, the size of these domains is strongly reduced. PMID:20978122

  20. Putative nicotinic acetylchloline receptor subunits express differentially through life cycle of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are the targets of neonicotinoids and spinosads, two insecticides used in orchards to effectively control codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.)(Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The nAChRs mediate the fast actions of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in synaptic tr...

  1. 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...

  2. Pharmacokinetics and brain penetration of LF-3-88, (2-[5-[5-(2(S)-azetidinylmethoxyl)-3-pyridyl]-3-isoxazolyl]ethanol, a selective α4β2-nAChR partial agonist and promising antidepressant

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yang; Yu, Li-Fang; Qiu, Xi; Kozikowski, Alan P.; van Breemen, Richard B.

    2012-01-01

    LF-3-88 (2-[5-[5-(2(S)-azetidinylmethoxyl)-3-pyridyl]-3-isoxazolyl] ethanol) was identified as a highly selective α4β2-nAChRs partial agonist, with a Ki value of 0.4 nM and EC50 value of 110 nM. A sensitive and selective ultra high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS-MS) method was developed and validated to study the pharmacokinetics profile of this compound in mice. Protein precipitation with acetonitrile was used to prepare the plasma and brain samples, and the recovery was greater than 90%. The inter-day and intra-day accuracy and precision of the quantitative method ranged from 95 % to 106 % for plasma and from 93 % to 105 % for brain homogenates. The precision of the assay was <10 %. The limit of detection and limit of quantitation were 0.5 ng/mL (1.8 nM) and 1 ng/mL (3.6 nM), respectively. LF-3-88 was stable (>93 %) for 24 h on the bench top at room temperature, and for at least 3 weeks at 4 °C and −80 °C. The UHPLC-MS-MS assay was applied to the measurement of plasma and brain levels of LF-3-88 following oral administration to male Balb/c mice. Plasma concentrations of LF-3-88 and brain levels were dose-dependent with half-lives of approximately 60 min and 180 min, respectively, indicating good oral bioavailability and penetration of the blood-brain barrier. PMID:23246847

  3. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the α4 subunit are critical for the nicotine-induced reduction of acute voluntary ethanol consumption.

    PubMed

    Hendrickson, Linzy M; Gardner, Paul; Tapper, Andrew R

    2011-01-01

    Recently, we investigated the molecular mechanisms of the smoking cessation drug varenicline, a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonist, in its ability to decrease voluntary ethanol intake in mice. Previous to our study, other labs had shown that this drug can decrease ethanol consumption and seeking in rat models of ethanol intake. Although varenicline was designed to be a high affinity partial agonist of nAChRs containing the α4 and β2 subunits (designated as α4β2*), at higher concentrations it can also act upon α3β2*, α6*, α3β4* and α7 nAChRs. Therefore, to further elucidate the nAChR subtype responsible for varenicline-induced reduction of ethanol consumption, we utilized a pharmacological approach in combination with two complimentary nAChR genetic mouse models, a knock-out line that does not express the α4 subunit (α4 KO) and another line that expresses α4* nAChRs hypersensitive to agonist (the Leu9'Ala line). We found that activation of α4* nAChRs was necessary and sufficient for varenicline-induced reduction of alcohol consumption. Consistent with this result, here we show that a more efficacious nAChR agonist, nicotine, also decreased voluntary ethanol intake, and that α4* nAChRs are critical for this reduction.

  4. Rare human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4 subunit (CHRNA4) variants affect expression and function of high-affinity nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    McClure-Begley, T D; Papke, R L; Stone, K L; Stokes, C; Levy, A D; Gelernter, J; Xie, P; Lindstrom, J; Picciotto, M R

    2014-03-01

    Nicotine, the primary psychoactive component in tobacco smoke, produces its behavioral effects through interactions with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). α4β2 nAChRs are the most abundant in mammalian brain, and converging evidence shows that this subtype mediates the rewarding and reinforcing effects of nicotine. A number of rare variants in the CHRNA4 gene that encode the α4 nAChR subunit have been identified in human subjects and appear to be underrepresented in a cohort of smokers. We compared three of these variants (α4R336C, α4P451L, and α4R487Q) to the common variant to determine their effects on α4β2 nAChR pharmacology. We examined [(3)H]epibatidine binding, interacting proteins, and phosphorylation of the α4 nAChR subunit with liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in HEK 293 cells and voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We observed significant effects of the α4 variants on nAChR expression, subcellular distribution, and sensitivity to nicotine-induced receptor upregulation. Proteomic analysis of immunopurified α4β2 nAChRs incorporating the rare variants identified considerable differences in the intracellular interactomes due to these single amino acid substitutions. Electrophysiological characterization in X. laevis oocytes revealed alterations in the functional parameters of activation by nAChR agonists conferred by these α4 rare variants, as well as shifts in receptor function after incubation with nicotine. Taken together, these experiments suggest that genetic variation at CHRNA4 alters the assembly and expression of human α4β2 nAChRs, resulting in receptors that are more sensitive to nicotine exposure than those assembled with the common α4 variant. The changes in nAChR pharmacology could contribute to differences in responses to smoked nicotine in individuals harboring these rare variants.

  5. Heteromeric α7β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. The Novel α7β2-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subtype Is Expressed in Mouse and Human Basal Forebrain: Biochemical and Pharmacological Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Moretti, Milena; Zoli, Michele; George, Andrew A.; Lukas, Ronald J.; Pistillo, Francesco; Maskos, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    We examined α7β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7β2-nAChR) expression in mammalian brain and compared pharmacological profiles of homomeric α7-nAChRs and α7β2-nAChRs. α-Bungarotoxin affinity purification or immunoprecipitation with anti-α7 subunit antibodies (Abs) was used to isolate nAChRs containing α7 subunits from mouse or human brain samples. α7β2-nAChRs were detected in forebrain, but not other tested regions, from both species, based on Western blot analysis of isolates using β2 subunit–specific Abs. Ab specificity was confirmed in control studies using subunit-null mutant mice or cell lines heterologously expressing specific human nAChR subtypes and subunits. Functional expression in Xenopus oocytes of concatenated pentameric (α7)5-, (α7)4(β2)1-, and (α7)3(β2)2-nAChRs was confirmed using two-electrode voltage clamp recording of responses to nicotinic ligands. Importantly, pharmacological profiles were indistinguishable for concatenated (α7)5-nAChRs or for homomeric α7-nAChRs constituted from unlinked α7 subunits. Pharmacological profiles were similar for (α7)5-, (α7)4(β2)1-, and (α7)3(β2)2-nAChRs except for diminished efficacy of nicotine (normalized to acetylcholine efficacy) at α7β2- versus α7-nAChRs. This study represents the first direct confirmation of α7β2-nAChR expression in human and mouse forebrain, supporting previous mouse studies that suggested relevance of α7β2-nAChRs in Alzheimer disease etiopathogenesis. These data also indicate that α7β2-nAChR subunit isoforms with different α7/β2 subunit ratios have similar pharmacological profiles to each other and to α7 homopentameric nAChRs. This supports the hypothesis that α7β2-nAChR agonist activation predominantly or entirely reflects binding to α7/α7 subunit interface sites. PMID:25002271

  7. Regulation of the common carotid arterial blood flow by nicotinic receptors in the medulla of cats

    PubMed Central

    Gong, C-L; Chiu, Y-T; Lin, N-N; Cheng, C-C; Lin, S-Z; Lee, T J-F; Kuo, J-S

    2006-01-01

    Background and purpose: Actions of glutamate and serotonin on their respective receptors in the dorsal facial area (DFA) of the medulla are known to regulate common carotid arterial (CCA) blood flow in cats. Less is known about acetylcholine action on its nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in the DFA for regulation of CCA blood flow and this aspect was investigated. Experimental approach: Nicotinic and muscarinic agonists and antagonists were microinjected into the DFA through a three-barrel tubing in anesthetized cats. Results: CCA blood flow was dose-dependently increased by nicotine (a non-selective nAChR agonist) and choline (a selective α7-nAChR agonist). These effects of nicotine were attenuated by α-bungarotoxin (an α7-nAChR antagonist), methyllycaconitine (an α7-nAChR antagonist), mecamylamine (a relatively selective α3β4-nAChR antagonist) and dihydro-β-erythroidine (a relatively selective α4β2-nAChR antagonist). The choline-induced flow increase was attenuated by α-bungarotoxin and mecamylamine, but not by dihydro-β-erythroidine. Muscarinic agonists (muscarine and methacholine) and antagonist (atropine) affected neither the basal nor the nicotine-induced increase in the CCA blood flow. Conclusions and implications: Functional α7, α4β2, and α3β4 subunits of the nAChR appear to be present on the DFA neurons. Activations of these receptors increase the CCA blood flow. The present findings do not preclude the presence of other nAChRs subunits. Muscarinic receptors, if any, on the DFA are not involved in regulation of the CCA blood flow. Various subtypes of nAChRs in the DFA may mediate regulation of the CCA and cerebral blood flows. PMID:16894347

  8. Identification and characterization of novel nicotinic receptor-associated proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gottschalk, Alexander; Almedom, Ruta B; Schedletzky, Thorsten; Anderson, Scott D; Yates, John R; Schafer, William R

    2005-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission in neurons and muscles. To identify nAChR accessory proteins, which may regulate their expression or function, we performed tandem affinity purification of the levamisole-sensitive nAChR from Caenorhabditis elegans, mass spectrometry of associated components, and RNAi-based screening for effects on in vivo nicotine sensitivity. Among the proteins identified was the calcineurin A subunit TAX-6, which appeared to function as a negative regulator of nAChR activity. We also identified five proteins not previously linked to nAChR function, whose inactivation conferred nicotine resistance, implicating them as positive regulators of nAChR activity. Of these, the copine NRA-1 colocalized with the levamisole receptor at neuronal and muscle plasma membranes, and, when mutated, caused reduced synaptic nAChR expression. Loss of SOC-1, which acts in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling, also reduced synaptic levamisole receptor levels, as did mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor EGL-15, and another RTK, CAM-1. Thus, tandem affinity purification is a viable approach to identify novel proteins regulating neurotransmitter receptor activity or expression in model systems like C. elegans. PMID:15990870

  9. Analysis of free ACh and 5-HT in milk from four different species and their bioactivity on 5-HT(3) and nACh receptors.

    PubMed

    Gallegos-Perez, Jose-Luis; Limon, Agenor; Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge M; Alshanqeeti, Ali S; Aljohi, Mohammad A; Miledi, Ricardo

    2014-07-25

    Milk is one of the most beneficial aliments and is highly recommended in normal conditions; however, in certain disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome, cow milk and dairy products worsen the gastric symptoms and their use is not recommended. Among the most recognized milk-induced gatrointestinal symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, which are processes controlled by cholinergic and serotonergic transmission. Whether the presence of bioavailable ACh and 5-HT in milk may contribute to normal peristalsis, or to the developing of these symptoms, is not known. In this work we attempt to determine whether the content of free ACh and 5-HT is of physiological significance in milk from four different species: cow (bovine), goat, camel and human. Liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to identify and quantify free ACh and 5-HT in milk, and activation of the serotonergic and cholinergic ionotropic receptors was investigated using electrophysiological experiments. Our principal hypothesis was that milk from these four species had sufficient free ACh and 5-HT to activate their correspondent receptors expressed in a heterologous system. Our results showed a more complex picture, in which free ACh and 5-HT and their ability to activate cholinergic and serotonergic receptors are not correlated. This work is a first step to elucidate whether 5-HT and ACh, at the concentrations present in the milk, can be associated to a direct function in the GI.

  10. 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.

  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

    2015-03-06

    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.

  12. Memantine inhibits α3β2-nAChRs-mediated nitrergic neurogenic vasodilation in porcine basilar arteries.

    PubMed

    Lee, Reggie Hui-Chao; Tseng, Ting-Yi; Wu, Celeste Yin-Chieh; Chen, Po-Yi; Chen, Mei-Fang; Kuo, Jon-Son; Lee, Tony Jer-Fu

    2012-01-01

    Memantine, an NMDA receptor antagonist used for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), is known to block the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the central nervous system (CNS). In the present study, we examined by wire myography if memantine inhibited α3β2-nAChRs located on cerebral perivascular sympathetic nerve terminals originating in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG), thus, leading to inhibition of nicotine-induced nitrergic neurogenic dilation of isolated porcine basilar arteries. Memantine concentration-dependently blocked nicotine-induced neurogenic dilation of endothelium-denuded basilar arteries without affecting that induced by transmural nerve stimulation, sodium nitroprusside, or isoproterenol. Furthermore, memantine significantly inhibited nicotine-elicited inward currents in Xenopous oocytes expressing α3β2-, α7- or α4β2-nAChR, and nicotine-induced calcium influx in cultured rat SCG neurons. These results suggest that memantine is a non-specific antagonist for nAChR. By directly inhibiting α3β2-nAChRs located on the sympathetic nerve terminals, memantine blocks nicotine-induced neurogenic vasodilation of the porcine basilar arteries. This effect of memantine is expected to reduce the blood supply to the brain stem and possibly other brain regions, thus, decreasing its clinical efficacy in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

  13. Going up in Smoke? A Review of nAChRs-based Treatment Strategies for Improving Cognition in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Boggs, Douglas L.; Carlson, Jon; Cortes-Briones, Jose; Krystal, John H.; D’Souza, D. Cyril

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is known to be a core deficit in schizophrenia. Existing treatments for schizophrenia have limited efficacy against cognitive impairment. The ubiquitous use of nicotine in this population is thought to reflect an attempt by patients to self-medicate certain symptoms associated with the illness. Concurrently there is evidence that nicotinic receptors that have lower affinity for nicotine are more important in cognition. Therefore, a number of medications that target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been tested or are in development. In this article we summarize the clinical evidence of nAChRs dysfunction in schizophrenia and review clinical studies testing either nicotine or nicotinic medications for the treatment of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Some evidence suggests beneficial effects of nAChRs based treatments for the attentional deficits associated with schizophrenia. Standardized cognitive test batteries have failed to capture consistent improvements from drugs acting at nAChRs. However, more proximal measures of brain function, such as ERPs relevant to information processing impairments in schizophrenia, have shown some benefit. Further work is necessary to conclude that nAChRs based treatments are of clinical utility in the treatment of cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. PMID:24345265

  14. New quinoline derivatives as nicotinic receptor modulators.

    PubMed

    Manetti, Dina; Bellucci, Cristina; Dei, Silvia; Teodori, Elisabetta; Varani, Katia; Spirova, Ekaterina; Kudryavtsev, Denis; Shelukhina, Irina; Tsetlin, Victor; Romanelli, Maria Novella

    2016-03-03

    As a continuation of previous work on quinoline derivatives, which showed some preference (2-3 times) for the α7 with respect to α4β2 acetylcholine nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), we synthesized a series of novel azabicyclic or diazabicyclic compounds carrying a quinoline or isoquinoline ring, with the aim of searching for more selective α7 nAChR compounds. Radioligand binding studies on α7* and α4β2* nAChRs (rat brain homogenate) revealed one compound (7) with a 2-fold higher affinity for the α4β2*-subtype, and four compounds (11, 13, 14 and 16) with at least 3-fold higher affinity for α7* nAChR. The most promising was 11, showing Ki∼100 nM and over 10-fold selectivity for α7* nAChR. Compounds 7, 11, 13 and 16 at 50 μM suppressed ion currents induced in the rat α4β2 nAChR and the chimeric nAChR composed of the ligand-binding domain of the chick α7 and transmembrane domain of the α1 glycine receptor, expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Calcium imaging experiments on the human α7 nAChR expressed in the Neuro2a cells and potentiated by PNU-120596 confirmed the antagonistic activity for 7; on the contrary, 11, 13 and 16 were agonists with the EC50 values in the range of 1.0-1.6 μM. Thus, the introduced modifications allowed us to enhance the selectivity of quinolines towards α7 nAChR and to get novel compounds with agonistic activity.

  15. Paraquat exposure reduces nicotinic receptor-evoked dopamine release in monkey striatum.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, Kathryn T; Parameswaran, Neeraja; Johnston, Louisa C; McIntosh, J Michael; Di Monte, Donato A; Quik, Maryka

    2008-10-01

    Paraquat, an herbicide widely used in the agricultural industry, has been associated with lung, liver, and kidney toxicity in humans. In addition, it is linked to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease. For this reason, we had previously investigated the effects of paraquat in mice and showed that it influenced striatal nicotinic receptor (nAChR) expression but not nAChR-mediated dopaminergic function. Because nonhuman primates are evolutionarily closer to humans and may better model the effects of pesticide exposure in man, we examined the effects of paraquat on striatal nAChR function and expression in monkeys. Monkeys were administered saline or paraquat once weekly for 6 weeks, after which nAChR levels and receptor-evoked [(3)H]dopamine ([(3)H]DA) release were measured in the striatum. The functional studies showed that paraquat exposure attenuated dopamine (DA) release evoked by alpha3/alpha6beta2(*) (nAChR that is composed of the alpha3 or alpha6 subunits, and beta2; the asterisk indicates the possible presence of additional subunits) nAChRs, a subtype present only on striatal dopaminergic terminals, with no decline in release mediated by alpha4beta2(*) (nAChR containing alpha4 and beta2 subunits, but not alpha3 or alpha6) nAChRs, present on both DA terminals and striatal neurons. Paraquat treatment decreased alpha4beta2(*) but not alpha3/alpha6beta2(*) nAChR expression. The differential effects of paraquat on nAChR expression and receptor-evoked [(3)H]DA release emphasize the importance of evaluating changes in functional measures. The finding that paraquat treatment has a negative impact on striatal nAChR-mediated dopaminergic activity in monkeys but not mice indicates the need for determining the effects of pesticides in higher species.

  16. α7 nicotinic ACh receptors as a ligand-gated source of Ca2+ ions: the search for a Ca2+ optimum

    PubMed Central

    Uteshev, Victor V.

    2013-01-01

    The spatiotemporal distribution of cytosolic Ca2+ ions is a key determinant of neuronal behavior and survival. Distinct sources of Ca2+ ions including ligand- and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels contribute to intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Many normal physiological and therapeutic neuronal functions are Ca2+-dependent, however an excess of cytosolic Ca2+ or a lack of the appropriate balance between Ca2+ entry and clearance may destroy cellular integrity and cause cellular death. Therefore, the existence of optimal spatiotemporal patterns of cytosolic Ca2+ elevations and thus, optimal activation of ligand- and voltage-gated Ca2+ ion channels are postulated to benefit neuronal function and survival. Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are highly permeable to Ca2+ ions and play an important role in modulation of neurotransmitter release, gene expression and neuroprotection in a variety of neuronal and non-neuronal cells. In this review, the focus is placed on α7 nAChR-mediated currents and Ca2+ influx and how this source of Ca2+ entry compares to NMDA receptors in supporting cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis, neuronal function and survival. PMID:22453962

  17. Competition, Selectivity and Efficacy of Analogs of A-84543 for Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors with Repositioning of Pyridine Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Ogunjirin, Adebowale E.; Fortunak, Joseph M.; Brown, LaVerne L.; Xiao, Yingxian; Dávila-García, Martha I.

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play a crucial role in a number of clinically relevant mental and neurological pathways, as well as autonomic and immune functions. The development of subtype-selective ligands for nAChRs therefore is potentially useful for targeted therapeutic management of conditions where nAChRs are involved. We tested if selectivity for a particular nAChR subtype can be achieved through small structural modifications of a lead compound containing the nicotinic pharmacophore by changing the distance between the electronegative elements. For this purpose, analogs of A-84543 were designed, synthesized and characterized as potentially new nAChR subtype-selective ligands. Compounds were tested for their binding properties in rat cerebral cortical tissue homogenates, and subtype-selectivity was determined using stably transfected HEK cells expressing different nAChR subtypes. All compounds synthesized were found to competitively displace [3H]-epibatidine ([3H]EB) from the nAChR binding site. Of all the analogues, H-11MNH showed highest affinity for nAChRs compared to a ~ 5 to10-fold lower affinity of A-84543. All other compounds had affinities > 10,000 nM. Both A-84543 and H-11MNH have highest affinity for α2β2 and α4β2 nAChRs and show moderate affinity for β4- and α7-containing receptors. H-11MNH was found to be a full agonist with high potency at α3β4, while A-84543 is a partial agonist with low potency. Based on their unique pharmacological binding properties we suggest that A-84543 and its desmethylpyrrolidine analog can be useful as pharmacological ligands for studying nAChRs if selective pharmacological and/or genetic tools are used to mask the function of other receptors subtypes. PMID:26508288

  18. Redistribution of adrenomedullary nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits and the effect on circulating epinephrine levels in a murine model of acute asthma

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xi; Feng, Juntao; Hu, Chengping; Qin, Qingwu; Li, Yuanyuan; Qin, Ling

    2017-01-01

    The lack of circulating epinephrine (EPI) in the pathogenesis of asthma has long been attributed to the lack of adrenergic nerves in human airways. However, in this study we considered that EPI levels are regulated by EPI release in addition to synthesis. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been shown to control EPI release, and we hypothesized that redistribution of nAChR subunits modulates EPI release and circulating EPI levels. Using a mouse model of asthma, circulating EPI levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Changes in the expression of nAChR subunits in the adrenal medulla were observed by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and western blot analysis. Expression of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase and galanin was detected by RT-qPCR. Lung pathology, airway resistance (RL) and EPI levels were also assessed after treatment with an α7 nAChR agonist or antagonist. α7 nAChR mRNA expression in the adrenal medulla was increased by more than 2-fold (P<0.05), and circulating EPI levels increased rapidly after treatment with the α7 nAChR agonist. These results indicated that increased EPI release, which was caused by the overexpression of α7 nAChR, was responsible for elevated circulating EPI levels. After treatment with an agonist of α7 nAChR, RL was significantly decreased. Serum corticosterone levels in individual mice were measured to rule out glucocorticoid as the main mediator of changes in EPI levels. On the whole, redistribution of nAChR subunits, primarily α7 nAChR, occurs in the adrenal medulla in asthmatic mice. Increased α7 nAChR expression can rapidly increase serum EPI levels and decrease airway responsiveness. PMID:28035367

  19. Tobacco nitrosamine N-nitrosonornicotine as inhibitor of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Nunes-Alves, Ariane; Nery, Arthur A; Ulrich, Henning

    2013-01-01

    Nitrosamines are well known for their carcinogenic potential. Recently, it was found that some of them may also interact with human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes. This work studied the effects of N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) on recombinant rat α3β4 nAChR in HEK cells as well as on nAChR endogenously expressed in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells and in BC3H1 muscle-type cells. Whole-cell recording in combination with the cell-flow technique for agonist and inhibitor application in the millisecond time region revealed that NNN inhibits the activity of neuronal nAChR expressed in HEK or PC12, whereas weak inhibitory effects on muscle-type nAChR were observed at NNN concentrations up to 3 mM. Pharmacological actions of NNN and the inhibition mechanism were studied in detail using recombinant α3β4 nAChR expressed in HEK cells as a model. NNN-induced inhibition of nicotine-evoked α3β4 nAChR activity was dose-dependent with an inhibitory constant (IC(50)) of 0.92 ± 0.05 mM. Analysis based on mathematical models indicated a noncompetitive inhibition mechanism of the rat α3β4 nAChR by NNN. NNN's mechanism of action involves acceleration of conversion of the receptor from active to desensitized forms. In summary, this work shows that NNN inhibits rat α3β4 nAChR in a noncompetitive way and interacts weakly with muscular nAChR.

  20. GLUTAMATERGIC SYNAPSE FORMATION IS PROMOTED BY α7-CONTAINING NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 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 wild-type 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

  1. 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

  2. Decreased α4β2 nicotinic receptor number in the absence of mRNA changes suggest post-transcriptional regulation in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Wigestrand, MB; Mineur, YS; Heath, CJ; Fonnum, F; Picciotto, MR; Walaas, SI

    2011-01-01

    The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is widely used as a model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Deficits in central nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) have previously been observed in SHRs, which is interesting since epidemiological studies have identified an association between smoking and ADHD symptoms in humans. Here we examine whether nAChR deficits in SHRs compared to Wistar Kyoto rat (WKY) controls are nAChR subtype-specific and whether these deficits correlate with changes at the level of mRNA transcription in specific brain regions. Levels of binding sites (Bmax) and dissociation constants (Kd) for nAChRs were determined from saturation curves of high-affinity [3H]epibatidine- and [3H]MLA binding to membranes from cortex, striatum, hippocampus and cerebellum. In additional brain regions, nAChRs were examined by autoradiography with [125I]A-85380 and [125I]α-bungarotoxin. Levels of mRNA encoding nAChR subunits were measured using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). We show that the number of α4β2 nAChR binding sites is lower globally in the SHR brain compared to WKY in the absence of significant differences in mRNA levels, with the exception of lower α4 mRNA in cerebellum of SHR compared to WKY. Further, nAChR deficits were subtype- specific because no strain difference was found in α7 nAChR binding or α7 mRNA levels. Our results suggest that the lower α4β2 nAChR number in SHR compared to WKY may be a consequence of dysfunctional post-transcriptional regulation of nAChRs. PMID:21824140

  3. Molecular characterization and expression profiles of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the rice striped stem borer, Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).

    PubMed

    Xu, Gang; Wu, Shun-Fan; Teng, Zi-Wen; Yao, Hong-Wei; Fang, Qi; Huang, Jia; Ye, Gong-Yin

    2016-02-05

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel (cysLGIC) superfamily, mediating fast synaptic cholinergic transmission in the central nervous system in insects. Insect nAChRs are the molecular targets of economically important insecticides, such as neonicotinoids and spinosad. Identification and characterization of the nAChR gene family in the rice striped stem borer, Chilo suppressalis, could provide beneficial information about this important receptor gene family and contribute to the investigation of the molecular modes of insecticide action and resistance for current and future chemical control strategies. We searched our C. suppressalis transcriptome database using B. mori nAChR sequences in local BLAST searches and obtained the putative nAChR subunit cDNAs via RT-PCR and RACE methods. Similar to B. mori, C. suppressalis possesses 12 nAChR subunits, including nine α-type and three β-type subunits. qRT-PCR analysis revealed the expression profiles of the nAChR subunits in various tissues, including the brain, suboesophageal ganglion, thoracic ganglion, abdominal ganglion, hemocytes, fat body, foregut, midgut, hindgut, and Malpighian tubules. Developmental expression analyses showed clear differential expression of nAChR subunits throughout the C. suppressalis life cycle. The identification of nAChR subunits in this study will provide a foundation for investigating the diverse roles played by nAChRs in the C. suppressalis and for exploring specific target sites for chemicals that control agricultural pests while sparing beneficial species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  4. Wnt-7a induces presynaptic colocalization of alpha 7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and adenomatous polyposis coli in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Farías, Ginny G; Vallés, Ana S; Colombres, Marcela; Godoy, Juan A; Toledo, Enrique M; Lukas, Ronald J; Barrantes, Francisco J; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2007-05-16

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) contribute significantly to hippocampal function. Alpha7-nAChRs are present in presynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons and may influence transmitter release, but the factors that determine their presynaptic localization are unknown. We report here that Wnt-7a, a ligand active in the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, induces dissociation of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein from the beta-catenin cytoplasmic complex and the interaction of APC with alpha7-nAChRs in hippocampal neurons. Interestingly, Wnt-7a induces the relocalization of APC to membranes, clustering of APC in neurites, and coclustering of APC with different, presynaptic protein markers. Wnt-7a also increases the number and size of coclusters of alpha7-nAChRs and APC in presynaptic terminals. These short-term changes in alpha7-nAChRs occur in the few minutes after ligand exposure and involve translocation to the plasma membrane without affecting total receptor levels. Longer-term exposure to Wnt-7a increases nAChR alpha7 subunit levels in an APC-independent manner and increases clusters of alpha7-nAChRs in neurites via an APC-dependent process. Together, these results demonstrate that stimulation through the canonical Wnt pathway regulates the presynaptic localization of APC and alpha7-nAChRs with APC serving as an intermediary in the alpha7-nAChR relocalization process. Modulation by Wnt signaling may be essential for alpha7-nAChR expression and function in synapses.

  5. Effects of lipid-analog detergent solubilization on the functionality and lipidic cubic phase mobility of the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Morales, Luis F; Morales-Pérez, Claudio L; De La Cruz-Rivera, Pamela C; Asmar-Rovira, Guillermo; Báez-Pagán, Carlos A; Quesada, Orestes; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2011-10-01

    Over the past three decades, the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) has been one of the most extensively studied membrane protein systems. However, the effects of detergent solubilization on nAChR stability and function are poorly understood. The use of lipid-analog detergents for nAChR solubilization has been shown to preserve receptor stability and functionality. The present study used lipid-analog detergents from phospholipid-analog and cholesterol-analog detergent families for solubilization and affinity purification of the receptor and probed nAChR ion channel function using planar lipid bilayers (PLBs) and stability using analytical size exclusion chromatography (A-SEC) in the detergent-solubilized state. We also examined receptor mobility on the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) by measuring the nAChR mobile fraction and diffusion coefficient through fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments using lipid-analog and non-lipid-analog detergents. Our results show that it is possible to isolate stable and functional nAChRs using lipid-analog detergents, with characteristic ion channel currents in PLBs and minimal aggregation as observed in A-SEC. Furthermore, fractional mobility and diffusion coefficient values observed in FRAP experiments were similar to the values observed for these parameters in the recently LCP-crystallized β(2)-adrenergic receptor. The overall results show that phospholipid-analog detergents with 16 carbon acyl-chains support nAChR stability, functionality and LCP mobility.

  6. Sympathetic α₃β₂-nAChRs mediate cerebral neurogenic nitrergic vasodilation in the swine.

    PubMed

    Lee, Reggie Hui-Chao; Liu, Yi-Qing; Chen, Po-Yi; Liu, Chin-Hung; Chen, Mei-Fang; Lin, Hung-Wen; Kuo, Jon-Son; Premkumar, Louis S; Lee, Tony Jer-Fu

    2011-08-01

    The α(7)-nicotinic ACh receptor (α(7)-nAChR) on sympathetic neurons innervating basilar arteries of pigs crossed bred between Landrace and Yorkshire (LY) is known to mediate nicotine-induced, β-amyloid (Aβ)-sensitive nitrergic neurogenic vasodilation. Preliminary studies, however, demonstrated that nicotine-induced cerebral vasodilation in pigs crossbred among Landrace, Yorkshire, and Duroc (LYD) was insensitive to Aβ and α-bungarotoxin (α-BGTX). We investigated nAChR subtype on sympathetic neurons innervating LYD basilar arteries. Nicotine-induced relaxation of porcine isolated basilar arteries was examined by tissue bath myography, inward currents on nAChR-expressing oocytes by two-electrode voltage recording, and mRNA and protein expression in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) and middle cervical ganglion (MCG) by reverse transcription PCR and Western blotting. Nicotine-induced basilar arterial relaxation was not affected by Aβ, α-BGTX, and α-conotoxin IMI (α(7)-nAChR antagonists), or α-conotoxin AuIB (α(3)β(4)-nAChR antagonist) but was inhibited by tropinone and tropane (α(3)-containing nAChR antagonists) and α-conotoxin MII (selective α(3)β(2)-nAChR antagonist). Nicotine-induced inward currents in α(3)β(2)-nAChR-expressing oocytes were inhibited by α-conotoxin MII but not by α-BGTX, Aβ, or α-conotoxin AuIB. mRNAs of α(3)-, α(7)-, β(2)-, and β(4)-subunits were expressed in both SCGs and MCGs with significantly higher mRNAs of α(3)-, β(2)-, and β(4)-subunits than that of α(7)-subunit. The Aβ-insensitive sympathetic α(3)β(2)-nAChR mediates nicotine-induced cerebral nitrergic neurogenic vasodilation in LYD pigs. The different finding from Aβ-sensitive α(7)-nAChR in basilar arteries of LY pigs may offer a partial explanation for different sensitivities of individuals to Aβ in causing diminished cerebral nitrergic vasodilation in diseases involving Aβ.

  7. Agonists with supraphysiological efficacy at the muscarinic M2 ACh receptor

    PubMed Central

    Schrage, R; Seemann, WK; Klöckner, J; Dallanoce, C; Racké, K; Kostenis, E; De Amici, M; Holzgrabe, U; Mohr, K

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Artificial agonists may have higher efficacy for receptor activation than the physiological agonist. Until now, such ‘superagonism’ has rarely been reported for GPCRs. Iperoxo is an extremely potent muscarinic receptor agonist. We hypothesized that iperoxo is a ‘superagonist’. Experimental Approach Signalling of iperoxo and newly synthesized structural analogues was compared with that of ACh at label-free M2 muscarinic receptors applying whole cell dynamic mass redistribution, measurement of G-protein activation, evaluation of cell surface agonist binding and computation of operational efficacies. Key Results In CHO-hM2 cells, iperoxo significantly exceeds ACh in Gi/Gs signalling competence. In the orthosteric loss-of-function mutant M2-Y1043.33A, the maximum effect of iperoxo is hardly compromised in contrast to ACh. ‘Superagonism’ is preserved in the physiological cellular context of MRC-5 human lung fibroblasts. Structure–signalling relationships including iperoxo derivatives with either modified positively charged head group or altered tail suggest that ‘superagonism’ of iperoxo is mechanistically based on parallel activation of the receptor protein via two orthosteric interaction points. Conclusion and Implications Supraphysiological agonist efficacy at muscarinic M2 ACh receptors is demonstrated for the first time. In addition, a possible underlying molecular mechanism of GPCR ‘superagonism’ is provided. We suggest that iperoxo-like orthosteric GPCR activation is a new avenue towards a novel class of receptor activators. Linked Article This article is commented on by Langmead and Christopoulos, pp. 353–356 of this issue. To view this commentary visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.12142 PMID:23062057

  8. The nicotinic receptor in the rat pineal gland is an alpha3beta4 subtype.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Susan C; Vicini, Stefano; Xiao, Yingxian; Dávila-García, Martha I; Yasuda, Robert P; Wolfe, Barry B; Kellar, Kenneth J

    2004-10-01

    The rat pineal gland contains a high density of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We characterized the pharmacology of the binding sites and function of these receptors, measured the nAChR subunit mRNA, and used subunit-specific antibodies to establish the receptor subtype as defined by subunit composition. In ligand binding studies, [3H]epibatidine ([3H]EB) binds with an affinity of approximately 100 pM to nAChRs in the pineal gland, and the density of these sites is approximately 5 times that in rat cerebral cortex. The affinities of nicotinic drugs for binding sites in the pineal gland are similar to those at alpha3beta4 nAChRs heterologously expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. In functional studies, the potencies and efficacies of nicotinic drugs to activate or block whole-cell currents in dissociated pinealocytes match closely their potencies and efficacies to activate or block 86Rb+ efflux in the cells expressing heterologous alpha3beta4 nAChRs. Measurements of mRNA indicated the presence of transcripts for alpha3, beta2, and beta4 nAChR subunits but not those for alpha2, alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, alpha7, or beta3 subunits. Immunoprecipitation with subunit-specific antibodies showed that virtually all [3H]EB-labeled nAChRs contained alpha3 and beta4 subunits associated in one complex. The beta2 subunit was not associated with this complex. Taken together, these results indicate that virtually all of the nAChRs in the rat pineal gland are the alpha3beta4 nAChR subtype and that the pineal gland can therefore serve as an excellent and convenient model in which to study the pharmacology and function of these receptors in a native tissue.

  9. Imidacloprid and thiacloprid neonicotinoids bind more favourably to cockroach than to honeybee α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: insights from computational studies.

    PubMed

    Selvam, Balaji; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D; Alamiddine, Zakaria; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Coqueret, Olivier; Olivier, Christophe; Thany, Steeve H; Le Questel, Jean-Yves

    2015-02-01

    The binding interactions of two neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMI) and thiacloprid (THI) with the extracellular domains of cockroach and honeybee α6 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in an homomeric receptor have been studied through docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The binding mode predicted for the two neonicotinoids is validated through the good agreement observed between the theoretical results with the crystal structures of the corresponding complexes with Ac-AChBP, the recognized structural surrogate for insects nAChR extracellular ligand binding domain. The binding site of the two insect α6 receptors differs by only one residue of loop D, a serine residue (Ser83) in cockroach being replaced by a lysine residue (Lys108) in honeybee. The docking results show very close interactions for the two neonicotinoids with both α6 nAChR models, in correspondence to the trends observed in the experimental neonicotinoid-Ac-AChBP complexes. However, the docking parameters (scores and energies) are not significantly different between the two insect α6 nAChRs to draw clear conclusions. The MD results bring distinct trends. The analysis of the average interaction energies in the two insects α6 nAChRs shows indeed better affinity of neonicotinoids bound to α6 cockroach compared to honeybee nAChR. This preference is explained by tighter contacts with aromatic residues (Trp and Tyr) of the binding pocket. Interestingly, the non-conserved residue Lys108 of loop D of α6 honeybee nAChR interacts through van der Waals contacts with neonicotinoids, which appear more favourable than the direct or water mediated hydrogen-bond interaction between the OH group of Ser83 of α6 cockroach nAChR and the electronegative terminal group of the two neonicotinoids (nitro in IMI and cyano in THI). Finally, in both insects nAChRs, THI is consistently found to bind more favourably than IMI.

  10. Acetylcholine Promotes Binding of α-Conotoxin MII for α3β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Sambasivarao, Somisetti V.; Roberts, Jessica; Bharadwaj, Vivek S.; Slingsby, Jason G.; Rohleder, Conrad; Mallory, Chris; Groome, James R.

    2014-01-01

    α-Conotoxin MII (α-CTxMII) is a 16 amino acid peptide with the sequence GCCSNPVCHLEHSNLC containing disulfide bonds between Cys2-Cys8 and Cys3-Cys16. This peptide, isolated from the venom of the marine cone snail Conus magus, is a potent and selective antagonist of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To evaluate the impact of channel-ligand interactions on ligand binding affinity, homology models of the heteropentameric α3β2-nAChR were constructed. The models were created in MODELLER using crystal structures of the Torpedo marmorata-nAChR (Tm-nAChR, PDB ID: 2BG9) and the Aplysia californica-acetylcholine binding protein (Ac-AChBP, PDB ID: 2BR8) as templates for the α3 and β2 subunit isoforms derived from rat neuronal nAChR primary amino acid sequences. Molecular docking calculations were performed with AutoDock to evaluate interactions of the heteropentameric nAChR homology models with the ligands acetylcholine (ACh) and α-CTxMII. The nAChR homology models described here bind ACh with commensurate binding energies to previously reported systems, and identify critical interactions that facilitate both ACh and α-CTxMII ligand binding. The docking calculations revealed an increased binding affinity of the α3β2-nAChR for α-CTxMII with ACh bound to the receptor, which was confirmed through two-electrode voltage clamp experiments on oocytes from Xenopus laevis. These findings provide insights into the inhibition and mechanism of electrostatically driven antagonist properties of the α-CTxMIIs on nAChRs. PMID:24420650

  11. Receptor May Underlie Gender Differences in Response to Smoking Cessation Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2 *-nAChRs). Past research has shown that nicotine binding to this subset, one of the most widespread ... Female Smokers Show Differences in Availability of Nicotine-Binding Receptor Male smokers who had been abstinent for ...

  12. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit is an essential negative regulator of bone mass.

    PubMed

    Mito, Kazuaki; Sato, Yuiko; Kobayashi, Tami; Miyamoto, Kana; Nitta, Eriko; Iwama, Atsushi; Matsumoto, Morio; Nakamura, Masaya; Sato, Kazuki; Miyamoto, Takeshi

    2017-03-28

    The nicotinic receptor α7nAchR reportedly regulates vagal nerve targets in brain and cardiac tissue. Here we show that nAchR7(-/-) mice exhibit increased bone mass due to decreased osteoclast formation, accompanied by elevated osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratios in serum. Vagotomy in wild-type mice also significantly increased the serum osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratio, and elevated bone mass seen in nAchR7(-/-) mice was reversed in α7nAchR/osteoprotegerin-doubly-deficient mice. α7nAchR loss significantly increased TNFα expression in Mac1-positive macrophages, and TNFα increased the osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratio in osteoblasts. Targeting TNFα in nAchR7(-/-) mice normalized both serum osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratios and bone mass. Administration of nicotine, an α7nAchR ligand, to wild-type mice increased serum RANKL levels. Thus, vagal nerve stimulation of macrophages via α7nAchR regulates bone mass by modulating osteoclast formation.

  13. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α7 subunit is an essential negative regulator of bone mass

    PubMed Central

    Mito, Kazuaki; Sato, Yuiko; Kobayashi, Tami; Miyamoto, Kana; Nitta, Eriko; Iwama, Atsushi; Matsumoto, Morio; Nakamura, Masaya; Sato, Kazuki; Miyamoto, Takeshi

    2017-01-01

    The nicotinic receptor α7nAchR reportedly regulates vagal nerve targets in brain and cardiac tissue. Here we show that nAchR7−/− mice exhibit increased bone mass due to decreased osteoclast formation, accompanied by elevated osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratios in serum. Vagotomy in wild-type mice also significantly increased the serum osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratio, and elevated bone mass seen in nAchR7−/− mice was reversed in α7nAchR/osteoprotegerin-doubly-deficient mice. α7nAchR loss significantly increased TNFα expression in Mac1-positive macrophages, and TNFα increased the osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratio in osteoblasts. Targeting TNFα in nAchR7−/− mice normalized both serum osteoprotegerin/RANKL ratios and bone mass. Administration of nicotine, an α7nAchR ligand, to wild-type mice increased serum RANKL levels. Thus, vagal nerve stimulation of macrophages via α7nAchR regulates bone mass by modulating osteoclast formation. PMID:28349965

  14. Computational determination of the binding mode of α-conotoxin to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabassum, Nargis; Yu, Rilei; Jiang, Tao

    2016-12-01

    Conotoxins belong to the large families of disulfide-rich peptide toxins from cone snail venom, and can act on a broad spectrum of ion channels and receptors. They are classified into different subtypes based on their targets. The α-conotoxins selectively inhibit the current of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Because of their unique selectivity towards distinct nAChR subtypes, α-conotoxins become valuable tools in nAChR study. In addition to the X-ray structures of α-conotoxins in complex with acetylcholine-binding protein, a homolog of the nAChR ligand-binding domain, the high-resolution crystal structures of the extracellular domain of the α1 and α9 subunits are also obtained. Such structures not only revealed the details of the configuration of nAChR, but also provided higher sequence identity templates for modeling the binding modes of α-conotoxins to nAChR. This mini-review summarizes recent modeling studies for the determination of the binding modes of α-conotoxins to nAChR. As there are not crystal structures of the nAChR in complex with conotoxins, computational modeling in combination of mutagenesis data is expected to reveal the molecular recognition mechanisms that govern the interactions between α-conotoxins and nAChR at molecular level. An accurate determination of the binding modes of α-conotoxins on AChRs allows rational design of α-conotoxin analogues with improved potency or selectivity to nAChRs.

  15. alpha7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout selectively enhances ethanol-, but not beta-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    de Fiebre, Nancyellen C; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2005-01-03

    The alpha7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) has been implicated as a potential site of action for two neurotoxins, ethanol and the Alzheimer's disease related peptide, beta-amyloid. Here, we utilized primary neuronal cultures of cerebral cortex from alpha7 nAChR null mutant mice to examine the role of this receptor in modulating the neurotoxic properties of subchronic, "binge" ethanol and beta-amyloid. Knockout of the alpha7 nAChR gene selectively enhanced ethanol-induced neurotoxicity in a gene dosage-related fashion. Susceptibility of cultures to beta-amyloid induced toxicity, however, was unaffected by alpha7 nAChR gene null mutation. Further, beta-amyloid did not inhibit the binding of the highly alpha7-selective radioligand, [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin. On the other hand, in studies in Xenopus oocytes ethanol efficaciously inhibited alpha7 nAChR function. These data suggest that alpha7 nAChRs modulate the neurotoxic effects of binge ethanol, but not the neurotoxicity produced by beta-amyloid. It is hypothesized that inhibition of alpha7 nAChRs by ethanol provides partial protection against the neurotoxic properties of subchronic ethanol.

  16. Substituted 2-Aminopyrimidines Selective for α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Activation and Association with Acetylcholine Binding Proteins.

    PubMed

    Kaczanowska, Katarzyna; Camacho Hernandez, Gisela Andrea; Bendiks, Larissa; Kohs, Larissa; Cornejo-Bravo, Jose Manuel; Harel, Michal; Finn, M G; Taylor, Palmer

    2017-03-15

    Through studies with ligand binding to the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP), we previously identified a series of 4,6-substituted 2-aminopyrimidines that associate with this soluble surrogate of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in a cooperative fashion, not seen for classical nicotinic agonists and antagonists. To examine receptor interactions of this structural family on ligand-gated ion channels, we employed HEK cells transfected with cDNAs encoding three requisite receptor subtypes: α7-nAChR, α4β2-nAChR, and a serotonin receptor (5-HT3AR), along with a fluorescent reporter. Initial screening of a series of over 50 newly characterized 2-aminopyrimidines with affinity for AChBP showed only two to be agonists on the α7-nAChR below 10 μM concentration. Their unique structural features were incorporated into design of a second subset of 2-aminopyrimidines yielding several congeners that elicited α7 activation with EC50 values of 70 nM and Kd values for AChBP in a similar range. Several compounds within this series exhibit specificity for the α7-nAChR, showing no activation or antagonism of α4β2-nAChR or 5-HT3AR at concentrations up to 10 μM, while others were weaker antagonists (or partial agonists) on these receptors. Analysis following cocrystallization of four ligand complexes with AChBP show binding at the subunit interface, but with an orientation or binding pose that differs from classical nicotinic agonists and antagonists and from the previously analyzed set of 2-aminopyrimidines that displayed distinct cooperative interactions with AChBP. Orientations of aromatic side chains of these complexes are distinctive, suggesting new modes of binding at the agonist-antagonist site and perhaps an allosteric action for heteromeric nAChRs.

  17. Modulation of nicotinic receptor activity in the central nervous system: a novel approach to the treatment of Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, E X; Santos, M D; Alkondon, M; Pereira, E F; Maelicke, A

    2001-08-01

    Impaired cholinergic function in the central nervous system is an early feature of Alzheimer disease (AD). Currently, cholinergic deficit is usually corrected by increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the synapse by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AChE). One of the most consistent cholinergic deficits in AD is the reduced expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the brain. Since these receptors are essential for learning and memory, restoring nicotinic cholinergic function is a promising approach to treating AD. Allosteric modulation of nAChR is a novel approach, which circumvents development of tolerance through long-term use of conventional nicotinic agonists. Allosteric modulators interact with receptor-binding sites distinct from those capable of recognizing the natural agonist. Positive allosteric modulation of nAChR activity has no effect on conductance of single channels; instead, by facilitating channel opening, it potentiates responses evoked by the interaction of the natural agonist with presynaptic and postsynaptic nAChR. Allosteric modulation of nAChR activity could therefore potentially produce a significant benefit in AD. One such allosteric modulator is galantamine. In addition to increasing nAChR activity, galantamine also inhibits AChE. This novel, dual mechanism of action distinguishes galantamine from many other AChE inhibitors. Galantamine has been shown to improve cognitive and daily function for at least 6 months in placebo-controlled trials, and to maintain these functions at baseline levels for at least 12 months in a 6-month open-label extension study. Galantamine has positive effects on nAChR expression, which are likely to contribute to its sustained efficacy in the treatment of AD patients.

  18. Multiple CNS nicotinic receptors mediate L-dopa-induced dyskinesias: studies with parkinsonian nicotinic receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Quik, Maryka; Campos, Carla; Grady, Sharon R

    2013-10-15

    Accumulating evidence supports the idea that drugs acting at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) may be beneficial for Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by a loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Nicotine administration to parkinsonian animals protects against nigrostriatal damage. In addition, nicotine and nAChR drugs improve L-dopa-induced dyskinesias, a debilitating side effect of L-dopa therapy which remains the gold-standard treatment for Parkinson's disease. Nicotine exerts its antidyskinetic effect by interacting with multiple nAChRs. One approach to identify the subtypes specifically involved in L-dopa-induced dyskinesias is through the use of nAChR subunit null mutant mice. Previous work with β2 and α6 nAChR knockout mice has shown that α6β2* nAChRs were necessary for the development/maintenance of L-dopa-induced abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs). The present results in parkinsonian α4 nAChR knockout mice indicate that α4β2* nAChRs also play an essential role since nicotine did not reduce L-dopa-induced AIMs in such mice. Combined analyses of the data from α4 and α6 knockout mice suggest that the α6α4β2β3 subtype may be critical. In contrast to the studies with α4 and α6 knockout mice, nicotine treatment did reduce L-dopa-induced AIMs in parkinsonian α7 nAChR knockout mice. However, α7 nAChR subunit deletion alone increased baseline AIMs, suggesting that α7 receptors exert an inhibitory influence on L-dopa-induced AIMs. In conclusion, α6β2*, α4β2* and α7 nAChRs all modulate L-dopa-induced AIMs, although their mode of regulation varies. Thus drugs targeting one or multiple nAChRs may be optimal for reducing L-dopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease.

  19. Alexa Fluor 546-ArIB[V11L;V16A] is a potent ligand for selectively labeling alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Hone, Arik J; Whiteaker, Paul; Mohn, Jesse L; Jacob, Michele H; McIntosh, J Michael

    2010-08-01

    The alpha7* (*denotes the possible presence of additional subunits) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype is widely expressed in the vertebrate nervous system and implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders that compromise thought and cognition. In this report, we demonstrate that the recently developed fluorescent ligand Cy3-ArIB[V11L;V16A] labels alpha7 nAChRs in cultured hippocampal neurons. However, photobleaching of this ligand during long image acquisition times prompted us to develop a new derivative. In photostability studies, this new ligand, Alexa Fluor 546-ArIB[V11L;V16A], was significantly more resistant to bleaching than the Cy3 derivative. The classic alpha7 ligand alpha-bungarotoxin binds to alpha1* and alpha9* nAChRs. In contrast, Alexa Fluor 546-ArIB[V11L;V16A] potently (IC(50) 1.8 nM) and selectively blocked alpha7 nAChRs but not alpha1* or alpha9* nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Selectivity was further confirmed by competition binding studies of native nAChRs in rat brain membranes. The fluorescence properties of Alexa Fluor 546-ArIB[V11L;V16A] were assessed using human embryonic kidney-293 cells stably transfected with nAChRs; labeling was observed on cells expressing alpha7 but not cells expressing alpha3beta2, alpha3beta4, or alpha4beta2 nAChRs. Further imaging studies demonstrate that Alexa Fluor 546-ArIB[V11L;V16A] labels hippocampal neurons from wild-type mice but not from nAChR alpha7 subunit-null mice. Thus, Alexa Fluor 546-ArIB[V11L;V16A] represents a potent and selective ligand for imaging alpha7 nAChRs.

  20. Deletion of the Alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Gene Improves Cognitive Deficits and Synaptic Pathology in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Dziewczapolski, Gustavo; Glogowski, Carolina M.; Masliah, Eliezer; Heinemann, Stephen F.

    2009-01-01

    It has been recently shown that the Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenic peptide amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1-42) binds to the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) with high affinity and the α7nAChR and Aβ1-42 are both found co-localized in neuritic plaques of human brains with AD. Moreover, the intraneuronal accumulation of Aβ1-42 was shown to be facilitated by its high-affinity binding to the α7nAChR and α7nAChR activation mediates Aβ-induced tau protein phosphorylation. To test the hypothesis that α7nAChRs are involved in AD pathogenesis, we used a transgenic mouse model of AD over-expressing a mutated form of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and lacking the α7nAChR gene (APPα7KO). We have shown that, despite the presence of high amounts of APP and amyloid deposits, deleting the α7nAChR subunit in the mouse model of AD leads to a protection from the dysfunction in synaptic integrity (pathology and plasticity) and learning and memory behavior. Specifically, APPα7KO mice express APP and Aβ at similar levels to APP mice and yet they were able to solve a cognitive challenge such as the Morris water maze test significantly better than APP, with performances comparable to control groups. Moreover, deleting the α7nAChR subunit protected the brain from loss of the synaptic markers, synaptophysin and MAP2, reduced the gliosis, and preserved the capacity to elicit LTP otherwise deficient in APP mice. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the α7nAChR plays a role in AD and suggests that interrupting α7nAChR function could be beneficial in the treatment of AD. PMID:19587288

  1. Synthesis, biological evaluation, and computational studies of Tri- and tetracyclic nitrogen-bridgehead compounds as potent dual-acting AChE inhibitors and hH3 receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Darras, Fouad H; Pockes, Steffen; Huang, Guozheng; Wehle, Sarah; Strasser, Andrea; Wittmann, Hans-Joachim; Nimczick, Martin; Sotriffer, Christoph A; Decker, Michael

    2014-03-19

    Combination of AChE inhibiting and histamine H3 receptor antagonizing properties in a single molecule might show synergistic effects to improve cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease, since both pharmacological actions are able to enhance cholinergic neurotransmission in the cortex. However, whereas AChE inhibitors prevent hydrolysis of acetylcholine also peripherally, histamine H3 antagonists will raise acetylcholine levels mostly in the brain due to predominant occurrence of the receptor in the central nervous system. In this work, we designed and synthesized two novel classes of tri- and tetracyclic nitrogen-bridgehead compounds acting as dual AChE inhibitors and histamine H3 antagonists by combining the nitrogen-bridgehead moiety of novel AChE inhibitors with a second N-basic fragment based on the piperidinylpropoxy pharmacophore with different spacer lengths. Intensive structure-activity relationships (SARs) with regard to both biological targets led to compound 41 which showed balanced affinities as hAChE inhibitor with IC50 = 33.9 nM, and hH3R antagonism with Ki = 76.2 nM with greater than 200-fold selectivity over the other histamine receptor subtypes. Molecular docking studies were performed to explain the potent AChE inhibition of the target compounds and molecular dynamics studies to explain high affinity at the hH3R.

  2. Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, and Computational Studies of Tri- and Tetracyclic Nitrogen-Bridgehead Compounds as Potent Dual-Acting AChE Inhibitors and hH3 Receptor Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Combination of AChE inhibiting and histamine H3 receptor antagonizing properties in a single molecule might show synergistic effects to improve cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease, since both pharmacological actions are able to enhance cholinergic neurotransmission in the cortex. However, whereas AChE inhibitors prevent hydrolysis of acetylcholine also peripherally, histamine H3 antagonists will raise acetylcholine levels mostly in the brain due to predominant occurrence of the receptor in the central nervous system. In this work, we designed and synthesized two novel classes of tri- and tetracyclic nitrogen-bridgehead compounds acting as dual AChE inhibitors and histamine H3 antagonists by combining the nitrogen-bridgehead moiety of novel AChE inhibitors with a second N-basic fragment based on the piperidinylpropoxy pharmacophore with different spacer lengths. Intensive structure–activity relationships (SARs) with regard to both biological targets led to compound 41 which showed balanced affinities as hAChE inhibitor with IC50 = 33.9 nM, and hH3R antagonism with Ki = 76.2 nM with greater than 200-fold selectivity over the other histamine receptor subtypes. Molecular docking studies were performed to explain the potent AChE inhibition of the target compounds and molecular dynamics studies to explain high affinity at the hH3R. PMID:24422467

  3. Nicotine Dependence Reveals Distinct Responses from Neurons and Their Resident Nicotinic Receptors in Medial Habenula

    PubMed Central

    Shih, Pei-Yu; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are the molecular target of nicotine. nAChRs in the medial habenula (MHb) have recently been shown to play a role in nicotine dependence, but it is not clear which nAChR subtypes or MHb neuron types are most important. To identify MHb nAChRs and/or cell types that play a role in nicotine dependence, we studied these receptors and cells with brain slice electrophysiology using both acute and chronic nicotine application. Cells in the ventroinferior (MHbVI) and ventrolateral MHb (MHbVL) subregions expressed functional nAChRs with different pharmacology. Further, application of nicotine to cells in these subregions led to different action potential firing patterns. The latter result was correlated with a differing ability of nicotine to induce nAChR desensitization. Chronic nicotine caused functional upregulation of nAChRs selectively in MHbVI cells, but did not change nAChR function in MHbVL. Importantly, firing responses were also differentially altered in these subregions following chronic nicotine. MHbVI neurons treated chronically with nicotine exhibited enhanced basal pacemaker firing but a blunted nicotine-induced firing response. MHbVL neurons did not change their firing properties in response to chronic nicotine. Together, these results suggest that acute and chronic nicotine differentially affect nAChR function and output of cells in MHb subregions. Because the MHb extensively innervates the interpeduncular nucleus, an area critical for both affective and somatic signs of withdrawal, these results could reflect some of the neurophysiological changes thought to occur in the MHb to the interpeduncular nucleus circuit in human smokers. PMID:26429939

  4. Age-related changes in functional postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, a nucleus important in drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Mark H; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2016-03-01

    The earlier an individual initiates cigarette smoking, the higher the likelihood of development of dependency to nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes. One possible mechanism underlying this higher addiction liability is an ontogenetically differential cellular response induced by nicotine in neurons mediating the reinforcing or euphoric effects of this drug, which could arise from age-related differences in the composition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits. In the current study, we examined whether the subunit composition of nAChRs differed between neurons within the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT), a nucleus importantly involved in drug addiction associated behaviours, across two periods of ontogeny in which nicotine-mediated excitatory responses were shown to depend on age. To this end, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse brain slices from identified LDT neurons, in combination with nAChR subunit-specific receptor antagonists, were conducted. Comparison of the contribution of different nAChR subunits to acetylcholine (ACh)-induced inward currents indicated that the contributions of the β2 and/or β4 and α7 nAChR subunits alter across age. Taken together, we conclude that across a limited ontogenetic period, there is plasticity in the subunit composition of nAChRs in LDT neurons. In addition, our data indicate, for the first time, functional presence of α6 nAChR subunits in LDT neurons within the age ranges studied. Changes in subunit composition of nAChRs across ontogeny could contribute to the age-related differential excitability induced by nicotine. Differences in the subunit composition of nAChRs within the LDT would be expected to contribute to ontogenetic-dependent outflow from the LDT to target regions, which include reward-related circuitry.

  5. Acetylcholine receptor pathway in lung cancer: New twists to an old story

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Xiao-Min; Lu, Shun

    2014-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies revealed that allelic variation in the α5-α3-β4 nicotine acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) cluster on chromosome 15q24-15q25.1 was associated with lung cancer risk. nAChRs are membrane ligand-gated cation channels whose activation is triggered by the binding of the endogenous neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) or other biologic compounds including nicotine. nAChRs have been found on lung cancer cells, underscoring the idea that the non-neuronal nAChR pathway has important implications for lung cancer. Several studies focusing on the treatment with nAChR antagonists with improved selectivity might trigger novel strategies for the intervention and prevention of lung cancer. Here we review the genetic risk factors for lung cancer in the nAChR gene cluster, the roles of nicotine receptors, and the molecular mechanisms of acetylcholine receptor pathways to lead to more opportunities for intervention and prevention of lung cancer. PMID:25302169

  6. Multiple Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subtypes in the Mouse Amygdala Regulate Affective Behaviors and Response to Social Stress.

    PubMed

    Mineur, Yann S; Fote, Gianna M; Blakeman, Sam; Cahuzac, Emma L M; Newbold, Sylvia A; Picciotto, Marina R

    2016-05-01

    Electrophysiological and neurochemical studies implicate cholinergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in behaviors related to stress. Both animal studies and human clinical trials suggest that drugs that alter nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) activity can affect behaviors related to mood and anxiety. Clinical studies also suggest that abnormalities in cholinergic signaling are associated with major depressive disorder, whereas pre-clinical studies have implicated both β2 subunit-containing (β2*) and α7 nAChRs in the effects of nicotine in models of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. We therefore investigated whether nAChR signaling in the amygdala contributes to stress-mediated behaviors in mice. Local infusion of the non-competitive non-selective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine or viral-mediated downregulation of the β2 or α7 nAChR subunit in the amygdala all induced robust anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects in several mouse behavioral models. Further, whereas α7 nAChR subunit knockdown was somewhat more effective at decreasing anxiety-like behavior, only β2 subunit knockdown decreased resilience to social defeat stress and c-fos immunoreactivity in the BLA. In contrast, α7, but not β2, subunit knockdown effectively reversed the effect of increased ACh signaling in a mouse model of depression. These results suggest that signaling through β2* nAChRs is essential for baseline excitability of the BLA, and a decrease in signaling through β2 nAChRs alters anxiety- and depression-like behaviors even in unstressed animals. In contrast, stimulation of α7 nAChRs by acetylcholine may mediate the increased depression-like behaviors observed during the hypercholinergic state observed in depressed individuals.

  7. Expression and Functional Role of α7 Nicotinic Receptor in Human Cytokine-stimulated Natural Killer (NK) Cells.

    PubMed

    Zanetti, Samanta R; Ziblat, Andrea; Torres, Nicolás I; Zwirner, Norberto W; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2016-08-05

    The homomeric α7 nicotinic receptor (nAChR) is one of the most abundant nAChRs in the central nervous system where it contributes to cognition, attention, and working memory. α7 nAChR is also present in lymphocytes, dendritic cells (DCs), and macrophages and it is emerging as an important drug target for intervention in inflammation and sepsis. Natural killer (NK) cells display cytotoxic activity against susceptible target cells and modulate innate and adaptive immune responses through their interaction with DCs. We here show that human NK cells also express α7 nAChR. α7 nAChR mRNA is detected by RT-PCR and cell surface expression of α7 nAChR is detected by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry using α-bungarotoxin, a specific antagonist. Both mRNA and protein levels increase during NK stimulation with cytokines (IL-12, IL-18, and IL-15). Exposure of cytokine-stimulated NK cells to PNU-282987, a specific α7 nAChR agonist, increases intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) mainly released from intracellular stores, indicating that α7 nAChR is functional. Moreover, its activation by PNU-282987 plus a specific positive allosteric modulator greatly enhances the Ca(2+) responses in NK cells. Stimulation of NK cells with cytokines and PNU-282987 decreases NF-κB levels and nuclear mobilization, down-regulates NKG2D receptors, and decreases NKG2D-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production. Also, such NK cells are less efficient to trigger DC maturation. Thus, our results demonstrate the anti-inflammatory role of α7 nAChR in NK cells and suggest that modulation of its activity in these cells may constitute a novel target for regulation of the immune response.

  8. Cross-reactivity of acid-sensing ion channel and Na+–H+ exchanger antagonists with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Torres, Julio; Ślimak, Marta A; Auer, Sebastian; Ibañez-Tallon, Inés

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are widely distributed throughout the mammalian central and peripheral nervous systems, where they contribute to neuronal excitability and synaptic communication. It has been reported that nAChRs are modulated by BK channels and that BK channels, in turn, are inhibited by acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). Here we investigate the possible functional interaction between these channels in medial habenula (MHb) neurones. We report that selective antagonists of large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels and ASIC1a channels, paxilline and psalmotoxin 1, respectively, did not induce detectable changes in nicotine-evoked currents. In contrast, the non-selective ASIC and Na+–H+ exchanger (NHE1) antagonists, amiloride and its analogues, suppressed nicotine-evoked responses in MHb neurones of wild-type and ASIC2 null mice, excluding a possible involvement of ASIC2 in the nAChR inhibition by amiloride. Zoniporide, a more selective inhibitor of NHE1, reversibly inhibited α3β4-, α7- and α4-containing (*) nAChRs in Xenopus oocytes and in brain slices, as well as in PS120 cells deficient in NHE1 and virally transduced with nAChRs, suggesting a generalized effect of zoniporide in most neuronal nAChR subtypes. Independently from nAChR antagonism, zoniporide profoundly blocked synaptic transmission onto MHb neurones without affecting glutamatergic and GABA receptors. Taken together, these results indicate that amiloride and zoniporide, which are clinically used to treat hypertension and cardiovascular disease, have an inhibitory effect on neuronal nAChRs when used experimentally at high doses. The possible cross-reactivity of these compounds with nAChRs in vivo will require further investigation. PMID:21911609

  9. Neonicotinoids show selective and diverse actions on their nicotinic receptor targets: electrophysiology, molecular biology, and receptor modeling studies.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Shimomura, Masaru; Ihara, Makoto; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B

    2005-08-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides, which act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), are used worldwide for insect pest management. Studies that span chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and electrophysiology have contributed to our current understanding of the important physicochemical and structural properties essential for neonicotinoid actions as well as key receptor residues contributing to the high affinity of neonicotinoids for insect nAChRs. Research to date suggests that electrostatic interactions and possibly hydrogen bond formation between neonicotinoids and nAChRs contribute to the selectivity of these chemicals. A rich diversity of neonicotinoid-nAChR interactions has been demonstrated using voltage-clamp electrophysiology. Computational modeling of nAChR-imidacloprid interaction has assisted in the interpretation of these results.

  10. Role of the extracellular transmembrane domain interface in gating and pharmacology of a heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Aldea, Marcos; Castillo, Mar; Mulet, José; Sala, Salvador; Criado, Manuel; Sala, Francisco

    2010-05-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) transmit the agonist signal to the channel gate through a number of extracellular domains. We have previously shown that particular details of the process of coupling binding to gating could be quantitative and qualitatively different in muscle and neuronal type nAChRs. We have extended previous studies on homomeric alpha7 nAChRs to heteromeric alpha3beta4 nAChRs, by mutating residues located at loops 2 and 7, and M2-M3 linker of both alpha3 and beta4 subunits which, in order to monitor surface expression, were modified to bind alpha-bungarotoxin, and expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We show that, in general, mutations in these domains of both alpha3 and beta4 subunits affect the gating function, although the effects are slightly larger if they are inserted in the alpha3 subunit. However, the involvement of a previously reported intrasubunit interaction in coupling (Gln48-Ile130) seems to be restricted to the beta4 subunit. We also show that mutations at these domains, particularly loop 2 of the alpha3 subunit, change the pharmacological profile of alpha3beta4 nAChRs, decreasing nicotine's and increasing cytisine's effectiveness relative to acetylcholine. It is concluded that, unlike muscle nAChRs, the non-alpha subunits play a relevant role in the coupling process of neuronal alpha3beta4 nAChRs.

  11. Vagotomy affects the development of oral tolerance and increases susceptibility to develop colitis independently of the alpha-7 nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Di Giovangiulio, Martina; Bosmans, Goele; Meroni, Elisa; Stakenborg, Nathalie; Florens, Morgane; Farro, Giovanna; Gomez-Pinilla, Pedro J; Matteoli, Gianluca; Boeckxstaens, Guy

    2016-06-14

    Vagotomy (VGX) increases the susceptibility to develop colitis suggesting a crucial role for the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in the regulation of the immune responses. Since oral tolerance and the generation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial to preserve mucosal immune homeostasis, we studied the effect of vagotomy and the involvement of α7 nicotinic receptors (α7nAChR) at the steady state and during colitis. Therefore, the development of both oral tolerance and colitis (induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) or via T cell transfer) was studied in vagotomized mice and in α7nAChR(-/-) mice. VGX, but not α7nAChR deficiency, prevented oral tolerance establishment. This effect was associated with reduced Treg conversion in the lamina propria and mesenteric lymphnodes. To the same extent, vagotomized mice, but not α7nAChR(-/-) mice, developed a more severe DSS colitis compared with control mice treated with DSS, associated with a decreased number of colonic Tregs. However, neither VGX nor absence of α7nAChR in recipient mice affected colitis development in the T cell transfer model. In line, deficiency of α7nAChR exclusively in T cells did not influence the development of colitis induced by T cell transfer. Our results indicate a key role for the vagal intestinal innervation in the development of oral tolerance and colitis, most likely by modulating induction of Tregs independently of α7nAChR.

  12. Vagotomy Affects the Development of Oral Tolerance and Increases Susceptibility to Develop Colitis Independently of α-7 Nicotinic Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Di Giovangiulio, Martina; Bosmans, Goele; Meroni, Elisa; Stakenborg, Nathalie; Florens, Morgane; Farro, Giovanna; Gomez-Pinilla, Pedro J; Matteoli, Gianluca; Boeckxstaens, Guy E

    2016-01-01

    Vagotomy (VGX) increases the susceptibility to develop colitis suggesting a crucial role for the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in the regulation of the immune responses. Since oral tolerance and the generation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial to preserve mucosal immune homeostasis, we studied the effect of vagotomy and the involvement of α7 nicotinic receptors (α7nAChR) at the steady state and during colitis. Therefore, the development of both oral tolerance and colitis (induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) or via T cell transfer) was studied in vagotomized mice and in α7nAChR-/- mice. VGX, but not α7nAChR deficiency, prevented oral tolerance establishment. This effect was associated with reduced Treg conversion in the lamina propria and mesenteric lymphnodes. To the same extent, vagotomized mice, but not α7nAChR-/- mice, developed a more severe DSS colitis compared with control mice treated with DSS, associated with a decreased number of colonic Tregs. However, neither VGX nor absence of α7nAChR in recipient mice affected colitis development in the T cell transfer model. In line, deficiency of α7nAChR exclusively in T cells did not influence the development of colitis induced by T cell transfer. Our results indicate a key role for the vagal intestinal innervation in the development of oral tolerance and colitis, most likely by modulating induction of Tregs independently of α7nAChR. PMID:27341335

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Oseltamivir blocks human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated currents.

    PubMed

    Muraki, Katsuhiko; Hatano, Noriyuki; Suzuki, Hiroka; Muraki, Yukiko; Iwajima, Yui; Maeda, Yasuhiro; Ono, Hideki

    2015-02-01

    The effects of oseltamivir, a neuraminidase inhibitor, were tested on the function of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in a neuroblastoma cell line IMR32 derived from human peripheral neurons and on recombinant human α3β4 nAChRs expressed in HEK cells. IMR32 cells predominately express α3β4 nAChRs. Nicotine (nic, 30 μm)-evoked currents recorded at -90 mV in IMR32 cells using the whole-cell patch clamp technique were reversibly blocked by oseltamivir in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, an active metabolite of oseltamivir, oseltamivir carboxylate (OC) at 30 μm had little effect on the nic-evoked currents. Oseltamivir also blocked nic-evoked currents derived from HEK cells with recombinant α3β4 nAChRs. This blockade was voltage-dependent with 10, 30 and 100 μm oseltamivir inhibiting ~50% at -100, -60 and -40 mV, respectively. Non-inactivating currents in IMR32 cells and in HEK cells with α3β4 nAChRs, which were evoked by an endogenous nicotinic agonist, ACh (5 μm), were reversibly blocked by oseltamivir. These data demonstrate that oseltamivir blocks nAChRs, presumably via binding to a site in the channel pore.

  15. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Structure and Function and Response to Nicotine.

    PubMed

    Dani, John A

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) belong to the "Cys-loop" superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels that includes GABAA, glycine, and serotonin (5-HT3) receptors. There are 16 homologous mammalian nAChR subunits encoded by a multigene family. These subunits combine to form many different nAChR subtypes with various expression patterns, diverse functional properties, and differing pharmacological characteristics. Because cholinergic innervation is pervasive and nAChR expression is extremely broad, practically every area of the brain is impinged upon by nicotinic mechanisms. This review briefly examines the structural and functional properties of the receptor/channel complex itself. The review also summarizes activation and desensitization of nAChRs by the low nicotine concentrations obtained from tobacco. Knowledge of the three-dimensional structure and the structural characteristics of channel gating has reached an advanced stage. Likewise, the basic functional properties of the channel also are reasonably well understood. It is these receptor/channel properties that underlie the participation of nAChRs in nearly every anatomical region of the mammalian brain.

  16. Muscarinic receptors modulate dendrodendritic inhibitory synapses to sculpt glomerular output.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shaolin; Shao, Zuoyi; Puche, Adam; Wachowiak, Matt; Rothermel, Markus; Shipley, Michael T

    2015-04-08

    Cholinergic [acetylcholine (ACh)] axons from the basal forebrain innervate olfactory bulb glomeruli, the initial site of synaptic integration in the olfactory system. Both nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are expressed in glomeruli. The activation of nAChRs directly excites both mitral/tufted cells (MTCs) and external tufted cells (ETCs), the two major excitatory neurons that transmit glomerular output. The functional roles of mAChRs in glomerular circuits are unknown. We show that the restricted glomerular application of ACh causes rapid, brief nAChR-mediated excitation of both MTCs and ETCs in the mouse olfactory bulb. This excitation is followed by mAChR-mediated inhibition, which is blocked by GABAA receptor antagonists, indicating the engagement of periglomerular cells (PGCs) and/or short axon cells (SACs), the two major glomerular inhibitory neurons. Indeed, selective activation of glomerular mAChRs, with ionotropic GluRs and nAChRs blocked, increased IPSCs in MTCs and ETCs, indicating that mAChRs recruit glomerular inhibitory circuits. Selective activation of glomerular mAChRs in the presence of tetrodotoxin increased IPSCs in all glomerular neurons, indicating action potential-independent enhancement of GABA release from PGC and/or SAC dendrodendritic synapses. mAChR-mediated enhancement of GABA release also presynaptically suppressed the first synapse of the olfactory system via GABAB receptors on sensory terminals. Together, these results indicate that cholinergic modulation of glomerular circuits is biphasic, involving an initial excitation of MTC/ETCs mediated by nAChRs followed by inhibition mediated directly by mAChRs on PGCs/SACs. This may phasically enhance the sensitivity of glomerular outputs to odorants, an action that is consistent with recent in vivo findings.

  17. Mammalian Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: From Structure to Function

    PubMed Central

    Albuquerque, Edson X.; Pereira, Edna F. R.; Alkondon, Manickavasagom; Rogers, Scott W.

    2009-01-01

    The classical studies of nicotine by Langley at the turn of the 20th century introduced the concept of a “receptive substance,” from which the idea of a “receptor” came to light. Subsequent studies aided by the Torpedo electric organ, a rich source of muscle-type nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), and the discovery of α-bungarotoxin, a snake toxin that binds pseudo-irreversibly to the muscle nAChR, resulted in the muscle nAChR being the best characterized ligand-gated ion channel hitherto. With the advancement of functional and genetic studies in the late 1980s, the existence of nAChRs in the mammalian brain was confirmed and the realization that the numerous nAChR subtypes contribute to the psychoactive properties of nicotine and other drugs of abuse and to the neuropathology of various diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and schizophrenia, has since emerged. This review provides a comprehensive overview of these findings and the more recent revelations of the impact that the rich diversity in function and expression of this receptor family has on neuronal and nonneuronal cells throughout the body. Despite these numerous developments, our understanding of the contributions of specific neuronal nAChR subtypes to the many facets of physiology throughout the body remains in its infancy. PMID:19126755

  18. Otilonium: a potent blocker of neuronal nicotinic ACh receptors in bovine chromaffin cells.

    PubMed Central

    Gandía, L.; Villarroya, M.; Lara, B.; Olmos, V.; Gilabert, J. A.; López, M. G.; Martínez-Sierra, R.; Borges, R.; García, A. G.

    1996-01-01

    1. Otilonium, a clinically useful spasmolytic, behaves as a potent blocker of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChR) as well as a mild wide-spectrum Ca2+ channel blocker in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. 2. 45Ca2+ uptake into chromaffin cells stimulated with high K+ (70 mM, 1 min) was blocked by otilonium with an IC50 of 7.6 microM. The drug inhibited the 45Ca2+ uptake stimulated by the nicotinic AChR agonist, dimethylphenylpiperazinium (DMPP) with a 79 fold higher potency (IC50 = 0.096 microM). 3. Whole-cell Ba2+ currents (IBa) through Ca2+ channels of voltage-clamped chromaffin cells were blocked by otilonium with an IC50 of 6.4 microM, very close to that of K(+)-evoked 45Ca2+ uptake. Blockade developed in 10-20 s, almost as a single step and was rapidly and almost fully reversible. 4. Whole-cell nicotinic AChR-mediated currents (250 ms pulses of 100 microM DMPP) applied at 30 s intervals were blocked by otilonium in a concentration-dependent manner, showing an IC50 of 0.36 microM. Blockade was induced in a step-wise manner. Wash out of otilonium allowed a slow recovery of the current, also in discrete steps. 5. In experiments with recordings in the same cells of whole-cell IDMPP, Na+ currents (INa) and Ca2+ currents (ICa), 1 microM otilonium blocked 87% IDMPP, 7% INa and 13% ICa. 6. Otilonium inhibited the K(+)-evoked catecholamine secretory response of superfused bovine chromaffin cells with an IC50 of 10 microM, very close to the IC50 for blockade of K(+)-induced 45Ca2+ uptake and IBa. 7. Otilonium inhibited the secretory responses induced by 10 s pulses of 50 microM DMPP with an IC50 of 7.4 nM. Hexamethonium blocked the DMPP-evoked responses with an IC50 of 29.8 microM, 4,000 fold higher than that of otilonium. 8. In conclusion, otilonium is a potent blocker of nicotinic AChR-mediated responses. The drugs also blocked various subtypes of neuronal voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels at a considerably lower potency. Na+ channels were unaffected by

  19. Cross-reactivity of acid-sensing ion channel and Na⁺-H⁺ exchanger antagonists with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Santos-Torres, Julio; Ślimak, Marta A; Auer, Sebastian; Ibañez-Tallon, Inés

    2011-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are widely distributed throughout the mammalian central and peripheral nervous systems, where they contribute to neuronal excitability and synaptic communication. It has been reported that nAChRs are modulated by BK channels and that BK channels, in turn, are inhibited by acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). Here we investigate the possible functional interaction between these channels in medial habenula (MHb) neurones. We report that selective antagonists of large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels and ASIC1a channels, paxilline and psalmotoxin 1, respectively, did not induce detectable changes in nicotine-evoked currents. In contrast, the non-selective ASIC and Na(+)-H(+) exchanger (NHE1) antagonists, amiloride and its analogues, suppressed nicotine-evoked responses in MHb neurones of wild-type and ASIC2 null mice, excluding a possible involvement of ASIC2 in the nAChR inhibition by amiloride. Zoniporide, a more selective inhibitor of NHE1, reversibly inhibited α3β4-, α7- and α4-containing (*) nAChRs in Xenopus oocytes and in brain slices, as well as in PS120 cells deficient in NHE1 and virally transduced with nAChRs, suggesting a generalized effect of zoniporide in most neuronal nAChR subtypes. Independently from nAChR antagonism, zoniporide profoundly blocked synaptic transmission onto MHb neurones without affecting glutamatergic and GABA receptors. Taken together, these results indicate that amiloride and zoniporide, which are clinically used to treat hypertension and cardiovascular disease, have an inhibitory effect on neuronal nAChRs when used experimentally at high doses. The possible cross-reactivity of these compounds with nAChRs in vivo will require further investigation.

  20. PMCA2 VIA PSD-95 CONTROLS CALCIUM SIGNALING BY α7-CONTAINING NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS ON ASPINY INTERNEURONS

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Varela, David; Schmidt, Manuela; Schoellerman, Jeff; Peters, Eric C.; Berg, Darwin K.

    2012-01-01

    Local control of calcium concentration within neurons is critical for signaling and regulation of synaptic communication in neural circuits. How local control can be achieved in the absence of physical compartmentalization is poorly understood. Challenging examples are provided by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that contain α7 nicotinic receptor subunits (α7-nAChRs). These receptors are highly permeable to calcium and are concentrated on aspiny dendrites of interneurons which lack obvious physical compartments for constraining calcium diffusion. Using functional proteomics on rat brain, we show that α7-nAChRs are associated with the membrane calcium pump PMCA2. Analysis of α7-nAChR function in hippocampal interneurons in culture shows that PMCA2 activity limits the duration of calcium elevations produced by the receptors. Unexpectedly, PMCA2 inhibition triggers rapid calcium-dependent loss of α7-nAChR clusters. This extreme regulatory response is mediated by CaMKII, involves proteasome activity, depends on the second intracellular loop of α7-nAChR subunits, and is specific in that it does not alter two other classes of calcium-permeable ionotropic receptors on the same neurons. A critical link is provided by the scaffold protein PSD-95, which is associated with α7-nAChRs and constrains their mobility as revealed by single-particle tracking on neurons. The PSD-95 link is required for PMCA2-mediated removal of α7-nAChR clusters. This three-component combination of PMCA2/PSD-95/α7-nAChR offers a novel mechanism for tight control of calcium dynamics in neurons. PMID:22593058

  1. Targeting of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Treatment of Schizophrenia and the Use of Auditory Sensory Gating as a Translational Biomarker

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto, Kenji

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the α7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) plays a key role in inflammatory processes, thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Preclinical and clinical studies showed that the diminished suppression of P50 auditory evoked potentials in patients with schizophrenia may be associated with a decreased density of α7 nAChRs in the brain. This points to a role for auditory sensory gating (P50) as a translational biomarker. A number of agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) for α7 nAChR promoted beneficial effects in animal models with sensory gating and cognitive deficits. Additionally, several clinical studies showed that α7 nAChR agonists could improve suppression in auditory P50 evoked potentials, as well as cognitive deficits, and negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Taken together, α7 nAChR presents as an extremely attractive therapeutic target for schizophrenia. In this article, the author discusses recent findings on α7 nAChR agonists such as DMXB-A, RG3487, TC-5619, tropisetron, EVP-6124 (encenicline), ABT-126, AQW051 and α7 nAChR PAMs such as JNJ-39393406, PNU-120596 and AVL-3288 (also known as UCI-4083), and their potential as therapeutic drugs for neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia. PMID:26044974

  2. Competitive inhibition of the nondepolarizing muscle relaxant rocuronium on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channels in the rat superior cervical ganglia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chengmi; Wang, Zhenmeng; Zhang, Jinmin; Qiu, Haibo; Sun, Yuming; Yang, Liqun; Wu, Feixiang; Zheng, Jijian; Yu, Weifeng

    2014-05-01

    A number of case reports now indicate that rocuronium can induce a number of serious side effects. We hypothesized that these side effects might be mediated by the inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons. Conventional patch clamp recordings were used to study the effects of rocuronium on nAChR currents from enzymatically dissociated rat SCG neurons. We found that ACh induced a peak transient inward current in rat SCG neurons. Additionally, rocuronium suppressed the peak ACh-evoked currents in rat SCG neurons in a concentration-dependent and competitive manner, and it increased the extent of desensitization of nAChRs. The inhibitory rate of rocuronium on nAChR currents did not change significantly at membrane potentials between -70 and -20 mV, suggesting that this inhibition was voltage independent. Lastly, rocuronium preapplication enhanced its inhibitory effect, indicating that this drug might prefer to act on the closed state of nAChR channels. In conclusion, rocuronium, at clinically relevant concentrations, directly inhibits nAChRs at the SCG by interacting with both opened and closed states. This inhibition is competitive, dose dependent, and voltage independent. Blockade of synaptic transmission in the sympathetic ganglia by rocuronium might have potentially inhibitory effects on the cardiovascular system.

  3. Prenatal Exposure to Nicotine and Childhood Asthma: Role of Nicotine Acetylcholine Receptors, Neuropeptides, and Fibronectin Expression in Lung

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

    nAChRs) that are expressed by lung cells termed fibroblasts and pulmonary neuroendocrine cells ( PNEC ). In fibroblasts, this interaction triggers the...exaggerated expression of a connective tissue protein called fibronectin. In PNECs , nicotine stimulates cell growth and the excessive secretion of...acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed by fibroblasts and pulmonary neuroendocrine cells ( PNECs ), among other embryonic lung cells. In

  4. Crystal structures of Lymnaea stagnalis AChBP in complex with neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and clothianidin

    PubMed Central

    Ihara, Makoto; Okajima, Toshihide; Yamashita, Atsuko; Oda, Takuma; Hirata, Koichi; Nishiwaki, Hisashi; Morimoto, Takako; Akamatsu, Miki; Ashikawa, Yuji; Kuroda, Shun’ichi; Mega, Ryosuke; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Sattelle, David B.

    2008-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides, which act on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in a variety of ways, have extremely low mammalian toxicity, yet the molecular basis of such actions is poorly understood. To elucidate the molecular basis for nAChR–neonicotinoid interactions, a surrogate protein, acetylcholine binding protein from Lymnaea stagnalis (Ls-AChBP) was crystallized in complex with neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid (IMI) or clothianidin (CTD). The crystal structures suggested that the guanidine moiety of IMI and CTD stacks with Tyr185, while the nitro group of IMI but not of CTD makes a hydrogen bond with Gln55. IMI showed higher binding affinity for Ls-AChBP than that of CTD, consistent with weaker CH–π interactions in the Ls-AChBP–CTD complex than in the Ls-AChBP–IMI complex and the lack of the nitro group-Gln55 hydrogen bond in CTD. Yet, the NH at position 1 of CTD makes a hydrogen bond with the backbone carbonyl of Trp143, offering an explanation for the diverse actions of neonicotinoids on nAChRs. PMID:18338186

  5. 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

  6. Selective activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRα7) inhibits muscular degeneration in mdx dystrophic mice.

    PubMed

    Leite, Paulo Emílio Correa; Gandía, Luís; de Pascual, Ricardo; Nanclares, Carmen; Colmena, Inés; Santos, Wilson C; Lagrota-Candido, Jussara; Quirico-Santos, Thereza

    2014-07-21

    Amount evidence indicates that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRα7) activation reduces production of inflammatory mediators. This work aimed to verify the influence of endogenous nAChRα7 activation on the regulation of full-blown muscular inflammation in mdx mouse with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We used mdx mice with 3 weeks-old at the height myonecrosis, and C57 nAChRα7(+/+) wild-type and nAChRα7(-/-) knockout mice with muscular injury induced with 60µL 0.5% bupivacaine (bp) in the gastrocnemius muscle. Pharmacological treatment included selective nAChRα7 agonist PNU282987 (0.3mg/kg and 1.0mg/kg) and the antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA at 1.0mg/kg) injected intraperitoneally for 7 days. Selective nAChRα7 activation of mdx mice with PNU282987 reduced circulating levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, a marker of cell death by necrosis) and the area of perivascular inflammatory infiltrate, and production of inflammatory mediators TNFα and metalloprotease MMP-9 activity. Conversely, PNU282987 treatment increased MMP-2 activity, an indication of muscular tissue remodeling associated with regeneration, in both mdx mice and WTα7 mice with bp-induced muscular lesion. Treatment with PNU282987 had no effect on α7KO, and MLA abolished the nAChRα7 agonist-induced anti-inflammatory effect in both mdx and WT. In conclusion, nAChRα7 activation inhibits muscular inflammation and activates tissue remodeling by increasing muscular regeneration. These effects were not accompanied with fibrosis and/or deposition of non-functional collagen. The nAChRα7 activation may be considered as a potential target for pharmacological strategies to reduce inflammation and activate mechanisms of muscular regeneration.

  7. Coantagonism of Glutamate Receptors and Nicotinic Acetylcholinergic Receptors Disrupts Fear Conditioning and Latent Inhibition of Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gould, Thomas J.; Lewis, Michael C.

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the hypothesis that both nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptors (nAChRs) and glutamate receptors ([alpha]-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptors (AMPARs) and N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDARs)) are involved in fear conditioning, and may modulate similar processes. The effects of the…

  8. Nicotine and ethanol cooperate to enhance ventral tegmental area AMPA receptor function via α6-containing nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Engle, Staci E; McIntosh, J Michael; Drenan, Ryan M

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine + ethanol co-exposure results in additive and/or synergistic effects in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to nucleus accumbens (NAc) dopamine (DA) pathway, but the mechanisms supporting this are unclear. We tested the hypothesis that nAChRs containing α6 subunits (α6* nAChRs) are involved in the response to nicotine + ethanol co-exposure. Exposing VTA slices from C57BL/6 WT animals to drinking-relevant concentrations of ethanol causes a marked enhancement of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor (AMPAR) function in VTA neurons. This effect was sensitive to α-conotoxin MII (an α6β2* nAChR antagonist), suggesting that α6* nAChR function is required. In mice expressing hypersensitive α6* nAChRs (α6L9S mice), we found that lower concentrations (relative to C57BL/6 WT) of ethanol were sufficient to enhance AMPAR function in VTA neurons. Exposure of live C57BL/6 WT mice to ethanol also produced AMPAR functional enhancement in VTA neurons, and studies in α6L9S mice strongly suggest a role for α6* nAChRs in this response. We then asked whether nicotine and ethanol cooperate to enhance VTA AMPAR function. We identified low concentrations of nicotine and ethanol that were capable of strongly enhancing VTA AMPAR function when co-applied to slices, but that did not enhance AMPAR function when applied alone. This effect was sensitive to both varenicline (an α4β2* and α6β2* nAChR partial agonist) and α-conotoxin MII. Finally, nicotine + ethanol co-exposure also enhanced AMPAR function in VTA neurons from α6L9S mice. Together, these data identify α6* nAChRs as important players in the response to nicotine + ethanol co-exposure in VTA neurons.

  9. Discovery of a potent and selective α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist from an α-conotoxin synthetic combinatorial library.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yi-Pin; Banerjee, Jayati; Dowell, Cheryl; Wu, Jinhua; Gyanda, Reena; Houghten, Richard A; Toll, Lawrence; McIntosh, J Michael; Armishaw, Christopher J

    2014-04-24

    α-Conotoxins are disulfide-rich peptide neurotoxins that selectively inhibit neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The α3β4 nAChR subtype has been identified as a novel target for managing nicotine addiction. Using a mixture-based positional-scanning synthetic combinatorial library (PS-SCL) with the α4/4-conotoxin BuIA framework, we discovered a highly potent and selective α3β4 nAChR antagonist. The initial PS-SCL consisted of a total of 113 379 904 sequences that were screened for α3β4 nAChR inhibition, which facilitated the design and synthesis of a second generation library of 64 individual α-conotoxin derivatives. Eleven analogues were identified as α3β4 nAChR antagonists, with TP-2212-59 exhibiting the most potent antagonistic activity and selectivity over the α3β2 and α4β2 nAChR subtypes. Final electrophysiological characterization demonstrated that TP-2212-59 inhibited acetylcholine evoked currents in α3β4 nAChRs heterogeneously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes with a calculated IC50 of 2.3 nM and exhibited more than 1000-fold selectivity over the α3β2 and α7 nAChR subtypes. As such, TP-2212-59 is among the most potent α3β4 nAChRs antagonists identified to date and further demonstrates the utility of mixture-based combinatorial libraries in the discovery of novel α-conotoxin derivatives with refined pharmacological activity.

  10. Monkey adrenal chromaffin cells express α6β4* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Hone, Arik J; Scadden, Mick L; Carmona-Hidalgo, Beatriz; McIntosh, J Michael; Albillos, Almudena

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that contain α6 and β4 subunits have been demonstrated functionally in human adrenal chromaffin cells, rat dorsal root ganglion neurons, and on noradrenergic terminals in the hippocampus of adolescent mice. In human adrenal chromaffin cells, α6β4* nAChRs (the asterisk denotes the possible presence of additional subunits) are the predominant subtype whereas in rodents, the predominant nAChR is the α3β4* subtype. Here we present molecular and pharmacological evidence that chromaffin cells from monkey (Macaca mulatta) also express α6β4* receptors. PCR was used to show the presence of transcripts for α6 and β4 subunits and pharmacological characterization was performed using patch-clamp electrophysiology in combination with α-conotoxins that target the α6β4* subtype. Acetylcholine-evoked currents were sensitive to inhibition by BuIA[T5A,P6O] and MII[H9A,L15A]; α-conotoxins that inhibit α6-containing nAChRs. Two additional agonists were used to probe for the expression of α7 and β2-containing nAChRs. Cells with currents evoked by acetylcholine were relatively unresponsive to the α7-selctive agonist choline but responded to the agonist 5-I-A-85380. These studies provide further insights into the properties of natively expressed α6β4* nAChRs.

  11. Targeted deletion of the kynurenine aminotransferase ii gene reveals a critical role of endogenous kynurenic acid in the regulation of synaptic transmission via alpha7 nicotinic receptors in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Alkondon, Manickavasagon; Pereira, Edna F R; Yu, Ping; Arruda, Emerson Z; Almeida, Luis E F; Guidetti, Paolo; Fawcett, William P; Sapko, Michael T; Randall, William R; Schwarcz, Robert; Tagle, Danilo A; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2004-05-12

    It has been postulated that endogenous kynurenic acid (KYNA) modulates alpha7* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and NMDA receptor activities in the brain.a To test this hypothesis, alpha7* nAChR and NMDA receptor functions were studied in mice with a targeted null mutation in the gene encoding kynurenine aminotransferase II (mKat-2-/- mice), an enzyme responsible for brain KYNA synthesis. At 21 postnatal days, mKat-2-/- mice had lower hippocampal KYNA levels and higher spontaneous locomotor activity than wild-type (WT) mice. At this age, alpha7* nAChR activity induced by exogenous application of agonists to CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons was approximately 65% higher in mKat-2-/- than WT mice. Binding studies indicated that the enhanced receptor activity may not have resulted from an increase in alpha7* nAChR number. In 21-d-old mKat-2-/- mice, endogenous alpha7* nAChR activity in the hippocampus was also increased, leading to an enhancement of GABAergic activity impinging onto CA1 pyramidal neurons that could be reduced significantly by acute exposure to KYNA (100 nM). The activities of GABA(A) and NMDA receptors in the interneurons and of alpha3beta4* nAChRs regulating glutamate release onto these neurons were comparable between mKat-2-/- and WT mice. By 60 d of age, KYNA levels and GABAergic transmission in the hippocampus and locomotor activity were similar between mKat-2-/- and WT mice. Our findings that alpha7* nAChRs are major targets for KYNA in the brain may provide insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, disorders in which brain KYNA levels are increased and alpha7* nAChR functions are impaired.

  12. α-Conotoxin BuIA[T5A;P6O]: a novel ligand that discriminates between α6ß4 and α6ß2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and blocks nicotine-stimulated norepinephrine release.

    PubMed

    Azam, Layla; Maskos, Uwe; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Dowell, Cheryl D; Christensen, Sean; De Biasi, Mariella; McIntosh, J Michael

    2010-12-01

    α6* (asterisk indicates the presence of additional subunits) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are broadly implicated in catecholamine-dependent disorders that involve attention, motor movement, and nicotine self-administration. Different molecular forms of α6 nAChRs mediate catecholamine release, but receptor differentiation is greatly hampered by a paucity of subtype selective ligands. α-Conotoxins are nAChR-targeted peptides used by Conus species to incapacitate prey. We hypothesized that distinct conotoxin-binding kinetics could be exploited to develop a series of selective probes to enable study of native receptor subtypes. Proline6 of α-conotoxin BuIA was found to be critical for nAChR selectivity; substitution of proline6 with 4-hydroyxproline increased the IC(50) by 2800-fold at α6/α3β2β3 but only by 6-fold at α6/α3β4 nAChRs (to 1300 and 12 nM, respectively). We used conotoxin probes together with subunit-null mice to interrogate nAChR subtypes that modulate hippocampal norepinephrine release. Release was abolished in α6-null mutant mice. α-Conotoxin BuIA[T5A;P6O] partially blocked norepinephrine release in wild-type controls but failed to block release in β4(-/-) mice. In contrast, BuIA[T5A;P6O] failed to block dopamine release in the wild-type striatum known to contain α6β2* nAChRs. BuIA[T5A;P6O] is a novel ligand for distinguishing between closely related α6* nAChRs; α6β4* nAChRs modulate norepinephrine release in hippocampus but not dopamine release in striatum.

  13. Desformylflustrabromine (dFBr) and [3H]dFBr-Labeled Binding Sites in a Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Hamouda, Ayman K.; Wang, Ze-Jun; Stewart, Deirdre S.; Jain, Atul D.; Glennon, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Desformylflustrabromine (dFBr) is a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of α4β2 and α2β2 nAChRs that, at concentrations >1 µM, also inhibits these receptors and α7 nAChRs. However, its interactions with muscle-type nAChRs have not been characterized, and the locations of its binding site(s) in any nAChR are not known. We report here that dFBr inhibits human muscle (αβεδ) and Torpedo (αβγδ) nAChR expressed in Xenopus oocytes with IC50 values of ∼1 μM. dFBr also inhibited the equilibrium binding of ion channel blockers to Torpedo nAChRs with higher affinity in the nAChR desensitized state ([3H]phencyclidine; IC50 = 4 μM) than in the resting state ([3H]tetracaine; IC50 = 60 μM), whereas it bound with only very low affinity to the ACh binding sites ([3H]ACh, IC50 = 1 mM). Upon irradiation at 312 nm, [3H]dFBr photoincorporated into amino acids within the Torpedo nAChR ion channel with the efficiency of photoincorporation enhanced in the presence of agonist and the agonist-enhanced photolabeling inhibitable by phencyclidine. In the presence of agonist, [3H]dFBr also photolabeled amino acids in the nAChR extracellular domain within binding pockets identified previously for the nonselective nAChR PAMs galantamine and physostigmine at the canonical α-γ interface containing the transmitter binding sites and at the noncanonical δ-β subunit interface. These results establish that dFBr inhibits muscle-type nAChR by binding in the ion channel and that [3H]dFBr is a photoaffinity probe with broad amino acid side chain reactivity. PMID:25870334

  14. Nicotinic receptor activation in human cerebral cortical interneurons: a mechanism for inhibition and disinhibition of neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Alkondon, M; Pereira, E F; Eisenberg, H M; Albuquerque, E X

    2000-01-01

    Cholinergic control of the activity of human cerebral cortical circuits has long been thought to be accounted for by the interaction of acetylcholine (ACh) with muscarinic receptors. Here we report the discovery of functional nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) in interneurons of the human cerebral cortex and discuss the physiological and clinical implications of these findings. The whole-cell mode of the patch-clamp technique was used to record responses triggered by U-tube application of the nonselective agonist ACh and of the alpha7-nAChR-selective agonist choline to interneurons visualized by means of infrared-assisted videomicroscopy in slices of the human cerebral cortex. Choline induced rapidly desensitizing whole-cell currents that, being sensitive to blockade by methyllycaconitine (MLA; 50 nM), were most likely subserved by an alpha7-like nAChR. In contrast, ACh evoked slowly decaying whole-cell currents that, being sensitive to blockade by dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE; 10 microM), were most likely subserved by an alpha4beta2-like nAChR. Application of ACh (but not choline) to the slices also triggered GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs). Evidence is provided that ACh-evoked PSCs are the result of activation of alpha4beta2-like nAChRs present in preterminal axon segments and/or in presynaptic terminals of interneurons. Thus, nAChRs can relay inhibitory and/or disinhibitory signals to pyramidal neurons and thereby modulate the activity of neuronal circuits in the human cerebral cortex. These mechanisms, which appear to be retained across species, can account for the involvement of nAChRs in cognitive functions and in certain neuropathological conditions.

  15. [Development of physical dependence on nicotine and endogenous opioid system--participation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor].

    PubMed

    Kishioka, Shiroh; Kiguchi, Norikazu; Kobayashi, Yuka; Saika, Fumihiro; Yamamoto, Chizuko

    2014-10-01

    Nicotine (NIC) regulates various cellular functions acting on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). And nAChR consists of ligand-gated cation channels with pentameric structure and composed of α and β subunits. In the central nervous system, α 4 β 2 and α 7 nAChRs are the most abundantly expressed as nAChR subtypes. There are several lines of evidence indicating that systemic administration of NIC elicits the release of endogenous opioids, such as, endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins, in the brain. NIC exerts numerous acute effects, for example, antinociceptive effects and the activating effects of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In these effects, NIC-induced antinociception, but not HPA axis activation, was inhibited by opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone (NLX), and was also suppressed in morphine tolerated mice, indicating the participation of the endogenous opioid system in NIC-induced antinociception, but not HPA axis activation. Moreover, NIC-induced antinociception was antagonized by both α 4 β 2 and α 7 nAChR antagonists, while NIC-induced HPA axis activation was antagonized by α 4 β 2 nAChR antagonist, but not by α 7 nAChR antagonist. These results suggest that the endogenous opioid system may not be located on the downstream of α 4 β 2 nAChR. On the other hand, NIC has substantial physical dependence liability. NLX elicits NIC withdrawal after repeated NIC administration evaluated by corticosterone increase as a withdrawal sign, and NLX-precipitated NIC withdrawal is inhibited by concomitant administration of other opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone, indicating the participation of endogenous opioid system in the development of physical dependence on NIC. NLX-precipitated NIC withdrawal was also inhibited by concomitant administration of an α 7 nAChR antagonist, but not an α 4 β 2 nAChR antagonist. Taken together, these findings suggest that the endogenous opioid system may be located on the downstream of α 7

  16. Impulsive behavior and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Ohmura, Yu; Tsutsui-Kimura, Iku; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro

    2012-01-01

    Higher impulsivity is thought to be a risk factor for drug addiction, criminal involvement, and suicide. Excessive levels of impulsivity are often observed in several psychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia. Previous studies have demonstrated that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are involved in impulsive behavior. Here, we introduce recent advances in this field and describe the role of the following nAChR-related brain mechanisms in modulating impulsive behavior: dopamine release in the ventral striatum; α4β2 nAChRs in the infralimbic cortex, which is a ventral part of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC); and dopamine release in the mPFC. We also suggest several potential therapeutic drugs to address these mechanisms in impulsivity-related disorders and explore future directions to further elucidate the roles of central nAChRs in impulsive behavior.

  17. Auto/paracrine control of inflammatory cytokines by acetylcholine in macrophage-like U937 cells through nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Chernyavsky, Alexander I; Arredondo, Juan; Skok, Maryna; Grando, Sergei A

    2010-03-01

    Although acetylcholine (ACh) is well known for its neurotransmitter function, recent studies have indicated that it also functions as an immune cytokine that prevents macrophage activation through a 'cholinergic (nicotinic) anti-inflammatory pathway'. In this study, we used the macrophage-like U937 cells to elucidate the mechanisms of the physiologic control of cytokine production by auto/paracrine ACh through the nicotinic class of ACh receptors (nAChRs) expressed in these cells. Stimulation of cells with lipopolysaccharide up-regulated expression of alpha1, alpha4, alpha5, alpha7, alpha10, beta1 and beta3 subunits, down-regulated alpha6 and beta2 subunits, and did not alter the relative quantity of alpha9 and beta4 mRNAs. Distinct nAChR subtypes showed differential regulation of the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. While inhibition of the expression of the TNF-alpha gene was mediated predominantly by the alpha-bungarotoxin sensitive nAChRs, that of the IL-6 and IL-18 genes-by the mecamylamine-sensitive nAChRs. Both the Mec- and alphaBtx-sensitive nAChRs regulated expression of the IL-1beta gene equally efficiently. Upregulation of IL-10 production by auto/paracrine ACh was mediated predominantly through alpha7 nAChR. These findings offer a new insight on how nicotinic agonists control inflammation, thus laying a groundwork for the development of novel immunomodulatory therapies based on the nAChR subtype selectivity of nicotinic agonists.

  18. Role of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in nicotine-induced invasion and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human non-small cell lung cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xin-Jie; An, Shi-Min; Wang, Hao; Xu, Lu; Zhu, Liang; Chen, Hong-Zhuan

    2016-01-01

    Nicotine via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) stimulates non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell invasion and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) which underpin the cancer metastasis. However, the receptor subtype-dependent effects of nAChRs on NSCLC cell invasion and EMT, and the signaling pathway underlying the effects remain not fully defined. We identified that nicotine induced NSCLC cell invasion, migration, and EMT; the effects were suppressed by pharmacological intervention using α7-nAChR selective antagonists or by genetic intervention using α7-nAChR knockdown via RNA inference. Meanwhile, nicotine induced activation of MEK/ERK signaling in NSCLC cells; α7-nAChR antagonism or MEK/ERK signaling pathway inhibition suppressed NSCLC cell invasion and EMT marker expression. These results indicate that nicotine induces NSCLC cell invasion, migration, and EMT; the effects are mediated by α7-nAChRs and involve MEK/ERK signaling pathway. Delineating the effect of nicotine on the NSCLC cell invasion and EMT at receptor subtype level would improve the understanding of cancer biology and offer potentials for the exploitation of selective ligands for the control of the cancer metastasis. PMID:27409670

  19. A Novel α2/α4 Subtype-selective Positive Allosteric Modulator of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Acting from the C-tail of an α Subunit*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are important therapeutic candidates as well as valuable research tools. We identified a novel type II PAM, (R)-7-bromo-N-(piperidin-3-yl)benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamide (Br-PBTC), which both increases activation and reactivates desensitized nAChRs. This compound increases acetylcholine-evoked responses of α2* and α4* nAChRs but is without effect on α3* or α6* nAChRs (* indicates the presence of other nAChR subunits). Br-BPTC acts from the C-terminal extracellular sequences of α4 subunits, which is also a PAM site for steroid hormone estrogens such as 17β-estradiol. Br-PBTC is much more potent than estrogens. Like 17β-estradiol, the non-steroid Br-PBTC only requires one α4 subunit to potentiate nAChR function, and its potentiation is stronger with more α4 subunits. This feature enables Br-BPTC to potentiate activation of (α4β2)(α6β2)β3 but not (α6β2)2β3 nAChRs. Therefore, this compound is potentially useful in vivo for determining functions of different α6* nAChR subtypes. Besides activation, Br-BPTC affects desensitization of nAChRs induced by sustained exposure to agonists. After minutes of exposure to agonists, Br-PBTC reactivated short term desensitized nAChRs that have at least two α4 subunits but not those with only one. Three α4 subunits were required for Br-BPTC to reactivate long term desensitized nAChRs. These data suggest that higher PAM occupancy promotes channel opening more efficiently and overcomes short and long term desensitization. This C-terminal extracellular domain could be a target for developing subtype or state-selective drugs for nAChRs. PMID:26432642

  20. Modes of action, resistance and toxicity of insecticides targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Ihara, Makoto; Buckingham, Steven D; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Sattelle, David B

    2017-02-06

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the cys-loop superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels (cys-loop LGICs) and mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission in the nervous system of insects. The completion of many insect genome projects has greatly enhanced our understanding of the individual subunits that make up nAChR gene families from an insect genetic model organism (Drosophila melanogaster), crop pests, disease vectors and beneficial (pollinator) species. In addition to considerable insect nAChR subunit diversity, individual subunits can be subject to alternative splicing and RNA editing and these post-transcriptional modifications can add significantly to the diversity of nAChR receptor subtypes. The actions of insecticides targeting nAChRs, notably cartap, neonicotinoids, sulfoximines, flupyradifurone, spinosyns and triflumezopyrim are reviewed. Structural studies obtained using an acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) co-crystallised with neonicotinoids have yielded important new insights into the requirements for neonicotinoid insecticide - nAChR interactions. The persistent application of insecticides to crop pests leads to the onset of resistance and several examples of resistance to insecticides targeting nAChRs have been documented. Understanding the molecular basis of resistance can inform our understanding of the mechanism of insecticide action. It also provides an important driver for the development of new chemistry, diagnostic tests for resistance and the adoption of application strategies designed to attenuate such problems. Finally, we consider toxicity issues relating to nAChR-active insecticides, with particular reference to beneficial insect species (pollinators) as well as mammalian and avian toxicity. This review is part of the special issue "Insecticide Mode of Action: From Insect to Mammalian Toxicity.".

  1. Nicotinic receptors, memory, and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) modulate the neurobiological processes underlying hippocampal learning and memory. In addition, nicotine's ability to desensitize and upregulate certain nAChRs may alter hippocampus-dependent memory processes. Numerous studies have examined the effects of nicotine on hippocampus-dependent learning, as well as the roles of low- and high-affinity nAChRs in mediating nicotine's effects on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. These studies suggested that while acute nicotine generally acts as a cognitive enhancer for hippocampus-dependent learning, withdrawal from chronic nicotine results in deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory. Furthermore, these studies demonstrated that low- and high-affinity nAChRs functionally differ in their involvement in nicotine's effects on hippocampus-dependent learning. In the present chapter, we reviewed studies using systemic or local injections of acute or chronic nicotine, nAChR subunit agonists or antagonists; genetically modified mice; and molecular biological techniques to characterize the effects of nicotine on hippocampus-dependent learning.

  2. AQW051, a novel, potent and selective α7 nicotinic ACh receptor partial agonist: pharmacological characterization and phase I evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Feuerbach, Dominik; Pezous, Nicole; Weiss, Markus; Shakeri-Nejad, Kasra; Lingenhoehl, Kurt; Hoyer, Daniel; Hurth, Konstanze; Bilbe, Graeme; Pryce, Christopher R; McAllister, Kevin; Chaperon, Frederique; Kucher, Klaus; Johns, Donald; Blaettler, Thomas; Lopez Lopez, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Activation of the α7 nicotinic ACh receptor (nACh receptor) is considered an attractive target for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with neurological disorders. Here we describe the novel α7-nACh receptor agonist AQW051 as a promising drug candidate for this indication. Experimental Approach AQW051 was functionally characterized in vitro and cognitive effects evaluated in rodent behavioural models. Pharmacokinetics and tolerability were evaluated in three phase I placebo-controlled studies in 180 healthy subjects. Key Results In vitro, AQW051 bound with high affinity to α7-nACh receptors and stimulated calcium influx in cells recombinantly expressing the human α7-nACh receptor. In vivo, AQW051 demonstrated good oral bioavailability and rapid penetration into the rodent brain. AQW051 administered over a broad dose range facilitated learning/memory performance in the object recognition and social recognition test in mice and the water maze model in aged rats. Clinically, AQW051 was well tolerated in healthy young and elderly subjects, with an adverse event (AE) profile comparable with placebo. No serious AEs were reported and all AEs were either mild or moderate in severity at single oral doses up to 200 mg and multiple daily doses up to 75 mg. Once-daily oral administration of AQW051 resulted in continuous exposure and a two- to threefold accumulation compared with steady state was achieved by 1 week. Conclusions and Implications These data support further development of AQW051 as a cognitive-enhancing agent, as a therapeutic, for example, in Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia. PMID:25363835

  3. α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Regulates Airway Epithelium Differentiation by Controlling Basal Cell Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Maouche, Kamel; Polette, Myriam; Jolly, Thomas; Medjber, Kahina; Cloëz-Tayarani, Isabelle; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Burlet, Henriette; Terryn, Christine; Coraux, Christelle; Zahm, Jean-Marie; Birembaut, Philippe; Tournier, Jean-Marie

    2009-01-01

    Airway epithelial basal cells are known to be critical for regenerating injured epithelium and maintaining tissue homeostasis. Recent evidence suggests that the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), which is highly permeable to Ca2+, is involved in lung morphogenesis. Here, we have investigated the potential role of the α7 nAChR in the regulation of airway epithelial basal cell proliferation and the differentiation of the human airway epithelium. In vivo during fetal development and in vitro during the regeneration of the human airway epithelium, α7 nAChR expression coincides with epithelium differentiation. Inactivating α7 nAChR function in vitro increases cell proliferation during the initial steps of the epithelium regeneration, leading to epithelial alterations such as basal cell hyperplasia and squamous metaplasia, remodeling observed in many bronchopulmonary diseases. The regeneration of the airway epithelium after injury in α7−/− mice is delayed and characterized by a transient hyperplasia of basal cells. Moreover, 1-year-old α7−/− mice more frequently present basal cells hyperplasia. Modulating nAChR function or expression shows that only α7 nAChR, as opposed to heteropentameric αxβy nAChRs, controls the proliferation of human airway epithelial basal cells. These findings suggest that α7 nAChR is a key regulator of the plasticity of the human airway epithelium by controlling basal cell proliferation and differentiation pathway and is involved in airway remodeling during bronchopulmonary diseases. PMID:19808646

  4. Negative allosteric modulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors blocks nicotine self-administration in rats.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Ryan F; Hogenkamp, Derk J; Li, Wen Y; Tran, Minhtam B; Belluzzi, James D; Whittemore, Edward R; Leslie, Frances M; Gee, Kelvin W

    2007-12-01

    Drugs that antagonize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) can be used to inhibit nicotine-induced behavior in both humans and animals. The aim of our experiments is to establish a proof-of-principle that antagonism of nAChRs by negative allosteric modulation can alter behavior in a relevant animal model of addiction, nicotine self-administration. We have identified a novel, negative allosteric modulator of nAChRs, UCI-30002 [N-(1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-naphthyl)-4-nitroaniline], with selectivity for the major neuronal nAChR subtypes over muscle-type nAChRs. After systemic administration, UCI-30002 significantly reduces nicotine self-administration in rats on both fixed ratio and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement. The minimum effective dose that significantly alters nicotine self-administration corresponds to brain concentrations of UCI-30002 that produce at least 30% inhibition of the major neuronal nAChR subtypes measured in vitro. UCI-30002 has no effect on responding for food reinforcement in rats on either type of schedule, indicating that there is no effect on general responding or natural reward. UCI-30002 represents validation of the concept that negative allosteric modulators may have significant benefits as a strategy for treating nicotine addiction and encourages the development of subtype-selective modulators.

  5. Contribution of α7 nicotinic receptor to airway epithelium dysfunction under nicotine exposure.

    PubMed

    Maouche, Kamel; Medjber, Kahina; Zahm, Jean-Marie; Delavoie, Franck; Terryn, Christine; Coraux, Christelle; Pons, Stéphanie; Cloëz-Tayarani, Isabelle; Maskos, Uwe; Birembaut, Philippe; Tournier, Jean-Marie

    2013-03-05

    Loss or dysfunction of the cystic fibrosis (CF) transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) leads to impairment of airway mucus transport and to chronic lung diseases resulting in progressive respiratory failure. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) bind nicotine and nicotine-derived nitrosamines and thus mediate many of the tobacco-related deleterious effects in the lung. Here we identify α7 nAChR as a key regulator of CFTR in the airways. The airway epithelium in α7 knockout mice is characterized by a higher transepithelial potential difference, an increase of amiloride-sensitive apical Na(+) absorption, a defective cAMP-dependent Cl(-) conductance, higher concentrations of Na(+), Cl(-), K(+), and Ca(2+) in secretions, and a decreased mucus transport, all relevant to a deficient CFTR activity. Moreover, prolonged nicotine exposure mimics the absence of α7 nAChR in mice or its inactivation in vitro in human airway epithelial cell cultures. The functional coupling of α7 nAChR to CFTR occurs through Ca(2+) entry and activation of adenylyl cyclases, protein kinase A, and PKC. α7 nAChR, CFTR, and adenylyl cyclase-1 are physically and functionally associated in a macromolecular complex within lipid rafts at the apical membrane of surface and glandular airway epithelium. This study establishes the potential role of α7 nAChR in the regulation of CFTR function and in the pathogenesis of smoking-related chronic lung diseases.

  6. 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.

  7. Diversity of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits.

    PubMed

    Jones, Andrew K; Sattelle, David B

    2010-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate fast synaptic transmission in the insect nervous system and are targets of a major group of insecticides, the neonicotinoids. They consist of five subunits arranged around a central ion channeL Since the subunit composition determines the functional and pharmacological properties of the receptor the presence of nAChR families comprising several subunit-encodinggenes provides a molecular basis for broad functional diversity. Analyses of genome sequences have shown that nAChR gene families remain compact in diverse insect species, when compared to their nematode andvertebrate counterparts. Thus, the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae), honey bee (Apis mellifera), silk worm (Bombyx mon) and the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) possess 10-12 nAChR genes while human and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have 16 and 29 respectively. Although insect nAChRgene families are amongst the smallest known, receptor diversity can be considerably increased by the posttranscriptional processes alternative splicing and mRNA A-to-I editingwhich can potentially generate protein products which far outnumber the nAChR genes. These two processes can also generate species-specific subunit isoforms. In addition, each insect possesses at least one highly divergent nAChR subunit which may perform species-specific functions. Species-specific subunit diversification may offer promising targets for future rational design of insecticides that target specific pest insects while sparing beneficial species.

  8. First and second transmembrane segments of alpha3, alpha4, beta2, and beta4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits influence the efficacy and potency of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Rush, Ray; Kuryatov, Alexander; Nelson, Mark E; Lindstrom, Jon

    2002-06-01

    The first three transmembrane segments (M1-M3) of human nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been implicated in determining the efficacy of nicotine by studies of alpha3/alpha4 subunit chimeras. Nicotine has full efficacy on the alpha4beta2 nAChR and partial efficacy on the alpha3beta2 nAChR. Now, we have exchanged individually three amino acids between the alpha4 and the alpha3 subunits at positions 226(M1), 258(M2), and 262(M2). Also, similar exchanges were made in the beta2 and beta4 subunits at positions 224(M1), 226(M1), and 254(M2) (using alpha subunit numbering). Expression of these mutated nAChRs in Xenopus laevis oocytes showed that the mutated M1 amino acids were important in influencing the potency of ACh and nicotine. It is hypothesized that these M1 amino acids affect the stability between the resting and activated states of the nAChR. M2 amino acids altered the efficacy of nicotine, usually without altering its potency. When the residue located at position 258 in the M2 region of the alpha subunit was valine (as in the alpha3 subunit), the resulting nAChR exhibited partial efficacy for nicotine that was voltage-dependent. Therefore, we believe that these M2 amino acids contribute to the formation of a binding site for nicotine in the alpha3beta2 nAChR channel, which results in a low-affinity channel block, causing the lower efficacy of nicotine on this nAChR.

  9. 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

  10. Secreted Isoform of Human Lynx1 (SLURP-2): Spatial Structure and Pharmacology of Interactions with Different Types of Acetylcholine Receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyukmanova, E. N.; Shulepko, M. A.; Shenkarev, Z. O.; Bychkov, M. L.; Paramonov, A. S.; Chugunov, A. O.; Kulbatskii, D. S.; Arvaniti, M.; Dolejsi, Eva; Schaer, T.; Arseniev, A. S.; Efremov, R. G.; Thomsen, M. S.; Dolezal, V.; Bertrand, D.; Dolgikh, D. A.; Kirpichnikov, M. P.

    2016-08-01

    Human-secreted Ly-6/uPAR-related protein-2 (SLURP-2) regulates the growth and differentiation of epithelial cells. Previously, the auto/paracrine activity of SLURP-2 was considered to be mediated via its interaction with the α3β2 subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here, we describe the structure and pharmacology of a recombinant analogue of SLURP-2. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed a ‘three-finger’ fold of SLURP-2 with a conserved β-structural core and three protruding loops. Affinity purification using cortical extracts revealed that SLURP-2 could interact with the α3, α4, α5, α7, β2, and β4 nAChR subunits, revealing its broader pharmacological profile. SLURP-2 inhibits acetylcholine-evoked currents at α4β2 and α3β2-nAChRs (IC50 ~0.17 and >3 μM, respectively) expressed in Xenopus oocytes. In contrast, at α7-nAChRs, SLURP-2 significantly enhances acetylcholine-evoked currents at concentrations <1 μM but induces inhibition at higher concentrations. SLURP-2 allosterically interacts with human M1 and M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) that are overexpressed in CHO cells. SLURP-2 was found to promote the proliferation of human oral keratinocytes via interactions with α3β2-nAChRs, while it inhibited cell growth via α7-nAChRs. SLURP-2/mAChRs interactions are also probably involved in the control of keratinocyte growth. Computer modeling revealed possible SLURP-2 binding to the ‘classical’ orthosteric agonist/antagonist binding sites at α7 and α3β2-nAChRs.

  11. Secreted Isoform of Human Lynx1 (SLURP-2): Spatial Structure and Pharmacology of Interactions with Different Types of Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Lyukmanova, E. N.; Shulepko, M. A.; Shenkarev, Z. O.; Bychkov, M. L.; Paramonov, A. S.; Chugunov, A. O.; Kulbatskii, D. S.; Arvaniti, M.; Dolejsi, Eva; Schaer, T.; Arseniev, A. S.; Efremov, R. G.; Thomsen, M. S.; Dolezal, V.; Bertrand, D.; Dolgikh, D. A.; Kirpichnikov, M. P.

    2016-01-01

    Human-secreted Ly-6/uPAR-related protein-2 (SLURP-2) regulates the growth and differentiation of epithelial cells. Previously, the auto/paracrine activity of SLURP-2 was considered to be mediated via its interaction with the α3β2 subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here, we describe the structure and pharmacology of a recombinant analogue of SLURP-2. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed a ‘three-finger’ fold of SLURP-2 with a conserved β-structural core and three protruding loops. Affinity purification using cortical extracts revealed that SLURP-2 could interact with the α3, α4, α5, α7, β2, and β4 nAChR subunits, revealing its broader pharmacological profile. SLURP-2 inhibits acetylcholine-evoked currents at α4β2 and α3β2-nAChRs (IC50 ~0.17 and >3 μM, respectively) expressed in Xenopus oocytes. In contrast, at α7-nAChRs, SLURP-2 significantly enhances acetylcholine-evoked currents at concentrations <1 μM but induces inhibition at higher concentrations. SLURP-2 allosterically interacts with human M1 and M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) that are overexpressed in CHO cells. SLURP-2 was found to promote the proliferation of human oral keratinocytes via interactions with α3β2-nAChRs, while it inhibited cell growth via α7-nAChRs. SLURP-2/mAChRs interactions are also probably involved in the control of keratinocyte growth. Computer modeling revealed possible SLURP-2 binding to the ‘classical’ orthosteric agonist/antagonist binding sites at α7 and α3β2-nAChRs. PMID:27485575

  12. Lateral Diffusion, Function, and Expression of the Slow Channel Congenital Myasthenia Syndrome αC418W Nicotinic Receptor Mutation with Changes in Lipid Raft Components*

    PubMed Central

    Oyola-Cintrón, Jessica; Caballero-Rivera, Daniel; Ballester, Leomar; Baéz-Pagán, Carlos A.; Martínez, Hernán L.; Vélez-Arroyo, Karla P.; Quesada, Orestes; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Lipid rafts, specialized membrane microdomains in the plasma membrane rich in cholesterol and sphingolipids, are hot spots for a number of important cellular processes. The novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) mutation αC418W, the first lipid-exposed mutation identified in a patient that causes slow channel congenital myasthenia syndrome was shown to be cholesterol-sensitive and to accumulate in microdomains rich in the membrane raft marker protein caveolin-1. The objective of this study is to gain insight into the mechanism by which lateral segregation into specialized raft membrane microdomains regulates the activable pool of nAChRs. We performed fluorescent recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), quantitative RT-PCR, and whole cell patch clamp recordings of GFP-encoding Mus musculus nAChRs transfected into HEK 293 cells to assess the role of cholesterol and caveolin-1 (CAV-1) in the diffusion, expression, and functionality of the nAChR (WT and αC418W). Our findings support the hypothesis that a cholesterol-sensitive nAChR might reside in specialized membrane microdomains that upon cholesterol depletion become disrupted and release the cholesterol-sensitive nAChRs to the pool of activable receptors. In addition, our results in HEK 293 cells show an interdependence between CAV-1 and αC418W that could confer end plates rich in αC418W nAChRs to a susceptibility to changes in cholesterol levels that could cause adverse drug reactions to cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins. The current work suggests that the interplay between cholesterol and CAV-1 provides the molecular basis for modulating the function and dynamics of the cholesterol-sensitive αC418W nAChR. PMID:26354438

  13. Differential roles of α6β2* and α4β2* neuronal nicotinic receptors in nicotine- and cocaine-conditioned reward in mice.

    PubMed

    Sanjakdar, Sarah S; Maldoon, Pretal P; Marks, Michael J; Brunzell, Darlene H; Maskos, Uwe; McIntosh, J Michael; Bowers, M Scott; Damaj, M Imad

    2015-01-01

    Mesolimbic α6* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are thought to have an important role in nicotine behavioral effects. However, little is known about the role of the various α6*-nAChRs subtypes in the rewarding effects of nicotine. In this report, we investigated and compared the role of α6*-nAChRs subtypes and their neuro-anatomical locus in nicotine and cocaine reward-like effects in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm, using pharmacological antagonism of α6β2* nAChRs and genetic deletion of the α6 or α4 subunits in mice. We found that α6 KO mice exhibited a rightward shift in the nicotine dose-response curve compared with WT littermates but that α4 KO failed to show nicotine preference, suggesting that α6α4β2*-nAChRs are involved. Furthermore, α6β2* nAChRs in nucleus accumbens were found to have an important role in nicotine-conditioned reward as the intra-accumbal injection of the selective α6β2* α-conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked nicotine CPP. In contrast to nicotine, α6 KO failed to condition to cocaine, but cocaine CPP in the α4 KO was preserved. Intriguingly, α-conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked cocaine conditioning in α4 KO mice, implicating α6β2* nAChRs in cocaine reward. Importantly, these effects did not generalize as α6 KO showed both a conditioned place aversion to lithium chloride as well as CPP to palatable food. Finally, dopamine uptake was not different between the α6 KO or WT mice. These data illustrate that the subjective rewarding effects of both nicotine and cocaine may be mediated by mesolimbic α6β2* nAChRs and that antagonists of these receptor subtypes may exhibit therapeutic potential.

  14. Activation of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Decreases On-site Mortality in Crush Syndrome through Insulin Signaling-Na/K-ATPase Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Bo-Shi; Zhang, En-Hui; Wu, Miao; Guo, Jin-Min; Su, Ding-Feng; Liu, Xia; Yu, Jian-Guang

    2016-01-01

    On-site mortality in crush syndrome remains high due to lack of effective drugs based on definite diagnosis. Anisodamine (Ani) is widely used in China for treatment of shock, and activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) mediates such antishock effect. The present work was designed to test whether activation of α7nAChR with Ani decreased mortality in crush syndrome shortly after decompression. Sprague-Dawley rats and C57BL/6 mice with crush syndrome were injected with Ani (20 mg/kg and 28 mg/kg respectively, i.p.) 30 min before decompression. Survival time, serum potassium, insulin, and glucose levels were observed shortly after decompression. Involvement of α7nAChR was verified with methyllycaconitine (selective α7nAChR antagonist) and PNU282987 (selective α7nAChR agonist), or in α7nAChR knockout mice. Effect of Ani was also appraised in C2C12 myotubes. Ani reduced mortality and serum potassium and enhanced insulin sensitivity shortly after decompression in animals with crush syndrome, and PNU282987 exerted similar effects. Such effects were counteracted by methyllycaconitine or in α7nAChR knockout mice. Mortality and serum potassium in rats with hyperkalemia were also reduced by Ani. Phosphorylation of Na/K-ATPase was enhanced by Ani in C2C12 myotubes. Inhibition of tyrosine kinase on insulin receptor, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, and Na/K-ATPase counteracted the effect of Ani on extracellular potassium. These findings demonstrated that activation of α7nAChR could decrease on-site mortality in crush syndrome, at least in part based on the decline of serum potassium through insulin signaling-Na/K-ATPase pathway. PMID:27065867

  15. Effect of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 1 (nAChRα1) peptides on rabies virus infection in neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Sajjanar, Basavaraj; Saxena, Shikha; Bisht, Deepika; Singh, Arvind Kumar; Manjunatha Reddy, G B; Singh, Rajendra; Singh, R P; Kumar, Satish

    2016-06-01

    Rabies virus (RABV) is neurotropic and causes acute progressive encephalitis. Herein, we report the interaction of nAChRα1-subunit peptides with RABV and the effect of these peptides on RABV infection in cultured neuronal cells. Peptide sequences derived from torpedo, bovine, human and rats were synthesized and studied for their interactions with RABV using virus capture ELISA and peptide immunofluorescence. The results showed specific binding of the nAChRα1-subunit peptides to the RABV. In the virus adsorption assay, these peptides were found to inhibit the attachment of the RABV to the neuronal cells. The nAChRα1-subunit peptides inhibited the RABV infection and reduced viral gene expression in the cultured neuroblastoma (N2A) cells. Torpedo peptide sequence (T-32) had highest antiviral effect (IC50=14±3.01μM) compared to the other peptides studied. The results of the study indicated that nAChRα1-subunit peptides may act as receptor decoy molecules and inhibit the binding of virus to the native host cell receptors and hence may reduce viral infection.

  16. 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.

  17. Presynaptic α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Enhance Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Glutamatergic Transmission via PKA Activation

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Qing

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed widely in the CNS, and mediate both synaptic and perisynaptic activities of endogenous cholinergic inputs and pharmacological actions of exogenous compounds (e.g., nicotine and choline). Behavioral studies indicate that nicotine improves such cognitive functions as learning and memory. However, the mechanism of nicotine's action on cognitive function remains elusive. We performed patch-clamp recordings from hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons to determine the effect of nicotine on mossy fiber glutamatergic synaptic transmission. We found that nicotine in combination with NS1738, an α7 nAChR-positive allosteric modulator, strongly potentiated the amplitude of evoked EPSCs (eEPSCs), and reduced the EPSC paired-pulse ratio. The action of nicotine and NS1738 was mimicked by PNU-282987 (an α7 nAChR agonist), and was absent in α7 nAChR knock-out mice. These data indicate that activation of α7 nAChRs was both necessary and sufficient to enhance the amplitude of eEPSCs. BAPTA applied postsynaptically failed to block the action of nicotine and NS1738, suggesting again a presynaptic action of the α7 nAChRs. We also observed α7 nAChR-mediated calcium rises at mossy fiber giant terminals, indicating the presence of functional α7 nAChRs at presynaptic terminals. Furthermore, the addition of PNU-282987 enhanced action potential-dependent calcium transient at these terminals. Last, the potentiating effect of PNU-282987 on eEPSCs was abolished by inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA). Our findings indicate that activation of α7 nAChRs at presynaptic sites, via a mechanism involving PKA, plays a critical role in enhancing synaptic efficiency of hippocampal mossy fiber transmission. PMID:24381273

  18. Upregulation of surface alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors is initiated by receptor desensitization after chronic exposure to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Fenster, C P; Whitworth, T L; Sheffield, E B; Quick, M W; Lester, R A

    1999-06-15

    It is hypothesized that desensitization of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) induced by chronic exposure to nicotine initiates upregulation of nAChR number. To test this hypothesis directly, oocytes expressing alpha4beta2 receptors were chronically incubated (24-48 hr) in nicotine, and the resulting changes in specific [3H]nicotine binding to surface receptors on intact oocytes were compared with functional receptor desensitization. Four lines of evidence strongly support the hypothesis. (1) The half-maximal nicotine concentration necessary to produce desensitization (9.7 nM) was the same as that needed to induce upregulation (9.9 nM). (2) The concentration of [3H]nicotine for half-maximal binding to surface nAChRs on intact oocytes was also similar (11.1 nM), as predicted from cyclical desensitization models. (3) Functional desensitization of alpha3beta4 receptors required 10-fold higher nicotine concentrations, and this was mirrored by a 10-fold shift in concentrations necessary for upregulation. (4) Mutant alpha4beta2 receptors that do not recover fully from desensitization, but not wild-type channels, were upregulated after acute (1 hr) applications of nicotine. Interestingly, the nicotine concentration required for half-maximal binding of alpha4beta2 receptors in total cell membrane homogenates was 20-fold lower than that measured for surface nAChRs in intact oocytes. These data suggest that cell homogenate binding assays may not accurately reflect the in vivo desensitization affinity of surface nAChRs and may account for some of the previously reported differences in the efficacy of nicotine for inducing nAChR desensitization and upregulation.

  19. Putative nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits express differentially through the life cycle of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Martin, Jessica A; Garczynski, Stephen F

    2016-04-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are the targets of neonicotinoids and spinosads, two insecticides used in orchards to effectively control codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Orchardists in Washington State are concerned about the possibility of codling moth field populations developing resistance to these two insecticides. In an effort to help mitigate this issue, we initiated a project to identify and characterize codling moth nAChR subunits expressed in heads. This study had two main goals; (i) identify transcripts from a codling moth head transcriptome that encode for nAChR subunits, and (ii) determine nAChR subunit expression profiles in various life stages of codling moth. From a codling moth head transcriptome, 24 transcripts encoding for 12 putative nAChR subunit classes were identified and verified by PCR amplification, cloning, and sequence determination. Characterization of the deduced protein sequences encoded by putative nAChR transcripts revealed that they share the distinguishing features of the cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel superfamily with 9 α-type subunits and 3 β-type subunits identified. Phylogenetic analysis comparing these protein sequences to those of other insect nAChR subunits supports the identification of these proteins as nAChR subunits. Stage expression studies determined that there is clear differential expression of many of these subunits throughout the codling moth life cycle. The information from this study will be used in the future to monitor for potential target-site resistance mechanisms to neonicotinoids and spinosads in tolerant codling moth populations.

  20. The brain metabolite kynurenic acid inhibits alpha7 nicotinic receptor activity and increases non-alpha7 nicotinic receptor expression: physiopathological implications.

    PubMed

    Hilmas, C; Pereira, E F; Alkondon, M; Rassoulpour, A; Schwarcz, R; Albuquerque, E X

    2001-10-01

    The tryptophan metabolite kynurenic acid (KYNA) has long been recognized as an NMDA receptor antagonist. Here, interactions between KYNA and the nicotinic system in the brain were investigated using the patch-clamp technique and HPLC. In the electrophysiological studies, agonists were delivered via a U-shaped tube, and KYNA was applied in admixture with agonists and via the background perfusion. Exposure (>/=4 min) of cultured hippocampal neurons to KYNA (>/=100 nm) inhibited activation of somatodendritic alpha7 nAChRs; the IC(50) for KYNA was approximately 7 microm. The inhibition of alpha7 nAChRs was noncompetitive with respect to the agonist and voltage independent. The slow onset of this effect could not be accounted for by an intracellular action because KYNA (1 mm) in the pipette solution had no effect on alpha7 nAChR activity. KYNA also blocked the activity of preterminal/presynaptic alpha7 nAChRs in hippocampal neurons in cultures and in slices. NMDA receptors were less sensitive than alpha7 nAChRs to KYNA. The IC(50) values for KYNA-induced blockade of NMDA receptors in the absence and presence of glycine (10 microm) were approximately 15 and 235 microm, respectively. Prolonged (3 d) exposure of cultured hippocampal neurons to KYNA increased their nicotinic sensitivity, apparently by enhancing alpha4beta2 nAChR expression. Furthermore, as determined by HPLC with fluorescence detection, repeated systemic treatment of rats with nicotine caused a transient reduction followed by an increase in brain KYNA levels. These results demonstrate that nAChRs are targets for KYNA and suggest a functionally significant cross talk between the nicotinic cholinergic system and the kynurenine pathway in the brain.

  1. In vivo interactions between α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α: Implication for nicotine dependence.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Asti; Bagdas, Deniz; Muldoon, Pretal P; Lichtman, Aron H; Carroll, F Ivy; Greenwald, Mark; Miles, Michael F; Damaj, M Imad

    2017-03-07

    Chronic tobacco use dramatically increases health burdens and financial costs. Limitations of current smoking cessation therapies indicate the need for improved molecular targets. The main addictive component of tobacco, nicotine, exerts its dependency effects via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Activation of the homomeric α7 nAChR reduces nicotine's rewarding properties in conditioned place preference (CPP) test and i.v. self-administration models, but the mechanism underlying these effects is unknown. Recently, the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor type-α (PPARα) has been implicated as a downstream signaling target of the α7 nAChR in ventral tegmental area dopamine cells. The present study investigated PPARα as a possible mediator of the effect of α7 nAChR activation in nicotine dependence. Our results demonstrate the PPARα antagonist GW6471 blocks actions of the α7 nAChR agonist PNU282987 on nicotine reward in an unbiased CPP test in male ICR adult mice. These findings suggests that α7 nAChR activation attenuates nicotine CPP in a PPARα-dependent manner. To evaluate PPARα activation in nicotine dependence we used the selective and potent PPARα agonist, WY-14643 and the clinically used PPARα activator, fenofibrate, in nicotine CPP and we observed attenuation of nicotine preference, but fenofibrate was less potent. We also studied PPARα in nicotine dependence by evaluating its activation in nicotine withdrawal. WY-14643 reversed nicotine withdrawal signs whereas fenofibrate had modest efficacy. This suggests that PPARα plays a role in nicotine reward and withdrawal and that further studies are warranted to elucidate its function in mediating the effects of α7 nAChRs in nicotine dependence.

  2. Role in the selectivity of neonicotinoids of insect-specific basic residues in loop D of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist binding site.

    PubMed

    Shimomura, Masaru; Yokota, Maiko; Ihara, Makoto; Akamatsu, Miki; Sattelle, David B; Matsuda, Kazuhiko

    2006-10-01

    The insecticide imidacloprid and structurally related neonicotinoids act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To investigate the mechanism of neonicotinoid selectivity, we have examined the effects of mutations to basic amino acid residues in loop D of the nAChR acetylcholine (ACh) binding site on the interactions with imidacloprid. The receptors investigated are the recombinant chicken alpha4beta2 nAChR and Drosophila melanogaster Dalpha2/chicken beta2 hybrid nAChR expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Although mutations of Thr77 in loop D of the beta2 subunit resulted in a barely detectable effect on the imidacloprid concentration-response curve for the alpha4beta2 nAChR, T77R;E79V double mutations shifted the curve dramatically to higher affinity binding of imidacloprid. Likewise, T77K;E79R and T77N;E79R double mutations in the Dalpha2beta2 nAChR also resulted in a shift to a higher affinity for imidacloprid, which exceeded that observed for a single mutation of Thr77 to basic residues. By contrast, these double mutations scarcely influenced the ACh concentration-response curve, suggesting selective interactions with imidacloprid of the newly introduced basic residues. Computational, homology models of the agonist binding domain of the wild-type and mutant alpha4beta2 and Dalpha2beta2 nAChRs with imidacloprid bound were generated based on the crystal structures of acetylcholine binding proteins of Lymnaea stagnalis and Aplysia californica. The models indicate that the nitro group of imidacloprid interacts directly with the introduced basic residues at position 77, whereas those at position 79 either prevent or permit such interactions depending on their electrostatic properties, thereby explaining the observed functional changes resulting from site-directed mutagenesis.

  3. Nicotinic receptors, amyloid-beta, and synaptic failure in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Jürgensen, Sofia; Ferreira, Sergio T

    2010-01-01

    Dysfunctional cholinergic transmission is thought to underlie, at least in part, memory impairment and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, it is still unclear whether this is a consequence of the loss of cholinergic neurons and elimination of nicotinic acetycholine receptors (nAChRs) in AD brain or of a direct impact of molecular interactions of the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide with nAChRs, leading to dysregulation of receptor function. This review examines recent progress in our understanding of the roles of nicotinic receptors in mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, molecular interactions of Abeta with nAChRs, and how Abeta-induced dysregulation of nicotinic receptor function may underlie synaptic failure in AD.

  4. Inhibition of α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors prevents chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Haylie K.; Christensen, Sean B.; Gajewiak, Joanna; Ramachandra, Renuka; Elmslie, Keith S.; Vetter, Douglas E.; Ghelardini, Carla; Iadonato, Shawn P.; Mercado, Jose L.; Olivera, Baldomera M.; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2017-01-01

    Opioids are first-line drugs for moderate to severe acute pain and cancer pain. However, these medications are associated with severe side effects, and whether they are efficacious in treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain remains controversial. Medications that act through alternative molecular mechanisms are critically needed. Antagonists of α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been proposed as an important nonopioid mechanism based on studies demonstrating prevention of neuropathology after trauma-induced nerve injury. However, the key α9α10 ligands characterized to date are at least two orders of magnitude less potent on human vs. rodent nAChRs, limiting their translational application. Furthermore, an alternative proposal that these ligands achieve their beneficial effects by acting as agonists of GABAB receptors has caused confusion over whether blockade of α9α10 nAChRs is the fundamental underlying mechanism. To address these issues definitively, we developed RgIA4, a peptide that exhibits high potency for both human and rodent α9α10 nAChRs, and was at least 1,000-fold more selective for α9α10 nAChRs vs. all other molecular targets tested, including opioid and GABAB receptors. A daily s.c. dose of RgIA4 prevented chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in rats. In wild-type mice, oxaliplatin treatment produced cold allodynia that could be prevented by RgIA4. Additionally, in α9 KO mice, chemotherapy-induced development of cold allodynia was attenuated and the milder, temporary cold allodynia was not relieved by RgIA4. These findings establish blockade of α9-containing nAChRs as the basis for the efficacy of RgIA4, and that α9-containing nAChRs are a critical target for prevention of chronic cancer chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. PMID:28223528

  5. Effects of maternally exposed coloring food additives on receptor expressions related to learning and memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Ceyhan, Betul Mermi; Gultekin, Fatih; Doguc, Duygu Kumbul; Kulac, Esin

    2013-06-01

    Exposure to artificial food colors and additives (AFCAs) has been implicated in the induction and severity of some childhood behavioral and learning disabilities. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nACHRs) are thought to be effective in the learning and memory-generating process. In this study, we investigated the effects of intrauterine exposure to AFCAs on subunit concentrations of NMDARs and nAChRs isoforms in rats. We administered a mixture of AFCAs (Eritrosin, Ponceau 4R, Allura Red AC, Sunset Yellow FCF, Tartrazin, Amaranth, Brilliant Blue, Azorubin and Indigotin) to female rats before and during gestation. The concentration of NR2A and NR2B subunits and nAChR α7, α4β2 isoforms in their offspring's hippocampi were measured by Western Blotting. Expressions of NR2B and nAChR β2 were significantly increased (17% and 6.70%, respectively), whereas expression of nAChR α4 was significantly decreased (5.67%) in male experimental group compared to the male control group (p<0.05). In the female experimental group, AFCAs caused a 14% decrease in NR2B expression when compared to the female control group (p<0.05). Our results indicate that exposure to AFCAs during the fetal period may lead to alterations in expressions of NMDARs and nAChRs in adulthood. These alterations were different between male and female genders.

  6. Neuropharmacological modulation of the P3-like event-related potential in a rat two-tone auditory discrimination task with modafinil and NS9283, a positive allosteric modulator of α4β2 nAChRs.

    PubMed

    Grupe, Morten; Grunnet, Morten; Laursen, Bettina; Bastlund, Jesper Frank

    2014-04-01

    The P300 (P3) event-related potential (ERP) is a neurophysiological signal believed to reflect cognitive processing of salient cues, and is thus used as a measure of attention and working memory. Additionally, P3 amplitude and latency is altered in neurological diseases and can be pharmacologically modulated. As P3-like ERPs can be recorded in rodents, it may serve as a potential translational biomarker of value for drug discovery. Here we investigated whether a positive allosteric modulator of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, NS9283, and the psychostimulant modafinil could modulate P3-like ERPs in healthy adult rats performing an auditory oddball discrimination task. ERPs were recorded with electroencephalography electrodes implanted into mediodorsal (MD) thalamus, medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and auditory cortex (AC). P3-like ERPs were detected in all brain regions, displaying larger amplitudes in target trials compared to non-target trials. Administration of modafinil (64 mg/kg) decreased P3-like ERP latency in MD thalamus and AC, whereas NS9283 augmented P3-like ERP amplitude in MD thalamus at 0.3 mg/kg and in AC at 3.0 mg/kg. Additionally, N1 pre-attention peak amplitude in MD thalamus was increased with 0.3 mg/kg NS9283. Neither of the compounds enhanced task performance. Rather, modafinil lowered correct rejections in non-target trials. In summary, our findings reveal pharmacological modulation of the rat P3-like ERP in cortical and subcortical regions by modafinil and NS9283. These findings encourage further exploration of the rat P3-like ERP in order to promote the understanding of its meaning within cognition, as well as its applicability as a translatable biomarker in drug development.

  7. Positive allosteric modulators of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors reverse ketamine-induced schizophrenia-like deficits in rats.

    PubMed

    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Kos, Tomasz; Hołuj, Małgorzata; Potasiewicz, Agnieszka; Popik, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    Alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) have generated great interest as targets of new pharmacological treatments for cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. One promising recent approach is based on the use of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of α7-nAChRs, which demonstrate several advantages over direct agonists. Nevertheless, the efficacy of these newly introduced α7-nAChR agents has not been extensively characterised in animal models of schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of type I and II PAMs, N-(5-chloro-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-N'-(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)urea (PNU-120596) and N-(4-chlorophenyl)-[[(4-chlorophenyl)amino]methylene]-3-methyl-5-isoxazoleacet-amide (CCMI), respectively, and galantamine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChE) that also allosterically modulates nAChRs, against ketamine-induced cognitive deficits and social withdrawal in rats. The orthosteric α7-nAChR agonist octahydro-2-methyl-5-(6-phenyl-3-pyridazinyl)-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole (A-582941) was used as a positive control. Additionally, the antipsychotic activities of the tested compounds were assessed using the conditioned avoidance response (CAR) test. PNU-120596, CCMI, galantamine and A-582941 reversed ketamine-induced cognitive inflexibility, as assessed in the attentional set-shifting task (ASST). The tested compounds were also effective against ketamine-induced impairment in the novel object recognition task (NORT). PNU-120596, CCMI, and A-582941 ameliorated ketamine-induced social interaction deficits, whereas galantamine was ineffective. Moreover, all tested compounds selectively suppressed the CAR. The positive allosteric modulation of α7-nAChRs demonstrates preclinical efficacy not only against schizophrenia-like cognition impairments but also positive and negative symptoms. Therefore, the use of α7-nAChR PAMs as a potential treatment strategy in schizophrenia is supported.

  8. A nicotinic receptor-mediated anti-inflammatory effect of the flavonoid rhamnetin in BV2 microglia.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Joseph A; Kulshrestha, Manish; Rogers, Dennis T; Littleton, John M

    2014-10-01

    The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a potential target in neuroinflammation. Screening a plant extract library identified Solidago nemoralis as containing methyl-quercetin derivatives that are relatively selective ligands for the alpha7 nAChR. Flavonoids are not known for this activity, so we screened a small library of pure flavonoids to confirm our findings. Some flavonoids, e.g. rhamnetin, displaced a selective alpha7 nAChR radioligand from rat brain membranes whereas similar structures e.g. sakuranetin, did not. To evaluate the contribution of this putative nAChR activity to the known anti-inflammatory properties of these flavonoids, we compared their effects on lipopolysaccharide induced release of inflammatory mediators from BV2 microglia. Both rhamnetin and sakuranetin reduced mediator release, but differed in potency (rhamnetin>sakuranetin) and the Hill slope of their concentration-response curves. For rhamnetin the Hill coefficient was >3.0 whereas for sakuranetin the coefficient was 1.0, suggesting that effects of rhamnetin are mediated through more than one mechanism, whereas sakuranetin has a single mechanism. nAChR antagonists decreased the Hill coefficient for rhamnetin toward unity, which suggests that a nAChR-mediated mechanism contributes cooperatively to its overall anti-inflammatory effect. In contrast nAChR antagonists had no effect on the potency or Hill coefficient for sakuranetin, but a concentration of nicotine (1μM) that had no effect alone, significantly increased the Hill coefficient of this flavonoid. In conclusion, the anti-inflammatory effects of rhamnetin benefit cooperatively from a nAChR-mediated mechanism. This action, together with potent free radical scavenging activity, suggests that flavonoids with alpha7 nAChR activity have therapeutic potential in neuroinflammatory conditions.

  9. Nicotinic and opioid receptor regulation of striatal dopamine D2-receptor mediated transmission

    PubMed Central

    Mamaligas, Aphroditi A.; Cai, Yuan; Ford, Christopher P.

    2016-01-01

    In addition to dopamine neuron firing, cholinergic interneurons (ChIs) regulate dopamine release in the striatum via presynaptic nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) on dopamine axon terminals. Synchronous activity of ChIs is necessary to evoke dopamine release through this pathway. The frequency-dependence of disynaptic nicotinic modulation has led to the hypothesis that nAChRs act as a high-pass filter in the dopaminergic microcircuit. Here, we used optogenetics to selectively stimulate either ChIs or dopamine terminals directly in the striatum. To measure the functional consequence of dopamine release, D2-receptor synaptic activity was assessed via virally overexpressed potassium channels (GIRK2) in medium spiny neurons (MSNs). We found that nicotinic-mediated dopamine release was blunted at higher frequencies because nAChRs exhibit prolonged desensitization after a single pulse of synchronous ChI activity. However, when dopamine neurons alone were stimulated, nAChRs had no effect at any frequency. We further assessed how opioid receptors modulate these two mechanisms of release. Bath application of the κ opioid receptor agonist U69593 decreased D2-receptor activation through both pathways, whereas the μ opioid receptor agonist DAMGO decreased D2-receptor activity only as a result of cholinergic-mediated dopamine release. Thus the release of dopamine can be independently modulated when driven by either dopamine neurons or cholinergic interneurons. PMID:27886263

  10. Pre-clinical properties of the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists varenicline, cytisine and dianicline translate to clinical efficacy for nicotine dependence

    PubMed Central

    Rollema, H; Shrikhande, A; Ward, KM; Tingley, FD; Coe, JW; O'Neill, BT; Tseng, E; Wang, EQ; Mather, RJ; Hurst, RS; Williams, KE; de Vries, M; Cremers, T; Bertrand, S; Bertrand, D

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose: Smoking cessation trials with three high-affinity partial agonists of α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have demonstrated differences in their clinical efficacy. This work examines the origin of the differences by taking into account brain exposure and pharmacological effects at human α4β2 nAChRs. Experimental approach: Rat plasma and brain pharmacokinetics were characterized and used to predict human steady-state plasma and brain concentrations following recommended doses of each of the three compounds. The pharmacological characterization included in vitro affinities at different nAChR subtypes, functional efficacies and potencies at the human α4β2 nAChR, as well as in vivo effects on rat mesolimbic dopamine turn-over. Key results: A comparison of predicted human brain concentrations following therapeutic doses demonstrated that varenicline and nicotine, but not dianicline and cytisine, can extensively desensitize and, to a lesser extent, activate α4β2 nAChRs. The limited clinical efficacy of dianicline may be accounted for by a combination of weak functional potency at α4β2 nAChRs and moderate brain penetration, while recommended doses of cytisine, despite its high in vitro potency, are predicted to result in brain concentrations that are insufficient to affect α4β2 nAChRs. Conclusions and implications: The data provide a plausible explanation for the higher abstinence rate in smoking cessation trials following treatment with varenicline than with the two other α4β2 nAChR partial agonists. In addition, this retrospective analysis demonstrates the usefulness of combining in vitro and in vivo parameters with estimated therapeutic human brain concentrations for translation to clinical efficacy. PMID:20331614

  11. Abelson Family Tyrosine Kinases Regulate the Function of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Nicotinic Synapses on Autonomic NeuronsS⃞

    PubMed Central

    Jayakar, Selwyn S.

    2011-01-01

    Abelson family kinases (AFKs; Abl1, Abl2) are non-receptor tyrosine kinases (NRTKs) implicated in cancer, but they also have important physiological roles that include regulating synaptic structure and function. Recent studies using Abl-deficient mice and the antileukemia drug STI571 [imatinib mesylate (Gleevec); Novartis], which potently and selectively blocks Abl kinase activity, implicate AFKs in regulating presynaptic neurotransmitter release in hippocampus and postsynaptic clustering of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in muscle. Here, we tested whether AFKs are relevant for regulating nAChRs and nAChR-mediated synapses on autonomic neurons. AFK immunoreactivity was detected in ciliary ganglion (CG) lysates and neurons, and STI571 application blocked endogenous Abl tyrosine kinase activity. With similar potency, STI571 specifically reduced whole-cell current responses generated by both nicotinic receptor subtypes present on CG neurons (α3*- and α7-nAChRs) and lowered the frequency and amplitude of α3*-nAChR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents. Quantal analysis indicated that the synaptic perturbations were postsynaptic in origin, and confocal imaging experiments revealed they were unaccompanied by changes in nAChR clustering or alignment with presynaptic terminals. The results indicate that in autonomic neurons, Abl kinase activity normally supports postsynaptic nAChR function to sustain nAChR-mediated neurotransmission. Such consequences contrast with the influence of Abl kinase activity on presynaptic function and synaptic structure in hippocampus and muscle, respectively, demonstrating a cell-specific mechanism of action. Finally, because STI571 potently inhibits Abl kinase activity, the autonomic dysfunction side effects associated with its use as a chemotherapeutic agent may result from perturbed α3*- and/or α7-nAChR function. PMID:21502378

  12. Chemistry and pharmacological characterization of novel nitrogen analogues of AMOP-H-OH (Sazetidine-A, 6-[5-(azetidin-2-ylmethoxy)pyridin-3-yl]hex-5-yn-1-ol) as α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-selective partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianhua; Eaton, J Brek; Caldarone, Barbara; Lukas, Ronald J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2010-10-14

    In order to advance therapeutic applications of nicotinic ligands, continuing research efforts are being directed toward the identification and characterization of novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands that are both potent and subtype selective. Herein we report the synthesis and pharmacological evaluation of members of a new series of 3-alkoxy-5-aminopyridine derivatives that display good selectivity for the α4β2-nAChR subtype based on ligand binding and functional evaluations. The most potent ligand in this series, compound 64, showed high radioligand binding affinity and selectivity for rat α4β2-nAChR with a K(i) value of 1.2 nM and 4700-fold selectivity for α4β2- over α3β4-nAChR, and ∼100-fold selectivity for functional, high-sensitivity, human α4β2-nAChR over α3β4*-nAChR. In the mouse forced swim test, compound 64 exhibited antidepressant-like effects. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) analyses suggest that the introduction of additional substituents to the amino group present on the pyridine ring of the N-demethylated analogue of compound 17 can provide potent α4β2-nAChR-selective ligands for possible use in treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders including depression.

  13. Inflammation decreases the level of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain mitochondria and makes them more susceptible to apoptosis induction.

    PubMed

    Lykhmus, Olena; Gergalova, Galyna; Zouridakis, Marios; Tzartos, Socrates; Komisarenko, Sergiy; Skok, Maryna

    2015-11-01

    α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7 nAChRs) are involved in regulating inflammatory reactions, as well as the cell viability. They are expressed in both the plasma membrane and mitochondria of eukaryotic cells. Previously we found that neuroinflammation resulted in the decrease of α7 nAChR density in the brain of mice and was accompanied by accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides and memory impairment. In the present paper, it is shown that inflammation induced by either regular bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injections or immunizations with α7 nAChR extracellular domain (1-208) affected also the brain cell mitochondria. Using various modifications of sandwich ELISA, we observed the decrease of α7 nAChRs and accumulation of Aβ(1-40) and Aβ(1-42) in mitochondria of immunized or LPS-treated mice compared to control ones. Mitochondria of treated mice responded with cytochrome c release to lower Ca(2+) concentrations than mitochondria of control mice and were less sensitive to its attenuation with α7 nAChR agonist PNU282987. It is concluded that inflammation decreases α7 nAChR expression in both mitochondria and cell plasma membrane and makes mitochondria more susceptible to apoptosis induction.

  14. Increased Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Protein Underlies Chronic Nicotine-Induced Up-Regulation of Nicotinic Agonist Binding Sites in Mouse Brain

    PubMed Central

    McClure-Begley, Tristan D.; Whiteaker, Paul; Salminen, Outi; Brown, Robert W. B.; Cooper, John; Collins, Allan C.; Lindstrom, Jon M.

    2011-01-01

    Chronic nicotine treatment elicits a brain region-selective increase in the number of high-affinity agonist binding sites, a phenomenon termed up-regulation. Nicotine-induced up-regulation of α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in cell cultures results from increased assembly and/or decreased degradation of nAChRs, leading to increased nAChR protein levels. To evaluate whether the increased binding in mouse brain results from an increase in nAChR subunit proteins, C57BL/6 mice were treated with nicotine by chronic intravenous infusion. Tissue sections were prepared, and binding of [125I]3-((2S)-azetidinylmethoxy)-5-iodo-pyridine (A85380) to β2*-nAChR sites, [125I]monoclonal antibody (mAb) 299 to α4 nAChR subunits, and [125I]mAb 270 to β2 nAChR subunits was determined by quantitative autoradiography. Chronic nicotine treatment dose-dependently increased binding of all three ligands. In regions that express α4β2-nAChR almost exclusively, binding of all three ligands increased coordinately. However, in brain regions containing significant β2*-nAChR without α4 subunits, relatively less increase in mAb 270 binding to β2 subunits was observed. Signal intensity measured with the mAbs was lower than that with [125I]A85380, perhaps because the small ligand penetrated deeply into the sections, whereas the much larger mAbs encountered permeability barriers. Immunoprecipitation of [125I]epibatidine binding sites with mAb 270 in select regions of nicotine-treated mice was nearly quantitative, although somewhat less so with mAb 299, confirming that the mAbs effectively recognize their targets. The patterns of change measured using immunoprecipitation were comparable with those determined autoradiographically. Thus, increases in α4β2*-nAChR binding sites after chronic nicotine treatment reflect increased nAChR protein. PMID:21228066

  15. Type I and II positive allosteric modulators differentially modulate agonist-induced up-regulation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Morten S; Mikkelsen, Jens D

    2012-10-01

    Long-term treatment with nicotine or selective α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists increases the number of α7 nAChRs and this up-regulation may be involved in the mechanism underlying the sustained procognitive effect of these compounds. Here, we investigate the influence of type I and II α7 nAChR positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) on agonist-induced α7 nAChR up-regulation. We show that the type II PAMs, PNU-120596 (10 μM) or TQS (1 and 10 μM), inhibit up-regulation, as measured by protein levels, induced by the α7 nAChR agonist A-582941 (10 nM or 10 μM), in SH-EP1 cells stably expressing human α7 nAChR, whereas the type I PAMs AVL-3288 or NS1738 do not. Contrarily, neither type I nor II PAMs affect 10 μM nicotine-induced receptor up-regulation, suggesting that nicotine and A-582941 induce up-regulation through different mechanisms. We further show in vivo that 3 mg/kg PNU-120596 inhibits up-regulation of the α7 nAChR induced by 10 mg/kg A-582941, as measured by [(125)I]-bungarotoxin autoradiography, whereas 1 mg/kg AVL-3288 does not. Given that type II PAMs decrease desensitization of the receptor, whereas type I PAMs do not, these results suggest that receptor desensitization is involved in A-582941-induced up-regulation. Our results are the first to show an in vivo difference between type I and II α7 nAChR PAMs, and demonstrate an agonist-dependent effect of type II PAMs occurring on a much longer time scale than previously appreciated. Furthermore, our data suggest that nicotine and A-582941 induce up-regulation through different mechanisms, and that this confers differential sensitivity to the effects of α7 nAChR PAMs. These results may have implications for the clinical development of α7 nAChR PAMs.

  16. A choreography of nicotinic receptors directs the dopamine neuron routine.

    PubMed

    Ungless, Mark A; Cragg, Stephanie J

    2006-06-15

    Modulation of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is thought to play an important role in both health and addiction. However, a clear understanding of how these receptors regulate in vivo firing activity has been elusive. In this issue of Neuron, Mameli-Engvall and colleagues report an impressive and thought-provoking series of in vivo experiments combining single-unit recordings from dopamine neurons with nAChR subunit deletions and region-specific lentiviral subunit re-expression.

  17. 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

  18. Schwann cells sense and control acetylcholine spillover at the neuromuscular junction by α7 nicotinic receptors and butyrylcholinesterase.

    PubMed

    Petrov, Konstantin A; Girard, Emmanuelle; Nikitashina, Alexandra D; Colasante, Cesare; Bernard, Véronique; Nurullin, Leniz; Leroy, Jacqueline; Samigullin, Dmitry; Colak, Omer; Nikolsky, Evgenii; Plaud, Benoit; Krejci, Eric

    2014-09-03

    Terminal Schwann cells (TSCs) are key components of the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ). How the TSCs sense the synaptic activity in physiological conditions remains unclear. We have taken advantage of the distinct localization of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) at the NMJ to bring out the function of different ACh receptors (AChRs). AChE is clustered by the collagen Q in the synaptic cleft and prevents the repetitive activation of muscle nicotinic AChRs. We found that BChE is anchored at the TSC by a proline-rich membrane anchor, the small transmembrane protein anchor of brain AChE. When BChE was specifically inhibited, ACh release was significant depressed through the activation of α7 nAChRs localized on the TSC and activated by the spillover of ACh. When both AChE and BChE were inhibited, the spillover increased and induced a dramatic reduction of ACh release that compromised the muscle twitch triggered by the nerve stimulation. α7 nAChRs at the TSC may act as a sensor for spillover of ACh adjusted by BChE and may represent an extrasynaptic sensor for homeostasis at the NMJ. In myasthenic rats, selective inhibition of AChE is more effective in rescuing muscle function than the simultaneous inhibition of AChE and BChE because the concomitant inhibition of BChE counteracts the positive action of AChE inhibition. These results show that inhibition of BChE should be avoided during the treatment of myasthenia and the pharmacological reversal of residual curarization after anesthesia.

  19. 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

  20. Positive modulation of the α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor by ascorbic acid

    PubMed Central

    Boffi, JC; Wedemeyer, C; Lipovsek, M; Katz, E; Calvo, DJ; Elgoyhen, AB

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose The activation of α9α10 nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) present at the synapse between efferent olivocochlear fibres and cochlear hair cells can prevent acoustic trauma. Hence, pharmacological potentiators of these receptors could be useful therapeutically. In this work, we characterize ascorbic acid as a positive modulator of recombinant α9α10 nAChRs. Experimental Approach ACh-evoked responses were analysed under two-electrode voltage-clamp recordings in Xenopus laevis oocytes injected with α9 and α10 cRNAs. Key Results Ascorbic acid potentiated ACh responses in X. laevis oocytes expressing α9α10 (but not α4β2 or α7) nAChRs, in a concentration-dependent manner, with an effective concentration range of 1–30 mM. The compound did not affect the receptor's current–voltage profile nor its apparent affinity for ACh, but it significantly enhanced the maximal evoked currents (percentage of ACh maximal response, 240 ± 20%). This effect was specific for the L form of reduced ascorbic acid. Substitution of the extracellular cysteine residues present in loop C of the ACh binding site did not affect the potentiation. Ascorbic acid turned into a partial agonist of α9α10 nAChRs bearing a point mutation at the pore domain of the channel (TM2 V13′T mutant). A positive allosteric mechanism of action rather than an antioxidant effect of ascorbic acid is proposed. Conclusions and Implications The present work describes one of the few agents that activates or potentiates α9α10 nAChRs and leads to new avenues for designing drugs with potential therapeutic use in inner ear disorders. PMID:22994414

  1. Pharmacological identification of cholinergic receptor subtypes on Drosophila melanogaster larval heart.

    PubMed

    Malloy, Cole A; Ritter, Kyle; Robinson, Jonathan; English, Connor; Cooper, Robin L

    2016-01-01

    The Drosophila melanogaster heart is a popular model in which to study cardiac physiology and development. Progress has been made in understanding the role of endogenous compounds in regulating cardiac function in this model. It is well characterized that common neurotransmitters act on many peripheral and non-neuronal tissues as they flow through the hemolymph of insects. Many of these neuromodulators, including acetylcholine (ACh), have been shown to act directly on the D. melanogaster larval heart. ACh is a primary neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS) of vertebrates and at the neuromuscular junctions on skeletal and cardiac tissue. In insects, ACh is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter of sensory neurons and is also prominent in the CNS. A full understanding regarding the regulation of the Drosophila cardiac physiology by the cholinergic system remains poorly understood. Here we use semi-intact D. melanogaster larvae to study the pharmacological profile of cholinergic receptor subtypes, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs), in modulating heart rate (HR). Cholinergic receptor agonists, nicotine and muscarine both increase HR, while nAChR agonist clothianidin exhibits no significant effect when exposed to an open preparation at concentrations as low as 100 nM. In addition, both nAChR and mAChR antagonists increase HR as well but also display capabilities of blocking agonist actions. These results provide evidence that both of these receptor subtypes display functional significance in regulating the larval heart's pacemaker activity.

  2. Nicotine-induced Ca2+-myristoyl switch of neuronal Ca2+ sensor VILIP-1 in hippocampal neurons: a possible crosstalk mechanism for nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, CongJian; Anand, Rene; Braunewell, Karl-Heinz

    2009-03-01

    Visinin-like protein (VILIP-1) belongs to the neuronal Ca2+ sensor family of EF-hand Ca2+-binding proteins that regulate a variety of Ca2+-dependent signal transduction processes in neurons. It is an interaction partner of alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and increases surface expression level and agonist sensitivity of the receptor in oocytes. Nicotine stimulation of nicotinic receptors has been reported to lead to an increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration by Ca2+-permeable nAChRs, which in turn might lead to activation of VILIP-1, by a mechanism described as the Ca2+-myristoyl switch. It has been postulated that this will lead to co-localization of the proteins at cell membranes, where VILIP-1 can influence functional activity of alpha4-containing nAChRs. In order to test this hypothesis we have investigated whether a nicotine-induced and reversible Ca2+-myristoyl switch of VILIP-1 exists in primary hippocampal neurons and whether pharmacological agents, such as antagonist specific for distinct nAChRs, can interfere with the Ca2+-dependent membrane localization of VILIP-1. Here we report, that only alpha7- but not alpha4-containing nAChRs are able to elicit a Ca2+-dependent and reversible membrane-translocation of VILIP-1 in interneurons as revealed by employing the specific receptor antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine and methylallylaconitine. The nAChRs are associated with processes of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and they have been implicated in the pathology of CNS disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. VILIP-1 might provide a novel functional crosstalk between alpha4- and alpha7-containing nAChRs.

  3. Kynurenic acid inhibits glutamatergic transmission to CA1 pyramidal neurons via α7 nAChR-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Jyotirmoy; Alkondon, Manickavasagom; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2012-10-15

    Glutamatergic hypofunction and elevated levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA) in the brain are common features of patients with schizophrenia. In vivo studies indicate that in the hippocampus KYNA decreases glutamate levels, presumably via inhibition of α7 nicotinic receptors (nAChRs). Here we tested the hypothesis that basal synaptic glutamate activity in the hippocampus is regulated by tonically active α7 nAChRs and is sensitive to inhibition by KYNA. To this end, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), sensitive to AMPA receptor antagonist CNQX (10 μM), were recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons at -70 mV in rat hippocampal slices. The α7 nAChR antagonists α-bungarotoxin (α-BGT, 100 nM) and methyllycaconitine (MLA, 1-50 nM), and the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV, 50 μM) reduced the frequency of EPSCs. MLA and α-BGT had no effect on miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs). The effect of MLA decreased in the presence of APV (50 μM), with 1 nM MLA becoming completely ineffective. KYNA (1-20 μM) suppressed the frequency of EPSCs, without affecting mEPSCs. The effect of KYNA decreased in the presence of MLA (1 nM) or α-BGT (100 nM), with 1 μM KYNA being devoid of any effect. In the presence of both MLA (10 nM) and APV (50 μM) higher KYNA concentrations (5-20 μM) still reduced the frequency of EPSCs. These results suggest that basal synaptic glutamate activity in CA1 pyramidal neurons is maintained in part by tonically active α7 nAChRs and NMDA receptors and is inhibited by micromolar concentrations of KYNA, acting via α7 nAChR-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

  4. 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

  5. The dual-acting H3 receptor antagonist and AChE inhibitor UW-MD-71 dose-dependently enhances memory retrieval and reverses dizocilpine-induced memory impairment in rats.

    PubMed

    Khan, Nadia; Saad, Ali; Nurulain, Syed M; Darras, Fouad H; Decker, Michael; Sadek, Bassem

    2016-01-15

    Both the histamine H3 receptor (H3R) and acetylcholine esterase (AChE) are involved in the regulation of release and metabolism of acetylcholine and several other central neurotransmitters. Therefore, dual-active H3R antagonists and AChE inhibitors (AChEIs) have shown in several studies to hold promise to treat cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease (AD). The novel dual-acting H3R antagonist and AChEI 7-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propoxy)-1,2,3,9-tetrahydropyrrolo[2,1-b]quinazoline (UW-MD-71) with excellent selectivity profiles over both the three other HRs as well as the AChE's isoenzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) shows high and balanced in vitro affinities at both H3R and AChE with IC50 of 33.9nM and hH3R antagonism with Ki of 76.2nM, respectively. In the present study, the effects of UW-MD-71 (1.25-5mg/kg, i.p.) on acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval in a one-trial inhibitory avoidance task in male rats were investigated applying donepezil (DOZ) and pitolisant (PIT) as reference drugs. Furthermore, the effects of UW-MD-71 on memory deficits induced by the non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist dizocilpine (DIZ) were tested. Our results indicate that administration of UW-MD-71 before the test session dose-dependently increased performance and enhanced procognitive effect on retrieval. However neither pre- nor post-training acute systemic administration of UW-MD-71 facilitated acquisition or consolidation. More importantly, UW-MD-71 (2.5mg/kg, i.p.) ameliorated the DIZ-induced amnesic effects. Furthermore, the procognitive activity of UW-MD-71 in retrieval was completely reversed and partly abrogated in DIZ-induced amnesia when rats were pretreated with the centrally-acting H2R antagonist zolantidine (ZOL), but not with the CNS penetrant H1R antagonist pyrilamine (PYR). These results demonstrate the procognitive effects of UW-MD-71 in two in vivo memory models, and are to our knowledge the first demonstration in vivo that a potent dual

  6. Nitrosamines as nicotinic receptor ligands

    PubMed Central

    Schuller, Hildegard M.

    2007-01-01

    Nitrosamines are carcinogens formed in the mammalian organism from amine precursors contained in food, beverages, cosmetics and drugs. The potent carcinogen, NNK, and the weaker carcinogen, NNN, are nitrosamines formed from nicotine. Metabolites of the nitrosamines react with DNA to form adducts responsible for genotoxic effects. We have identified NNK as a high affinity agonist for the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) whereas NNN bound with high affinity to epibatidine-sensitive nAChRs. Diethylnitrosamine (DEN) bound to both receptors but with lower affinity. High levels of the α7nAChR were expressed in human small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines and in hamster pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs), which serve as a model for the cell of origin of human SCLC. Exposure of SCLC or PNECs to NNK or nicotine increased expression of the a7nAChR and caused influx of Ca2+, activation of PKC, Raf-1, ERK1/2, and c-myc, resulting in the stimulation of cell proliferation. Signaling via the α7nAChR was enhanced when cells were maintained in an environment of 10–15% CO2 similar to that in the diseased lung. Hamsters with hyperoxia-induced pulmonary fibrosis developed neuroendocrine lung carcinomas similar to human SCLC when treated with NNK, DEN, or nicotine. The development of the NNK-induced tumors was prevented by green tea or theophylline. The beta-adrenergic receptor agonist, isoproterenol or theophylline blocked NNK-induced cell proliferation in vitro. NNK and nicotine-induced hyperactivity of the α7nAChR/RAF/ERK1/2 pathway thus appears to play a crucial role in the development of SCLC in smokers and could be targeted for cancer prevention. PMID:17459420

  7. Nitrosamines as nicotinic receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Schuller, Hildegard M

    2007-05-30

    Nitrosamines are carcinogens formed in the mammalian organism from amine precursors contained in food, beverages, cosmetics and drugs. The potent carcinogen, NNK, and the weaker carcinogen, NNN, are nitrosamines formed from nicotine. Metabolites of the nitrosamines react with DNA to form adducts responsible for genotoxic effects. We have identified NNK as a high affinity agonist for the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (alpha7nAChR) whereas NNN bound with high affinity to epibatidine-sensitive nAChRs. Diethylnitrosamine (DEN) bound to both receptors but with lower affinity. High levels of the alpha7nAChR were expressed in human small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines and in hamster pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs), which serve as a model for the cell of origin of human SCLC. Exposure of SCLC or PNECs to NNK or nicotine increased expression of the alpha7nAChR and caused influx of Ca(2+), activation of PKC, Raf-1, ERK1/2, and c-myc, resulting in the stimulation of cell proliferation. Signaling via the alpha7nAChR was enhanced when cells were maintained in an environment of 10-15% CO(2) similar to that in the diseased lung. Hamsters with hyperoxia-induced pulmonary fibrosis developed neuroendocrine lung carcinomas similar to human SCLC when treated with NNK, DEN, or nicotine. The development of the NNK-induced tumors was prevented by green tea or theophylline. The beta-adrenergic receptor agonist, isoproterenol or theophylline blocked NNK-induced cell proliferation in vitro. NNK and nicotine-induced hyperactivity of the alpha7nAChR/RAF/ERK1/2 pathway thus appears to play a crucial role in the development of SCLC in smokers and could be targeted for cancer prevention.

  8. Role of acetylcholine receptors in proliferation and differentiation of P19 embryonal carcinoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Resende, R.R.; Alves, A.S.; Britto, L.R.G; Ulrich, H.

    2008-04-15

    Coordinated proliferation and differentiation of progenitor cells is the base for production of appropriate numbers of neurons and glia during neuronal development in order to establish normal brain functions. We have used murine embryonal carcinoma P19 cells as an in vitro model for early differentiation to study participation of nicotinic (nAChR) and muscarinic acetylcholine (mAChR) receptors in the proliferation of neural progenitor cells and their differentiation to neurons. We have previously shown that functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) already expressed in embryonic cells mediate elevations in cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) via calcium influx through nAChR channels whereas intracellular stores contribute to nAChR- and mAChR-mediated calcium fluxes in differentiated cells [Resende et al., Cell Calcium 43 (2008) 107-121]. In the present study, we have demonstrated that nicotine provoked inhibition of proliferation in embryonic cells as determined by BrdU labeling. However, in neural progenitor cells nicotine stimulated proliferation which was reversed in the presence of inhibitors of calcium mobilization from intracellular stores, indicating that liberation of intracellular calcium contributed to this proliferation induction. Muscarine induced proliferation stimulation in progenitor cells by activation of G{alpha}{sub q/11}-coupled M{sub 1}, M{sub 3} and M{sub 5} receptors and intracellular calcium stores, whereas G{alpha}{sub i/o}-protein coupled M{sub 2} receptor activity mediated neuronal differentiation.

  9. α-Conotoxin OmIA Is a Potent Ligand for the Acetylcholine-binding Protein as Well as α3β2 and α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Talley, Todd T.; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Han, Kyou-Hoon; Christensen, Sean B.; Dowell, Cheryl; Tsigelny, Igor; Ho, Kwok-Yiu; Taylor, Palmer; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2016-01-01

    The molluskan acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) is a homolog of the extracellular binding domain of the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel family. AChBP most closely resembles the α-subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and in particular the homomeric α7 nicotinic receptor. We report the isolation and characterization of an α-conotoxin that has the highest known affinity for the Lymnaea AChBP and also potently blocks the α7 nAChR subtype when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Remarkably, the peptide also has high affinity for the α3β2 nAChR indicating that α-conotoxin OmIA in combination with the AChBP may serve as a model system for understanding the binding determinants of α3β2 nAChRs. α-Conotoxin OmIA was purified from the venom of Conus omaria. It is a 17-amino-acid, two-disulfide bridge peptide. The ligand is the first α-conotoxin with higher affinity for the closely related receptor subtypes, α3β2 versus α6β2, and selectively blocks these two subtypes when compared with α2β2, α4β2, and α1β1δε nAChRs. PMID:16803900

  10. GABAA receptor inhibition triggers a nicotinic neuroprotective mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Ferchmin, P. A; Pérez, Dinely; Alvarez, William Castro; Penzo, Mario A.; Maldonado, Héctor M.; Eterovic, Vesna A.

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated neuroprotection has been implicated in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and hypoxic ischemic events, as well as other diseases hallmarked by excitotoxic and apoptotic neuronal death. Several modalities of nicotinic neuroprotection have been reported. However, although this process generally involves α4β2 and α7 subtypes, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Interestingly, both activation and inhibition of α7 nAChRs have been reported to be neuroprotective. We have shown that inhibition of α7 nAChRs protects the function of acute hippocampal slices against excitotoxicity in a α4β2-dependent manner. Neuroprotection was assessed as the prevention of the NMDA-dependent loss of the area of population spikes (PSs) in the CA1 area of acute hippocampal slices. Our results support a model in which α7 AChRs control the release of GABA. Blocking either α7 or GABAA receptors reduces the inhibitory tone on cholinergic terminals, thereby promoting α4β2 activation, which in turn mediates neuroprotection. These results shed light on how α7 nAChR inhibition can be neuroprotective through a mechanism mediated by activation of α4β2 nAChRs. PMID:23280428

  11. PACAP induces plasticity at autonomic synapses by nAChR-dependent NOS1 activation and AKAP-mediated PKA targeting.

    PubMed

    Jayakar, Selwyn S; Pugh, Phyllis C; Dale, Zack; Starr, Eric R; Cole, Samantha; Margiotta, Joseph F

    2014-11-01

    Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a pleiotropic neuropeptide found at synapses throughout the central and autonomic nervous system. We previously found that PACAP engages a selective G-protein coupled receptor (PAC1R) on ciliary ganglion neurons to rapidly enhance quantal acetylcholine (ACh) release from presynaptic terminals via neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS1) and cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) dependent processes. Here, we examined how PACAP stimulates NO production and targets resultant outcomes to synapses. Scavenging extracellular NO blocked PACAP-induced plasticity supporting a retrograde (post- to presynaptic) NO action on ACh release. Live-cell imaging revealed that PACAP stimulates NO production by mechanisms requiring NOS1, PKA and Ca(2+) influx. Ca(2+)-permeable nicotinic ACh receptors composed of α7 subunits (α7-nAChRs) are potentiated by PKA-dependent PACAP/PAC1R signaling and were required for PACAP-induced NO production and synaptic plasticity since both outcomes were drastically reduced following their selective inhibition. Co-precipitation experiments showed that NOS1 associates with α7-nAChRs, many of which are perisynaptic, as well as with heteromeric α3*-nAChRs that generate the bulk of synaptic activity. NOS1-nAChR physical association could facilitate NO production at perisynaptic and adjacent postsynaptic sites to enhance focal ACh release from juxtaposed presynaptic terminals. The synaptic outcomes of PACAP/PAC1R signaling are localized by PKA anchoring proteins (AKAPs). PKA regulatory-subunit overlay assays identified five AKAPs in ganglion lysates, including a prominent neuronal subtype. Moreover, PACAP-induced synaptic plasticity was selectively blocked when PKA regulatory-subunit binding to AKAPs was inhibited. Taken together, our findings indicate that PACAP/PAC1R signaling coordinates nAChR, NOS1 and AKAP activities to induce targeted, retrograde plasticity at autonomic synapses. Such

  12. Looking below the surface of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Clare; Treinin, Millet; Papke, Roger L.

    2015-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) from diverse species can be compared across extracellular, transmembrane, and intracellular domains. The intracellular domains are most divergent among subtypes, yet relatively consistent among species. The diversity indicates that each nAChR subtype possesses a unique language for communication with its host cell. The conservation across species also suggests that the intracellular domains may play defining functional roles for each subtype. Secondary structure prediction indicates two relatively conserved alpha helices within the intracellular domains of all nAChRs. Among all subtypes, the intracellular domain of α7 nAChR is one of the most-well conserved, and α7 nAChRs have effects in non-neuronal cells independent of generating ion currents, making it likely that the α7 intracellular domain directly mediates signal transduction. There are potential phosphorylation and protein binding sites in the α7 intracellular domain, which are conserved and may be the basis for α7-mediated signal transduction. PMID:26067101

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 6-bromohypaphorine from marine nudibranch mollusk Hermissenda crassicornis is an agonist of human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Kasheverov, Igor E; Shelukhina, Irina V; Kudryavtsev, Denis S; Makarieva, Tatyana N; Spirova, Ekaterina N; Guzii, Alla G; Stonik, Valentin A; Tsetlin, Victor I

    2015-03-12

    6-Bromohypaphorine (6-BHP) has been isolated from the marine sponges Pachymatisma johnstoni, Aplysina sp., and the tunicate Aplidium conicum, but data on its biological activity were not available. For the nudibranch mollusk Hermissenda crassicornis no endogenous compounds were known, and here we describe the isolation of 6-BHP from this mollusk and its effects on different nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Two-electrode voltage-clamp experiments on the chimeric α7 nAChR (built of chicken α7 ligand-binding and glycine receptor transmembrane domains) or on rat α4β2 nAChR expressed in Xenopus oocytes revealed no action of 6-BHP. However, in radioligand analysis, 6-BHP competed with radioiodinated α-bungarotoxin for binding to human α7 nAChR expressed in GH4C1 cells (IC50 23 ± 1 μM), but showed no competition on muscle-type nAChR from Torpedo californica. In Ca2+-imaging experiments on the human α7 nAChR expressed in the Neuro2a cells, 6-BHP in the presence of PNU120596 behaved as an agonist (EC50 ~80 μM). To the best of our knowledge, 6-BHP is the first low-molecular weight compound from marine source which is an agonist of the nAChR subtype. This may have physiological importance because H. crassicornis, with its simple and tractable nervous system, is a convenient model system for studying the learning and memory processes.

  16. 6-Bromohypaphorine from Marine Nudibranch Mollusk Hermissenda crassicornis is an Agonist of Human α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Kasheverov, Igor E.; Shelukhina, Irina V.; Kudryavtsev, Denis S.; Makarieva, Tatyana N.; Spirova, Ekaterina N.; Guzii, Alla G.; Stonik, Valentin A.; Tsetlin, Victor I.

    2015-01-01

    6-Bromohypaphorine (6-BHP) has been isolated from the marine sponges Pachymatisma johnstoni, Aplysina sp., and the tunicate Aplidium conicum, but data on its biological activity were not available. For the nudibranch mollusk Hermissenda crassicornis no endogenous compounds were known, and here we describe the isolation of 6-BHP from this mollusk and its effects on different nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Two-electrode voltage-clamp experiments on the chimeric α7 nAChR (built of chicken α7 ligand-binding and glycine receptor transmembrane domains) or on rat α4β2 nAChR expressed in Xenopus oocytes revealed no action of 6-BHP. However, in radioligand analysis, 6-BHP competed with radioiodinated α-bungarotoxin for binding to human α7 nAChR expressed in GH4C1 cells (IC50 23 ± 1 μM), but showed no competition on muscle-type nAChR from Torpedo californica. In Ca2+-imaging experiments on the human α7 nAChR expressed in the Neuro2a cells, 6-BHP in the presence of PNU120596 behaved as an agonist (EC50 ~80 μM). To the best of our knowledge, 6-BHP is the first low-molecular weight compound from marine source which is an agonist of the nAChR subtype. This may have physiological importance because H. crassicornis, with its simple and tractable nervous system, is a convenient model system for studying the learning and memory processes. PMID:25775422

  17. Activation of the α7 nicotinic receptor promotes lipopolysaccharide-induced conversion of M1 microglia to M2

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qichun; Lu, Ying; Bian, Huimin; Guo, Liwei; Zhu, Huaxu

    2017-01-01

    The α7 subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) plays an essential role in the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway that regulates macrophage/microglia function in inflammation. Similar to M1 and M2 macrophages, M1 and M2 microglia exhibit pro-inflammation and anti-inflammation properties, respectively. In the present study, we analyzed function-associated phenotypes to detect the transformation of microglia with activation of α7 nAChRs. We used lentivirus-mediated shRNA to knockdown the expression of α7 nAChR in BV-2 microglia incubated with lipopolysaccharides (LPS, 0.1 μg/mL) and measured the acetylcholine (Ach, 1 μg/mL)-mediated release of cytokines, such as IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10, in the culture supernatant via radioimmunoassay. After stimulation with Ach, the expression of typical biomarkers for different microglia phenotypes, Iba-1 and Arg-1, was determined by cellular immunofluorescence. Furthermore, the expression of signaling molecules, including p38, JAK2/STAT3, PI3K/Akt and miR-124, was analyzed via western blotting and real-time PCR. We found that Ach inhibited LPS-induced IL-1β and IL-6 elevation and promoted IL-4 and IL-10 production and that knockdown of the α7 nAChR abolished these effects of Ach. In addition, Ach decreased LPS-induced Iba-1 expression and increased Arg-1 levels in an α7 nAChR-dependent manner. The LPS-inhibited activation of JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/Akt was also rescued by Ach, an effect that was blocked by knockdown of the α7 nAChR. In contrast, Ach triggered the phosphorylation of JAK2 and STAT3 that was otherwise inactivated by LPS in BV-2 cells. Finally, the levels of miR-124 and downstream targets C/EBPα and PU.1 were significantly enhanced in LPS-treated BV-2 microglia, and the effect of Ach on this signaling pathway was blocked by α7 nAChR knockdown as expected. Overall, our data demonstrate that activation ofα7 nAChRs inhibits the transformation of M1 microglia and promotes the M2

  18. Muscle-Type Nicotinic Receptor Modulation by 2,6-Dimethylaniline, a Molecule Resembling the Hydrophobic Moiety of Lidocaine

    PubMed Central

    Alberola-Die, Armando; Fernández-Ballester, Gregorio; González-Ros, José M.; Ivorra, Isabel; Morales, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    To identify the molecular determinants responsible for lidocaine blockade of muscle-type nAChRs, we have studied the effects on this receptor of 2,6-dimethylaniline (DMA), which resembles lidocaine’s hydrophobic moiety. Torpedo marmorata nAChRs were microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes and currents elicited by ACh (IACh), either alone or co-applied with DMA, were recorded. DMA reversibly blocked IACh and, similarly to lidocaine, exerted a closed-channel blockade, as evidenced by the enhancement of IACh blockade when DMA was pre-applied before its co-application with ACh, and hastened IACh decay. However, there were marked differences among its mechanisms of nAChR inhibition and those mediated by either the entire lidocaine molecule or diethylamine (DEA), a small amine resembling lidocaine’s hydrophilic moiety. Thereby, the IC50 for DMA, estimated from the dose-inhibition curve, was in the millimolar range, which is one order of magnitude higher than that for either DEA or lidocaine. Besides, nAChR blockade by DMA was voltage-independent in contrast to the increase of IACh inhibition at negative potentials caused by the more polar lidocaine or DEA molecules. Accordingly, virtual docking assays of DMA on nAChRs showed that this molecule binds predominantly at intersubunit crevices of the transmembrane-spanning domain, but also at the extracellular domain. Furthermore, DMA interacted with residues inside the channel pore, although only in the open-channel conformation. Interestingly, co-application of ACh with DEA and DMA, at their IC50s, had additive inhibitory effects on IACh and the extent of blockade was similar to that predicted by the allotopic model of interaction, suggesting that DEA and DMA bind to nAChRs at different loci. These results indicate that DMA mainly mimics the low potency and non-competitive actions of lidocaine on nAChRs, as opposed to the high potency and voltage-dependent block by lidocaine, which is emulated by the hydrophilic DEA

  19. Anticonvulsants Based on the α-Substituted Amide Group Pharmacophore Bind to and Inhibit Function of Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Krivoshein, Arcadius V

    2016-03-16

    Although the antiepileptic properties of α-substituted lactams, acetamides, and cyclic imides have been known for over 60 years, the mechanism by which they act remains unclear. I report here that these compounds bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and inhibit its function. Using transient kinetic measurements with functionally active, nondesensitized receptors, I have discovered that (i) α-substituted lactams and cyclic imides are noncompetitive inhibitors of heteromeric subtypes (such as α4β2 and α3β4) of neuronal nAChRs and (ii) the binding affinity of these compounds toward the nAChR correlates with their potency in preventing maximal electroshock (MES)-induced convulsions in mice. Based on the hypothesis that α-substituted amide group is the essential pharmacophore of these drugs, I found and tested a simple compound, 2-phenylbutyramide. This compound indeed inhibits nAChR and shows good anticonvulsant activity in mice. Molecular docking simulations suggest that α-substituted lactams, acetamides, and cyclic imides bind to the same sites on the extracellular domain of the receptor. These new findings indicate that inhibition of brain nAChRs may play an important role in the action of these antiepileptic drugs, a role that has not been previously recognized.

  20. Tropisetron sensitizes α7 containing nicotinic receptors to low levels of acetylcholine in vitro and improves memory-related task performance in young and aged animals.

    PubMed

    Callahan, Patrick M; Bertrand, Daniel; Bertrand, Sonia; Plagenhoef, Marc R; Terry, Alvin V

    2017-03-01

    Tropisetron, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist commonly prescribed for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting also exhibits high affinity, partial agonist activity at α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7 nAChRs). α7 nAChRs are considered viable therapeutic targets for neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here we further explored the nAChR pharmacology of tropisetron to include the homomeric α7 nAChR and recently characterized heteromeric α7β2 nAChR (1:10 ratio) and we evaluated its cognitive effects in young and aged animals. Electrophysiological studies on human nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes confirmed the partial agonist activity of tropisetron at α7 nAChRs (EC50 ∼2.4 μM) with a similar effect at α7β2 nAChRs (EC50 ∼1.5 μM). Moreover, currents evoked by irregular pulses of acetylcholine (40 μM) at α7 and α7β2 nAChRs were enhanced during sustained exposure to low concentrations of tropisetron (10 and 30 nM) indicative of a "priming" or co-agonist effect. Tropisetron (0.1-10 mg/kg) improved novel object recognition performance in young Sprague-Dawley rats and in aged Fischer rats. In aged male and female rhesus monkeys, tropisetron (0.03-1 mg/kg) produced a 17% increase from baseline levels in delayed match to sample long delay accuracy while combination of non-effective doses of donepezil (0.1 mg/kg) and tropisetron (0.03 and 0.1 mg/kg) produced a 24% change in accuracy. Collectively, these animal experiments indicate that tropisetron enhances cognition and has the ability to improve the effective dose range of currently prescribed AD therapy (donepezil). Moreover, these effects may be explained by tropisetron's ability to sensitize α7 containing nAChRs to low levels of acetylcholine.

  1. miRNAome analysis of the mammalian neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family.

    PubMed

    Hogan, Eric M; Casserly, Alison P; Scofield, Michael D; Mou, Zhongming; Zhao-Shea, Rubing; Johnson, Chris W; Tapper, Andrew R; Gardner, Paul D

    2014-12-01

    Nicotine binds to and activates a family of ligand-gated ion channels, neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Chronic nicotine exposure alters the expression of various nAChR subtypes, which likely contributes to nicotine dependence; however, the underlying mechanisms regulating these changes remain unclear. A growing body of evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) may be involved in nAChR regulation. Using bioinformatics, miRNA library screening, site-directed mutagenesis, and gene expression analysis, we have identified a limited number of miRNAs that functionally interact with the 3'-untranslated regions (3' UTRs) of mammalian neuronal nAChR subunit genes. In silico analyses revealed specific, evolutionarily conserved sites within the 3' UTRs through which the miRNAs regulate gene expression. Mutating these sites disrupted miRNA regulation confirming the in silico predictions. In addition, the miRNAs that target nAChR 3' UTRs are expressed in mouse brain and are regulated by chronic nicotine exposure. Furthermore, we show that expression of one of these miRNAs, miR-542-3p, is modulated by nicotine within the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway. Importantly, overexpression of miR-542-3p led to a decrease in the protein levels of its target, the nAChR β2 subunit. Bioinformatic analysis suggests that a number of the miRNAs play a general role in regulating cholinergic signaling. Our results provide evidence for a novel mode of nicotine-mediated regulation of the mammalian nAChR gene family.

  2. Alternative splicing in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits from Locusta migratoria and its influence on acetylcholine potencies.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yixi; Liu, Yang; Bao, Haibo; Sun, Huahua; Liu, Zewen

    2017-01-18

    Due to the great abundance within insect central nervous system (CNS), nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play key roles in insect CNS, which makes it to be the targets of several classes of insecticides, such as neonicotinoids. Insect nAChRs are pentameric complexes consisting of five subunits, and a dozen subunits in one insect species can theoretically comprise diverse nAChRs. The alternative splicing in insect nAChR subunits may increase the diversity of insect nAChRs. In the oriental migratory locust (Locusta migratoria manilensis Meyen), a model insect species with agricultural importance, the alternative splicing was found in six α subunits among nine α and two β subunits, such as missing conserved residues in Loop D from Locα1, Locα6 and Locα9, a 34-residue insertion in Locα8 cytoplasmic loop, and truncated transcripts for Locα4, Locα7 and Locα9. Hybrid nAChRs were successfully constructed in Xenopus oocytes through co-expression with rat β2 and one α subunit from L. migratoria, which included Locα1, Locα2, Locα3, Locα4, Locα5, Locα8 and Locα9. Influences of alternative splicing in Locα1, Locα8 and Locα9 on acetylcholine potency were tested on hybrid nAChRs. The alternative splicing in Locα1 and Locα9 could increase acetylcholine sensitivities on recombinant receptors, while the splicing in Locα8 showed significant influences on the current amplitudes of oocytes. The results revealed that the alternative splicing at or close to the ligand-binding sites, as well as at cytoplasmic regions away from the ligand-binding sites, in insect nAChR subunits would change the agonist potencies on the receptors, which consequently increased nAChR diversity in functional and pharmacological properties.

  3. Effect of α{sub 7} nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists and antagonists on motor function in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Welch, Kevin D.; Green, Benedict T.; Gardner, Dale R.

    2013-02-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated cation channels found throughout the body, and serve to mediate diverse physiological functions. Muscle-type nAChRs located in the motor endplate region of muscle fibers play an integral role in muscle contraction and thus motor function. The toxicity and teratogenicity of many plants (which results in millions of dollars in losses annually to the livestock industry) are due to various toxins that bind to nAChRs including deltaline and methyllycaconitine (MLA) from larkspur (Delphinium) species, and nicotine and anabasine from tobacco (Nicotiana) species. The primary result of the actions of these alkaloids at nAChRs is neuromuscular paralysis and respiratory failure. The objective of this study was to further characterize the motor coordination deficiencies that occur upon exposure to a non-lethal dose of nAChR antagonists MLA and deltaline as well as nAChR agonists nicotine and anabasine. We evaluated the effect of nAChR agonists and antagonists on the motor function and coordination in mice using a balance beam, grip strength meter, rotarod, open field analysis and tremor monitor. These analyses demonstrated that within seconds after treatment the mice had significant loss of motor function and coordination that lasted up to 1 min, followed by a short period of quiescence. Recovery to normal muscle coordination was rapid, typically within approximately 10 min post-dosing. However, mice treated with the nAChR agonist nicotine and anabasine required a slightly longer time to recover some aspects of normal muscle function in comparison to mice treated with the nAChR antagonist MLA or deltaline. -- Highlights: ► Mice treated with nAChR agonists and antagonists have a loss in motor function. ► These deficits are temporary as near normal motor function returns within 10 min. ► There are compound-specific differences in the effects on motor function.

  4. Circulating antibodies against nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in chagasic patients

    PubMed Central

    GOIN, J C; VENERA, G; BONINO, M BISCOGLIO DE JIMÉNEZ; STERIN-BORDA, L

    1997-01-01

    Human and experimental Chagas' disease causes peripheral nervous system damage involving neuromuscular transmission alterations at the neuromuscular junction. Additionally, autoantibodies directed to peripheral nerves and sarcolemmal proteins of skeletal muscle have been described. In this work, we analyse the ability of serum immunoglobulin factors associated with human chagasic infection to bind the affinity-purified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from electric organs of Discopyge tschudii and to identify the receptor subunits involved in the interaction. The frequency of serum anti-nAChR reactivity assayed by dot-blot was higher in seropositive chagasic patients than in uninfected subjects. Purified IgG obtained from chagasic patients immunoprecipitated a significantly higher fraction of the solubilized nAChR than normal IgG. Furthermore, immunoblotting assays indicated that α and β are the main subunits involved in the interaction. Chagasic IgG was able to inhibit the binding of α-bungarotoxin to the receptor in a concentration-dependent manner, confirming the contribution of the α-subunit in the autoantibody-receptor interaction. The presence of anti-nAChR antibodies was detected in 73% of chagasic patients with impairment of neuromuscular transmission in conventional electromyographical studies, indicating a strong association between seropositive reactivity against nAChR and electromyographical abnormalities in chagasic patients. The chronic binding of these autoantibodies to the nAChR could induce a decrease in the population of functional nAChRs at the neuromuscular junction and consequently contribute to the electrophysiological neuromuscular alterations described in the course of chronic Chagas' disease. PMID:9367405

  5. Acetylcholine elongates neuronal growth cone filopodia via activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Lei Ray; Estes, Stephen; Artinian, Liana; Rehder, Vincent

    2013-07-01

    In addition to acting as a classical neurotransmitter in synaptic transmission, acetylcholine (ACh) has been shown to play a role in axonal growth and growth cone guidance. What is not well understood is how ACh acts on growth cones to affect growth cone filopodia, structures known to be important for neuronal pathfinding. We addressed this question using an identified neuron (B5) from the buccal ganglion of the pond snail Helisoma trivolvis in cell culture. ACh treatment caused pronounced filopodial elongation within minutes, an effect that required calcium influx and resulted in the elevation of the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca]i ). Whole-cell patch clamp recordings showed that ACh caused a reduction in input resistance, a depolarization of the membrane potential, and an increase in firing frequency in B5 neurons. These effects were mediated via the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), as the nAChR agonist dimethylphenylpiperazinium (DMPP) mimicked the effects of ACh on filopodial elongation, [Ca]i elevation, and changes in electrical activity. Moreover, the nAChR antagonist tubucurarine blocked all DMPP-induced effects. Lastly, ACh acted locally at the growth cone, because growth cones that were physically isolated from their parent neuron responded to ACh by filopodial elongation with a similar time course as growth cones that remained connected to their parent neuron. Our data revealed a critical role for ACh as a modulator of growth cone filopodial dynamics. ACh signaling was mediated via nAChRs and resulted in Ca influx, which, in turn, caused filopodial elongation.

  6. Genetic deletion of the adenosine A(2A) receptor prevents nicotine-induced upregulation of α7, but not α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor binding in the brain.

    PubMed

    Metaxas, Athanasios; Al-Hasani, Ream; Farshim, Pamela; Tubby, Kristina; Berwick, Amy; Ledent, Catherine; Hourani, Susanna; Kitchen, Ian; Bailey, Alexis

    2013-08-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A)Rs) modulate cholinergic neurotransmission, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function, and nicotine-induced behavioural effects. To explore the interaction between A(2A) and nAChRs, we examined if the complete genetic deletion of adenosine A(2A)Rs in mice induces compensatory alterations in the binding of different nAChR subtypes, and whether the long-term effects of nicotine on nAChR regulation are altered in the absence of the A(2A)R gene. Quantitative autoradiography was used to measure cytisine-sensitive [¹²⁵I]epibatidine and [¹²⁵I]α-bungarotoxin binding to α4β2* and α7 nAChRs, respectively, in brain sections of drug-naïve (n = 6) or nicotine treated (n = 5-7), wild-type and adenosine A(2A)R knockout mice. Saline or nicotine (7.8 mg/kg/day; free-base weight) were administered to male CD1 mice via subcutaneous osmotic minipumps for a period of 14 days. Blood plasma levels of nicotine and cotinine were measured at the end of treatment. There were no compensatory developmental alterations in nAChR subtype distribution or density in drug-naïve A(2A)R knockout mice. In nicotine treated wild-type mice, both α4β2* and α7 nAChR binding sites were increased compared with saline treated controls. The genetic ablation of adenosine A(2A)Rs prevented nicotine-induced upregulation of α7 nAChRs, without affecting α4β2* receptor upregulation. This selective effect was observed at plasma levels of nicotine that were within the range reported for smokers (10-50 ng ml⁻¹). Our data highlight the involvement of adenosine A(2A)Rs in the mechanisms of nicotine-induced α7 nAChR upregulation, and identify A(2A)Rs as novel pharmacological targets for modulating the long-term effects of nicotine on α7 receptors.

  7. Nootropic alpha7 nicotinic receptor allosteric modulator derived from GABAA receptor modulators.

    PubMed

    Ng, Herman J; Whittemore, Edward R; Tran, Minhtam B; Hogenkamp, Derk J; Broide, Ron S; Johnstone, Timothy B; Zheng, Lijun; Stevens, Karen E; Gee, Kelvin W

    2007-05-08

    Activation of brain alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7 nAChRs) has broad therapeutic potential in CNS diseases related to cognitive dysfunction, including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. In contrast to direct agonist activation, positive allosteric modulation of alpha7 nAChRs would deliver the clinically validated benefits of allosterism to these indications. We have generated a selective alpha7 nAChR-positive allosteric modulator (PAM) from a library of GABAA receptor PAMs. Compound 6 (N-(4-chlorophenyl)-alpha-[[(4-chloro-phenyl)amino]methylene]-3-methyl-5-isoxazoleacet-amide) evokes robust positive modulation of agonist-induced currents at alpha7 nAChRs, while preserving the rapid native characteristics of desensitization, and has little to no efficacy at other ligand-gated ion channels. In rodent models, it corrects sensory-gating deficits and improves working memory, effects consistent with cognitive enhancement. Compound 6 represents a chemotype for allosteric activation of alpha7 nAChRs, with therapeutic potential in CNS diseases with cognitive dysfunction.

  8. 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

  9. The Protective Effect of Alpha 7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Activation on Critical Illness and Its Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    REN, Chao; TONG, Ya-lin; LI, Jun-cong; LU, Zhong-qiu; YAO, Yong-ming

    2017-01-01

    Critical illnesses and injuries are recognized as major threats to human health, and they are usually accompanied by uncontrolled inflammation and dysfunction of immune response. The alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAchR), which is a primary receptor of cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CAP), exhibits great benefits for critical ill conditions. It is composed of 5 identical α7 subunits that form a central pore with high permeability for calcium. This putative structure is closely associated with its functional states. Activated α7nAChR exhibits extensive anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory reactions, including lowered pro-inflammatory cytokines levels, decreased expressions of chemokines as well as adhesion molecules, and altered differentiation and activation of immune cells, which are important in maintaining immune homeostasis. Well understanding of the effects and mechanisms of α7nAChR will be of great value in exploring effective targets for treating critical diseases. PMID:28123345

  10. Neural Systems Governed by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: Emerging Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Miwa, Julie M.; Freedman, Robert; Lester, Henry A.

    2015-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain participate in diverse functions: reward, learning and memory, mood, sensory processing, pain, and neuroprotection. Nicotinic systems also have well-known roles in drug abuse. Here, we review recent insights into nicotinic function, linking exogenous and endogenous manipulations of nAChRs to alterations in synapses, circuits, and behavior. We also discuss how these contemporary advances can motivate attempts to exploit nicotinic systems therapeutically in Parkinson’s disease, cognitive decline, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. PMID:21482353

  11. Activation of α7 nicotinic receptors by orthosteric and allosteric agonists: influence on single-channel kinetics and conductance.

    PubMed

    Pałczyńska, Magda M; Jindrichova, Marie; Gibb, Alasdair J; Millar, Neil S

    2012-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are oligomeric transmembrane proteins in which five subunits coassemble to form a central ion channel pore. Conventional agonists, such as acetylcholine (ACh), bind to an orthosteric site, located at subunit interfaces in the extracellular domain. More recently, it has been demonstrated that nAChRs can also be activated by ligands binding to an allosteric transmembrane site. In the case of α7 nAChRs, ACh causes rapid activation and almost complete desensitization. In contrast, allosteric agonists such as 4-(4-bromophenyl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c] quin oline-8-sulfonamide (4BP-TQS) activate α7 nAChRs more slowly and cause only low levels of apparent desensitization. In the present study, single-channel patch-clamp recording has been used to investigate differences in the mechanism of activation of α7 nAChRs by ACh and 4BP-TQS. The most striking difference between activation by ACh and 4BP-TQS is in single-channel kinetics. In comparison with activation by ACh, single-channel open times and burst lengths are substantially longer (~160-800-fold, respectively), and shut times are shorter (~8-fold) when activated by 4BP-TQS. In addition, coapplication of ACh and 4BP-TQS results in a further increase in single-channel burst lengths. Mean burst lengths seen when the two agonists are coapplied (3099 ± 754 ms) are ~2.5-fold longer than with 4BP-TQS alone and ∼370-fold longer than with ACh alone. Intriguingly, the main single-channel conductance of α7 nAChRs, was significantly larger when activated by 4BP-TQS (100.3 ± 2.4 pS) than when activated by ACh (90.0 ± 2.7 pS), providing evidence that activation by allosteric and orthosteric agonists results in different α7 nAChRs open-channel conformations.

  12. Activation of α7 Nicotinic Receptors by Orthosteric and Allosteric Agonists: Influence on Single-Channel Kinetics and Conductance

    PubMed Central

    Pałczyńska, Magda M.; Jindrichova, Marie; Gibb, Alasdair J.

    2012-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are oligomeric transmembrane proteins in which five subunits coassemble to form a central ion channel pore. Conventional agonists, such as acetylcholine (ACh), bind to an orthosteric site, located at subunit interfaces in the extracellular domain. More recently, it has been demonstrated that nAChRs can also be activated by ligands binding to an allosteric transmembrane site. In the case of α7 nAChRs, ACh causes rapid activation and almost complete desensitization. In contrast, allosteric agonists such as 4-(4-bromophenyl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c] quin oline-8-sulfonamide (4BP-TQS) activate α7 nAChRs more slowly and cause only low levels of apparent desensitization. In the present study, single-channel patch-clamp recording has been used to investigate differences in the mechanism of activation of α7 nAChRs by ACh and 4BP-TQS. The most striking difference between activation by ACh and 4BP-TQS is in single-channel kinetics. In comparison with activation by ACh, single-channel open times and burst lengths are substantially longer (∼160–800-fold, respectively), and shut times are shorter (∼8-fold) when activated by 4BP-TQS. In addition, coapplication of ACh and 4BP-TQS results in a further increase in single-channel burst lengths. Mean burst lengths seen when the two agonists are coapplied (3099 ± 754 ms) are ∼2.5-fold longer than with 4BP-TQS alone and ∼370-fold longer than with ACh alone. Intriguingly, the main single-channel conductance of α7 nAChRs, was significantly larger when activated by 4BP-TQS (100.3 ± 2.4 pS) than when activated by ACh (90.0 ± 2.7 pS), providing evidence that activation by allosteric and orthosteric agonists results in different α7 nAChRs open-channel conformations. PMID:22874415

  13. Mapping the location of functional nicotinic and gamma-aminobutyric acidA receptors on hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Alkondon, M; Pereira, E F; Albuquerque, E X

    1996-12-01

    To assess the density and distribution of functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors on hippocampal neurons, we have combined infrared videomicroscopy with a nanorobotic micromanipulator system and studied the receptor-mediated currents by using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Acetylcholine or GABA was applied by pressure ejection onto a small segment of either cell soma or dendrite, and the resulting current was measured in cultured hippocampal neurons by using a whole-cell pipette positioned at the cell soma. Type IA nicotinic currents, sensitive to blockade by methyllycaconitine (1 nM) and alpha-bungarotoxin and associated with alpha 7-subunit-containing nAChRs, type II currents, sensitive to blockade by dihydro-beta-erythroidine (100 nM) subserved by alpha 4 beta 2 nAChRs, and GABA-mediated currents were evoked when the agonists were applied to either cell soma or the dendrites. Analysis of the current amplitude with respect to the membrane area covered by the applied agonist provided an estimation of the receptor density along the somato-dendritic axis of the hippocampal neurons. Such analysis revealed: 1) a nonuniform distribution for the receptor types studied; 2) a higher density of nAChR and GABA receptors at the dendrites than at the soma; and 3) an increasing density for both nAChR subtypes with distance from the center of the cell soma, but increasing and then decreasing density for the GABA receptor. Exposure of cultured hippocampal neurons to colchicine (100 nM for 3 days) produced a dramatic reduction in the dendritic branching, and this morphological feature was associated with a significant decrease in the receptor density, such an effect being more prominent for nAChRs than for GABA receptors. Given the high Ca+2 permeability of nAChRs, the dendritic localization of nAChRs suggest that they are involved in modulating the synaptic efficacy at the level of the dendrites.

  14. Nicotine at concentrations found in cigarette smokers activates and desensitizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in CA1 interneurons of rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Alkondon, M; Pereira, E F; Almeida, L E; Randall, W R; Albuquerque, E X

    2000-10-01

    Behavioral effects of cigarette smoking are attributed to the interactions of nicotine with brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). However, the mechanisms by which nAChR function in developing and mature brain is affected by a smoker's level of nicotine (50-500 nM) remain unclear. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the concentration- and time-dependent effects of nicotine on alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nAChRs, the two major brain subtypes, natively expressed in CA1 interneurons of rat hippocampal slices. Only at concentrations > or =5 microM did nicotine (applied for 6-60 s) elicit action potentials or measurable whole-cell currents (EC(50)=158 microM) in stratum radiatum interneurons that express alpha7 nAChRs. Continuous exposure for 10-15 min of the neurons to nicotine (0.5-2.5 microM) inhibited alpha7 nAChR-mediated currents (IC(50)=640 nM) evoked by choline (10 mM). Nicotine (> or =0.125 microM) applied to the neurons for 1-5 min induced slowly desensitizing whole-cell currents (EC(50)=3.2 microM) in stratum lacunosum moleculare interneurons; this effect was mediated by alpha4beta2 nAChRs. Also via activation of alpha4beta2 nAChRs, nicotine (0.125-0.5 microM) increased the frequency and amplitude of GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) in stratum radiatum interneurons. However, exposure of the neurons for 10-15 min to nicotine (0.25-0.5 microM) resulted in desensitization of alpha4beta2 nAChRs. It is suggested that nanomolar concentrations of nicotine after acute intake suppress inhibitory inputs to pyramidal cells through a disinhibitory mechanism involving activation of alpha4beta2 nAChRs and desensitization of alpha7 nAChRs, and after chronic intake leads to up-regulation of both receptor subtypes via desensitization. These findings have direct implications to the actions of nicotine in cigarette smokers.

  15. A novel α4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks α3β2 vs. α6/α3β2β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sulan; Zhangsun, Dongting; Schroeder, Christina I.; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Hu, Yuanyan; Wu, Yong; Weltzin, Maegan M.; Eberhard, Spencer; Kaas, Quentin; Craik, David J.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Whiteaker, Paul

    2014-01-01

    This study was performed to discover and characterize the first potent α3β2-subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligand. A novel α4/7-conotoxin, α-CTxLvIA, was cloned from Conus lividus. Its pharmacological profile at Xenopus laevis oocyte-expressed rat nAChR subtypes was determined by 2-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology, and its 3-dimensional (3D) structure was determined by NMR spectroscopy. α-CTx LvIA is a 16-aa C-terminally-amidated peptide with 2-disulfide bridges. Using rat subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes, we found the highest affinity of α-CTxLvIA was for α3β2 nAChRs (IC50 8.7 nM), where blockade was reversible within 2 min. IC50 values were >100 nM at α6/α3β2β3, α6/α3β4, and α3β4 nAChRs, and ≥3 μM at all other subtypes tested. α3β2 vs. α6β2 subtype selectivity was confirmed for human-subunit nAChRs with much greater preference (300-fold) for α3β2 over α6β2 nAChRs. This is the first α-CTx reported to show high selectivity for human α3β2 vs. α6β2 nAChRs. α-CTxLvIA adopts two similarly populated conformations water: one (assumed to be bioactive) is highly structured, whereas the other is mostly random coil in nature. Selectivity differences with the similarly potent, but less selective, α3β2 nAChR antagonist α-CTx PeIA probably reside within the three residues, which differ in loop 2, given their otherwise similar 3D structures. α4/7-CTx LvIA is a new, potent, selective α3β2 nAChR antagonist, which will enable detailed studies of α3β2 nAChR structure, function, and physiological roles.—Luo, S., Zhangsun, D., Schroeder, C. I., Zhu, X., Hu, Y., Wu, Y., Weltzin, M. M., Eberhard, S., Kaas, Q., Craik, D. J., McIntosh, J. M., Whiteaker, P. A novel α4/7-conotoxin LvIA from Conus lividus that selectively blocks α3β2 vs. α6/α3β2β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PMID:24398291

  16. Contribution of nicotinic receptors to the function of synapses in the central nervous system: the action of choline as a selective agonist of alpha 7 receptors.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, E X; Pereira, E F; Braga, M F; Alkondon, M

    1998-01-01

    The alpha 7-nicotinic receptor (nAChR)-selective agonist choline and nAChR-subtype-selective antagonists led to the discovery that activation of both alpha 7 and alpha 4 beta 2 nAChRs located in CA1 interneurons in slices taken from the rat hippocampus facilitates the tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Experiments carried out in cultured hippocampal neurons not only confirmed that preterminal alpha 7 and alpha 4 beta 2 nAChRs modulate the TTX-sensitive release of GABA, but also demonstrated that evoked release of GABA is reduced by rapid exposure of the neurons to acetylcholine (ACh, 10 microM-1 mM) in the presence of the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine (1 microM). This effect of ACh, which is fully reversible and concentration-dependent, is partially blocked by superfusion of the cultured neurons with external solution containing either the alpha 7-nAChR-selective antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA, 1 nM) or the alpha 4 beta 2-nAChR-selective antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DH beta E, 100 nM). A complete blockade of ACh-induced reduction of evoked release of GABA was achieved only when the neurons were perfused with external solution containing both MLA and DH beta E, suggesting that activation of both alpha 7 and alpha 4 beta 2 nAChRs modulates the evoked release of GABA from hippocampal neurons. Such mechanisms may account for the apparent involvement of nAChRs in the psychological effects of tobacco smoking, in brain disorders (e.g., schizophrenia and epilepsy), and in physiological processes, including cognition and nociception.

  17. Deconstruction of the α4β2 Nicotinic Acetylchloine (nACh) Receptor Positive Allosteric Modulator des-Formylflustrabromine (dFBr)

    PubMed Central

    German, Nadezhda; Kim, Jin-Sung; Jain, Atul; Dukat, Malgorzata; Pandya, Anshul; Ma, Yilong; Weltzin, Maegan; Schulte, Marvin K.; Glennon, Richard A.

    2011-01-01

    des -Formylflustrabromine (dFBr; 1), perhaps the first selective positive allosteric modulator of α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors, was deconstructed to determine which structural features contribute to its actions on receptors expressed in Xenopus ooycytes using 2-electrode voltage clamp techniques. Although the intact structure of 1 was found optimal, several deconstructed analogs retained activity. Neither the 6-bromo substituent nor the entire 2-position chain is required for activity. In particular, reduction of the olefinic side chain of 1, as seen with 6, not only resulted in retention of activity/potency but in enhanced selectivity for α4β2 versus α7 nACh receptors. Pharmacophoric features for the allosteric modulation of α4β2 nACh receptors by 1 were identified. PMID:21905680

  18. Lipophilicity as a determinant of binding of procaine analogs to rat α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Cheffer, Arquimedes; Mustafa, Elba Vieira; T-do Amaral, Antonia; Ulrich, Henning

    2012-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been studied in detail with regard to their interaction with therapeutic and drug addiction-related compounds. Using a structure-activity approach, we have examined the relationship among the molecular features of a set of eight para-R-substituted N,N-[(dimethylamino)ethyl] benzoate hydrochlorides, structurally related to procaine and their affinity for the α(3)β(4) nAChR heterologously expressed in KXα3β4R2 cells. Affinity values (log[1/IC50]) of these compounds for the α(3)β(4) nAChR were determined by their competition with [(3)H]TCP binding. Log(1/IC50) values were analyzed considering different hydrophobic and electronic parameters and those related to molar refractivity. These have been experimentally determined or were taken from published literature. In accordance with literature observations, the generated cross-validated quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) equations indicated a significant contribution of hydrophobic term to binding affinity of procaine analogs to the receptor and predicted affinity values for several local anesthetics (LAs) sets taken from the literature. The predicted values by using the QSAR model correlated well with the published values both for neuronal and for electroplaque nAChRs. Our work also reveals the general structure features of LAs that are important for interaction with nAChRs as well as the structural modifications that could be made to enhance binding affinity.

  19. 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.

  20. Development of a solid-phase receptor-based assay for the detection of cyclic imines using a microsphere-flow cytometry system.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Laura P; Vilariño, Natalia; Molgó, Jordi; Aráoz, Rómulo; Louzao, M Carmen; Taylor, Palmer; Talley, Todd; Botana, Luis M

    2013-02-19

    Biologically active macrocycles containing a cyclic imine were isolated for the first time from aquaculture sites in Nova Scotia, Canada, during the 1990s. These compounds display a "fast-acting" toxicity in the traditional mouse bioassay for lipophilic marine toxins. Our work aimed at developing a receptor-based detection method for spirolides using a microsphere/flow cytometry Luminex system. For the assay, two alternatives were considered as binding proteins, the Torpedo marmorata nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and the Lymnaea stagnalis acetylcholine binding protein (Ls-AChBP). A receptor-based inhibition assay was developed using the immobilization of nAChR or Ls-AChBP on the surface of carboxylated microspheres and the competition of cyclic imines with biotin-α-bungarotoxin (α-BTX) for binding to these proteins. The amount of biotin-α-BTX bound to the surface of the microspheres was quantified using phycoerythrin (PE)-labeled streptavidin, and the fluorescence was analyzed in a Luminex 200 system. AChBP and nAChR bound to 13-desmethyl spirolide C efficiently; however, the cross-reactivity profile of the nAChR for spirolides and gymnodimine more closely matched the relative toxic potencies reported for these toxins. The nAChR was selected for further assay development. A simple sample preparation protocol consisting of an extraction with acetone yielded a final extract with no matrix interference on the nAChR/microsphere-based assay for mussels, scallops, and clams. This cyclic imine detection method allowed the detection of 13-desmethyl spirolide C in the range of 10-6000 μg/kg of shellfish meat, displaying a higher sensitivity and wider dynamic range than other receptor-based assays previously published. This microsphere-based assay provides a rapid, sensitive, and easily performed screening method that could be multiplexed for the simultaneous detection of several marine toxins.

  1. Alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Modulate Motivation to Self-Administer Nicotine: Implications for Smoking and Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Brunzell, Darlene H; McIntosh, J Michael

    2012-01-01

    Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia have an exceptionally high risk for tobacco dependence. Postmortem studies show that these individuals have significant reductions in α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in several brain areas. Decreased α7-mediated function might not only be linked to schizophrenia but also to increased tobacco consumption. The purpose of this study was to determine whether pharmacological blockade of α7 nAChRs would increase motivation of rats to intravenously self-administer nicotine (NIC) during a progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement (PR). Before PR, rats received local infusions of 0, 10, or 20 pmol of a selective α7 nAChR antagonist, α-conotoxin ArIB [V11L,V16D] (ArIB) into the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell or the anterior cingulate cortex, brain areas that contribute to motivation for drug reward. We additionally sought to determine whether local infusion of 0, 10, or 40 nmol of a selective α7 nAChR agonist, PNU 282987, into these brain areas would decrease motivation for NIC use. Infusion of ArIB into the NAc shell and anterior cingulate cortex resulted in a significant increase in active lever pressing, breakpoints, and NIC intake, suggesting that a decrease in α7 nAChR function increases motivation to work for NIC. In contrast, PNU 282987 infusion resulted in reductions in these measures when administered into the NAc shell, but had no effect after administration into the anterior cingulate cortex. These data identify reduction of α7 nAChR function as a potential mechanism for elevated tobacco use in schizophrenia and also identify activation of α7 nAChRs as a potential strategy for tobacco cessation therapy. PMID:22169946

  2. Attenuation of CNS inflammatory responses by nicotine involves α7 and non-α7 nicotinic receptors1,2

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Junwei; Simard, Alain R.; Turner, Gregory H.; Wu, Jie; Whiteaker, Paul; Lukas, Ronald J.; Shi, Fu-Dong

    2010-01-01

    A considerable number of in vivo studies have demonstrated that the cholinergic system can dampen the peripheral immune response, and it is thought that the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype is a key mediator of this process. The goal of the present study was to determine if nicotine modulates immunological mechanisms known to be involved in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for CNS autoimmune disease, via α7-nAChRs. Here we show that nicotine exposure attenuates EAE severity and that this effect is largely abolished in nAChR α7 subunit knock-out mice. However, nicotine exposure partially retains the ability to reduce lymphocyte infiltration into the CNS, inhibit auto-reactive T cell proliferation and helper T cell cytokine production, down-regulate co-stimulatory protein expression on myeloid cells, and increase the differentiation and recruitment of regulatory T cells, even in the absence of α7-nAChRs. Diverse effects of nicotine on effector and regulatory T cells, as well as antigen presenting cells, may be linked to differential expression patterns of nAChR subunits across these cell types. Taken together, our data show that although α7-nAChRs indeed seem to play an important role in nicotine-conferred reduction of the CNS inflammatory response and protection against EAE, other nAChR subtypes also are involved in the anti-inflammatory properties of the cholinergic system. PMID:20932827

  3. Potentiation by tonic A2a-adenosine receptor activation of CGRP-facilitated [3H]-ACh release from rat motor nerve endings.

    PubMed Central

    Correia-de-Sá, P.; Ribeiro, J. A.

    1994-01-01

    1. The effect of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) on [3H]-acetylcholine ([3H]-ACh) release from motor nerve endings and its interaction with presynaptic facilitatory A2a-adenosine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was studied on rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparations loaded with [3H]-choline. 2. CGRP (100-400 nM) increased electrically evoked [3H]-ACh release from phrenic nerve endings in a concentration-dependent manner. 3. The magnitude of CGRP excitation increased with the increase of the stimulation pulse duration from 40 microseconds to 1 ms, keeping the frequency, the amplitude and the train length constants. With 1 ms pulses, the evoked [3H]-ACh release was more intense than with 40 microseconds pulse duration. 4. Both the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium, and the A2a adenosine receptor agonist, CGS 21680C, increased evoked [3H]-ACh release, but only CGS 21680C potentiated the facilitatory effect of CGRP. This potentiation was prevented by the A2a adenosine receptor antagonist, PD 115,199. 5. Adenosine deaminase prevented the excitatory effect of CGRP (400 nM) on [3H]-ACh release. This effect was reversed by the non-hydrolysable A2a-adenosine receptor agonist, CGS 21680C. 6. The nicotinic antagonist, tubocurarine, did not significantly change, whereas the A2-adenosine receptor antagonist, PD 115,199, blocked the CGRP facilitation. The A1-adenosine receptor antagonist, 1,3-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine, potentiated the CGRP excitatory effect. 7. The results suggest that the facilitatory effect of CGRP on evoked [3H]-ACh release from rat phrenic motor nerve endings depends on the presence of endogenous adenosine which tonically activates A2a-adenosine receptors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8004402

  4. Muscle aches

    MedlinePlus

    ... common cause of muscle aches and pain is fibromyalgia , a condition that causes tenderness in your muscles ... imbalance, such as too little potassium or calcium Fibromyalgia Infections, including the flu, Lyme disease , malaria , muscle ...

  5. Human Secreted Ly-6/uPAR Related Protein-1 (SLURP-1) Is a Selective Allosteric Antagonist of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Kudryavtsev, Denis; Bychkov, Maxim L.; Kulbatskii, Dmitrii S.; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Astapova, Maria V.; Feofanov, Alexey V.; Thomsen, Morten S.; Mikkelsen, Jens D.; Shenkarev, Zakhar O.; Tsetlin, Victor I.; Dolgikh, Dmitry A.; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P.

    2016-01-01

    SLURP-1 is a secreted toxin-like Ly-6/uPAR protein found in epithelium, sensory neurons and immune cells. Point mutations in the slurp-1 gene cause the autosomal inflammation skin disease Mal de Meleda. SLURP-1 is considered an autocrine/paracrine hormone that regulates growth and differentiation of keratinocytes and controls inflammation and malignant cell transformation. The majority of previous studies of SLURP-1 have been made using fusion constructs containing, in addition to the native protein, extra polypeptide sequences. Here we describe the activity and pharmacological profile of a recombinant analogue of human SLURP-1 (rSLURP-1) differing from the native protein only by one additional N-terminal Met residue. rSLURP-1 significantly inhibited proliferation (up to ~ 40%, EC50 ~ 4 nM) of human oral keratinocytes (Het-1A cells). Application of mecamylamine and atropine,—non-selective inhibitors of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, respectively, and anti-α7-nAChRs antibodies revealed α7 type nAChRs as an rSLURP-1 target in keratinocytes. Using affinity purification from human cortical extracts, we confirmed that rSLURP-1 binds selectively to the α7-nAChRs. Exposure of Xenopus oocytes expressing α7-nAChRs to rSLURP-1 caused a significant non-competitive inhibition of the response to acetylcholine (up to ~ 70%, IC50 ~ 1 μM). It was shown that rSLURP-1 binds to α7-nAChRs overexpressed in GH4Cl cells, but does not compete with 125I-α-bungarotoxin for binding to the receptor. These findings imply an allosteric antagonist-like mode of SLURP-1 interaction with α7-nAChRs outside the classical ligand-binding site. Contrary to rSLURP-1, other inhibitors of α7-nAChRs (mecamylamine, α-bungarotoxin and Lynx1) did not suppress the proliferation of keratinocytes. Moreover, the co-application of α-bungarotoxin with rSLURP-1 did not influence antiproliferative activity of the latter. This supports the hypothesis that

  6. The dual-acting AChE inhibitor and H3 receptor antagonist UW-MD-72 reverses amnesia induced by scopolamine or dizocilpine in passive avoidance paradigm in rats.

    PubMed

    Sadek, Bassem; Khan, Nadia; Darras, Fouad H; Pockes, Steffen; Decker, Michael

    2016-10-15

    Both the acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and the histamine H3 receptor (H3R) are involved in the metabolism and modulation of acetylcholine release and numerous other centrally acting neurotransmitters. Hence, dual-active AChE inhibitors (AChEIs) and H3R antagonists hold potential to treat cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease (AD). The novel dual-acting AChEI and H3R antagonist 7-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propoxy)-2,3-dihydropyrrolo[2,1-b]quinazolin-9(1H)-one (UW-MD-72) shows excellent selectivity profiles over the AChE's isoenzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) as well as high and balanced in-vitro affinities at both AChE and hH3R with IC50 of 5.4μM on hAChE and hH3R antagonism with Ki of 2.54μM, respectively. In the current study, the effects of UW-MD-72 (1.25, 2.5, and 5mg/kg, i.p.) on memory deficits induced by the muscarinic cholinergic antagonist scopolamine (SCO) and the non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist dizocilpine (DIZ) were investigated in a step-through type passive avoidance paradigm in adult male rats applying donepezil (DOZ) and pitolisant (PIT) as reference drugs. The results observed show that SCO (2mg/kg, i.p.) and DIZ (0.1mg/kg, i.p.) significantly impaired learning and memory in rats. However, acute systemic administration of UW-MD-72 significantly ameliorated the SCO- and DIZ-induced amnesic effects. Furthermore, the ameliorating activity of UW-MD-72 (1.25mg/kg, i.p.) in DIZ-induced amnesia was partly reversed when rats were pretreated with the centrally-acting H2R antagonist zolantidine (ZOL, 10mg/kg, i.p.), but not with the CNS penetrant H1R antagonist pyrilamine (PYR, 10mg/kg, i.p.). Moreover, ameliorative effect of UW-MD-72 (1.25mg/kg, i.p.) in DIZ-induced amnesia was strongly reversed when rats were pretreated with a combination of ZOL (10mg/kg, i.p.) and SCO (1.0mg/kg, i.p.), indicating that these memory enhancing effects were, in addition to other neural circuits, observed through histaminergic H2R as well as

  7. Nicotine Ameliorates NMDA Receptor Antagonist-Induced Deficits in Contextual Fear Conditioning through High Affinity Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  8. Methamphetamine-seeking behavior is due to inhibition of nicotinic cholinergic transmission by activation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Hiranita, Takato; Nawata, Yoko; Sakimura, Katsuya; Yamamoto, Tsuneyuki

    2008-12-01

    We previously reported the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the reinstatement of methamphetamine (MAP)-seeking behavior (lever-pressing response for MAP reinforcement under saline infusion). The present study examined whether the reinstatement involves interactions between these receptors. Rats were trained to self-administer MAP with a light and tone (MAP-associated cues). Then, extinction sessions under saline infusion without cues were conducted. After that, a reinstatement tests were conducted by either presenting the cues or a MAP-priming injection. Systemic and intracranial administration of HU210, a cannabinoid CB1R agonist, into the nucleus accumbens core (NAC) and prelimbic cortex (PrC) reinstated MAP-seeking behavior. The reinstatement caused by the systemic HU210 treatment was attenuated by intracranial administration of AM251, a cannabinoid CB1R antagonist, into each region mentioned above. Meanwhile, reinstatement induced by the MAP-associated cues and MAP-priming injection was also attenuated by intracranial administration of AM251 in each region. In these regions, the attenuating effects of AM251 on the reinstatement induced by each stimulus were blocked by the intracranial administration of mecamylamine, a non-selective nAChR antagonist, but not by scopolamine, a muscarinic ACh receptor (mAChR) antagonist. Furthermore, the intracranial administration of DHbetaE, an alpha4beta2 nAChR antagonist, but not MLA, an alpha7 nAChR antagonist, into each region blocked the AM251-induced attenuation of the reinstatement. These findings suggest that relapses to MAP-seeking behavior may be due to two steps, first inhibition of ACh transmission by the activation of cannabinoid CB1Rs and then the inactivation of alpha4beta2 nAChRs.

  9. The impact of a parkinsonian lesion on dynamic striatal dopamine transmission depends on nicotinic receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Katie A; Platt, Nicola J; Cragg, Stephanie J

    2015-10-01

    Dopamine function is disturbed in Parkinson's disease (PD), but whether and how release of dopamine from surviving neurons is altered has long been debated. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on dopamine axons powerfully govern dopamine release and could be critical contributing factors. We revisited whether fundamental properties of dopamine transmission are changed in a parkinsonian brain and tested the potentially profound masking effects of nAChRs. Using real-time detection of dopamine in mouse striatum after a partial 6-hydroxydopamine lesion and under nAChR inhibition, we reveal that dopamine signals show diminished sensitivity to presynaptic activity. This effect manifested as diminished contrast between DA release evoked by the lowest versus highest frequencies. This reduced activity-dependence was underpinned by loss of short-term facilitation of dopamine release, consistent with an increase in release probability (Pr). With nAChRs active, the reduced activity-dependence of dopamine release after a parkinsonian lesion was masked. Consequently, moment-by-moment variation in activity of nAChRs may lead to dynamic co-variation in dopamine signal impairments in PD.

  10. Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors as New Targets for Amphetamine-Induced Oxidative Damage and Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Pubill, David; Garcia-Ratés, Sara; Camarasa, Jordi; Escubedo, Elena

    2011-01-01

    Amphetamine derivatives such as methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy”) are widely abused drugs in a recreational context. This has led to concern because of the evidence that they are neurotoxic in animal models and cognitive impairments have been described in heavy abusers. The main targets of these drugs are plasmalemmal and vesicular monoamine transporters, leading to reverse transport and increased monoamine efflux to the synapse. As far as neurotoxicity is concerned, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production seems to be one of the main causes. Recent research has demonstrated that blockade of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) inhibits METH- and MDMA-induced ROS production in striatal synaptosomes which is dependent on calcium and on NO-synthase activation. Moreover, α7 nAChR antagonists (methyllycaconitine and memantine) attenuated in vivo the neurotoxicity induced by METH and MDMA, and memantine prevented the cognitive impairment induced by these drugs. Radioligand binding experiments demonstrated that both drugs have affinity to α7 and heteromeric nAChR, with MDMA showing lower Ki values, while fluorescence calcium experiments indicated that MDMA behaves as a partial agonist on α7 and as an antagonist on heteromeric nAChR. Sustained Ca increase led to calpain and caspase-3 activation. In addition, modulatory effects of MDMA on α7 and heteromeric nAChR populations have been found.

  11. [Nicotine effects on mitochondria membrane potential: participation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors].

    PubMed

    Gergalova, G L; Skok, M V

    2011-01-01

    The effect of nicotine on the mouse liver mitochondria was studied by fluorescent flow cytometry. Mice consumed nicotine during 65 days; alternatively, nicotine was added to isolated mitochondria. Mitochondria of nicotine-treated mice had significantly lower basic levels of membrane potential and granularity as compared to those of the control group. Pre-incubation of the isolated mitochondria with nicotine prevented from dissipation of their membrane potential stimulated with 0.8 microM CaCl2 depending on the dose, and this effect was strengthened by the antagonist of alpha7 nicotinic receptors (alpha7 nAChR) methyllicaconitine. Mitochondria of mice intravenously injected with the antibodies against alpha7 nAChR demonstrated lower levels of membrane potential. Introduction of nicotine, choline, acetylcholine or synthetic alpha7 nAChR agonist PNU 282987 into the incubation medium inhibited Ca2+ accumulation in mitochondria, although the doses of agonists were too low to activate the alpha7 nAChR ion channel. It is concluded that nicotine consumption worsens the functional state of mitochondria by affecting their membrane potential and granularity, and this effect, at least in part, is mediated by alpha7 nAChR desensitization.

  12. Selective toxicity of neonicotinoids attributable to specificity of insect and mammalian nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E

    2003-01-01

    Neonicotinoids, the most important new class of synthetic insecticides of the past three decades, are used to control sucking insects both on plants and on companion animals. Imidacloprid (the principal example), nitenpyram, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam, and others act as agonists at the insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). The botanical insecticide nicotine acts at the same target without the neonicotinoid level of effectiveness or safety. Fundamental differences between the nAChRs of insects and mammals confer remarkable selectivity for the neonicotinoids. Whereas ionized nicotine binds at an anionic subsite in the mammalian nAChR, the negatively tipped ("magic" nitro or cyano) neonicotinoids interact with a proposed unique subsite consisting of cationic amino acid residue(s) in the insect nAChR. Knowledge reviewed here of the functional architecture and molecular aspects of the insect and mammalian nAChRs and their neonicotinoid-binding site lays the foundation for continued development and use of this new class of safe and effective insecticides.

  13. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons include the α6β4* subtype.

    PubMed

    Hone, Arik J; Meyer, Erin L; McIntyre, Melissa; McIntosh, J Michael

    2012-02-01

    The α6-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have recently been implicated in diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), including Parkinson's disease and substance abuse. In contrast, little is known about the role of α6* nAChRs in the peripheral nervous system (where the asterisk denotes the possible presence of additional subunits). Dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons are known to express nAChRs with a pharmacology consistent with an α7, α3β4*, and α4β2* composition. Here we present evidence that DRG neurons also express α6* nAChRs. We used RT-PCR to show the presence of α6 subunit transcripts and patch-clamp electrophysiology together with subtype-selective α-conotoxins to pharmacologically characterize the nAChRs in rat DRG neurons. α-Conotoxin BuIA (500 nM) blocked acetylcholine-gated currents (I(ACh)) by 90.3 ± 3.0%; the recovery from blockade was very slow, indicating a predominance of α(x)β4* nAChRs. Perfusion with either 300 nM BuIA[T5A;P6O] or 200 nM MII[E11A], α-conotoxins that target the α6β4* subtype, blocked I(ACh) by 49.3 ± 5 and 46.7 ± 8%, respectively. In these neurons, I(ACh) was relatively insensitive to 200 nM ArIB[V11L;V16D] (9.4±2.0% blockade) or 500 nM PnIA (23.0±4% blockade), α-conotoxins that target α7 and α3β2*/α6β2* nAChRs, respectively. We conclude that α6β4* nAChRs are among the subtypes expressed by DRG, and to our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of α6β4* in neurons outside the CNS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-15

    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.

  15. Depression-like phenotype by deletion of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: Role of BDNF-TrkB in nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ji-chun; Yao, Wei; Ren, Qian; Yang, Chun; Dong, Chao; Ma, Min; Wu, Jin; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2016-01-01

    The α7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) plays a role in the inflammation which is implicated in depression. This study was undertaken to examine the role of α7 nAChR in depression using α7 nAChR knock-out (KO) mice. Serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and interlukin-1β in KO mice were higher than wild-type mice, suggesting an inflammatory process in KO mice. α7 nAChR KO mice showed depression-like phenotype. Furthermore, KO mice showed increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB signaling, as well as increased synaptogenesis and spine density in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), although BDNF-TrkB signaling and synaptogenesis were not altered in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Systemic administration of the TrkB antagonist ANA-12, but not the TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine, showed a rapid antidepressant effect in KO mice by normalizing increased synaptogenesis in the NAc. In addition, bilateral infusion of ANA-12 into NAc promoted a rapid antidepressant effect in KO mice by normalizing increased synaptogenesis in the NAc. These findings suggest that increased BDNF-TrkB signaling and synaptogenesis in the NAc by deletion of α7 nAChR plays a key role in depression. PMID:27821848

  16. Chemistry and behavioral studies identify chiral cyclopropanes as selective α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists exhibiting an antidepressant profile.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hankun; Tückmantel, Werner; Eaton, J Brek; Yuen, Po-Wai; Yu, Li-Fang; Bajjuri, Krishna Mohan; Fedolak, Allison; Wang, Daguang; Ghavami, Afshin; Caldarone, Barbara; Paterson, Neil E; Lowe, David A; Brunner, Daniela; Lukas, Ronald J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2012-01-26

    Despite their discovery in the early 20th century and intensive study over the last 20 years, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are still far from being well understood. Only a few chemical entities targeting nAChRs are currently undergoing clinical trials, and even fewer have reached the marketplace. In our efforts to discover novel and truly selective nAChR ligands, we designed and synthesized a series of chiral cyclopropane-containing α4β2-specific ligands that display low nanomolar binding affinities and excellent subtype selectivity while acting as partial agonists at α4β2-nAChRs. Their favorable antidepressant-like properties were demonstrated in the classical mouse forced swim test. Preliminary ADMET studies and broad screening toward other common neurotransmitter receptors were also carried out to further evaluate their safety profile and eliminate their potential off-target activity. These highly potent cyclopropane ligands possess superior subtype selectivity compared to other α4β2-nAChR agonists reported to date, including the marketed drug varenicline, and therefore may fully satisfy the crucial prerequisite for avoiding adverse side effects. These novel chemical entities could potentially be advanced to the clinic as new drug candidates for treating depression.

  17. Influence of Membrane Receptor Lateral Diffusion on the Short-Term Depression of Acetylcholine-Induced Current in Helix Neurons.

    PubMed

    Vasilyeva, Natalia A; Murzina, Galina B; Kireev, Igor I; Pivovarov, Arkady S

    2017-02-24

    We have studied how various drugs increasing the rate of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) lateral diffusion affect the depression of ACh-induced current in land snail Helix lucorum neurons responsible for defensive behavior. The acetylcholine (ACh) iontophoretic application protocol imitated the behavioral habituation protocol for the intact animal. We found that the drugs decreasing cholesterol level in cell membranes as methyl-β-cyclodextrin 1 mM and Ro 48-8071 2 µM, and polyclonal antibodies to actin-binding proteins as spectrin 5 µg/ml and merlin 2.5 µg/ml have changed the dynamic of ACh-current depression. The nAChRs lateral diffusion coefficient was obtained by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. A curve fitting model specially created for analysis of short-term choline sensitivity depression in snail neurons helped us evaluate separately the contribution of nAChRs lateral diffusion, their endocytosis and exocytosis to observed effects during electrophysiological experiments. Taken together, we hypothesize that nAChRs lateral diffusion plays an important role in the cellular correlate of habituation in land snail Helix lucorum neurons.

  18. Dimeric α-cobratoxin X-ray structure: localization of intermolecular disulfides and possible mode of binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Osipov, Alexey V; Rucktooa, Prakash; Kasheverov, Igor E; Filkin, Sergey Yu; Starkov, Vladislav G; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Sixma, Titia K; Bertrand, Daniel; Utkin, Yuri N; Tsetlin, Victor I

    2012-02-24

    In Naja kaouthia cobra venom, we have earlier discovered a covalent dimeric form of α-cobratoxin (αCT-αCT) with two intermolecular disulfides, but we could not determine their positions. Here, we report the αCT-αCT crystal structure at 1.94 Å where intermolecular disulfides are identified between Cys(3) in one protomer and Cys(20) of the second, and vice versa. All remaining intramolecular disulfides, including the additional bridge between Cys(26) and Cys(30) in the central loops II, have the same positions as in monomeric α-cobratoxin. The three-finger fold is essentially preserved in each protomer, but the arrangement of the αCT-αCT dimer differs from those of noncovalent crystallographic dimers of three-finger toxins (TFT) or from the κ-bungarotoxin solution structure. Selective reduction of Cys(26)-Cys(30) in one protomer does not affect the activity against the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), whereas its reduction in both protomers almost prevents α7 nAChR recognition. On the contrary, reduction of one or both Cys(26)-Cys(30) disulfides in αCT-αCT considerably potentiates inhibition of the α3β2 nAChR by the toxin. The heteromeric dimer of α-cobratoxin and cytotoxin has an activity similar to that of αCT-αCT against the α7 nAChR and is more active against α3β2 nAChRs. Our results demonstrate that at least one Cys(26)-Cys(30) disulfide in covalent TFT dimers, similar to the monomeric TFTs, is essential for their recognition by α7 nAChR, although it is less important for interaction of covalent TFT dimers with the α3β2 nAChR.

  19. Combined administration of anisodamine and neostigmine rescued acute lethal crush syndrome through α7nAChR-dependent JAK2-STAT3 signaling

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zhe-Qi; Shao, Bo-Zong; Ke, Ping; Liu, Jian-Guo; Liu, Guo-Ku; Chen, Xiong-Wen; Su, Ding-Feng; Liu, Chong

    2016-01-01

    Previously we showed that Ani (anisodamine)/Neo (neostigmine) combination produced anti-shock effect via activating α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR). In this study, we aim to investigate the therapeutic effect and underlying mechanisms of Ani/Neo combination in acute lethal crush syndrome (CS). In rat and rabbit CS models, Ani/Neo combination increased the 24 h survival rates, improved hemodynamics and decreased the levels of creatine kinase, MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, K+ in serum. It also decreased the levels of H2O2, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and nitric oxide (NO) in serum and compressed muscle in rat CS model. In wild-type (WT) mice with CS, Ani/Neo combination increased 24 h survival rate and decreased the levels of H2O2, MPO, NO, TNFα, IL-6 and IL-10 in compressed muscle. These effects were attenuated by α7nAChR knockout (KO). Moreover, Ani/Neo combination prevented the decrease of phosphorylation of Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) induced by CS. These effects of Ani/Neo in CS mice were cancelled by methyllycaconitine (α7nAChR antagonist) and α7nAChR KO. Collectively, our results demonstrate that Ani/Neo combination could produce therapeutic effects in CS. The underlying mechanism involves the activation of α7nAChR-dependent JAK2-STAT3 signaling pathway. PMID:27874086

  20. Nicotinic α4 Receptor-Mediated Cholinergic Influences on Food Intake and Activity Patterns in Hypothalamic Circuits.

    PubMed

    García, Ana P; Aitta-aho, Teemu; Schaaf, Laura; Heeley, Nicholas; Heuschmid, Lena; Bai, Yunjing; Barrantes, Francisco J; Apergis-Schoute, John

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in regulating appetite and have been shown to do so by influencing neural activity in the hypothalamus. To shed light on the hypothalamic circuits governing acetylcholine's (ACh) regulation of appetite this study investigated the influence of hypothalamic nAChRs expressing the α4 subunit. We found that antagonizing the α4β2 nAChR locally in the lateral hypothalamus with di-hydro-ß-erythroidine (DHβE), an α4 nAChR antagonist with moderate affinity, caused an increase in food intake following free access to food after a 12 hour fast, compared to saline-infused animals. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that orexin/hypocretin (HO), oxytocin, and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-containing neurons in the A13 and A12 of the hypothalamus expressed the nAChR α4 subunit in varying amounts (34%, 42%, 50%, and 51%, respectively) whereas melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons did not, suggesting that DHβE-mediated increases in food intake may be due to a direct activation of specific hypothalamic circuits. Systemic DHβE (2 mg/kg) administration similarly increased food intake following a 12 hour fast. In these animals a subpopulation of orexin/hypocretin neurons showed elevated activity compared to control animals and MCH neuronal activity was overall lower as measured by expression of the immediate early gene marker for neuronal activity cFos. However, oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamus and TH-containing neurons in the A13 and A12 did not show differential activity patterns. These results indicate that various neurochemically distinct hypothalamic populations are under the influence of α4β2 nAChRs and that cholinergic inputs to the lateral hypothalamus can affect satiety signals through activation of local α4β2 nAChR-mediated transmission.

  1. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-interacting proteins (mAChRIPs): targeting the receptorsome.

    PubMed

    Borroto-Escuela, D O; Agnati, Luigi F; Fuxe, Kjell; Ciruela, F

    2012-01-01

    Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors comprise a large family of G protein-coupled receptors that are involved in the regulation of many important functions of the central and peripheral nervous system. To achieve such a large range of physiological effects, these receptors interact with a large array of accessory proteins including scaffold molecules, ion channels and enzymes that operate as molecular transducers of muscarinic function in addition to the canonical heterotrimeric G proteins. Interestingly, as demonstrated for others G protein-coupled receptors, this type of receptor is also able to oligomerise, a fact that has been shown to play a critical role in their subcellular distribution, trafficking, and fine tuning of cholinergic signalling. On the other hand, the specificity of these receptor interactions may be largely determined by the occurrence of precise protein-interacting motifs, posttranslational modifications, and the differential tissue distribution and stoichiometry of the receptor-interacting proteins. Thus, the exhaustive cataloguing and documentation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-interacting proteins and the grasp of their specific function will explain key physiological differences in muscarinic-mediated cholinergic transmission. Overall, a better comprehension of the muscarinic receptor interactome will have a significant impact on the cholinergic pharmacology and thus provide previously unrealised opportunities to achieve greater specificity in muscarinic-related drug discovery and diagnostics.

  2. Trafficking of alpha4* nicotinic receptors revealed by superecliptic phluorin: effects of a beta4 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated mutation and chronic exposure to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Richards, Christopher I; Srinivasan, Rahul; Xiao, Cheng; Mackey, Elisha D W; Miwa, Julie M; Lester, Henry A

    2011-09-09

    We employed a pH-sensitive GFP analog, superecliptic phluorin, to observe aspects of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) trafficking to the plasma membrane (PM) in cultured mouse cortical neurons. The experiments exploit differences in the pH among endoplasmic reticulum (ER), trafficking vesicles, and the extracellular solution. The data confirm that few α4β4 nAChRs, but many α4β2 nAChRs, remain in neutral intracellular compartments, mostly the ER. We observed fusion events between nAChR-containing vesicles and PM; these could be quantified in the dendritic processes. We also studied the β4R348C polymorphism, linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This mutation depressed fusion rates of α4β4 receptor-containing vesicles with the PM by ∼2-fold, with only a small decrease in the number of nAChRs per vesicle. The mutation also decreased the number of ER exit sites, showing that the reduced receptor insertion results from a change at an early stage in trafficking. We confirm the previous report that the mutation leads to reduced agonist-induced currents; in the cortical neurons studied, the reduction amounts to 2-3-fold. Therefore, the reduced agonist-induced currents are caused by the reduced number of α4β4-containing vesicles reaching the membrane. Chronic nicotine exposure (0.2 μM) did not alter the PM insertion frequency or trafficking behavior of α4β4-laden vesicles. In contrast, chronic nicotine substantially increased the number of α4β2-containing vesicle fusions at the PM; this stage in α4β2 nAChR up-regulation is presumably downstream from increased ER exit. Superecliptic phluorin provides a tool to monitor trafficking dynamics of nAChRs in disease and addiction.

  3. Alanine scan of α-conotoxin RegIIA reveals a selective α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist.

    PubMed

    Kompella, Shiva N; Hung, Andrew; Clark, Richard J; Marí, Frank; Adams, David J

    2015-01-09

    Activation of the α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype has recently been implicated in the pathophysiology of various conditions, including development and progression of lung cancer and in nicotine addiction. As selective α3β4 nAChR antagonists, α-conotoxins are valuable tools to evaluate the functional roles of this receptor subtype. We previously reported the discovery of a new α4/7-conotoxin, RegIIA. RegIIA was isolated from Conus regius and inhibits acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked currents mediated by α3β4, α3β2, and α7 nAChR subtypes. The current study used alanine scanning mutagenesis to understand the selectivity profile of RegIIA at the α3β4 nAChR subtype. [N11A] and [N12A] RegIIA analogs exhibited 3-fold more selectivity for the α3β4 than the α3β2 nAChR subtype. We also report synthesis of [N11A,N12A]RegIIA, a selective α3β4 nAChR antagonist (IC50 of 370 nM) that could potentially be used in the treatment of lung cancer and nicotine addiction. Molecular dynamics simulations of RegIIA and [N11A,N12A]RegIIA bound to α3β4 and α3β2 suggest that destabilization of toxin contacts with residues at the principal and complementary faces of α3β2 (α3-Tyr(92), Ser(149), Tyr(189), Cys(192), and Tyr(196); β2-Trp(57), Arg(81), and Phe(119)) may form the molecular basis for the selectivity shift.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Developmental regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors within midbrain dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Azam, Layla; Chen, Yiling; Leslie, Frances M.

    2007-01-01

    We have combined anatomical and functional methodologies to provide a comprehensive analysis of the properties of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on developing dopamine (DA) neurons. Double-labeling in situ hybridization was used to examine the expression of nAChR subunit mRNAs within developing midbrain DA neurons. As brain maturation progressed there was a change in the pattern of subunit mRNA expression within DA neurons, such that α3 and α4 subunits declined and α6 mRNA increased. Although there were strong similarities in subunit mRNA expression in substantia nigra (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), there was higher expression of α4 mRNA in SNc than VTA at gestational day (G)15, and of α5, α6 and β3 mRNAs during postnatal development. Using a superfusion neurotransmitter release paradigm to functionally characterize nicotine-stimulated release of [3H]DA from striatal slices, the properties of the nAChRs on DA terminals were also found to change with age. Functional nAChRs were detected on striatal terminals at G18. There was a decrease in maximal release in the first postnatal week, followed by an increase in nicotine efficacy and potency during the second and third postnatal weeks. In the transition from adolescence (postnatal days (P) 30 and 40) to adulthood, there was a complex pattern of functional maturation of nAChRs in ventral, but not dorsal, striatum. In males, but not females, there were significant changes in both nicotine potency and efficacy during this developmental period. These findings suggest that nAChRs may play critical functional roles throughout DA neuronal maturation. PMID:17197101

  7. Mutation Linked to Autosomal Dominant Nocturnal Frontal Lobe Epilepsy Reduces Low-Sensitivity α4β2, and Increases α5α4β2, Nicotinic Receptor Surface Expression

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Weston A.; Henderson, Brandon J.; Marotta, Christopher B.; Yu, Caroline Y.; Richards, Chris; Dougherty, Dennis A.; Lester, Henry A.

    2016-01-01

    A number of mutations in α4β2-containing (α4β2*) nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) are linked to autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE), including one in the β2 subunit called β2V287L. Two α4β2* subtypes with different subunit stoichiometries and ACh sensitivities co-exist in the brain, a high-sensitivity subtype with (α4)2(β2)3 subunit stoichiometry and a low-sensitivity subtype with (α4)3(β2)2 stoichiometry. The α5 nicotinic subunit also co-assembles with α4β2 to form a high-sensitivity α5α4β2 nAChR. Previous studies suggest that the β2V287L mutation suppresses low-sensitivity α4β2* nAChR expression in a knock-in mouse model and also that α5 co-expression improves the surface expression of ADNFLE mutant nAChRs in a cell line. To test these hypotheses further, we expressed mutant and wild-type (WT) nAChRs in oocytes and mammalian cell lines, and measured the effects of the β2V287L mutation on surface receptor expression and the ACh response using electrophysiology, a voltage-sensitive fluorescent dye, and superecliptic pHluorin (SEP). The β2V287L mutation reduced the EC50 values of high- and low-sensitivity α4β2 nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes for ACh by a similar factor and suppressed low-sensitivity α4β2 expression. In contrast, it did not affect the EC50 of α5α4β2 nAChRs for ACh. Measurements of the ACh responses of WT and mutant nAChRs expressed in mammalian cell lines using a voltage-sensitive fluorescent dye and whole-cell patch-clamping confirm the oocyte data. They also show that, despite reducing the maximum response, β2V287L increased the α4β2 response to a sub-saturating ACh concentration (1 μM). Finally, imaging SEP-tagged α5, α4, β2, and β2V287L subunits showed that β2V287L reduced total α4β2 nAChR surface expression, increased the number of β2 subunits per α4β2 receptor, and increased surface α5α4β2 nAChR expression. Thus, the β2V287L mutation alters the subunit

  8. α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor is a Novel Mediator of Sinomenine Anti-Inflammation Effect in Macrophages Stimulated by Lipopolysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Yi, Lang; Luo, Jin-Fang; Xie, Bing-Bing; Liu, Jian-Xin; Wang, Jun-Yue; Liu, Liang; Wang, Pei-Xun; Zhou, Hua; Dong, Yan

    2015-08-01

    Sinomenine (SIN), an alkaloid derived from the plant Sinomenium acutum, has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects and has been used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment in China. This study aims to verify the hypothesis that SIN acts on α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) to inhibit the activation of macrophages stimulated by lipopolysaccharide. The prototypical α7nAChR antagonist α-bungarotoxin and mecamylamine attenuated the effect of SIN on tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 in RAW264.7 murine macrophage-like cells and primary peritoneal macrophages of mouse induced by lipopolysaccharide. With the knockdown of α7nAChR expression in RAW264.7 cells by small interfering RNA, the inhibitory effect of SIN on tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 was reversed. Sinomenine decreased p65 expression in nuclear and increased IκBα expression in cytoplasm, and these effects were reversed by the α7nAChR small interfering RNA as well. These results indicate that the anti-inflammatory effects of SIN on macrophages in vitro depend on α7nAChR.

  9. The α4 Nicotinic Receptor Promotes CD4+ T-Cell Proliferation and a Helper T-Cell Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Nordman, Jacob C.; Muldoon, Pretal; Clark, Sarah; Damaj, M. Imad

    2014-01-01

    Smoking is a common addiction and a leading cause of disease. Chronic nicotine exposure is known to activate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in immune cells. We demonstrate a novel role for α4 nAChRs in the effect of nicotine on T-cell proliferation and immunity. Using cell-based sorting and proteomic analysis we define an α4 nAChR expressing helper T-cell population (α4+CD3+CD4+) and show that this group of cells is responsive to sustained nicotine exposure. In the circulation, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus, we find that nicotine promotes an increase in CD3+CD4+ cells via its activation of the α4 nAChR and regulation of G protein subunit o, G protein regulated–inducer of neurite outgrowth, and CDC42 signaling within T cells. In particular, nicotine is found to promote a helper T cell 2 adaptive immunologic response within T cells that is absent in α4−/− mice. We thus present a new mechanism of α4 nAChR signaling and immune regulation in T cells, possibly accounting for the effect of smoking on the immune system. PMID:24107512

  10. 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.

  11. Experimental determination of the vertical alignment between the second and third transmembrane segments of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mnatsakanyan, Nelli; Jansen, Michaela

    2013-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are members of the Cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel superfamily. Muscle nAChR are heteropentamers that assemble from two α, and one each of β, γ, and δ subunits. Each subunit is composed of three domains, extracellular, transmembrane and intracellular. The transmembrane domain consists of four α-helical segments (M1–M4). Pioneering structural information was obtained using electronmicroscopy of Torpedo nAChR. The recently-solved X-ray structure of the first eukaryotic Cys-loop receptor, a truncated (intracellular domain missing) glutamate-gated chloride channel α (GluClα)showed the same overall architecture . However, a significant difference with regard to the vertical alignment between the channel-lining segment M2 and segment M3 was observed. Here we used functional studies utilizing disulfide trapping experiments in muscle nAChR to determine the spatial orientation between M2 and M3. Our results are in agreement with the vertical alignment as obtained when using the GluClα structure as a template to homology model muscle nAChR, however, they cannot be reconciled with the current Torpedo nAChR model. The vertical M2–M3 alignments as observed in X-ray structures of prokaryotic Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC) and GluClα are in agreement. Our results further confirm that this alignment in Cys-loop receptors is conserved between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. PMID:23565737

  12. Role of nicotinic receptors and acetylcholine in mucous cell metaplasia, hyperplasia and airway mucus formation in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Gundavarapu, Sravanthi; Wilder, Julie A.; Mishra, Neerad C.; Rir-sima-ah, Jules; Langley, Raymond J.; Singh, Shashi P.; Saeed, Ali Imran; Jaramillo, Richard J.; Gott, Katherine M.; Peña-Philippides, Juan Carlos; Harrod, Kevin S.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Buch, Shilpa; Sopori, Mohan L.

    2012-01-01

    Background Airway mucus hypersecretion is a key pathophysiological feature in number of lung diseases. Cigarette smoke/nicotine and allergens are strong stimulators of airway mucus; however, the mechanism of mucus modulation is unclear. Objectives Characterize the pathway by which cigarette smoke/nicotine regulates airway mucus and identify agents that decrease airway mucus. Methods IL-13 and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABAARs) are implicated in airway mucus. We examined the role of IL-13 and GABAARs in nicotine-induced mucus formation in normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) and A549 cells, and secondhand cigarette smoke and/or ovalbumin-induced mucus formation in vivo. Results Nicotine promotes mucus formation in NHBE cells; however, the nicotine-induced mucus formation is independent of IL-13 but sensitive to the GABAAR antagonist picrotoxin (PIC). Airway epithelial cells express α7/α9/α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and specific inhibition or knockdown of α7- but not α9/α10-nAChRs abrogates mucus formation in response to nicotine and IL-13. Moreover, addition of acetylcholine or inhibition of its degradation increases mucus in NHBE cells. Nicotinic but not muscarinic receptor antagonists block allergen or nicotine/cigarette smoke-induced airway mucus formation in NHBE cells and/or in mouse airways. Conclusions Nicotine-induced airway mucus formation is independent of IL-13 and α7-nAChRs are critical in airway mucous cell metaplasia/hyperplasia and mucus production in response to various pro-mucoid agents, including IL-13. In the absence of nicotine, acetylcholine may be the biological ligand for α7-nAChRs to trigger airway mucus formation. α7-nAChRs are downstream of IL-13 but upstream of GABAARα2 in the MUC5AC pathway. Acetylcholine and α-7-nAChRs may serve as therapeutic targets to control airway mucus. PMID:22578901

  13. Fetal muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation in TE-671 cells and inhibition of fetal movement in a day 40 pregnant goat model by optical isomers of the piperidine alkaloid coniine.

    PubMed

    Green, Benedict T; Lee, Stephen T; Welch, Kevin D; Pfister, James A; Panter, Kip E

    2013-01-01

    Coniine is an optically active toxic piperidine alkaloid and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist found in poison hemlock (Conium maculatum L.). Coniine teratogenicity is hypothesized to be attributable to the binding, activation, and prolonged desensitization of fetal muscle-type nAChR, which results in the complete inhibition of fetal movement. However, pharmacological evidence of coniine actions at fetal muscle-type nAChR is lacking. The present study compared (-)-coniine, (+)-coniine, and nicotine for the ability to inhibit fetal movement in a day 40 pregnant goat model and in TE-671 cells that express fetal muscle-type nAChR. Furthermore, α-conotoxins (CTx) EI and GI were used to antagonize the actions of (+)- and (-)-coniine in TE-671 cells. (-)-Coniine was more effective at eliciting electrical changes in TE-671 cells and inhibiting fetal movement than was (+)-coniine, suggesting stereoselectivity by the receptor. The pyridine alkaloid nicotine did not inhibit fetal movement in a day 40 pregnant goat model, suggesting agonist specificity for the inhibition of fetal movement. Low concentrations of both CTxs potentiated the TE-671 cell response and higher concentrations of CTx EI, and GI antagonized the actions of both coniine enantiomers demonstrating concentration-dependent coagonism and selective antagonism. These results provide pharmacological evidence that the piperidine alkaloid coniine is acting at fetal muscle-type nAChR in a concentration-dependent manner.

  14. Pharmacologically Distinct Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Drive Efferent-Mediated Excitation in Calyx-Bearing Vestibular Afferents

    PubMed Central

    Kewin, Kevin; Jordan, Paivi M.; Cameron, Peter; Klapczynski, Marcin; McIntosh, J. Michael; Crooks, Peter A.; Dwoskin, Linda P.; Lysakowski, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of vestibular efferent neurons rapidly excites the resting discharge of calyx/dimorphic (CD) afferents. In turtle, this excitation arises when acetylcholine (ACh), released from efferent terminals, directly depolarizes calyceal endings by activating nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs). Although molecular biological data from the peripheral vestibular system implicate most of the known nAChR subunits, specific information about those contributing to efferent-mediated excitation of CD afferents is lacking. We sought to identify the nAChR subunits that underlie the rapid excitation of CD afferents and whether they differ from α9α10 nAChRs on type II hair cells that drive efferent-mediated inhibition in adjacent bouton afferents. We recorded from CD and bouton afferents innervating the turtle posterior crista during electrical stimulation of vestibular efferents while applying several subtype-selective nAChR agonists and antagonists. The α9α10 nAChR antagonists, α-bungarotoxin and α-conotoxin RgIA, blocked efferent-mediated inhibition in bouton afferents while leaving efferent-mediated excitation in CD units largely intact. Conversely, 5-iodo-A-85380, sazetidine-A, varenicline, α-conotoxin MII, and bPiDDB (N,N-dodecane-1,12-diyl-bis-3-picolinium dibromide) blocked efferent-mediated excitation in CD afferents without affecting efferent-mediated inhibition in bouton afferents. This pharmacological profile suggested that calyceal nAChRs contain α6 and β2, but not α9, nAChR subunits. Selective blockade of efferent-mediated excitation in CD afferents distinguished dimorphic from calyx afferents by revealing type II hair cell input. Dimorphic afferents differed in having higher mean discharge rates and a mean efferent-mediated excitation that was smaller in amplitude yet longer in duration. Molecular biological data demonstrated the expression of α9 in turtle hair cells and α4 and β2 in associated vestibular ganglia. PMID:25716861

  15. Anxiolytic-like and anxiogenic-like effects of nicotine are regulated via diverse action at β2*nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, S M; Brunzell, D H

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose Nicotine dose-dependently activates or preferentially desensitizes β2 subunit containing nicotinic ACh receptors (β2*nAChRs). Genetic and pharmacological manipulations assessed effects of stimulation versus inhibition of β2*nAChRs on nicotine-associated anxiety-like phenotype. Experimental Approach Using a range of doses of nicotine in β2*nAChR subunit null mutant mice (β2KO; backcrossed to C57BL/6J) and their wild-type (WT) littermates, administration of the selective β2*nAChR agonist, 5I-A85380, and the selective β2*nAChR antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE), we determined the behavioural effects of stimulation and inhibition of β2*nAChRs in the light–dark and elevated plus maze (EPM) assays. Key Results Low-dose i.p. nicotine (0.05 mg·kg−1) supported anxiolysis-like behaviour independent of genotype whereas the highest dose (0.5 mg·kg−1) promoted anxiogenic-like phenotype in WT mice, but was blunted in β2KO mice for the measure of latency. Administration of 5I-A85380 had similar dose-dependent effects in C57BL/6J WT mice; 0.001 mg·kg−1 5I-A85380 reduced anxiety on an EPM, whereas 0.032 mg·kg−1 5I-A85380 promoted anxiogenic-like behaviour in both the light–dark and EPM assays. DHβE pretreatment blocked anxiogenic-like effects of 0.5 mg·kg−1 nicotine. Similarly to DHβE, pretreatment with low-dose 0.05 mg·kg−1 nicotine did not accumulate with 0.5 mg·kg−1 nicotine, but rather blocked anxiogenic-like effects of high-dose nicotine in the light–dark and EPM assays. Conclusions and Implications These studies provide direct evidence that low-dose nicotine inhibits nAChRs and demonstrate that inhibition or stimulation of β2*nAChRs supports the corresponding anxiolytic-like or anxiogenic-like effects of nicotine. Inhibition of β2*nAChRs may relieve anxiety in smokers and non-smokers alike. PMID:25625469

  16. Competitive antagonism between the nicotinic allosteric potentiating ligand galantamine and kynurenic acid at alpha7* nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Cristiane; Pereira, Edna F R; Wu, Hui-Qiu; Purushottamachar, Puranik; Njar, Vincent; Schwarcz, Robert; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2007-07-01

    Galantamine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease, is a nicotinic allosteric potentiating ligand, and kynurenic acid (KYNA), a neuroactive metabolite of the kynurenine pathway, is an endogenous noncompetitive inhibitor of alpha7* nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) [the asterisk next to the nAChR subunit is intended to indicate that the exact subunit composition of the receptor is not known (Pharmacol Rev 51:397-401, 1999)]. Here, possible interactions between KYNA and galantamine at alpha7* nAChRs were examined in vitro and in vivo. In the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX), approximately 85% of cultured hippocampal neurons responded to choline (0.3-30 mM) with alpha7* nAChR-subserved whole-cell (type IA) currents. In the absence of TTX and in the presence of glutamate receptor antagonists, choline triggered inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) by activating alpha7* nAChRs on GABAergic neurons synapsing onto the neurons under study. Galantamine (1-10 microM) potentiated, whereas KYNA (10 nM-1 mM) inhibited, choline-triggered responses. Galantamine (1 microM), applied before KYNA, shifted to the right the concentration-response relationship for KYNA to inhibit type IA currents, increasing the IC(50) of KYNA from 13.9 +/- 8.3 to 271 +/- 131 microM. Galantamine, applied before or after KYNA, antagonized inhibition of choline-triggered IPSCs by KYNA. Local infusion of KYNA (100 nM) in the rat striatum reduced extracellular dopamine levels in vivo. This effect resulted from alpha7* nAChR inhibition and was blocked by coapplied galantamine (1-5 microM). It is concluded that galantamine competitively antagonizes the actions of KYNA on alpha7* nAChRs. Reducing alpha7* nAChR inhibition by endogenous KYNA may be an important determinant of the effectiveness of galantamine in neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with decreased alpha7* nAChR activity in the brain.

  17. The β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit differentially influences ethanol behavioral effects in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Anton; Miles, Micheal F; Damaj, M Imad

    2013-03-01

    The high co-morbidity between alcohol (ethanol) and nicotine abuse suggests that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), thought to underlie nicotine dependence, may also be involved in alcohol dependence. The β2* nAChR subtype serves as a potential interface for these interactions since they are the principle mediators of nicotine dependence and have recently been shown to modulate some acute responses to ethanol. Therefore, the aim of this study was to more fully characterize the role of β2* nAChRs in ethanol-responsive behaviors in mice after acute exposure to the drug. We conducted a battery of tests in mice lacking the β2* coding gene (Chrnb2) or pretreated with a selective β2* nAChR antagonist for a range of ethanol-induced behaviors including locomotor depression, hypothermia, hypnosis, and anxiolysis. We also tested the effect of deletion on voluntary escalated ethanol consumption in an intermittent access two-bottle choice paradigm to determine the extent of these effects on drinking behavior. Our results showed that antagonism of β2* nAChRs modulated some acute behaviors, namely by reducing recovery time from hypnosis and enhancing the anxiolytic-like response produced by acute ethanol in mice. Chrnb2 deletion had no effect on ethanol drinking behavior, however. We provide further evidence that β2* nAChRs have a measurable role in mediating specific behavioral effects induced by acute ethanol exposure without affecting drinking behavior directly. We conclude that these receptors, along with being key components in nicotine dependence, may also present viable candidates in the discovery of the molecular underpinnings of alcohol dependence.

  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.

  19. Glutamatergic contributions to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist-evoked cholinergic transients in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Parikh, Vinay; Man, Kingson; Decker, Michael W; Sarter, Martin

    2008-04-02

    Because modulation of cortical cholinergic neurotransmission has been hypothesized to represent a necessary mechanism mediating the beneficial cognitive effects of nicotine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype-selective agonists, we used choline-sensitive microelectrodes for the real-time measurement of ACh release in vivo, to characterize cholinergic transients evoked by nicotine and the alpha4beta2*-selective nAChR partial agonist 2-methyl-3-(2-(S)-pyrrolindinylmethoxy)pyridine dihydrochloride (ABT-089), a clinically effective cognition enhancer. In terms of cholinergic signal amplitudes, ABT-089 was significantly more potent than nicotine in evoking ACh cholinergic transients. Moreover, cholinergic signals evoked by ABT-089 were characterized by faster signal rise time and decay rate. The nAChR antagonist mecamylamine attenuated the cholinergic signals evoked by either compound. Cholinergic signals evoked by ABT-089 were more efficaciously attenuated by the relatively beta2*-selective nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine. The alpha7 antagonist methyllycaconitine did not affect choline signal amplitudes but partly attenuated the relatively slow decay rate of nicotine-evoked cholinergic signals. Furthermore, the AMPA receptor antagonist DNQX as well as the NMDA receptor antagonist APV more potently attenuated cholinergic signals evoked by ABT-089. Using glutamate-sensitive microelectrodes to measure glutamatergic transients, ABT-089 was more potent than nicotine in evoking glutamate release. Glutamatergic signals were highly sensitive to tetrodotoxin-induced blockade of voltage-regulated sodium channels. Together, the present evidence indicates that compared with nicotine, ABT-089 evokes more potent and sharper cholinergic transients in prefrontal cortex. Glutamatergic mechanisms necessarily mediate the cholinergic effects of nAChR agonists in the prefrontal cortex.

  20. Subunit Interfaces Contribute Differently to Activation and Allosteric Modulation of Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Short, Caitlin A.; Cao, Angela T.; Wingfield, Molly A.; Doers, Matthew E.; Jobe, Emily M.; Wang, Nan; Levandoski, Mark M.

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are widely distributed in the nervous system and are implicated in many normal and pathological processes. The structural determinants of allostery in nAChRs are not well understood. One class of nAChR allosteric modulators, including the small molecule morantel (Mor), acts from a site that is structurally homologous to the canonical agonist site but exists in the β(+)/α(–) subunit interface. We hypothesized that all nAChR subunits move with respect to each other during channel activation and allosteric modulation. We therefore studied five pairs of residues predicted to span the interfaces of α3β2 receptors, one at the agonist interface and four at the modulator interface. Substituting cysteines in these positions, we used disulfide trapping to perturb receptor function. The pair α3Y168-β2D190, involving the C loop region of the β2 subunit, mediates modulation and agonist activation, because evoked currents were reduced up to 50% following oxidation (H2O2) treatment. The pair α3S125-β2Q39, below the canonical site, is also involved in channel activation, in accord with previous studies of the muscle-type receptor; however, the pair is differentially sensitive to ACh activation and Mor modulation (currents decreased 60% and 80%, respectively). The pairs α3Q37-β2A127 and α3E173-β2R46, both in the non-canonical interface, showed increased currents following oxidation, suggesting that subunit movements are not symmetrical. Together, our results from disulfide trapping and further mutation analysis indicate that subunit interface movement is important for allosteric modulation of nAChRs, but that the two types of interfaces contribute unequally to receptor activation. PMID:25486620

  1. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Containing the α7-Like Subunit Mediate Contractions of Muscles Responsible for Space Positioning of the Snail, Helix pomatia L. Tentacle

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Tibor; Krajcs, Nóra; Pirger, Zsolt; Hernádi, László

    2014-01-01

    Three recently discovered tentacle muscles are crucial to perform patterned movements of upper tentacles of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia. The muscles receive central and peripheral excitatory cholinergic innervation lacking inhibitory innervation. Here, we investigate the pharmacology of acetylcholine (ACh) responses in muscles to determine the properties of the ACh receptor (AChR), the functional availability of which was assessed using isotonic contraction measurement. Using broad spectrum of nicotinic and muscarinic ligands, we provide the evidence that contractions in the muscles are attributable to the activation of nAChRs that contain the α7-like subunit. Contractions could be evoked by nicotine, carbachol, succinylchloride, TMA, the selective α7-nAChR agonist choline chloride, 3-Bromocytisine and PNU-282987, and blocked by nAChR selective antagonists such as mytolon, hexamethonium, succinylchloride, d-tubocurarine, hemicholinium, DMDA (decamethonium), methyllycaconitine, α-Bungarotoxin (αBgTx) and α-Conotoxin IMI. The specific muscarinic agonist oxotremorine and arecoline failed to elicit contractions. Based on these pharmacological properties we conclude that the Na+ and Ca2+ permeable AChRs of the flexor muscle are nicotinic receptors that contain the α7-like subunit. Immunodetection experiments confirmed the presence of α7- or α7-like AChRs in muscle cells, and α4-AChRs in nerves innervating the muscle. These results support the conclusion that the slowly desensitizing αBgTx-sensitive responses obtained from flexor muscles are produced by activation of α7- like AChRs. This is the first demonstration of postsynaptic expression and an obligatory role for a functional α7-like nAChR in the molluscan periphery. PMID:25303328

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the α7-like subunit mediate contractions of muscles responsible for space positioning of the snail, Helix pomatia L. tentacle.

    PubMed

    Kiss, Tibor; Krajcs, Nóra; Pirger, Zsolt; Hernádi, László

    2014-01-01

    Three recently discovered tentacle muscles are crucial to perform patterned movements of upper tentacles of the terrestrial snail, Helix pomatia. The muscles receive central and peripheral excitatory cholinergic innervation lacking inhibitory innervation. Here, we investigate the pharmacology of acetylcholine (ACh) responses in muscles to determine the properties of the ACh receptor (AChR), the functional availability of which was assessed using isotonic contraction measurement. Using broad spectrum of nicotinic and muscarinic ligands, we provide the evidence that contractions in the muscles are attributable to the activation of nAChRs that contain the α7-like subunit. Contractions could be evoked by nicotine, carbachol, succinylchloride, TMA, the selective α7-nAChR agonist choline chloride, 3-Bromocytisine and PNU-282987, and blocked by nAChR selective antagonists such as mytolon, hexamethonium, succinylchloride, d-tubocurarine, hemicholinium, DMDA (decamethonium), methyllycaconitine, α-Bungarotoxin (αBgTx) and α-Conotoxin IMI. The specific muscarinic agonist oxotremorine and arecoline failed to elicit contractions. Based on these pharmacological properties we conclude that the Na+ and Ca2+ permeable AChRs of the flexor muscle are nicotinic receptors that contain the α7-like subunit. Immunodetection experiments confirmed the presence of α7- or α7-like AChRs in muscle cells, and α4-AChRs in nerves innervating the muscle. These results support the conclusion that the slowly desensitizing αBgTx-sensitive responses obtained from flexor muscles are produced by activation of α7- like AChRs. This is the first demonstration of postsynaptic expression and an obligatory role for a functional α7-like nAChR in the molluscan periphery.

  3. Amino acids outside of the loops that define the agonist binding site are important for ligand binding to insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zewen; Han, Zhaojun; Liu, Shuhua; Zhang, Yixi; Song, Feng; Yao, Xiangmei; Gu, Jianhua

    2008-07-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) are the targets of several kinds of insecticides. Based on the mutagenesis studies of Torpedo californica nAChRs and solved structure of a molluscan, glial-derived soluble ACh-binding protein, a model of the agonist site was constructed with contributing amino acids from three distinct loops (A, B, and C) of the alpha subunits and another three loops (D, E, and F) of the non-alpha subunits. According to this model, most insect nAChR subunits can form the functional heteromeric or homomeric receptors. Actually, insect subunits themselves did not form any functional receptor at various combinations as yet, and only part of them can form the functional receptors with vertebrate non-alpha subunits. These findings suggested that the agonist binding for insect nAChRs was not only contributed by those key amino acids in six loops, but also some unidentified amino acids from other regions. In our previous studies on nAChRs for Nilaparvata lugens, a target-site mutation (Y151S) was found within two alpha subunits (Nlalpha1 and Nlalpha3). In Drosophila S2 cells and Xenopus oocytes, Nlalpha1 can form functional receptors with rat beta2 subunit. However, the same thing was not observed in Nlalpha3. In the present paper, by exchanging the corresponding regions between Nlalpha1 and Nlalpha3 to generate different chimeras, amino acid residues or residue clusters in the regions outside the six loops were found to play essential roles in agonist binding, especially for the amino acid clusters between loop B and C. This result indicated that the residues in the six loops could be necessary, but not enough for the activity of agonist binding.

  4. [Cation ions modulate the ACh-sensitive current in type II vestibular hair cells of guinea pigs].

    PubMed

    Guo, Chang-Kai; Zhang, Song; Kong, Wei-Jia; Li, Qing-Tian; Li, Zhi-Wang

    2006-04-25

    Molecular biological studies and electrophysiological data have demonstrated that acetylcholine (ACh) is the principal cochlear and vestibular efferent neurotransmitter among mammalians. However, the functional roles of ACh in type II vestibular hair cells among mammalians are still unclear, with the exception of the well-known alpha9-containing nicotinic ACh receptor (alpha9-nAChR) in cochlear hair cells and frog saccular hair cells. In this study, the properties of the ACh-sensitive current were investigated by whole-cell patch clamp technique in isolated type II vestibular hair cells of guinea pigs. The direct effect of extracellular ACh was to induce a hyperpolarization effect in type II vestibular hair cells. Type II vestibular hair cells displayed a sustained outward current in response to the perfusion of ACh. It took about 60 s for the ACh-sensitive current to get a complete re-activation. The reversal potential of the ACh-sensitive current was (-66 +/- 8) mV, which indicated that potassium ion was the main carrier of this current. The blocking effect by the submillimolar concentration of tetraethylammonium (TEA) further indicated that extracellular ACh stimulated the calcium-dependent potassium current. Following replacement of the compartment of NaCl in the normal external solution with TrisCl, LiCl or saccharose respectively, the amplitude of the ACh-sensitive current was not affected. Blocking of the release of intracellular Ca(2+) stores by intracellular application of heparin failed to inhibit the ACh-sensitive current. Therefore, extracellular Na(+)and the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3))-dependent intracellular Ca(2+)release were not involved in the activation of the ACh-sensitive current. However, the ACh-sensitive current was strongly affected by the concentration of the extracellular K(+), extracellular Ca(2+) and intracellular Mg(2+). The amplitude of the ACh- sensitive current was strongly inhibited by high concentration of extracellular K

  5. Discovery of Potent Positive Allosteric Modulators of the α3β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor by a Chemical Space Walk in ChEMBL

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    While a plethora of ligands are known for the well studied α7 and α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), only very few ligands address the related α3β2 nAChR expressed in the central nervous system and at the neuromuscular junction. Starting with the public database ChEMBL organized in the chemical space of Molecular Quantum Numbers (MQN, a series of 42 integer value descriptors of molecular structure), a visual survey of nearest neighbors of the α7 nAChR partial agonist N-(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl-4-chlorobenzamide (PNU-282,987) pointed to N-(2-halobenzyl)-3-aminoquinuclidines as possible nAChR modulators. This simple “chemical space walk” was performed using a web-browser available at www.gdb.unibe.ch. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that these ligands represent a new and to date most potent class of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the α3β2 nAChR, which also exert significant effects in vivo. The present discovery highlights the value of surveying chemical space neighbors of known drugs within public databases to uncover new pharmacology. PMID:24593915

  6. Characterization of a Novel α-Conotoxin from Conus textile That Selectively Targets α6/α3β2β3 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sulan; Zhangsun, Dongting; Wu, Yong; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Hu, Yuanyan; McIntyre, Melissa; Christensen, Sean; Akcan, Muharrem; Craik, David J.; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2013-01-01

    α6β2 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed by dopaminergic neurons in the CNS are potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of several neuropsychiatric diseases, including nicotine addiction and Parkinson disease. However, recent studies indicate that the α6 subunit can also associate with the β4 subunit to form α6β4 nAChRs that are difficult to pharmacologically distinguish from α6β2, α3β4, and α3β2 subtypes. The current study characterized a novel 16-amino acid α-conotoxin (α-CTx) TxIB from Conus textile whose sequence is GCCSDPPCRNKHPDLC-amide as deduced from gene cloning. The peptide and an analog with an additional C-terminal glycine were chemically synthesized and tested on rat nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. α-CTx TxIB blocked α6/α3β2β3 nAChR with an IC50 of 28 nm. In contrast, the peptide showed little or no block of other tested subtypes at concentrations up to 10 μm. The three-dimensional solution structure of α-CTx TxIB was determined using NMR spectroscopy. α-CTx TxIB represents a uniquely selective ligand for probing the structure and function of α6β2 nAChRs. PMID:23184959

  7. Positive allosteric modulation of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors enhances recognition memory and cognitive flexibility in rats.

    PubMed

    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Kos, Tomasz; Potasiewicz, Agnieszka; Popik, Piotr

    2015-08-01

    A wide body of preclinical and clinical data suggests that alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) may represent useful targets for cognitive improvement in schizophrenia and Alzheimer׳s disease. A promising recent approach is based on the use of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of α7-nAChRs due to their several advantages over the direct agonists. Nevertheless, the behavioural effects of this class of compounds, particularly with regard to higher-order cognitive functions, have not been broadly characterised. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the procognitive efficacies of type I and type II α7-nAChRs PAMs, N-(4-chlorophenyl)-[[(4-chlorophenyl)amino]methylene]-3-methyl-5-isoxazoleacet-amide (CCMI) and N-(5-Chloro-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-N'-(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)urea (PNU-120596) in the novel object recognition task (NORT), attentional set-shifting task (ASST) and five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) in rats. Additionally, the effects of galantamine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that also allosterically modulates nAChRs, were assessed. We report that CCMI (0.3-3mg/kg), PNU-120596 (0.3-3mg/kg) and galantamine (1-3mg/kg) attenuated the delay-induced impairment in NORT performance and facilitated cognitive flexibility in the ASST. Methyllycaconitine (3mg/kg) blocked the actions of CCMI, PNU-120596 and galantamine in the NORT and ASST, suggesting that the procognitive effects of these compounds are α7-nAChRs-dependent. However, none of the compounds tested affected the rats' attentional performance in the 5-CSRTT. The present findings confirm and extend the observations indicating that the positive allosteric modulation of α7-nAChRs enhances recognition memory and cognitive flexibility in preclinical tasks. Therefore, the present study supports the utility of α7-nAChRs PAMs as a potential cognitive enhancing therapy.

  8. Reversible sequential-binding probe receptor-ligand interactions in single cells.

    PubMed

    Schreiter, Christoph; Gjoni, Marinela; Hovius, Ruud; Martinez, Karen L; Segura, Jean-Manuel; Vogel, Horst

    2005-12-01

    With the reversible sequential (ReSeq) binding assay,we present a novel approach for the ultrasensitive profiling of receptor function in single living cells. This assay is based on the repetitive application of fluorescent ligands that have fast association-dissociation kinetics. We chose the nicotinic-acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) as a prototypical example and performed ReSeq equilibrium, kinetic, and competition-binding assays using fluorescent derivatives of the antagonist alpha-conotoxin GI (alpha-CnTx). Thereby, we determined the binding constants of unlabeled alpha-CnTx and d-tubocurarine. The high selectivity of alpha-CnTx for muscle-type nAChR made it possible to observe specific binding even in the presence of other nAChR subtypes. Imaging of individual nAChRs and ligand-binding cycles to single cells in microfluidic devices demonstrated the ultimate miniaturization and accuracy of ReSeq-binding assays even at low receptor-expression levels. We expect our approach to be of generic importance for functional screening of compounds or membrane receptors, and for the detailed characterization of rare primary cells.

  9. Functional distribution of nicotinic receptors in CA3 region of the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Grybko, Michael; Sharma, Geeta; Vijayaraghavan, Sukumar

    2010-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) modulation of a number of parameters of synaptic signaling in the brain has been demonstrated. It is likely that effects of nicotine are due to its ability to modulate network excitability as a whole. A pre-requisite to understanding the effects of nicotine on network properties is the elucidation of functional receptors. We have examined the distribution of functional nAChRs in the dentate gyrus granule cells and the CA3 region of the mammalian hippocampus using calcium imaging from acute slices. Our results demonstrate the presence of functional nAChRs containing the alpha7 subunit (alpha7-nAChRs) on mossy fiber boutons, CA3 pyramidal cells, and on astrocytes. In addition, both CA3 interneurons and granule cells show nicotinic signals. Our study suggests that functional nicotinic receptors are widespread in their distribution and that calcium imaging might be an effective technique to examine locations of these receptors in the mammalian brain.

  10. Probing the non-canonical interface for agonist interaction with an α5 containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  11. Varenicline is a potent partial agonist at α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat and monkey striatum.

    PubMed

    Bordia, Tanuja; Hrachova, Maya; Chin, Matthew; McIntosh, J Michael; Quik, Maryka

    2012-08-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that varenicline reduces nicotine craving and withdrawal symptoms by modulating dopaminergic function at α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) (the asterisk indicates the possible presence of other nicotinic subunits in the receptor complex). More recent data suggest that α6β2* nAChRs also regulate dopamine release and mediate nicotine reinforcement. The present experiments were therefore done to test the effect of varenicline on α6β2* nAChRs and their function, because its interaction with this subtype is currently unclear. Receptor competition studies showed that varenicline inhibited α6β2* nAChR binding (K(i) = 0.12 nM) as potently as α4β2* nAChR binding (K(i) = 0.14 nM) in rat striatal sections and with ∼20-fold greater affinity than nicotine. Functionally, varenicline was more potent in stimulating α6β2* versus α4β2* nAChR-mediated [(3)H]dopamine release from rat striatal synaptosomes with EC(50) values of 0.007 and 0.086 μM, respectively. However, it acted as a partial agonist on α6β2* and α4β2* nAChR-mediated [(3)H]dopamine release with maximal efficacies of 49 and 24%, respectively, compared with nicotine. We also evaluated varenicline's action in striatum of monkeys, a useful animal model for comparison with humans. Varenicline again potently inhibited monkey striatal α6β2* (K(i) = 0.13 nM) and α4β2* (K(i) = 0.19 nM) nAChRs in competition studies. Functionally, it potently stimulated both α6β2* (EC(50) = 0.014 μM) and α4β2* (EC(50) = 0.029 μM) nAChR-mediated [(3)H]dopamine release from monkey striatal synaptosomes, again acting as a partial agonist relative to nicotine at both subtypes. These data suggest that the ability of varenicline to interact at α6β2* nAChRs may contribute to its efficacy as a smoking cessation aid.

  12. Chronic sazetidine-A maintains anxiolytic effects and slower weight gain following chronic nicotine without maintaining increased density of nicotinic receptors in rodent brain.

    PubMed

    Hussmann, G Patrick; DeDominicis, Kristen E; Turner, Jill R; Yasuda, Robert P; Klehm, Jacquelyn; Forcelli, Patrick A; Xiao, Yingxian; Richardson, Janell R; Sahibzada, Niaz; Wolfe, Barry B; Lindstrom, Jon; Blendy, Julie A; Kellar, Kenneth J

    2014-05-01

    Chronic nicotine administration increases the density of brain α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which may contribute to nicotine addiction by exacerbating withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation. Varenicline, a smoking cessation drug, also increases these receptors in rodent brain. The maintenance of this increase by varenicline as well as nicotine replacement may contribute to the high rate of relapse during the first year after smoking cessation. Recently, we found that sazetidine-A (saz-A), a potent partial agonist that desensitizes α4β2* nAChRs, does not increase the density of these receptors in brain at doses that decrease nicotine self-administration, increase attention in rats, and produce anxiolytic effects in mice. Here, we investigated whether chronic saz-A and varenicline maintain the density of nAChRs after their up-regulation by nicotine. In addition, we examined the effects of these drugs on a measure of anxiety in mice and weight gain in rats. After increasing nAChRs in the rodent brain with chronic nicotine, replacing nicotine with chronic varenicline maintained the increased nAChR binding, as well as the α4β2 subunit proteins measured by western blots. In contrast, replacing nicotine treatments with chronic saz-A resulted in the return of the density of nAChRs to the levels seen in saline controls. Nicotine, saz-A and varenicline each demonstrated anxiolytic effects in mice, but only saz-A and nicotine attenuated the gain of weight over a 6-week period in rats. These findings suggest that apart from its modest anxiolytic and weight control effects, saz-A, or drugs like it, may be useful in achieving long-term abstinence from smoking.

  13. Preventing expression of the nicotinic receptor subunit α7 in SH-SY5Y cells with interference RNA indicates that this receptor may protect against the neurotoxicity of Aβ.

    PubMed

    Qi, Xiao-Lan; Ou-Yang, Kai; Ren, Jia-Mou; Wu, Chang-Xue; Xiao, Yan; Li, Yi; Guan, Zhi-Zhong

    2013-05-01

    The present aim was to characterize the influence of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) on BACE, the enzyme that cleaves the amyloid precursor protein (APP) at the β-site, as well as on the oxidative stress induced by amyloid-β peptide (Aβ). To this end, human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were transfected with siRNAs targeting the α7 nAChR subunit and/or exposed to Aβ1-42. For α7 nAChR, BACE1 (cleaving at the β-site of APP) and BACE2 (cleaving within the Aβ domain), α-secretase (ADAM10), and the two components of γ-secretase, PS and NCT, the mRNA and protein levels were determined by real-time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The level of Aβ1-42 in the cell culture medium was determined by an ELISA procedure. The extent of lipid peroxidation and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were assayed spectrophotometrically. In the transfected SH-SY5Y cells, expression of α7 nAChR was reduced; the level of BACE1 increased and that of BACE2 decreased; the amount of ADAM10 lowered; and the level of PS raised. Moreover, the level of Aβ1-42 in the culture medium was elevated. Treatment of non-transfected cells with Aβ elevated the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and lowered the activities of SOD and GSH-Px and these changes were potentiated by inhibiting expression of α7 nAChR. These results indicate that α7 nAChR plays a significant role in amyloidogenic metabolism of APP and the oxidative stress evoked by Aβ, suggesting that this receptor might help protect against the neurotoxicity of Aβ.

  14. Inflammation-induced increase in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor current in cutaneous nociceptive DRG neurons from the adult rat.

    PubMed

    Zhang, X-L; Albers, K M; Gold, M S

    2015-01-22

    The goals of the present study were to determine (1) the properties of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) currents in rat cutaneous dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons; (2) the impact of nAChR activation on the excitability of cutaneous DRG neurons; and (3) the impact of inflammation on the density and distribution of nAChR currents among cutaneous DRG neurons. Whole-cell patch-clamp techniques were used to study retrogradely labeled DRG neurons from naïve and complete Freund's adjuvant inflamed rats. Nicotine-evoked currents were detectable in ∼70% of the cutaneous DRG neurons, where only one of two current types, fast or slow currents based on rates of activation and inactivation, was present in each neuron. The biophysical and pharmacological properties of the fast current were consistent with nAChRs containing an α7 subunit while those of the slow current were consistent with nAChRs containing α3/β4 subunits. The majority of small diameter neurons with fast current were IB4- while the majority of small diameter neurons with slow current were IB4+. Preincubation with nicotine (1 μM) produced a transient (1 min) depolarization and increase in the excitability of neurons with fast current and a decrease in the amplitude of capsaicin-evoked current in neurons with slow current. Inflammation increased the current density of both slow and fast currents in small diameter neurons and increased the percentage of neurons with the fast current. With the relatively selective distribution of nAChR currents in putative nociceptive cutaneous DRG neurons, our results suggest that the role of these receptors in inflammatory hyperalgesia is likely to be complex and dependent on the concentration and timing of acetylcholine release in the periphery.

  15. Effects of nonylphenol on the calcium signal and catecholamine secretion coupled with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Pei-Shan; Liu, Ging-Hui; Chao, Wei-Liang

    2008-02-03

    Nonylphenol (NP) is the most critical metabolite of alkylphenol polyethoxylate detergents. NP is known as an endocrine disruptor with estrogenic activities and as an inhibitor of endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase. Estrogen has modulatory roles on ligand-gated ion channels, such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitors can modulate the cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](c)]) and thus can affect the calcium signaling coupled with nAChRs. Therefore, NP is predicted to have complex effects on the Ca(2+) signaling and secretion coupled with nAChRs. This study investigated these effects using bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. The results show that NP suppressed the Ca(2+) signaling coupled with nAChRs and voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels in a dose-dependent manner, with IC(50)s of 1 and 5.9 microM, respectively. Estradiol exhibits similar suppression but much lower inhibitory potencies. NP alone induced a transient rise in [Ca(2+)](c) in the presence or absence of extracellular calcium. Thapsigargin, an endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitor, partially suppressed the [Ca(2+)](c) rise induced by NP, but NP totally blocked the [Ca(2+)](c) rise induced by thapsigargin. This illustrates that NP can cause Ca(2+) release from thapsigargin-insensitive pools. Thapsigargin suppressed the Ca(2+) signaling coupled with nAChRs but increased that coupled with voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels. We propose that three routes are responsible for the effects of NP on nAChRs: named receptor channels, voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels, and Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release. Three routes are related to the characteristics of NP as steroid-like compounds and Ca(2+)-ATPase inhibitor.

  16. 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

  17. High affinity α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands AT-1001 and AT-1012 attenuate cocaine-induced conditioned place preference and behavioral sensitization in mice.

    PubMed

    Khroyan, Taline V; Yasuda, Dennis; Toll, Lawrence; Polgar, Willma E; Zaveri, Nurulain T

    2015-10-15

    Cholinergic signaling via the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the mesolimbic circuitry is involved in the rewarding effects of abused drugs such as cocaine and opioids. In mouse studies, nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine blocks cocaine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) and behavioral sensitization. Among subtype-selective nAChR antagonists, the β2-selective antagonist dihydrobetaerythroidine and α7 antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA), but not MLA alone prevent behavioral sensitization to cocaine. Since the role of the α3β4 nAChR subtype in the rewarding and behavioral effects of cocaine is unknown, the present study investigated the effect of two potent and selective α3β4 nAChR ligands, AT-1001 and AT-1012, on the acquisition of cocaine-induced CPP and behavioral sensitization in mice. At 5-30mg/kg, cocaine produced robust CPP, whereas behavioral sensitization of locomotor activity was only observed at the higher doses (20-30mg/kg). Pretreatment with AT-1001 (1-10mg/kg) or AT-1012 (3-10mg/kg) blocked CPP induced by 5mg/kg cocaine, but not by 30mg/kg cocaine. Lower doses of AT-1001 (0.3-1mg/kg) and AT-1012 (1-3mg/kg) did not affect the increase in locomotor activity induced by 5 or 30mg/kg cocaine. But AT-1001, at these doses, blocked locomotor sensitization induced by 30mg/kg cocaine. These results indicate that the α3β4 nAChR play a role in the rewarding and behavioral effects of cocaine, and that selective α3β4 nAChR ligands can attenuate cocaine-induced behavioral phenomena. Since the selective α3β4 nAChR functional antagonist AT-1001 has also been shown to block nicotine self-administration in rats, the present results suggest that α3β4 nAChRs may be a target for the treatment of cocaine addiction as well as for cocaine-nicotine comorbid addiction.

  18. Methadone is a non-competitive antagonist at the α4β2 and α3* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and an agonist at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Talka, Reeta; Salminen, Outi; Tuominen, Raimo K

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine-methadone interactions have been studied in human beings and in various experimental settings regarding addiction, reward and pain. Most methadone maintenance treatment patients are smokers, and methadone administration has been shown to increase cigarette smoking. Previous in vitro studies have shown that methadone is a non-competitive antagonist at rat α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and an agonist at human α7 nAChRs. In this study, we used cell lines expressing human α4β2, α7 and α3* nAChRs to compare the interactions of methadone at the various human nAChRs under the same experimental conditions. A [(3) H]epibatidine displacement assay was used to determine whether methadone binds to the nicotinic receptors, and (86) Rb(+) efflux and changes in intracellular calcium [Ca(2+) ]i were used to assess changes in the functional activity of the receptors. Methadone displaced [(3) H]epibatidine from nicotinic agonist-binding sites in SH-EP1-hα7 and SH-SY5Y cells, but not in SH-EP1-hα4β2 cells. The Ki values for methadone were 6.3 μM in SH-EP1-hα7 cells and 19.4 μM and 1008 μM in SH-SY5Y cells. Methadone increased [Ca(2+) ]i in all cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner, and in SH-EP1-hα7 cells, the effect was more pronounced than the effect of nicotine treatment. In SH-EP1-hα4β2 cells, the effect of methadone was negligible compared to that of nicotine. Methadone pre-treatment abolished the nicotine-induced response in [Ca(2+) ]i in all cell lines expressing nAChRs. In SH-EP1-hα4β2 and SH-SY5Y cells, methadone had no effect on the (86) Rb(+) efflux, but it antagonized the nicotine-induced (86) Rb(+) ion efflux in a non-competitive manner. These results suggest that methadone is an agonist at human α7 nAChRs and a non-competitive antagonist at human α4β2 and α3* nAChRs. This study adds further support to the previous findings that opioids interact with nAChRs, which may underlie their frequent co

  19. 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.

  20. Nicotinic receptor M3 transmembrane domain: position 8' contributes to channel gating.

    PubMed

    De Rosa, María José; Rayes, Diego; Spitzmaul, Guillermo; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2002-08-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a pentamer of homologous subunits with composition alpha(2)(beta)(epsilon)(delta) in adult muscle. Each subunit contains four transmembrane domains (M1-M4). Position 8' of the M3 domain is phenylalanine in all heteromeric alpha subunits, whereas it is a hydrophobic nonaromatic residue in non-alpha subunits. Given this peculiar conservation pattern, we studied its contribution to muscle nAChR activation by combining mutagenesis with single-channel kinetic analysis. Construction of nAChRs carrying different numbers of phenylalanine residues at 8' reveals that the mean open time decreases as a function of the number of phenylalanine residues. Thus, all subunits contribute through this position independently and additively to the channel closing rate. The impairment of channel opening increases when the number of phenylalanine residues at 8' increases from two (wild-type nAChR) to five. The gating equilibrium constant of the latter mutant nAChR is 13-fold lower than that of the wild-type nAChR. The replacement of (alpha)F8', (beta)L8', (delta)L8', and (epsilon)V8' by a series of hydrophobic amino acids reveals that the structural bases of the observed kinetic effects are nonequivalent among subunits. In the alpha subunit, hydrophobic amino acids at 8' lead to prolonged channel lifetimes, whereas they lead either to normal kinetics (delta and epsilon subunits) or impaired channel gating (beta subunit) in the non-alpha subunits. The overall results indicate that 8' positions of the M3 domains of all subunits contribute to channel gating.

  1. Stoichiometry and pharmacology of two human alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor types.

    PubMed

    Moroni, Mirko; Bermudez, Isabel

    2006-01-01

    The alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is the most abundant nAChR subtype in the brain, where it forms the high-affinity binding site for nicotine. The alpha4beta2 nAChR belongs to a gene family of ligand-gated ion channels that also includes muscle nAChRs, GABAA receptors, and glycine receptors and that assembles into pentameric structures. alpha4 and beta2 nAChR subunits expressed heterologously in Xenopus laevis oocytes assemble into a mixture of high- and low-affinity functional receptors, giving rise to biphasic ACh concentration-response curves (Zwart and Vijverberg, 1998; Buisson and Bertrand, 2001; Houlihan et al., 2001). High- and low-affinity alpha4beta2 nAChRs differ significantly in their functional and pharmacological properties (Zwart and Vijverberg, 1998; Buisson and Bertrand, 2001; Houlihan et al., 2001; Nelson et al., 2003) and result from the assembly of alpha4 and beta2 subunits into two distinct stoichiometric arrangements: (alpha4)2(beta2)3(high-affinity subtype) and (alpha4)3(beta2)2 (low-affinity subtype) (Nelson et al., 2003). In this study we have examined the functional and pharmacological properties of high- and low-affinity alpha4beta2 receptors using two-electrode voltage clamp procedures on Xenopus oocytes transfected with high (1:10) or low (10:1) ratios of alpha4/beta2 cDNAs, which yield high (1:10)- or low (10:1)- affinity receptors with monophasic ACh concentration- response curves. Furthermore, to determine the stoichiometry of high- and low-affinity receptors expressed heterologously by Xenopus oocytes, we have determined the stoichiometry of high- and low-affinity alpha4beta2 receptors by mutating a highly conserved hydrophobic residue in the middle (position 9') of the pore-lining domain, which increases agonist potency in a manner that allows predictions on subunit composition (Cooper et al., 1991; Revah et al., 1991; Labarca et al., 1995; Boorman et al., 2000).

  2. Modulation of muscarinic and micotinic cholinergic receptor mediated catecholamine secretion in guinea pig chromaffin cells by phorbol esters

    SciTech Connect

    Figueiredo, J.C.; Fisher, S.K.; Horowitz, M.I.

    1986-05-01

    Isolated guinea pig chromaffin cells possess both nicotinic (nAChR) and muscarinic (mAChR) cholinergic receptors that are positively coupled to catecholamine (CA) release. Sixty to 70% of CA release is mediated by nAChRs and 30-40% by mAChRs. In the absence of added calcium, nAChR mediated CA release was reduced by 65% whereas the muscarinic response was unaffected. The addition of 100nM 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), also resulted in an increased CA release. Temporally and quantitatively, this response resembled that of mAChR activation. Addition of optimal concentrations of nicotine (50..mu..M) and TPA (100nM) induced a synergistic increase in CA release. Addition of muscarine (1mM) and TPA resulted in an additive response despite a 40-60% inhibition of mAChR mediated inositol phosphate release by TPA. Thus, in guinea pig chromaffin cells, it appears that PKC activation alone is a sufficient stimulus for CA release and that activation of both nicotinic and muscarinic receptors may further increase this enzyme's activity.

  3. 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

  4. Electrophysiological perspectives on the therapeutic use of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Papke, Roger L; Trocmé-Thibierge, Caryn; Guendisch, Daniela; Al Rubaiy, Shehd Abdullah Abbas; Bloom, Stephen A

    2011-05-01

    Partial agonist therapies rely variously on two hypotheses: the partial agonists have their effects through chronic low-level receptor activation or the partial agonists work by decreasing the effects of endogenous or exogenous full agonists. The relative significance of these activities probably depends on whether acute or chronic effects are considered. We studied nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes to test a model for the acute interactions between acetylcholine (ACh) and weak partial agonists. Data were best-fit to a basic competition model that included an additional factor for noncompetitive inhibition. Partial agonist effects were compared with the nAChR antagonist bupropion in prolonged bath application experiments that were designed to mimic prolonged drug exposure typical of therapeutic drug delivery. A primary effect of prolonged application of nicotine was to decrease the response of all nAChR subtypes to acute applications of ACh. In addition, nicotine, cytisine, and varenicline produced detectable steady-state activation of α4β2* [(α4)(2)(β2)(3), (α4)(3)(β2)(2), and (α4)(2)(β2)(2)α5)] receptor subtypes that was not seen with other test compounds. Partial agonists produced no detectable steady-state activation of α7 nAChR, but seemed to show small potentiation of ACh-evoked responses; however, "run-up" of α7 ACh responses was also sometimes observed under control conditions. Potential off-target effects of the partial agonists therefore included the modulation of α7 responses by α4β2 partial agonists and decreases in α4β2* responses by α7-selective agonists. These data indicate the dual effects expected for α4β2* partial agonists and provide models and insights for utility of partial agonists in therapeutic development.

  5. Prenatal Exposure to Nicotine and Childhood Asthma: Role of Nicotine Acetylcholine Receptors, Neuropeptides and Fibronectin Expression in Lung

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-01

    acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that are expressed by lung cells termed fibroblasts and pulmonary neuroendocrine cells ( PNEC ). In fibroblasts, this...interaction triggers the exaggerated expression of a connective tissue protein called fibronectin. In PNECs , nicotine stimulates cell growth and the...nAChRs) expressed by fibroblasts and pulmonary neuroendocrine cells ( PNECs ), among other embryonic lung cells. In fibroblasts, this interaction triggers

  6. Minimal RNA aptamer sequences that can inhibit or alleviate noncompetitive inhibition of the muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Sivaprakasam, Kannan; Pagán, Oné R; Hess, George P

    2010-02-01

    Combinatorially synthesized nucleotide polymers have been used during the last decade to find ligands that bind to specific sites on biological molecules, including membrane-bound proteins such as the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The neurotransmitter receptors belong to a group of four structurally related proteins that regulate signal transmission between ~10(11) neurons of the mammalian nervous system. The nAChRs are inhibited by compounds such as the anticonvulsant MK-801 [(+)-dizocilpine] and abused drugs such as cocaine. Based on predictions arising from the mechanism of receptor inhibition by MK-801 and cocaine, we developed two classes of RNA aptamers: class I members, which inhibit the nAChR, and class II members, which alleviate inhibition of the receptor by MK-801 and cocaine. The systematic evolution of ligands by the exponential enrichment (SELEX) method was used to obtain these compounds. Here, we report that we have truncated RNA aptamers in each class to determine the minimal nucleic acid sequence that retains the characteristic function for which the aptamer was originally selected. We demonstrate that a truncated class I aptamer containing a sequence of seven nucleotides inhibits the nAChR and that a truncated class II aptamer containing a sequence of only four nucleotides can alleviate MK-801 inhibition.

  7. 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...

  8. The non-competitive blockade of GABAA receptors by an aqueous extract of water hemlock (Cicuta douglassi) tubers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Teratogenic alkaloids can cause developmental defects due to the inhibition of fetal movement from the desensitization of fetal muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the piperidine alkaloid anabaseine a 1,2-dehydropiperidine and anabasin...

  9. A fluorinated quinuclidine benzamide named LMA 10203 acts as an agonist of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Bodereau-Dubois, Béatrice; Lapied, Bruno; Lebreton, Jacques; Thany, Steeve H

    2012-06-01

    In the present study, we take advantage of the fact that cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons express different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes to demonstrate that simple quinuclidine benzamides such as the 2-fluorinated benzamide LMA 10203, could act as an agonist of cockroach α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype, called nAChR2. Indeed, 1 mM LMA 10203 induced ionic currents which were partially blocked by 0.5 μM α-bungarotoxin and methyllycaconitine and completely blocked by 5 μM mecamylamine. Moreover, the current-voltage curve revealed that the ionic current induced by LMA 10203 increased from -30 mV to +20 mV confirming that it acted as an agonist of α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2. In addition, 1 mM LMA 10203 induced a depolarization of the sixth abdominal ganglion and this neuroexcitatory activity was completely blocked by 5 μM mecamylamine. These data suggest that nAChR2 was also expressed at the postsynaptic level on the synapse between the cercal afferent nerve and the giant interneurons. Interestingly, despite LMA 10203 being an agonist of cockroach nicotinic receptors, it had a poor insecticidal activity. We conclude that LMA 10203 could be used as an interesting compound to identify specific insect nAChR subtypes.

  10. BDNF up-regulates alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor levels on subpopulations of hippocampal interneurons.

    PubMed

    Massey, Kerri A; Zago, Wagner M; Berg, Darwin K

    2006-12-01

    In the hippocampus, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates a number of synaptic components. Among these are nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing alpha7 subunits (alpha7-nAChRs), which are interesting because of their relative abundance in the hippocampus and their high relative calcium permeability. We show here that BDNF elevates surface and intracellular pools of alpha7-nAChRs on cultured hippocampal neurons and that glutamatergic activity is both necessary and sufficient for the effect. Blocking transmission through NMDA receptors with APV blocked the BDNF effect; increasing spontaneous excitatory activity with the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline replicated the BDNF effect. BDNF antibodies blocked the BDNF-mediated increase but not the bicuculline one, consistent with enhanced glutamatergic activity acting downstream from BDNF. Increased alpha7-nAChR clusters were most prominent on interneuron subtypes known to directly innervate excitatory neurons. The results suggest that BDNF, acting through glutamatergic transmission, can modulate hippocampal output in part by controlling alpha7-nAChR levels.

  11. Muscarinic Receptors Are Responsible for the Cholinergic Modulation of Projection Neurons in the Song Production Brain Nucleus RA of Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Wei; Wang, Songhua; Yao, Lihua; Zhang, Nan; Li, Dongfeng

    2017-01-01

    Songbirds are a useful model for the study of learned vocal behavior in vertebrates. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) is a premotor nucleus in the vocal motor pathway. It receives excitatory synaptic inputs from the anterior forebrain pathway. RA also receives cholinergic inputs from the ventral paleostriatum of the basal forebrain. Our previous study showed that carbachol, a non-selective cholinergic receptor agonist, modulates the electrophysiology of RA projection neurons (PNs), indicating that cholinergic modulation of RA may play an important role in song production. However, the receptor mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of two acetylcholine receptors on the RA PNs of adult male zebra finches using in vitro whole-cell current clamp. Our results demonstrate that activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) simulate the effects of carbachol. Both carbachol and the mAChR agonist muscarine produced a decrease in the excitability of RA PNs and a hyperpolarization of the membrane potential. The mAChR antagonist atropine blocked the effects of carbachol. Activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with nAChR agonist nicotine or DMPP had no effect on the excitability of RA PNs, and the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine failed to inhibit the effects of carbachol. These results suggest that mAChRs, but not nAChRs, primarily modulate the effects of carbachol on the activity of RA PNs. Collectively, these findings contribute to our understanding of the mechanism of cholinergic modulation in the vocal nuclei of songbirds. PMID:28293176

  12. Hippocampal GABAergic interneurons coexpressing alpha7-nicotinic receptors and connexin-36 are able to improve neuronal viability under oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    PubMed

    Voytenko, L P; Lushnikova, I V; Savotchenko, A V; Isaeva, E V; Skok, M V; Lykhmus, O Yu; Patseva, M A; Skibo, G G

    2015-08-07

    The hippocampal interneurons are very diverse by chemical profiles and rather inconsistent by sensitivity to CI. Some hippocampal GABAergic interneurons survive certain time after ischemia while ischemia-sensitive interneurons and pyramidal neurons are damaged. GABAergic signaling, nicotinic receptors expressing α7-subunit (α7nAChRs(+)) and connexin-36 (Cx36(+), electrotonic gapjunctions protein) contradictory modulate post-ischemic environment. We hypothesized that hippocampal ischemia-resistant GABAergic interneurons coexpressing glutamate decarboxylase-67 isoform (GAD67(+)), α7nAChRs(+), Cx36(+) are able to enhance neuronal viability. To check this hypothesis the histochemical and electrophysiological investigations have been performed using rat hippocampal organotypic culture in the condition of 30-min oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Post-OGD reoxygenation (4h) revealed in CA1 pyramidal layer numerous damaged cells, decreased population spike amplitude and increased pair-pulse depression. In these conditions GAD67(+) interneurons displayed the OGD-resistance and significant increase of GABA synthesis/metabolism (GAD67-immunofluorescence, mitochondrial activity). The α7nAChRs(+) and Cx36(+) co-localizations were revealed in resistant GAD67(+) interneurons. Under OGD: GABAA-receptors (GABAARs) blockade increased cell damage and exacerbated the pair-pulse depression in CA1 pyramidal layer; α7nAChRs and Cx36-channels separate blockades sufficiently decreased cell damage while interneuronal GAD67-immunofluorescence and mitochondrial activity were similar to the control. Thus, hippocampal GABAergic interneurons co-expressing α7nAChRs and Cx36 remained resistant certain time after OGD and were able to modulate CA1 neuron survival through GABAARs, α7nAChRs and Cx36-channels activity. The enhancements of the neuronal viability together with GABA synthesis/metabolism normalization suggest cooperative neuroprotective mechanism that could be used for increase in

  13. Unmasking the functions of the chromaffin cell α7 nicotinic receptor by using short pulses of acetylcholine and selective blockers

    PubMed Central

    López, Manuela G.; Montiel, Carmen; Herrero, Carlos J.; García-Palomero, Esther; Mayorgas, Inés; Hernández-Guijo, Jesús M.; Villarroya, M.; Olivares, Román; Gandía, Luis; McIntosh, J. Michael; Olivera, Baldomero M.; García, Antonio G.

    1998-01-01

    Methyllycaconitine (MLA), α-conotoxin ImI, and α-bungarotoxin inhibited the release of catecholamines triggered by brief pulses of acetylcholine (ACh) (100 μM, 5 s) applied to fast-superfused bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, with IC50s of 100 nM for MLA and 300 nM for α-conotoxin ImI and α-bungarotoxin. MLA (100 nM), α-conotoxin ImI (1 μM), and α-bungarotoxin (1 μM) halved the entry of 45Ca2+ stimulated by 5-s pulses of 300 μM ACh applied to incubated cells. These supramaximal concentrations of α7 nicotinic receptor blockers depressed by 30% (MLA), 25% (α-bungarotoxin), and 50% (α-conotoxin ImI) the inward current generated by 1-s pulses of 100 μM ACh, applied to voltage-clamped chromaffin cells. In Xenopus oocytes expressing rat brain α7 neuronal nicotinic receptor for acetylcholine nAChR, the current generated by 1-s pulses of ACh was blocked by MLA, α-conotoxin ImI, and α-bungarotoxin with IC50s of 0.1 nM, 100 nM, and 1.6 nM, respectively; the current through α3β4 nAChR was unaffected by α-conotoxin ImI and α-bungarotoxin, and weakly blocked by MLA (IC50 = 1 μM). The functions of controlling the electrical activity, the entry of Ca2+, and the ensuing exocytotic response of chromaffin cells were until now exclusively attributed to α3β4 nAChR; the present results constitute the first evidence to support a prominent role of α7 nAChR in controlling such functions, specially under the more physiological conditions used here to stimulate chromaffin cells with brief pulses of ACh. PMID:9826675

  14. 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.

  15. Nicotinic receptor-mediated biphasic effect on neuronal excitability in chick lateral spiriform neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y-B; Guo, J-Z; Chiappinelli, V A

    2007-09-21

    Local neuronal circuits integrate synaptic information with different excitatory or inhibitory time windows. Here we report that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) leads to biphasic effects on excitability in chick lateral spiriform (SPL) neurons during whole cell recordings in brain slices. Carbachol (100 microM in the presence of 1 microM atropine) produced an initial short-term increase in the firing rates of SPL neurons (125+/-14% of control) that was mediated by postsynaptic nAChRs. However, after 3 min exposure to nicotinic agonists, the firing rate measured during an 800 ms depolarizing pulse declined to 19+/-7% (100 microM carbachol) or 26+/-8% (10 microM nicotine) of the control rate and remained decreased for 10-20 min after washout of the agonists. Similarly, after 60 s of electrically-stimulated release of endogenous acetylcholine (ACh) from cholinergic afferent fibers, there was a marked reduction (45+/-5% of control) in firing rates in SPL neurons. All of these effects were blocked by the nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (30 microM). The inhibitory effect was not observed in Ca(2+)-free buffer. The nAChR-mediated inhibition depended on active G-proteins in SPL neurons and was prevented by the GABA(B) receptor antagonist phaclofen (200 microM), while the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen (10 microM) decreased firing rate in SPL neurons to 13+/-1% of control. The inhibitory response thus appears to be due to a nAChR-mediated enhancement of presynaptic GABA release, which then activates postsynaptic GABA(B) receptors. In conclusion, activation of nAChRs in the SPL initiates a limited time window for an excitatory period, after which a prolonged inhibitory effect turns off this window. The prolonged inhibitory effect may serve to protect SPL neurons from excessive excitation.

  16. cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibits α7 nicotinic receptor activity in layer 1 cortical interneurons through activation of D1/D5 dopamine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Komal, Pragya; Estakhr, Jasem; Kamran, Melad; Renda, Anthony; Nashmi, Raad

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorylation of ion channels, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), by protein kinases plays a key role in the modification of synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. α7 nAChRs are the second most prevalent nAChR subtype in the CNS following α4β2. Serine 365 in the M3–M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α7 nAChR is a phosphorylation site for protein kinase A (PKA). D1/D5 dopamine receptors signal through the adenylate cyclase–PKA pathway and play a key role in working memory and attention in the prefrontal cortex. Thus, we examined whether the dopaminergic system, mediated through PKA, functionally interacts with the α7-dependent cholinergic neurotransmission. In layer 1 interneurons of mouse prefrontal cortex, α7 nicotinic currents were decreased upon stimulation with 8-Br-cAMP, a PKA activator. In HEK 293T cells, dominant negative PKA abolished 8-Br-cAMP's effect of diminishing α7 nicotinic currents, while a constitutively active PKA catalytic subunit decreased α7 currents. In brain slices, the PKA inhibitor KT-5720 nullified 8-Br-cAMP's effect of attenuating α7 nicotinic responses, while applying a PKA catalytic subunit in the pipette solution decreased α7 currents. 8-Br-cAMP stimulation reduced surface expression of α7 nAChRs, but there was no change in single-channel conductance. The D1/D5 dopamine receptor agonist SKF 83822 similarly attenuated α7 nicotinic currents from layer 1 interneurons and this attenuation of nicotinic current was prevented by KT-5720. These results demonstrate that dopamine receptor-mediated activation of PKA negatively modulates nicotinic neurotransmission in prefrontal cortical interneurons, which may be a contributing mechanism of dopamine modulation of cognitive behaviours such as attention or working memory. PMID:25990637

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Brain Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Availability and Response to Smoking Cessation Treatment A Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Brody, Arthur L.; Mukhin, Alexey G.; Mamoun, Michael S.; Luu, Trinh; Neary, Meaghan; Liang, Lidia; Shieh, Jennifer; Sugar, Catherine A.; Rose, Jed E.; Mandelkern, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Cigarette smoking leads to upregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the human brain, including the common α4β2* nAChR subtype. While subjective aspects of tobacco dependence have been extensively examined as predictors of quitting smoking with treatment, no studies to our knowledge have yet reported the relationship between the extent of pretreatment upregulation of nAChRs and smoking cessation. OBJECTIVE To determine whether the degree of nAChR upregulation in smokers predicts quitting with a standard course of treatment. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Eighty-one tobacco-dependent cigarette smokers (volunteer sample) underwent positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning of the brain with the radiotracer 2-FA followed by 10 weeks of double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment with nicotine patch (random assignment). Pretreatment specific binding volume of distribution (VS/fP) on PET images (a value that is proportional to α4β2* nAChR availability) was determined for 8 brain regions of interest, and participant-reported ratings of nicotine dependence, craving, and self-efficacy were collected. Relationships between these pretreatment measures, treatment type, and outcome were then determined. The study took place at academic PET and clinical research centers. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Posttreatment quit status after treatment, defined as a participant report of 7 or more days of continuous abstinence and an exhaled carbon monoxide level of 3 ppm or less. RESULTS Smokers with lower pretreatment VS/fP values (a potential marker of less severe nAChR upregulation) across all brain regions studied were more likely to quit smoking (multivariate analysis of covariance, F8,69 = 4.5; P < .001), regardless of treatment group assignment. Furthermore, pretreatment average VS/fP values provided additional predictive power for likelihood of quitting beyond the self-report measures (stepwise binary logistic regression, likelihood ratio χ12

  20. Synthesis, Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Binding, Antinociceptive and Seizure Properties of Methyllycaconitine Analogs

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, F. Ivy; Ma, Wei; Navarro, Hernán A.; Abraham, Philip; Wolckenhauer, Scott A.; Damaj, M. I.; Martin, Billy R.

    2007-01-01

    A series of methyllycaconitine (1a, MLA) analogs was synthesized where the (S)-2-methylsuccinimidobenzoyl group in MLA was replaced with a (R)-2-methyl, 2,2-dimethyl-, 2,3-dimethyl, 2-phenyl- and 2-cyclohexylsuccinimidobenzoyl (1b–f) group. The analogs 1b–f were evaluated for their inhibition of [125I]iodo MLA binding at rat brain α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). In order to determine selectivity, MLA and the analogs 1b–f were evaluated for inhibition of binding to rat brain α, β nAChR using [3H]epibatidine. At the α7 nAChR, MLA showed a Ki value of 0.87 nM, analogs 1b–e possessed Ki values of 1.68–2.16 nM, and 1f showed a Ki value of 26.8 nM. Surprisingly, the analog 1e containing the large phenyl substituent (Ki = 1.68 nM) possessed the highest affinity. None of the compounds possessed appreciable affinity for α, β nAChRs. MLA antagonized nicotine-induced seizures with an AD50 = 2mg/kg. None of the MLA analogs were as potent as MLA in this assay. MLA and all of the MLA analogs, with the exception of 1b, antagonized nicotine’s antinociceptive effects in the tail-flick assay. Compound 1c (Ki = 1.78 nM at α7 nAChR) with an AD50 value of 1.8 mg/kg was 6.7 times more potent than MLA (AD50 = 12 mg/kg) in antagonizing nicotine’s antinociceptive effects but was 5-fold less potent than MLA in blocking nicotine-induced seizures. Since MLA has been reported to show neuroprotection against β-amyloid1–42, these new analogs which have high α7 nAChR affinity and good selectivity relative to α, β nAChRs will be useful biological tools for studying the effects of α7 nAChR antagonist and neuroprotection. PMID:17098430

  1. Functional Impact of 14 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Causing Missense Mutations of Human α7 Nicotinic Receptor.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qinhui; Du, Yingjie; Zhang, Jianliang; Xu, Xiaojun; Xue, Fenqin; Guo, Cong; Huang, Yao; Lukas, Ronald J; Chang, Yongchang

    2015-01-01

    The α7nicotinic receptor (nAChR) is a major subtype of the nAChRs in the central nervous system, and the receptor plays an important role in brain function. In the dbSNP database, there are 55 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that cause missense mutations of the human α7nAChR in the coding region. In this study, we tested the impact of 14 SNPs that cause missense mutations in the agonist binding site or the coupling region between binding site and channel gate on the receptor function. The wild type or mutant receptors were expressed or co-expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and the agonist-induced currents were tested using two-electrode voltage clamp. Our results demonstrated that 6 mutants were nonfunctional, 4 mutants had reduced current expression, and 1 mutants altered ACh and nicotine efficacy in the opposite direction, and one additional mutant had slightly reduced agonist sensitivity. Interestingly, the function of most of these nonfunctional mutants could be rescued by α7nAChR positive allosteric modulator PNU-120596 and agonist-PAM 4BP-TQS. Finally, when coexpressed with the wild type, the nonfunctional mutants could also influence the receptor function. These changes of the receptor properties by the mutations could potentially have an impact on the physiological function of the α7nAChR-mediated cholinergic synaptic transmission and anti-inflammatory effects in the human SNP carriers. Rescuing the nonfunctional mutants could provide a novel way to treat the related disorders.

  2. RIC-3 affects properties and quantity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors via a mechanism that does not require the coiled-coil domains.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ami, Hagit Cohen; Yassin, Lina; Farah, Hanna; Michaeli, Avner; Eshel, Margalit; Treinin, Millet

    2005-07-29

    Members of the RIC-3 gene family are effectors of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) expression in vertebrates and invertebrates. In Caenorhabditis elegans RIC-3 is needed for functional expression of multiple nAChRs, including the DEG-3/DES-2 nAChR. Effects of RIC-3 on DEG-3/DES-2 functional expression are found in vivo and following heterologous expression in Xenopus leavis oocytes. We now show that in X. leavis oocytes RIC-3 also affects the kinetics and agonist affinity properties of the DEG-3/DES-2 receptor. Because these effects are mimicked by increasing the ratio of DEG-3 subunits within DEG-3/DES-2 receptors, this suggests that RIC-3 may preferentially promote maturation of DEG-3-rich receptors. Indeed, effects of RIC-3 on functional expression of DEG-3/DES-2 positively correlate with the DEG-3 to DES-2 ratio. All RIC-3 family members have two transmembrane domains followed by one or two coiled-coil domains. Here we show that the effects of RIC-3 on functional expression and on receptor properties are mediated by the transmembrane domains and do not require the coiled-coil domains. In agreement with this, mammals express a RIC-3 transcript lacking the coiled-coil domain that is capable of promoting DEG-3/DES-2 functional expression. Last, we show that RIC-3 affects DEG-3 quantity, suggesting stabilization of receptors or receptor intermediates by RIC-3. Together our results suggest that subunit-specific interactions of RIC-3 with nAChR subunits, mediated by the transmembrane domains, are sufficient for the effects of RIC-3 on nAChR quantity and quality.

  3. An allosteric modulator of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor possessing cognition-enhancing properties in vivo.

    PubMed

    Timmermann, Daniel B; Grønlien, Jens Halvard; Kohlhaas, Kathy L; Nielsen, Elsebet Ø; Dam, Eva; Jørgensen, Tino D; Ahring, Philip K; Peters, Dan; Holst, Dorte; Christensen, Jeppe K; Chrsitensen, Jeppe K; Malysz, John; Briggs, Clark A; Gopalakrishnan, Murali; Olsen, Gunnar M

    2007-10-01

    Augmentation of nicotinic alpha7 receptor function is considered to be a potential therapeutic strategy aimed at ameliorating cognitive and mnemonic dysfunction in relation to debilitating pathological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. In the present report, a novel positive allosteric modulator of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), 1-(5-chloro-2-hydroxy-phenyl)-3-(2-chloro-5-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-urea (NS1738), is described. NS1738 was unable to displace or affect radioligand binding to the agonist binding site of nicotinic receptors, and it was devoid of effect when applied alone in electrophysiological paradigms. However, when applied in the presence of acetylcholine (ACh), NS1738 produced a marked increase in the current flowing through alpha7 nAChRs, as determined in both oocyte electrophysiology and patch-clamp recordings from mammalian cells. NS1738 acted by increasing the peak amplitude of ACh-evoked currents at all concentrations; thus, it increased the maximal efficacy of ACh. Oocyte experiments indicated an increase in ACh potency as well. NS1738 had only marginal effects on the desensitization kinetics of alpha7 nAChRs, as determined from patch-clamp studies of both transfected cells and cultured hippocampal neurons. NS1738 was modestly brain-penetrant, and it was demonstrated to counteract a (-)-scopolamine-induced deficit in acquisition of a water-maze learning task in rats. Moreover, NS1738 improved performance in the rat social recognition test to the same extent as (-)-nicotine, demonstrating that NS1738 is capable of producing cognitive enhancement in vivo. These data support the notion that alpha7 nAChR allosteric modulation may constitute a novel pharmacological principle for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction.

  4. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist attenuates ILC2-dependent airway hyperreactivity

    PubMed Central

    Galle-Treger, Lauriane; Suzuki, Yuzo; Patel, Nisheel; Sankaranarayanan, Ishwarya; Aron, Jennifer L.; Maazi, Hadi; Chen, Lin; Akbari, Omid

    2016-01-01

    Allergic asthma is a complex and chronic inflammatory disorder that is associated with airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and driven by Th2 cytokine secretion. Type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) produce large amounts of Th2 cytokines and contribute to the development of AHR. Here, we show that ILC2s express the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), which is thought to have an anti-inflammatory role in several inflammatory diseases. We show that engagement of a specific agonist with α7nAChR on ILC2s reduces ILC2 effector function and represses ILC2-dependent AHR, while decreasing expression of ILC2 key transcription factor GATA-3 and critical inflammatory modulator NF-κB, and reducing phosphorylation of upstream kinase IKKα/β. Additionally, the specific α7nAChR agonist reduces cytokine production and AHR in a humanized ILC2 mouse model. Collectively, our data suggest that α7nAChR expressed by ILC2s is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of ILC2-mediated asthma. PMID:27752043

  5. 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

  6. Research tool: Validation of floxed α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor conditional knockout mice using in vitro and in vivo approaches.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Caterina M; Cortez, Ibdanelo; Gu, Zhenglin; Colón-Sáez, José O; Lamb, Patricia W; Wakamiya, Maki; Yakel, Jerrel L; Dineley, Kelly T

    2014-08-01

    There is much interest in α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in CNS function since they are found throughout peripheral tissues as well as being highly expressed in brain regions implicated in attention, learning and memory. As such, the role of these receptors in many aspects of CNS function and disease is being actively investigated. To date, only one null mouse model (A7KO) is available which is non-conditional and constitutive. Since α7 nAChRs are present on neurons and glia (including astrocytes), as well as being developmentally regulated, there is an unmet need for the technical capability to control α7 nAChR gene expression. Therefore we have generated mice in which the fourth exon of the α7 nAChR gene (Chrna7) is flanked by loxP sites (B6-Chrna7(LBDEx4007Ehs)) which we refer to as floxed α7 nAChR conditional knockout or α7nAChR(flox). We validated the chosen approach by mating α7nAChR(flox) with mice expressing Cre recombinase driven by the glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP)-Cre promoter (GFAP-A7KO) to test whether α7nAChR(flox), GFAP-A7KO and appropriate littermate controls performed equally in our standard Rodent In Vivo Assessment Core battery to assess general health, locomotion, emotional and cognitive behaviours. Neither α7nAChR(flox) nor GFAP-A7KO exhibited significant differences from littermate controls in any of the baseline behavioural assessments we conducted, similar to the 'first generation' non-conditional A7KO mice. We also determined that α7 nAChR binding sites were absent on GFAP-positive astrocytes in hippocampal slices obtained from GFAP-A7KO offspring from α7nAChR(flox) and GFAP-Cre crosses. Finally, we validated that Cre recombinase (Cre)-mediated excision led to functional, cell- and tissue-specific loss of α7 nAChRs by demonstrating that choline-induced α7 nAChR currents were present in Cre-negative, but not synapsin promoter-driven Cre-positive, CA1 pyramidal neurons. Additionally, electrophysiological

  7. Marine Natural Products Acting on the Acetylcholine-Binding Protein and Nicotinic Receptors: From Computer Modeling to Binding Studies and Electrophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Kudryavtsev, Denis; Makarieva, Tatyana; Utkina, Natalia; Santalova, Elena; Kryukova, Elena; Methfessel, Christoph; Tsetlin, Victor; Stonik, Valentin; Kasheverov, Igor

    2014-01-01

    For a small library of natural products from marine sponges and ascidians, in silico docking to the Lymnaea stagnalis acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP), a model for the ligand-binding domains of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), was carried out and the possibility of complex formation was revealed. It was further experimentally confirmed via competition with radioiodinated α-bungarotoxin ([125I]-αBgt) for binding to AChBP of the majority of analyzed compounds. Alkaloids pibocin, varacin and makaluvamines С and G had relatively high affinities (Ki 0.5–1.3 μM). With the muscle-type nAChR from Torpedo californica ray and human neuronal α7 nAChR, heterologously expressed in the GH4C1 cell line, no competition with [125I]-αBgt was detected in four compounds, while the rest showed an inhibition. Makaluvamines (Ki ~ 1.5 μM) were the most active compounds, but only makaluvamine G and crambescidine 359 revealed a weak selectivity towards muscle-type nAChR. Rhizochalin, aglycone of rhizochalin, pibocin, makaluvamine G, monanchocidin, crambescidine 359 and aaptamine showed inhibitory activities in electrophysiology experiments on the mouse muscle and human α7 nAChRs, expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Thus, our results confirm the utility of the modeling studies on AChBPs in a search for natural compounds with cholinergic activity and demonstrate the presence of the latter in the analyzed marine biological sources. PMID:24686559

  8. Methanandamide allosterically inhibits in vivo the function of peripheral nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the alpha 7-subunit.

    PubMed

    Baranowska, Urszula; Göthert, Manfred; Rudz, Radoslaw; Malinowska, Barbara

    2008-09-01

    Methanandamide (MAEA), the stable analog of the endocannabinoid anandamide, has been proven in Xenopus oocytes to allosterically inhibit the function of the alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in a cannabinoid (CB) receptor-independent manner. The present study aimed at demonstrating that this mechanism can be activated in vivo. In anesthetized and vagotomized pithed rats treated with atropine, we determined the tachycardic response to electrical stimulation of preganglionic sympathetic nerves via the pithing rod or to i.v. nicotine (0.7 micromol/kg) activating nAChRs on the cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons. MAEA (3 and 10 micromol/kg) inhibited the electrically induced tachycardia (maximally by 15-20%; abolished by the CB(1) receptor antagonist AM 251 [N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide]; 3 micromol/kg) in pentobarbitone-anesthetized pithed rats, but not in urethane-anesthetized pithed rats, which, thus, are suitable to study the CB(1) receptor-independent inhibition of nicotine-evoked tachycardia. The subunit-nonselective nAChR antagonist hexamethonium (100 micromol/kg) and the selective alpha7-subunit antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA; 3 and 10 micromol/kg) decreased the nicotine-induced tachycardia by 100 and 40%, respectively (maximal effects), suggesting that nAChRs containing the alpha7-subunit account for 40% of the nicotine-induced tachycardia. MAEA (3 micromol/kg) produced an AM 251-insensitive inhibition (maximum again by 40%) of the nicotine-induced tachycardia. Simultaneous or sequential coadministration of MLA and MAEA inhibited the nicotine-induced tachycardia to the same extent (maximally by 40%) as each of the drugs alone. In conclusion, according to nonadditivity of the effects, MAEA mediates in vivo inhibition by the same receptors as MLA, namely alpha7-subunit-containing nAChRs, although at an allosteric instead of the orthosteric site.

  9. Gating of Long-Term Potentiation by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors at the Cerebellum Input Stage

    PubMed Central

    Prestori, Francesca; Bonardi, Claudia; Mapelli, Lisa; Lombardo, Paola; Goselink, Rianne; De Stefano, Maria Egle; Gandolfi, Daniela; Mapelli, Jonathan; Bertrand, Daniel; Schonewille, Martijn; De Zeeuw, Chris; D’Angelo, Egidio

    2013-01-01

    The brain needs mechanisms able to correlate plastic changes with local circuit activity and internal functional states. At the cerebellum input stage, uncontrolled induction of long-term potentiation or depression (LTP or LTD) between mossy fibres and granule cells can saturate synaptic capacity and impair cerebellar functioning, which suggests that neuromodulators are required to gate plasticity processes. Cholinergic systems innervating the cerebellum are thought to enhance procedural learning and memory. Here we show that a specific subtype of acetylcholine receptors, the α7-nAChRs, are distributed both in cerebellar mossy fibre terminals and granule cell dendrites and contribute substantially to synaptic regulation. Selective α7-nAChR activation enhances the postsynaptic calcium increase, allowing weak mossy fibre bursts, which would otherwise cause LTD, to generate robust LTP. The local microperfusion of α7-nAChR agonists could also lead to in vivo switching of LTD to LTP following sensory stimulation of the whisker pad. In the cerebellar flocculus, α7-nAChR pharmacological activation impaired vestibulo-ocular-reflex adaptation, probably because LTP was saturated, preventing the fine adjustment of synaptic weights. These results show that gating mechanisms mediated by specific subtypes of nicotinic receptors are required to control the LTD/LTP balance at the mossy fibre-granule cell relay in order to regulate cerebellar plasticity and behavioural adaptation. PMID:23741401

  10. Allosteric Modulation of Alpha7 Nicotinic Receptors: Mechanistic Insight through Metadynamics and Essential Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Grazioso, Giovanni; Sgrignani, Jacopo; Capelli, Romina; Matera, Carlo; Dallanoce, Clelia; De Amici, Marco; Cavalli, Andrea

    2015-12-28

    Increasing attention has recently been devoted to allosteric modulators, as they can provide inherent advantages over classic receptor agonists. In the field of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), the main advantage is that allosteric modulators can trigger pharmacological responses, limiting receptor desensitization. Most of the known allosteric ligands are "positive allosteric modulators" (PAMs), which increase both sensitivity to receptor agonists and current amplitude. Intriguingly, some allosteric modulators are also able to activate the α7 receptor (α7-nAChR) even in the absence of orthosteric agonists. These compounds have been named "ago-allosteric modulators" and GAT107 has been studied in depth because of its unique mechanism of action. We here investigate by molecular dynamics simulations, metadynamics, and essential dynamics the activation mechanism of α7-nAChR, in the presence of different nicotinic modulators. We determine the free energy profiles associated with the closed-to-open motion of the loop C, and we highlight mechanistic differences observed in the presence of different modulators. In particular, we demonstrate that GAT107 triggers conformational motions and cross-talk similar to those observed when the α7-nACh receptor is in complex with both an agonist and an allosteric modulator.

  11. Methadone's effect on nAChRs--a link between methadone use and smoking?

    PubMed

    Talka, Reeta; Tuominen, Raimo K; Salminen, Outi

    2015-10-15

    Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that is frequently prescribed as a treatment for opioid addiction. Almost all methadone maintenance patients are smokers, and there is a correlation between smoking habit and use of methadone. Methadone administration increases tobacco smoking, and heavy smokers use higher doses of methadone. Nevertheless, methadone maintenance patients are willing to quit smoking although their quit rates are low. Studies on nicotine-methadone interactions provide an example of the bedside-to-bench approach, i.e., observations in clinical settings have been studied experimentally in vivo and in vitro. In vivo studies have revealed the interplay between nicotine and the endogenous opioid system. At the receptor level, methadone has been shown to be an agonist of human α7 nAChRs and a non-competitive antagonist of human α4β2 and α3* nAChRs. These drugs do not have significant interactions at the level of drug metabolism, and thus the interaction is most likely pharmacodynamic. The net effect of the interaction may depend on individual characteristics because pharmacogenetic factors influence the disposition of both methadone and nicotine.

  12. Acetylcholine induces GABA release onto rod bipolar cells through heteromeric nicotinic receptors expressed in A17 amacrine cells

    PubMed Central

    Elgueta, Claudio; Vielma, Alex H.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Schmachtenberg, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) is a major retinal neurotransmitter that modulates visual processing through a large repertoire of cholinergic receptors expressed on different retinal cell types. ACh is released from starburst amacrine cells (SACs) under scotopic conditions, but its effects on cells of the rod pathway have not been investigated. Using whole-cell patch clamp recordings in slices of rat retina, we found that ACh application triggers GABA release onto rod bipolar (RB) cells. GABA was released from A17 amacrine cells and activated postsynaptic GABAA and GABAC receptors in RB cells. The sensitivity of ACh-induced currents to nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) antagonists (TMPH ~ mecamylamine > erysodine > DhβE > MLA) together with the differential potency of specific agonists to mimic ACh responses (cytisine >> RJR2403 ~ choline), suggest that A17 cells express heteromeric nAChRs containing the β4 subunit. Activation of nAChRs induced GABA release after Ca2+ accumulation in A17 cell dendrites and varicosities mediated by L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and intracellular Ca2+ stores. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase depolarized A17 cells and increased spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in RB cells, indicating that endogenous ACh enhances GABAergic inhibition of RB cells. Moreover, injection of neostigmine or cytisine reduced the b-wave of the scotopic flash electroretinogram (ERG), suggesting that cholinergic modulation of GABA release controls RB cell activity in vivo. These results describe a novel regulatory mechanism of RB cell inhibition and complement our understanding of the neuromodulatory control of retinal signal processing. PMID:25709566

  13. Identification and in vitro pharmacological characterization of a novel and selective α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, Br-IQ17B

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jing-shu; Xie, Bing-xue; Bian, Xi-ling; Xue, Yu; Wei, Ning-ning; Zhou, Jing-heng; Hao, Yu-chen; Li, Gang; Zhang, Liang-ren; Wang, Ke-wei

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) is a ligand-gated Ca2+-permeable ion channel implicated in cognition and neuropsychiatric disorders. Activation of α7 nAChR improves learning, memory, and sensory gating in animal models. To identify novel α7 nAChR agonists, we synthesized a series of small molecules and characterized a representative compound, Br-IQ17B, N-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2,2,2]oct-3-yl]-5-bromoindolizine-2-carboxamide, which specifically activates α7 nAChR. Methods: Two-electrode voltage clamp (TEVC) recordings were primarily used for screening in Xenopus oocytes expressing human α7 nAChR. Assays, including radioisotope ligand binding, Western blots, whole-cell recordings of hippocampal culture neurons, and spontaneous IPSC recordings of brain slices, were also utilized to evaluate and confirm the specific activation of α7 nAChR by Br-IQ17B. Results: Br-IQ17B potently activates α7 nAChR with an EC50 of 1.8±0.2 μmol/L. Br-IQ17B is selective over other subtypes such as α4β2 and α3β4, but it blocks 5-HT3A receptors. Br-IQ17B displaced binding of the α7 blocker [3H]-MLA to hippocampal crude membranes with a Ki of 14.9±3.2 nmol/L. In hippocampal neurons, Br-IQ17B evoked α7-like currents that were inhibited by MLA and enhanced in the presence of the α7 PAM PNU-120596. In brain slice recordings, Br-IQ17B enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission in CA1 neurons. Mechanistically, Br-IQ17B increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation that was MLA-sensitive. Conclusion: We identified the novel, potent, and selective α7 agonist Br-IQ17B, which enhances synaptic transmission. Br-IQ17B may be a helpful tool to understand new aspects of α7 nAChR function, and it also has potential for being developed as therapy for schizophrenia and cognitive deficits. PMID:25948478

  14. Differential Roles of α6β2* and α4β2* Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors in Nicotine- and Cocaine-Conditioned Reward in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Sanjakdar, Sarah S; Maldoon, Pretal P; Marks, Michael J; Brunzell, Darlene H; Maskos, Uwe; McIntosh, J Michael; Bowers, M Scott; Damaj, M Imad

    2015-01-01

    Mesolimbic α6* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are thought to have an important role in nicotine behavioral effects. However, little is known about the role of the various α6*-nAChRs subtypes in the rewarding effects of nicotine. In this report, we investigated and compared the role of α6*-nAChRs subtypes and their neuro-anatomical locus in nicotine and cocaine reward-like effects in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm, using pharmacological antagonism of α6β2* nAChRs and genetic deletion of the α6 or α4 subunits in mice. We found that α6 KO mice exhibited a rightward shift in the nicotine dose–response curve compared with WT littermates but that α4 KO failed to show nicotine preference, suggesting that α6α4β2*-nAChRs are involved. Furthermore, α6β2* nAChRs in nucleus accumbens were found to have an important role in nicotine-conditioned reward as the intra-accumbal injection of the selective α6β2* α-conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked nicotine CPP. In contrast to nicotine, α6 KO failed to condition to cocaine, but cocaine CPP in the α4 KO was preserved. Intriguingly, α-conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked cocaine conditioning in α4 KO mice, implicating α6β2* nAChRs in cocaine reward. Importantly, these effects did not generalize as α6 KO showed both a conditioned place aversion to lithium chloride as well as CPP to palatable food. Finally, dopamine uptake was not different between the α6 KO or WT mice. These data illustrate that the subjective rewarding effects of both nicotine and cocaine may be mediated by mesolimbic α6β2* nAChRs and that antagonists of these receptor subtypes may exhibit therapeutic potential. PMID:25035086

  15. Ethanol-Induced Motor Impairment Mediated by Inhibition of α7 Nicotinic Receptors

    PubMed Central

    McDaid, John; Abburi, Chandrika; Wolfman, Shannon L.; Gallagher, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Nicotine and ethanol (EtOH) are among the most widely co-abused substances, and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) contribute to the behavioral effects of both drugs. Along with their role in addiction, nAChRs also contribute to motor control circuitry. The α7 nAChR subtype is highly expressed in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg), a brainstem cholinergic center that contributes to motor performance through its projections to thalamic motor relay centers, including the mediodorsal thalamus. We demonstrate that EtOH concentrations just above the legal limits for intoxication in humans can inhibit α7 nAChRs in LDTg neurons from rats. This EtOH-induced inhibition is mediated by a decrease in cAMP/PKA signaling. The α7 nAChR-positive allosteric modulator PNU120596 [N-(5-chloro-2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-N′-(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)-urea], which interferes with receptor desensitization, completely eliminated EtOH modulation of these receptors. These data suggest that EtOH inhibits α7 responses through a PKA-dependent enhancement of receptor desensitization. EtOH also inhibited the effects of nicotine at presynaptic α7 nAChRs on glutamate terminals in the mediodorsal thalamus. In vivo administration of PNU120596 either into the cerebral ventricles or directly into the mediodorsal thalamus attenuated EtOH-induced motor impairment. Thus, α7 nAChRs are likely important mediators of the motor impairing effects of moderate EtOH consumption. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The motor-impairing effects of ethanol contribute to intoxication-related injury and death. Here we explore the cellular and neural circuit mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced motor impairment. Physiologically relevant concentrations of ethanol inhibit activity of a nicotinic receptor subtype that is expressed in brain areas associated with motor control. That receptor inhibition is mediated by decreased receptor phosphorylation, suggesting an indirect modulation of cell signaling pathways to achieve

  16. Differential Effects of Quercetin and Quercetin Glycosides on Human α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Mediated Ion Currents

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Byung-Hwan; Choi, Sun-Hye; Kim, Hyeon-Joong; Jung, Seok-Won; Hwang, Sung-Hee; Pyo, Mi-Kyung; Rhim, Hyewhon; Kim, Hyoung-Chun; Kim, Ho-Kyoung; Lee, Sang-Mok; Nah, Seung-Yeol

    2016-01-01

    Quercetin is a flavonoid usually found in fruits and vegetables. Aside from its antioxidative effects, quercetin, like other flavonoids, has a various neuropharmacological actions. Quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside (Rham1), quercetin-3-O-rutinoside (Rutin), and quercetin-3-(2(G)-rhamnosylrutinoside (Rham2) are mono-, di-, and tri-glycosylated forms of quercetin, respectively. In a previous study, we showed that quercetin can enhance α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR)-mediated ion currents. However, the role of the carbohydrates attached to quercetin in the regulation of α7 nAChR channel activity has not been determined. In the present study, we investigated the effects of quercetin glycosides on the acetylcholine induced peak inward current (IACh) in Xenopus oocytes expressing the α7 nAChR. IACh was measured with a two-electrode voltage clamp technique. In oocytes injected with α7 nAChR copy RNA, quercetin enhanced IACh, whereas quercetin glycosides inhibited IACh. Quercetin glycosides mediated an inhibition of IACh, which increased when they were pre-applied and the inhibitory effects were concentration dependent. The order of IACh inhibition by quercetin glycosides was Rutin≥Rham1>Rham2. Quercetin glycosides-mediated IACh enhancement was not affected by ACh concentration and appeared voltage-independent. Furthermore, quercetin-mediated IACh inhibition can be attenuated when quercetin is co-applied with Rham1 and Rutin, indicating that quercetin glycosides could interfere with quercetin-mediated α7 nAChR regulation and that the number of carbohydrates in the quercetin glycoside plays a key role in the interruption of quercetin action. These results show that quercetin and quercetin glycosides regulate the α7 nAChR in a differential manner. PMID:27098860

  17. Azemiopsin from Azemiops feae Viper Venom, a Novel Polypeptide Ligand of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor*

    PubMed Central

    Utkin, Yuri N.; Weise, Christoph; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Andreeva, Tatyana V.; Kryukova, Elena V.; Zhmak, Maxim N.; Starkov, Vladislav G.; Hoang, Ngoc Anh; Bertrand, Daniel; Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Sieghart, Werner; Thompson, Andrew J.; Lummis, Sarah C. R.; Tsetlin, Victor I.

    2012-01-01

    Azemiopsin, a novel polypeptide, was isolated from the Azemiops feae viper venom by combination of gel filtration and reverse-phase HPLC. Its amino acid sequence (DNWWPKPPHQGPRPPRPRPKP) was determined by means of Edman degradation and mass spectrometry. It consists of 21 residues and, unlike similar venom isolates, does not contain cysteine residues. According to circular dichroism measurements, this peptide adopts a β-structure. Peptide synthesis was used to verify the determined sequence and to prepare peptide in sufficient amounts to study its biological activity. Azemiopsin efficiently competed with α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) (IC50 0.18 ± 0.03 μm) and with lower efficiency to human α7 nAChR (IC50 22 ± 2 μm). It dose-dependently blocked acetylcholine-induced currents in Xenopus oocytes heterologously expressing human muscle-type nAChR and was more potent against the adult form (α1β1ϵδ) than the fetal form (α1β1γδ), EC50 being 0.44 ± 0.1 μm and 1.56 ± 0.37 μm, respectively. The peptide had no effect on GABAA (α1β3γ2 or α2β3γ2) receptors at a concentration up to 100 μm or on 5-HT3 receptors at a concentration up to 10 μm. Ala scanning showed that amino acid residues at positions 3–6, 8–11, and 13–14 are essential for binding to Torpedo nAChR. In biological activity azemiopsin resembles waglerin, a disulfide-containing peptide from the Tropidechis wagleri venom, shares with it a homologous C-terminal hexapeptide, but is the first natural toxin that blocks nAChRs and does not possess disulfide bridges. PMID:22613724

  18. Spinal alpha3beta2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors tonically inhibit the transmission of nociceptive mechanical stimuli.

    PubMed

    Young, Tracey; Wittenauer, Shannon; McIntosh, J Michael; Vincler, Michelle

    2008-09-10

    The presence of non-alpha4beta2, non-alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the rat spinal cord has been suggested previously, but the identity of these nAChRs had not been shown. Intrathecal administration of the alpha3beta2*/alpha6beta2* selective alpha-conotoxin MII (alpha-CTX MII) dose- and time-dependently reduced paw withdrawal thresholds to mechanical pressure in normal rats. The pronociceptive effect of alpha-CTX MII was partially blocked by NMDA receptor antagonism and lost completely following ablation of C-fibers. The effect of spinal nerve ligation on alpha-CTX MII-induced mechanical hypersensitivity was also assessed. Sensitivity was lost in the hind paw ipsilateral to spinal nerve ligation, but maintained in the contralateral hind paw at control levels. Radioligand binding in spinal cord membranes revealed high and low affinity alpha-CTX MII binding sites. Spinal nerve ligation did not significantly alter alpha-CTX MII binding ipsilateral to ligation. Finally, no evidence for the presence of alpha6-containing nAChRs was identified. The results of these studies show the presence of 2 populations of alpha-CTX MII-sensitive nAChRs containing the alpha3 and beta2, but not the alpha6, subunits in the rat spinal cord that function to inhibit the transmission of nociceptive mechanical stimuli via inhibiting the release of glutamate from C-fibers. Spinal nerve ligation produces a unilateral loss of alpha-CTX MII-induced mechanical hypersensitivity without altering alpha-CTX MII binding sites. Our data support a peripheral injury-induced loss of a cholinergic inhibitory tone at spinal alpha3beta2* nAChRs, without the loss of the receptors themselves, which may contribute to mechanical hypersensitivity following spinal nerve ligation.

  19. Spinal α3β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors tonically inhibit the transmission of nociceptive mechanical stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Young, Tracey; Wittenauer, Shannon; McIntosh, J. Michael; Vincler, Michelle

    2008-01-01

    The presence of non-α4β2, non-α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the rat spinal cord has been suggested previously, but the identity of these nAChRs had not been shown. Intrathecal administration of the α3β2*/α6β2* selective α-conotoxin MII (α-CTX MII) dose- and time-dependently reduced paw withdrawal thresholds to mechanical pressure in normal rats. The pronociceptive effect of α-CTX MII was partially blocked by NMDA receptor antagonism and lost completely following ablation of C-fibers. The effect of spinal nerve ligation on α-CTX MII-induced mechanical hypersensitivity was also assessed. Sensitivity was lost in the hind paw ipsilateral to spinal nerve ligation, but maintained in the contralateral hind paw at control levels.. Radioligand binding in spinal cord membranes revealed high and low affinity α-CTX MII binding sites. Spinal nerve ligation did not significantly alter α-CTX MII binding ipsilateral to ligation. Finally, no evidence for the presence of α6-containing nAChRs was identified. The results of these studies show the presence of 2 populations of α-CTX MII-sensitive nAChRs containing the α3 and β2, but not the α6, subunits in the rat spinal cord that function to inhibit the transmission of nociceptive mechanical stimuli via inhibiting the release of glutamate from C-fibers. Spinal nerve ligation produces a unilateral loss of α-CTX MII-induced mechanical hypersensitivity without altering α-CTX MII binding sites. Our data support a peripheral injury-induced loss of a cholinergic inhibitory tone at spinal α3β2* nAChRs, without the loss of the receptors themselves, which may contribute to mechanical hypersensitivity following spinal nerve ligation. PMID:18634758

  20. Nicotine Effects and Receptor Expression on Human Spermatozoa: Possible Neuroendocrine Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Condorelli, Rosita A.; La Vignera, Sandro; Giacone, Filippo; Iacoviello, Linda; Mongioì, Laura M.; Li Volti, Giovanni; Barbagallo, Ignazio; Avola, Roberto; Calogero, Aldo E.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this experimental study was to investigate the mechanism by which nicotine (NIC) alters spermatozoa and to evaluate the expression of nicotinic receptors (nAChR) subunits in human spermatozoa. We analyzed 30 healthy normozoospermic men. Spermatozoa were incubated with NIC 100 ng/ml and the nAChR antagonist, hexamethonium (HEX) (0, 100, 1,000, 10,000 ng/ml) for 3 and 24 h. The following sperm parameters evaluated: (a) progressive motility; (b) mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP); (c) chromatin compactness; (d) externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS); (e) late apoptosis; (f) viability; (g) DNA fragmentation; (h) degree of lipid peroxidation (LP) by flow cytometry; (i) nAChR subunits expression by quantitative Real Time PCR and (j) protein expression evaluation by Western blot analysis. HEX fully antagonized the effects of NIC both after 3 and 24 h of incubation with significant improvement (p < 0.05) of sperm progressive motility, MMP, abnormal chromatin compactness, PS externalization, late apoptosis and DNA fragmentation, already at the concentration of HEX 100 ng/ml. The degree of LP increased after incubation with NIC in raw semen but this effect was fully antagonized (p < 0.05) by HEX after 3 and 24 h of incubation. Finally, 8 nAChR subunits mRNA (α1, α3, α4, α6, α7, β2, β4, and δ) were found expressed in all samples examined, but only α7 subunit is translated, making an homomer receptor, in non-smokers subjects. The effects of NIC on sperm function are mediated by interaction with a specific nicotinic receptor. The presence of nAChR subunits suggests the presence of a neuroendocrine mechanism on human spermatozoa.

  1. Regulation of GABA release by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the neonatal rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Maggi, Laura; Sher, Emanuele; Cherubini, Enrico

    2001-01-01

    The whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique was used to study the modulation of giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in CA3 hippocampal neurons in slices from postnatal day (P) 2–6 rats.Bath application of nicotine increased GDP frequency in a concentration-dependent manner. For example, nicotine (0.5–1 μm) enhanced GDP frequency from 0.05 ± 0.04 to 0.17 ± 0.04 Hz. This effect was prevented by the broad-spectrum nicotinic receptor antagonist dihydro-β-erythtroidine (DHβE, 50 μm) and partially antagonized by methyllycaconitine (MLA, 50 nm) a competitive antagonist of α7 nAChRs. GDP frequency was also enhanced by AR-17779 (100 μm), a selective agonist of α7 nAChRs.The GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (10 μm) and the non-NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist DNQX (20 μm) blocked GDPs and prevented the effects of nicotine on GDPs. In the presence of DNQX, nicotine increased GABA-mediated synaptic noise, indicating that this drug may have a direct effect on GABAergic interneurons.Bath application of edrophonium (20 μm), a cholinesterase inhibitor, in the presence of atropine (1 μm), increased GDP frequency, indicating that nAChRs can be activated by ACh released from the septo-hippocampal fibres. This effect was prevented by DHβE (50 μm).In the majority of neurons tested, MLA (50 nm) and DHβE (50 μm) reduced the frequency of GDPs with different efficacy: a reduction of 98 ± 11 and 61 ± 29 % was observed with DHβE and MLA, respectively. In a subset of cells (40 % in the case of MLA and 17 % in the case of DHβE) these drugs induced a twofold increase in GDP frequency.It is suggested that, during development, nAChRs modulate the release of GABA, assessed as GDPs, through distinct nAChRs. The rise of intracellular calcium via nAChRs would further strengthen GABA-mediated oscillatory activity. This can be crucial for consolidation of synaptic contacts and for the fine-tuning of the

  2. Solution structure of {alpha}-conotoxin PIA, a novel antagonist of {alpha}6 subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Chi, Seung-Wook; Lee, Si-Hyung; Kim, Do-Hyoung; Kim, Jae-Sung; Olivera, Baldomero M.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Han, Kyou-Hoon . E-mail: khhan600@kribb.re.kr

    2005-12-30

    {alpha}-Conotoxin PIA is a novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist isolated from Conus purpurascens that targets nAChR subtypes containing {alpha}6 and {alpha}3 subunits. {alpha}-conotoxin PIA displays 75-fold higher affinity for rat {alpha}6/{alpha}3{beta}2{beta}3 nAChRs than for rat {alpha}3{beta}2 nAChRs. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of {alpha}-conotoxin PIA by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The {alpha}-conotoxin PIA has an '{omega}-shaped' overall topology as other {alpha}4/7 subfamily conotoxins. Yet, unlike other neuronally targeted {alpha}4/7-conotoxins, its N-terminal tail Arg{sup 1}-Asp{sup 2}-Pro{sup 3} protrudes out of its main molecular body because Asp{sup 2}-Pro{sup 3}-Cys{sup 4}-Cys{sup 5} forms a stable type I {beta}-turn. In addition, a kink introduced by Pro{sup 15} in the second loop of this toxin provides a distinct steric and electrostatic environment from those in {alpha}-conotoxins MII and GIC. By comparing the structure of {alpha}-conotoxin PIA with other functionally related {alpha}-conotoxins we suggest structural features in {alpha}-conotoxin PIA that may be associated with its unique receptor recognition profile.

  3. Lynx1 Shifts α4β2 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Stoichiometry by Affecting Assembly in the Endoplasmic Reticulum*

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Weston A.; Henderson, Brandon J.; Yu, Caroline; Parker, Rell L.; Richards, Christopher I.; Lester, Henry A.; Miwa, Julie M.

    2014-01-01

    Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored neurotoxin-like receptor binding proteins, such as lynx modulators, are topologically positioned to exert pharmacological effects by binding to the extracellular portion of nAChRs. These actions are generally thought to proceed when both lynx and the nAChRs are on the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate that lynx1 also exerts effects on α4β2 nAChRs within the endoplasmic reticulum. Lynx1 affects assembly of nascent α4 and β2 subunits and alters the stoichiometry of the receptor population that reaches the plasma membrane. Additionally, these data suggest that lynx1 shifts nAChR stoichiometry to low sensitivity (α4)3(β2)2 pentamers primarily through this interaction in the endoplasmic reticulum, rather than solely via direct modulation of activity on the plasma membrane. To our knowledge, these data represent the first test of the hypothesis that a lynx family member, or indeed any glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein, could act within the cell to alter assembly of a multisubunit protein. PMID:25193667

  4. DOPAMINE D2 AND ACETYLCHOLINE α7 NICOTINIC RECEPTORS HAVE SUBCELLULAR DISTRIBUTIONS FAVORING MEDIATION OF CONVERGENT SIGNALING IN THE MOUSE VENTRAL TEGMENTAL AREA

    PubMed Central

    GARZÓN, M.; DUFFY, A. M.; CHAN, J.; LYNCH, M.-K.; MACKIE, K.; PICKEL, V. M.

    2014-01-01

    Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) mediate nicotine-induced burst-firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a limbic brain region critically involved in reward and in dopamine D2 receptor (D2R)-related cortical dysfunctions associated with psychosis. The known presence of α7nAChRs and Gi-coupled D2Rs in dopamine neurons of the VTA suggests that these receptors are targeted to at least some of the same neurons in this brain region. To test this hypothesis, we used electron microscopic immunolabeling of antisera against peptide sequences of α7nACh and D2 receptors in the mouse VTA. Dual D2R and α7nAChR labeling was seen in many of the same somata (co-localization over 97%) and dendrites (co-localization over 49%), where immunoreactivity for each of the receptors was localized to endomembranes as well as to non-synaptic or synaptic plasma membranes often near excitatory-type synapses. In comparison with somata and dendrites, many more small axons and axon terminals were separately labeled for each of the receptors. Thus, single-labeled axon terminals were predominant for both α7nAChR (57.9%) and D2R (89.0%). The majority of the immunolabeled axonal profiles contained D2R-immunoreactivity (81.6%) and formed either symmetric or asymmetric synapses consistent with involvement in the release of both inhibitory and excitatory transmitters. Of 160 D2R-labeled terminals, 81.2% were presynaptic to dendrites that expressed α7nAChR alone or together with the D2R. Numerous glial processes inclusive of those enveloping either excitatory- or inhibitory-type synapses also contained single labeling for D2R (n = 152) and α7nAChR (n =561). These results suggest that classic antipsychotic drugs, all of which block the D2R, may facilitate α7nAChR-mediated burst-firing by elimination of D2R-dependent inhibition in neurons expressing both receptors as well as by indirect pre-synaptic and glial mechanisms. PMID:23954803

  5. {alpha}7-nAChR-mediated suppression of hyperexcitability of colonic dorsal root ganglia neurons in experimental colitis.

    PubMed

    Abdrakhmanova, Galya R; AlSharari, Shakir; Kang, Minho; Damaj, M Imad; Akbarali, Hamid I

    2010-09-01

    Controlled clinical trials of nicotine transdermal patch for treatment of ulcerative colitis have been shown to improve histological and global clinical scores of colitis. Here we report that nicotine (1 microM) suppresses in vitro hyperexcitability of colonic dorsal root ganglia (DRG) (L(1)-L(2)) neurons in the dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced mouse model of acute colonic inflammation. Nicotine gradually reduced regenerative multiple-spike action potentials in colitis mice to a single action potential. Nicotine's effect on hyperexcitability of inflamed neurons was blocked in the presence of an alpha(7)-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist, methyllicaconitine, while choline, the alpha(7)-nAChR agonist, induced a similar effect to that of nicotine. Consistent with these findings, nicotine failed to suppress hyperexcitability in colonic DRG neurons from DSS-treated alpha(7) knockout mice. Furthermore, colonic DRG neurons from DSS-treated alpha(7) knockout mice were characterized by lower rheobase (10 +/- 5 vs. 77 +/- 13 pA, respectively) and current threshold (28 +/- 4 vs. 103 +/- 8 pA, respectively) levels than DSS-treated C57BL/J6 mice. An interesting observation of this study is that 8 of 12 colonic DRG (L(1)-L(2)) neurons from control alpha(7) knockout mice exhibited multiple-spike action potential firing while no wild-type neurons did. Overall, our findings suggest that nicotine at low 1 microM concentration suppresses in vitro hyperexcitability of inflamed colonic DRG neurons in a mouse model of acute colonic inflammation via activation of alpha(7)-nAChRs.

  6. Influence of subunit composition on desensitization of neuronal acetylcholine receptors at low concentrations of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Fenster, C P; Rains, M F; Noerager, B; Quick, M W; Lester, R A

    1997-08-01

    The influence of alpha and beta subunits on the properties of nicotine-induced activation and desensitization of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in Xenopus oocytes was examined. Receptors containing alpha4 subunits were more sensitive to activation by nicotine than alpha3-containing receptors. At low concentrations of nicotine, nAChRs containing beta2 subunits reached near-maximal desensitization more rapidly than beta4-containing receptors. The concentration of nicotine producing half-maximal desensitization was influenced by the particular alpha subunit expressed; similar to results for activation, alpha4-containing receptors were more sensitive to desensitizing levels of nicotine than alpha3-containing receptors. The alpha subunit also influenced the rate of recovery from desensitization; this rate was approximately inversely proportional to the apparent nicotine affinity for the desensitized state. The homomeric alpha7 receptor showed the lowest sensitivity to nicotine for both activation and desensitization; alpha7 nAChRs also demonstrated the fastest desensitization kinetics. These subunit-dependent properties remained in the presence of external calcium, although subtle, receptor subtype-specific effects on both the apparent affinities for activation and desensitization and the desensitization kinetics were noted. These data imply that the subunit composition of various nAChRs determines the degree to which receptors are desensitized and/or activated by tobacco-related levels of nicotine. The subtype-specific balance between receptor activation and desensitization should be considered important when the cellular and behavioral actions of nicotine are interpreted.

  7. Exploration of the molecular architecture of the orthosteric binding site in the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor with analogs of 3-(dimethylamino)butyl dimethylcarbamate (DMABC) and 1-(pyridin-3-yl)-1,4-diazepane.

    PubMed

    Bach, Tinna B; Jensen, Anders A; Petersen, Jette G; Sørensen, Troels E; Della Volpe, Serena; Liu, Jun; Blaazer, Antoni R; van Muijlwijk-Koezen, Jacqueline E; Balle, Thomas; Frølund, Bente

    2015-09-18

    X-ray crystal structures of acetylcholine binding proteins (AChBPs) have revealed two different possible extensions to the classical ligand binding pocket known to accommodate various nicotinic agonists. One of the pockets is limited in size while the other is of considerable dimensions and protrudes along the interfacial cleft between subunits. To probe these putative extensions in functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), elongated analogs of 3-(dimethylamino)butyl dimethylcarbamate (DMABC) and 1-(pyridine-3-yl)-1,4-diazepane were prepared and characterized pharmacologically at neuronal heteromeric nAChRs. Although the new analogs, relative to parent compounds, displayed lower binding affinities, functional characterization of selected compounds revealed that they had retained partial α4β2 nAChR agonist activity. The structure-activity relationship data did not indicate an upper limit to the size of substituents as would have been expected if the ligand was bound in the smaller pocket. The data were better in agreement with a binding mode in which substituents protrude along the interfacial cleft of the receptor. This was further supported by docking into a homology model of the α4-β2 nAChR interface and by surface plasmon resonance biosensor analysis of binding of the compounds to acetylcholine-binding proteins, where they exhibit preference for Lymnaea stagnalis ACh binding protein (Ls-AChBP) over the Aplysia california ACh binding protein (Ac-AChBP). These results suggest new opportunities for expanding chemical space in the development of partial agonist and may be of interest in relation to development of novel smoking cessation aids.

  8. Subunit profiling and functional characteristics of acetylcholine receptors in GT1-7 cells.

    PubMed

    Arai, Yuki; Ishii, Hirotaka; Kobayashi, Makito; Ozawa, Hitoshi

    2017-03-01

    GnRH neurons form a final common pathway for the central regulation of reproduction. Although the involvement of acetylcholine in GnRH secretion has been reported, direct effects of acetylcholine and expression profiles of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) still remain to be studied. Using immortalized GnRH neurons (GT1-7 cells), we analyzed molecular expression and functionality of AChRs. Expression of the mRNAs were identified in the order α7 > β2 = β1 ≧ α4 ≧ α5 = β4 = δ > α3 for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits and m4 > m2 for muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) subtypes. Furthermore, this study revealed that α7 nAChRs contributed to Ca(2+) influx and GnRH release and that m2 and m4 mAChRs inhibited forskolin-induced cAMP production and isobutylmethylxanthine-induced GnRH secretion. These findings demonstrate the molecular profiles of AChRs, which directly contribute to GnRH secretion in GT1-7 cells, and provide one possible regulatory action of acetylcholine in GnRH neurons.

  9. Three austin family compounds from Penicillium brasilianum exhibit selective blocking action on cockroach nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Kataoka, Saori; Furutani, Shogo; Hirata, Koichi; Hayashi, Hideo; Matsuda, Kazuhiko

    2011-01-01

    Austin (AT) and its derivatives (dehydroaustin (DAT) and acetoxydehydroaustin (ADAT)) produced by Penicillium brasilianum MG-11 exhibit toxicity to insects, yet their targets are unknown. Here, we used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to investigate the action of AT family compounds on cockroach acetylcholine (ACh), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and l-glutamate receptors expressed in the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) neuron. U-tube application of AT or its derivatives did not induce any current amplitudes, suggesting that they did not act as agonist of these three receptors. In the second step of experiments, they were bath-applied for 1min before co-application with the corresponding ligand. We found that AT and its derivatives had no effect on GABA and l-glutamate-induced currents, whereas they significantly reduced ACh- and epibatidine-induced currents, showing that these compounds acted as selective antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the cockroach neuron. Of the compounds, DAT showed the highest blocking potency for nAChRs, differentially attenuating the peak and slowly desensitizing current amplitude of ACh-induced responses with pIC(50) (=-logIC(50) (M)) values of 6.11 and 5.91, respectively. DAT reduced the maximum normalized response to ACh without a significant shift in EC(50), suggesting that the blocking action is not competitive with ACh.

  10. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are modulated by zinc.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Gómez, Elizabeth; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2009-01-01

    It is known that zinc modulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here, we studied the effects of zinc on neuronal alpha4beta4 nAChRs, expressed in Xenopus oocytes and activated by nicotine. Membrane ion currents elicited by nicotine (10 nM to 100 microM) were enhanced by zinc (100 microM). Maximal zinc potentiation of the nicotine-activated current (2530%) occurred at 50 nM nicotine, and potentiation gradually decreased as the nicotine concentration increased. The EC(50) and IC(50) for the nicotine-activated current were 639 nM and 14.7 microM nicotine, respectively. Both parameters decreased in the presence of zinc to 160 nM and 4.6 microM, respectively, probably due to an increase of sensitivity of nAChRs for nicotine. We used different concentrations and durations of exposure to nicotine, due to desensitization of nAChRs directly depends on both these factors. With 500 nM nicotine and 20 min washing periods between nicotine applications, zinc potentiation remained constant, 901% for 2 min and 813% for 20 min of nicotine exposure. With continuous application of nicotine, zinc potentiation decreased as the time of nicotine exposure increased, 721% for 2 min and 254% for 48 min of nicotine exposure. Our results indicate that zinc-potentiating effects on alpha4beta4 nAChRs strongly depend on both concentration and time of exposure to nicotine, suggesting that zinc potentiation depends on the degree of desensitization.

  11. Identification of a Negative Allosteric Site on Human α4β2 and α3β4 Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovicz, Ryan E.; Henderson, Brandon J.; Bonnell, Andrew B.; Boyd, R. Thomas; McKay, Dennis B.; Li, Chenglong

    2011-01-01

    Acetylcholine-based neurotransmission is regulated by cationic, ligand-gated ion channels called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). These receptors have been linked to numerous neurological diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and nicotine addiction. Recently, a class of compounds has been discovered that antagonize nAChR function in an allosteric fashion. Models of human α4β2 and α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) extracellular domains have been developed to computationally explore the binding of these compounds, including the dynamics and free energy changes associated with ligand binding. Through a blind docking study to multiple receptor conformations, the models were used to determine a putative binding mode for the negative allosteric modulators. This mode, in close proximity to the agonist binding site, is presented in addition to a hypothetical mode of antagonism that involves obstruction of C loop closure. Molecular dynamics simulations and MM-PBSA free energy of binding calculations were used as computational validation of the predicted binding mode, while functional assays on wild-type and mutated receptors provided experimental support. Based on the proposed binding mode, two residues on the β2 subunit were independently mutated to the corresponding residues found on the β4 subunit. The T58K mutation resulted in an eight-fold decrease in the potency of KAB-18, a compound that exhibits preferential antagonism for human α4β2 over α3β4 nAChRs, while the F118L mutation resulted in a loss of inhibitory activity for KAB-18 at concentrations up to 100 µM. These results demonstrate the selectivity of KAB-18 for human α4β2 nAChRs and validate the methods used for identifying the nAChR modulator binding site. Exploitation of this site may lead to the development of more potent and subtype-selective nAChR antagonists which may be used in the treatment of a number of neurological diseases and

  12. AT-1001: a high affinity and selective α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist blocks nicotine self-administration in rats.

    PubMed

    Toll, Lawrence; Zaveri, Nurulain T; Polgar, Willma E; Jiang, Faming; Khroyan, Taline V; Zhou, Wei; Xie, Xinmin Simon; Stauber, Gregory B; Costello, Matthew R; Leslie, Frances M

    2012-05-01

    Genomic and pharmacologic data have suggested the involvement of the α3β4 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in drug seeking to nicotine and other drugs of abuse. In order to better examine this receptor subtype, we have identified and characterized the first high affinity and selective α3β4 nAChR antagonist, AT-1001, both in vitro and in vivo. This is the first reported compound with a Ki below 10 nM at α3β4 nAChR and >90-fold selectivity over the other major subtypes, the α4β2 and α7 nAChR. AT-1001 competes with epibatidine, allowing for [³H]epibatidine binding to be used for structure-activity studies, however, both receptor binding and ligand-induced Ca²⁺ flux are not strictly competitive because increasing ligand concentration produces an apparent decrease in receptor number and maximal Ca²⁺ fluorescence. AT-1001 also potently and reversibly blocks epibatidine-induced inward currents in HEK cells transfected with α3β4 nAChR. Importantly, AT-1001 potently and dose-dependently blocks nicotine self-administration in rats, without affecting food responding. When tested in a nucleus accumbens (NAcs) synaptosomal preparation, AT-1001 inhibits nicotine-induced [³H]dopamine release poorly and at significantly higher concentrations compared with mecamylamine and conotoxin MII. These results suggest that its inhibition of nicotine self-administration in rats is not directly due to a decrease in dopamine release from the NAc, and most likely involves an indirect pathway requiring α3β4 nAChR. In conclusion, our studies provide further evidence for the involvement of α3β4 nAChR in nicotine self-administration. These findings suggest the utility of this receptor as a target for smoking cessation medications, and highlight the potential of AT-1001 and congeners as clinically useful compounds.

  13. Alpha4* nicotinic receptors in preBotzinger complex mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of respiratory rhythm.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xuesi M; Tan, Wenbin; Xiu, Joanne; Puskar, Nyssa; Fonck, Carlos; Lester, Henry A; Feldman, Jack L

    2008-01-09

    Acetylcholine and nicotine can modulate respiratory patterns by acting on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC). To further explore the molecular composition of these nAChRs, we studied a knock-in mouse strain with a leucine-to-alanine mutation in the M2 pore-lining region (L9'A) of the nAChR alpha4 subunit; this mutation renders alpha4-containing receptors hypersensitive to agonists. We recorded respiratory-related rhythmic motor activity from hypoglossal nerve (XIIn) and patch-clamped preBötC inspiratory neurons in an in vitro medullary slice preparation from neonatal mice. Nicotine affected respiratory rhythm at concentrations approximately 100-fold lower in the homozygous L9'A knock-in mice compared with wild-type mice. Bath application of 5 nm nicotine increased the excitability of preBötC inspiratory neurons, increased respiratory frequency, and induced tonic/seizure-like activities in XIIn in L9'A mice, effects similar to those induced by 1 microM nicotine in wild-type mice. In L9'A mice, microinjection of low nanomolar concentrations of nicotine into the preBötC increased respiratory frequency, whereas injection into the ipsilateral hypoglossal (XII) nucleus induced tonic/seizure-like activity. The alpha4*-selective nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine produced opposite effects and blocked the nicotinic responses. These data, showing that nAChRs in the preBötC and XII nucleus in L9'A mice are hypersensitive to nicotine and endogenous ACh, suggest that functional alpha4* nAChRs are present in the preBötC. They mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of the excitability of preBötC inspiratory neurons and of respiratory rhythm. Furthermore, functional alpha4* nAChRs are present in XII nucleus and mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of tonic activity in XIIn.

  14. Megakaryocytes and platelets express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors but nicotine does not affect megakaryopoiesis or platelet function.

    PubMed

    Schedel, Angelika; Kaiser, Kerstin; Uhlig, Stefanie; Lorenz, Florian; Sarin, Anip; Starigk, Julian; Hassmann, Dennis; Bieback, Karen; Bugert, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In our previous investigations we have shown that platelets and their precursors express nicotinic α7 acetylcholine receptors (nAChRα7) that are involved in platelet function and in vitro differentiation of the megakaryoblastic cell line MEG-01. In this study, we were interested in the expression analysis of additional nAChR and the effects of nicotine in an ex vivo model using megakaryocytic cells differentiated from cord blood derived CD34(+) cells (CBMK) and an in vivo model using blood samples from smokers. CBMK were differentiated with thrombopoietin (TPO) for up to 17 days. Quantitative real-time PCR (QRT-PCR), Western blot analysis and flow cytometry were used to investigate nAChR expression (nAChRα7, nAChRα4, nAChRβ2) and nicotine effects. In blood samples of 15 nonsmokers and 16 smokers platelet parameters (count, mean platelet volume--MPV and platelet distribution width--PDW) were determined as indicators for changes of in vivo megakaryopoiesis. Platelet function was determined by the use of whole blood aggregometry and flow cytometry. The functional role of nAChR was evaluated using specific antagonists in aggregometry. CHRNA7, CHRNA4 and CHRNB2 gene transcripts and the corresponding proteins could be identified in CBMK during all stages of differentiation. Platelets contain nAChRα7 and nAChRβ2 but not nAChRα4. Nicotine had no effect on TPO-induced differentiation of CBMK. There was no significant difference in all platelet parameters of the smokers compared to the nonsmokers. In line with this, cholinergic gene transcripts as well as the encoded proteins were equally expressed in both the study groups. Despite our observation of nAChR expression in megakaryopoiesis and platelets, we were not able to detect effects of nicotine in our ex vivo and in vivo models. Thus, the functional role of the nAChR in these cells remains open.

  15. Untranslated region-dependent exclusive expression of high-sensitivity subforms of alpha4beta2 and alpha3beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Clark A; Gubbins, Earl J; Marks, Michael J; Putman, C Brent; Thimmapaya, Rama; Meyer, Michael D; Surowy, Carol S

    2006-07-01

    alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are recognized as the principal nicotine binding site in brain. Recombinant alpha4beta2 nAChR demonstrate biphasic concentration-response relationships with low- and high-EC50 components. This study shows that untranslated regions (UTR) can influence expression of high-sensitivity subforms of alpha4beta2 and alpha3beta2 nAChR. Oocytes injected with alpha4 and beta2 RNA lacking UTR expressed biphasic concentration-response relationships for acetylcholine with high-sensitivity EC50 values of 0.5 to 2.5 microM (14-24% of the population) and low-sensitivity EC50 values of 110 to 180 microM (76-86%). In contrast, message with UTR expressed exclusively the high-sensitivity alpha4beta2 nAChR subform with an acetylcholine EC50 value of 2.2 microM. Additional studies revealed pharmacological differences between high- and low-sensitivity alpha4beta2 subforms. Whereas the antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine (IC50 of 3-6 nM) and methyllycaconitine (IC50 of 40-135 nM) were not selective between high- and low-sensitivity alpha4beta2, chlorisondamine, mecamylamine, and d-tubocurarine were, respectively, 100-, 8-, and 5-fold selective for the alpha4beta2 subform with low sensitivity to acetylcholine. Conversely, agonists that selectively activated the high-sensitivity alpha4beta2 subform with respect to efficacy as well as potency were identified. Furthermore, two of these agonists were shown to activate mouse brain alpha4beta2 as well as the ferret high-sensitivity alpha4beta2 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. With the use of UTR-containing RNA, exclusive expression of a novel high-sensitivity alpha3beta2 nAChR was also achieved. These studies 1) provide further evidence for the existence of multiple subforms of alpha4beta2 nAChR, 2) extend that to alpha3beta2 nAChR, 3) demonstrate UTR influence on beta2-containing nAChR properties, and 4) reveal compounds that interact with alpha4beta2 in a subform-selective manner.

  16. Contribution of position alpha4S336 on functional expression and up-regulation of alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    López-Hernández, Gretchen Y; Biaggi-Labiosa, Nilza M; Torres-Cintrón, Alexis; Ortiz-Acevedo, Alejandro; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2009-02-01

    Phosphorylation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is believed to play a critical role in its nicotine-induced desensitization and up-regulation. We examined the contribution of a consensus PKC site in the alpha4 M3/M4 intracellular loop (alpha4S336) on the desensitization and up-regulation of alpha4beta2 nAChRs expressed in oocytes. Position alpha4S336 was replaced with either alanine to abolish potential phosphorylation at this site or with aspartic acid to mimic phosphorylation at this same site. Mutations alpha4S336A and alpha4S336D displayed a threefold increase in the ACh-induced response and an increase in ACh EC(50). Epibatidine binding revealed a three and sevenfold increase in surface expression for the alpha4S336A and alpha4S336D mutations, respectively, relative to wild-type, therefore, both mutations enhanced expression of the alpha4beta2 nAChR. Interestingly, the EC(50)'s and peak currents for nicotine activation remained unaffected in both mutants. Both mutations abolished the nicotine-induced up-regulation that is normally observed in the wild-type. The present data suggest that adding or removing a negative charge at this phosphorylation site cannot be explained by a simple straightforward on-and-off mechanism; rather a more complex mechanism(s) may govern the functional expression of the alpha4beta2 nAChR. Along the same line, our data support the idea that phosphorylation at multiple consensus sites in the alpha4 subunit could play a remarkable role on the regulation of the functional expression of the alpha4beta2 nAChR.

  17. Artemin growth factor increases nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunit expression and activity in nociceptive sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Artemin (Artn), a member of the glial cell line-derived growth factor (GDNF) family, supports the development and function of a subpopulation of peptidergic, TRPV1-positive sensory neurons. Artn (enovin, neublastin) is elevated in inflamed tissue and its injection in skin causes transient thermal hyperalgesia. A genome wide expression analysis of trigeminal ganglia of mice that overexpress Artn in the skin (ART-OE mice) showed elevation in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, suggesting these ion channels contribute to Artn-induced sensitivity. Here we have used gene expression, immunolabeling, patch clamp electrophysiology and behavioral testing assays to investigate the link between Artn, nicotinic subunit expression and thermal hypersensitivity. Results Reverse transcriptase-PCR validation showed increased levels of mRNAs encoding the nAChR subunits α3 (13.3-fold), β3 (4-fold) and β4 (7.7-fold) in trigeminal ganglia and α3 (4-fold) and β4 (2.8-fold) in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of ART-OE mice. Sensory ganglia of ART-OE mice had increased immunoreactivity for nAChRα3 and exhibited increased overlap in labeling with GFRα3-positive neurons. Patch clamp analysis of back-labeled cutaneous afferents showed that while the majority of nicotine-evoked currents in DRG neurons had biophysical and pharmacological properties of α7-subunit containing nAChRs, the Artn-induced increase in α3 and β4 subunits resulted in functional channels. Behavioral analysis of ART-OE and wildtype mice showed that Artn-induced thermal hyperalgesia can be blocked by mecamylamine or hexamethonium. Complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) inflammation of paw skin, which causes an increase in Artn in the skin, also increased the level of nAChR mRNAs in DRG. Finally, the increase in nAChRs transcription was not dependent on the Artn-induced increase in TRPV1 or TRPA1 in ART-OE mice since nAChRs were elevated in ganglia of TRPV1/TRPA1 double knockout mice. Conclusions

  18. Recent developments in novel antidepressants targeting α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Yu, Li-Fang; Zhang, Han-Kun; Caldarone, Barbara J; Eaton, J Brek; Lukas, Ronald J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2014-10-23

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Parallel Anxiolytic-Like Effects and Upregulation of Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Following Chronic Nicotine and Varenicline

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Jill R.; Castellano, Laura M.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: Clinical and preclinical studies suggest that regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) maybe involved in the etiology of withdrawal symptoms. Methods: We evaluated heteromeric nAChR regulation via [3H]epibatidine binding following cessation of chronic nicotine or varenicline treatment. Animals were concurrently tested in the marble-burying test to evaluate treatment-related effects. Results: We found that both nicotine (18 mg/kg/day, free base) and varenicline (1.8 mg/kg/day) chronically administered for 14 days upregulated nAChRs significantly in the cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and thalamus. The duration of upregulation (up to 72 hr) was both drug and region specific. In addition to nAChR upregulation, chronic administration of both nicotine and varenicline had anxiolytic-like effects in the marble-burying test. This effect was maintained for 48 hr following cessation of varenicline but was absent 24 hr following cessation from nicotine. Additionally, marble-burying behavior positively correlated to the regulation of cortical nAChRs following cessation of either treatment. Conclusions: Varenicline has been shown to be an efficacious smoking cessation aid, with a proposed mechanism of action that includes modulation of dopamine release in reward areas of the brain. Our studies show that varenicline elicits both anxiolytic effects in the marble-burying test as well as region- and time-specific receptor upregulation. These findings suggest receptor upregulation as a mechanism for its efficacy as a smoking cessation therapy. PMID:21097981

  1. A Novel Multisensory Integration Task Reveals Robust Deficits in Rodent Models of Schizophrenia: Converging Evidence for Remediation via Nicotinic Receptor Stimulation of Inhibitory Transmission in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Cloke, Jacob M; Nguyen, Robin; Chung, Beryl Y T; Wasserman, David I; De Lisio, Stephanie; Kim, Jun Chul; Bailey, Craig D C; Winters, Boyer D

    2016-12-14

    Atypical multisensory integration is an understudied cognitive symptom in schizophrenia. Procedures to evaluate multisensory integration in rodent models are lacking. We developed a novel multisensory object oddity (MSO) task to assess multisensory integration in ketamine-treated rats, a well established model of schizophrenia. Ketamine-treated rats displayed a selective MSO task impairment with tactile-visual and olfactory-visual sensory combinations, whereas basic unisensory perception was unaffected. Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) administration of nicotine or ABT-418, an α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist, normalized MSO task performance in ketamine-treated rats and this effect was blocked by GABAA receptor antagonism. GABAergic currents were also decreased in OFC of ketamine-treated rats and were normalized by activation of α4β2 nAChRs. Furthermore, parvalbumin (PV) immunoreactivity was decreased in the OFC of ketamine-treated rats. Accordingly, silencing of PV interneurons in OFC of PV-Cre mice using DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) selectively impaired MSO task performance and this was reversed by ABT-418. Likewise, clozapine-N-oxide-induced inhibition of PV interneurons in brain slices was reversed by activation of α4β2 nAChRs. These findings strongly imply a role for prefrontal GABAergic transmission in the integration of multisensory object features, a cognitive process with relevance to schizophrenia. Accordingly, nAChR agonism, which improves various facets of cognition in schizophrenia, reversed the severe MSO task impairment in this study and appears to do so via a GABAergic mechanism. Interactions between GABAergic and nAChR receptor systems warrant further investigation for potential therapeutic applications. The novel behavioral procedure introduced in the current study is acutely sensitive to schizophrenia-relevant cognitive impairment and should prove highly valuable for such research.

  2. Potentiation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors via an allosteric transmembrane site.

    PubMed

    Young, Gareth T; Zwart, Ruud; Walker, Alison S; Sher, Emanuele; Millar, Neil S

    2008-09-23

    Positive allosteric modulators of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have attracted considerable interest as potential tools for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. However, despite the potential therapeutic usefulness of these compounds, little is known about their mechanism of action. Here, we have examined two allosteric potentiators of alpha7 nAChRs (PNU-120596 and LY-2087101). From studies with a series of subunit chimeras, we have identified the transmembrane regions of alpha7 as being critical in facilitating potentiation of agonist-evoked responses. Furthermore, we have identified five transmembrane amino acids that, when mutated, significantly reduce potentiation of alpha7 nAChRs. The amino acids we have identified are located within the alpha-helical transmembrane domains TM1 (S222 and A225), TM2 (M253), and TM4 (F455 and C459). Mutation of either A225 or M253 individually have particularly profound effects, reducing potentiation of EC(20) concentrations of acetylcholine to a tenth of the level seen with wild-type alpha7. Reference to homology models of the alpha7 nAChR, based on the 4A structure of the Torpedo nAChR, indicates that the side chains of all five amino acids point toward an intrasubunit cavity located between the four alpha-helical transmembrane domains. Computer docking simulations predict that the allosteric compounds such as PNU-120596 and LY-2087101 may bind within this intrasubunit cavity, much as neurosteroids and volatile anesthetics are thought to interact with GABA(A) and glycine receptors. Our findings suggest that this is a conserved modulatory allosteric site within neurotransmitter-gated ion channels.

  3. Binding interactions with the complementary subunit of nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Blum, Angela P; Van Arnam, Ethan B; German, Laurel A; Lester, Henry A; Dougherty, Dennis A

    2013-03-08

    The agonist-binding site of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) spans an interface between two subunits of the pentameric receptor. The principal component of this binding site is contributed by an α subunit, and it binds the cationic moiety of the nicotinic pharmacophore. The other part of the pharmacophore, a hydrogen bond acceptor, has recently been shown to bind to the complementary non-α subunit via the backbone NH of a conserved Leu. This interaction was predicted by studies of ACh-binding proteins and confirmed by functional studies of the neuronal (CNS) nAChR, α4β2. The ACh-binding protein structures further suggested that the hydrogen bond to the backbone NH is mediated by a water molecule and that a second hydrogen bonding interaction occurs between the water molecule and the backbone CO of a conserved Asn, also on the non-α subunit. Here, we provide new insights into the nature of the interactions between the hydrogen bond acceptor of nicotinic agonists and the complementary subunit backbone. We studied both the nAChR of the neuromuscular junction (muscle-type) and a neuronal subtype, (α4)2(β4)3. In the muscle-type receptor, both ACh and nicotine showed a strong interaction with the Leu NH, but the potent nicotine analog epibatidine did not. This interaction was much attenuated in the α4β4 receptor. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for a functionally significant interaction with the backbone carbonyl of the relevant Asn in either receptor with an array of agonists.

  4. Varenicline, a partial agonist at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, reduces nicotine-induced increases in 20% ethanol operant self-administration in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Bito-Onon, Jade J; Simms, Jeffrey A; Chatterjee, Susmita; Holgate, Joan; Bartlett, Selena E

    2011-07-01

    Alcohol and nicotine use disorders are often treated as separate diseases, despite evidence that approximately 80-90% of alcohol dependent individuals are also heavy smokers. Both nicotine and ethanol have been shown to interact with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), suggesting these receptors are a common biological target for the effects of nicotine and ethanol in the brain. There are few studies that have examined the effects of co-administered nicotine and ethanol on the activity of nAChRs in rodents. In the present study, we show that Sprague-Dawley rats, a strain often used for nicotine studies but not as often for voluntary ethanol intake studies, will consume 20% ethanol using both the intermittent-access two-bottle-choice and operant self-administration models without the need for sucrose fading. We show that nicotine (0.2 mg/kg and 0.8 mg/kg, s.c.) significantly increases operant 20% ethanol self-administration and varenicline (2 mg/kg, s.c), a partial agonist at nAChRs, significantly decreases operant ethanol self-administration and nicotine-induced increases in ethanol self-administration. This suggests that nAChRs play an important role in increasing ethanol self-administration and that varenicline may be an efficacious treatment for alcohol and nicotine co-dependencies.

  5. Action potential-independent and nicotinic receptor-mediated concerted release of multiple quanta at hippocampal CA3-mossy fiber synapses.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Geeta; Grybko, Michael; Vijayaraghavan, Sukumar

    2008-03-05

    Presynaptic action potential-independent transmitter release is a potential means of information transfer across synapses. We show that in the hippocampal mossy fiber boutons, activation of the alpha7-subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7-nAChRs) results in a large increase in the amplitude of spontaneous events, resulting from concerted release of multiple quanta from the mossy fiber boutons. This amplitude increase is abolished at low temperatures. Activation of alpha7-nAChRs causes a rise in intraterminal calcium at mossy fiber boutons, involving ryanodine receptors. Regulation of concerted release requires the subsequent activation of presynaptic calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Activation of CaMKII is required to drive presynaptic action potential-independent transmission at the mossy fiber-CA3 pyramidal cell synapse. The effects of alpha7-nAChR activation are mediated by biologically relevant doses of nicotine. Our results demonstrate a novel form of synaptic plasticity mediated by presynaptic alpha7-nAChRs and store calcium that is temporally different and might respond to a different history of synaptic activity than that mediated by incoming action potentials.

  6. 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.

  7. Pharmacological profile of Ascaris suum ACR‐16, a new homomeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptor widely distributed in Ascaris tissues

    PubMed Central

    Abongwa, Melanie; Buxton, Samuel K; Courtot, Elise; Charvet, Claude L; Neveu, Cédric; McCoy, Ciaran J; Verma, Saurabh; Robertson, Alan P

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background and Purpose Control of nematode parasite infections relies largely on anthelmintic drugs, several of which act on nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs), and there are concerns about the development of resistance. There is an urgent need for development of new compounds to overcome resistance and novel anthelmintic drug targets. We describe the functional expression and pharmacological characterization of a homomeric nAChR, ACR‐16, from a nematode parasite. Experimental Approach Using RT‐PCR, molecular cloning and two‐electrode voltage clamp electrophysiology, we localized acr‐16 mRNA in Ascaris suum (Asu) and then cloned and expressed acr‐16 cRNA in Xenopus oocytes. Sensitivity of these receptors to cholinergic anthelmintics and a range of nicotinic agonists was tested. Key Results Amino acid sequence comparison with vertebrate nAChR subunits revealed ACR‐16 to be most closely related to α7 receptors, but with some striking distinctions. acr‐16 mRNA was recovered from Asu somatic muscle, pharynx, ovijector, head and intestine. In electrophysiological experiments, the existing cholinergic anthelmintic agonists (morantel, levamisole, methyridine, thenium, bephenium, tribendimidine and pyrantel) did not activate Asu‐ACR‐16 (except for a small response to oxantel). Other nAChR agonists: nicotine, ACh, cytisine, 3‐bromocytisine and epibatidine, produced robust current responses which desensitized at a rate varying with the agonists. Unlike α7, Asu‐ACR‐16 was insensitive to α‐bungarotoxin and did not respond to genistein or other α7 positive allosteric modulators. Asu‐ACR‐16 had lower calcium permeability than α7 receptors. Conclusions and Implications We suggest that ACR‐16 has diverse tissue‐dependent functions in nematode parasites and is a suitable drug target for development of novel anthelmintic compounds. PMID:27238203

  8. Age-dependent changes in the functional expression of two nicotinic receptor subtypes in CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Alkondon, Manickavasagom; Pereira, Edna F R; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2007-10-15

    Protein density measurements and mRNA analysis have provided valuable information on age-dependent changes in the distribution of different nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subtypes in various areas of the rat brain, including the hippocampus. However, very little is known regarding the functional expression of nAChRs in individual neuron types at various ages. Likewise, there is paucity of information regarding the functional and pharmacological profile of nAChRs in the mature rat hippocampus. To address these issues, we used the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to record nicotinic responses from CA1 stratum radiatum (SR) interneurons in hippocampal slices from rat pups (5-19 days old) and adult rats (2-5 months old). As previously observed in the hippocampus of rat pups, CA1 SR interneurons in the hippocampus of adult rats responded to choline (10mM, 12s) with whole-cell currents that decayed to the baseline within the agonist pulse, were sensitive to inhibition by methyllycaconitine (10nM) or alpha-bungarotoxin (50 nM), and were, therefore, mediated by alpha7*(1)[1] nAChRs. Likewise, as previously observed in the hippocampus of young rats, in the adult rat hippocampus excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from SR interneurons in response to a pulse of ACh (0.1 mM, 12s) applied in the presence of the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline. ACh-triggered EPSCs were inhibited by mecamylamine (1 microM) or choline (1 mM) and were, therefore, likely to have resulted from activation of alpha3beta4beta2* nAChR. The magnitude of alpha7* nAChR-mediated responses increased with the age of the animals. In contrast, the magnitude of alpha3beta4beta2* nAChR-mediated responses was highest at the second postnatal week. The distinct age dependency of functional expression of alpha7* and alpha3beta4beta2* nAChRs strongly suggests that the excitability of CA1 SR interneurons is differentially regulated by the nicotinic cholinergic system in the hippocampus of rat pups

  9. Rabies virus receptors.

    PubMed

    Lafon, Monique

    2005-02-01

    There is convincing in vitro evidence that the muscular form of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), the neuronal cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), and the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) bind rabies virus and/or facilitate rabies virus entry into cells. Other components of the cell membrane, such as gangliosides, may also participate in the entry of rabies virus. However, little is known of the role of these molecules in vivo. This review proposes a speculative model that accounts for the role of these different molecules in entry and trafficking of rabies virus into the nervous system.

  10. Single nucleotide polymorphisms and genotypes of transient receptor potential ion channel and acetylcholine receptor genes from isolated B lymphocytes in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

    PubMed

    Marshall-Gradisnik, Sonya; Johnston, Samantha; Chacko, Anu; Nguyen, Thao; Smith, Peter; Staines, Donald

    2016-12-01

    Objective The pathomechanism of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is unknown; however, a small subgroup of patients has shown muscarinic antibody positivity and reduced symptom presentation following anti-CD20 intervention. Given the important roles of calcium (Ca(2+)) and acetylcholine (ACh) signalling in B cell activation and potential antibody development, we aimed to identify relevant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genotypes in isolated B cells from CFS/ME patients. Methods A total of 11 CFS/ME patients (aged 31.82 ± 5.50 years) and 11 non-fatigued controls (aged 33.91 ± 5.06 years) were included. Flow cytometric protocols were used to determine B cell purity, followed by SNP and genotype analysis for 21 mammalian TRP ion channel genes and nine mammalian ACh receptor genes. SNP association and genotyping analysis were performed using ANOVA and PLINK analysis software. Results Seventy-eight SNPs were identified in nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptor genes in the CFS/ME group, of which 35 were in mAChM3. The remaining SNPs were identified in nAChR delta (n = 12), nAChR alpha 9 (n = 5), TRPV2 (n = 7), TRPM3 (n = 4), TRPM4 (n = 1) mAChRM3 2 (n = 2), and mAChRM5 (n = 3) genes. Nine genotypes were identified from SNPs in TRPM3 (n = 1), TRPC6 (n = 1), mAChRM3 (n = 2), nAChR alpha 4 (n = 1), and nAChR beta 1 (n = 4) genes, and were located in introns and 3' untranslated regions. Odds ratios for these specific genotypes ranged between 7.11 and 26.67 for CFS/ME compared with the non-fatigued control group. Conclusion This preliminary investigation identified a number of SNPs and genotypes in genes encoding TRP ion channels and AChRs from B cells in patients with CFS/ME. These may be involved in B cell functional changes, and suggest a role for Ca(2+) dysregulation in AChR and TRP ion channel signalling in the pathomechanism of CFS/ME.

  11. Insights into the structural determinants required for high-affinity binding of chiral cyclopropane-containing ligands to α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: an integrated approach to behaviorally active nicotinic ligands.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Han-Kun; Eaton, J Brek; Yu, Li-Fang; Nys, Mieke; Mazzolari, Angelica; van Elk, René; Smit, August B; Alexandrov, Vadim; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily; Fedolak, Allison; Brunner, Daniela; Lukas, Ronald J; Vistoli, Giulio; Ulens, Chris; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2012-09-27

    Structure-based drug design can potentially accelerate the development of new therapeutics. In this study, a cocrystal structure of the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) from Capitella teleta (Ct) in complex with a cyclopropane-containing selective α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonist (compound 5) was acquired. The structural determinants required for ligand binding obtained from this AChBP X-ray structure were used to refine a previous model of the human α4β2-nAChR, thus possibly providing a better understanding of the structure of the human receptor. To validate the potential application of the structure of the Ct-AChBP in the engineering of new α4β2-nAChR ligands, homology modeling methods, combined with in silico ADME calculations, were used to design analogues of compound 5. The most promising compound, 12, exhibited an improved metabolic stability in comparison to the parent compound 5 while retaining favorable pharmacological parameters together with appropriate behavioral end points in the rodent studies.

  12. Insights into the Structural Determinants Required for High Affinity Binding of Chiral Cyclopropane-Containing Ligands to α4β2-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors; An Integrated Approach to Behaviorally Active Nicotinic Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Han-Kun; Eaton, J. Brek; Yu, Li-Fang; Nys, Mieke; Mazzolari, Angelica; van Elk, René; Smit, August B.; Alexandrov, Vadim; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily; Fedolak, Allison; Brunner, Daniela; Lukas, Ronald J.; Vistoli, Giulio; Ulens, Chris; Kozikowski, Alan P.

    2012-01-01

    Structure-based drug design can potentially accelerate the development of new therapeutics. In this study, a co-crystal structure of the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) from Capitella teleta (Ct) in complex with a cyclopropane-containing, selective α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonist (compound 5) was acquired. The structural determinants required for ligand binding obtained from this AChBP X-ray structure were used to refine our previous model of the human α4β2-nAChR, thus possibly providing a better understanding of the structure of the human receptor. In order to validate the potential application of the structure of the Ct-AChBP in the engineering of new α4β2-nAChR ligands, homology modeling methods, combined with in silico ADME calculations, were used to design analogs of compound 5. The most promising compound 12, exhibited an improved metabolic stability in comparison to the parent compound 5 while retaining favorable pharmacological parameters together with appropriate behavioral endpoints in the rodent studies. PMID:22928944

  13. Fast-channel congenital myasthenic syndrome with a novel acetylcholine receptor mutation at the α-ε subunit interface.

    PubMed

    Webster, Richard; Liu, Wei-Wei; Chaouch, Amina; Lochmüller, Hanns; Beeson, David

    2014-02-01

    Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) result from the failure to achieve muscle depolarisation due to disorders in the structure and/or function of the neuromuscular synapse. Mutations of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) form a major subset of CMS. We describe a patient who presented with recurrent apnoeic crises in the neonatal period requiring ventilator support. Electromyography revealed compound muscle action potential decrement upon repetitive stimulation. Sequencing of nAChR subunit genes revealed two missense mutations. One previously reported null mutation p.εTyr15His, and a second novel missense mutation, p.εThr38Lys, that is well expressed in mammalian cell culture and thus likely to exert its effect via alteration of ion channel kinetics. Functional analysis revealed abbreviated ion channel bursts characteristic of a fast channel CMS. The mutation p.εThr38Lys occurs at the interface between the α and ε subunits of the nAChR pentamer and leads to instability of the open channel. The effects of this mutation on channel function were investigated in relation to other fast channel mutants at an analogous subunit interface within the nAChR pentamer. Fast channel syndromes are frequently characterised by severe myasthenic weakness with apnoeic crises; knowledge of the underlying mutation and its functional consequences can be vital for appropriate therapy and patient management.

  14. PRENATAL NICOTINE EXPOSURE SELECTIVELY AFFECTS NICOTINIC RECEPTOR EXPRESSION IN PRIMARY AND ASSOCIATIVE VISUAL CORTICES OF THE FETAL BABOON

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Jhodie R.; Garland, Marianne; Stark, Raymond I.; Myers, Michael M.; Fifer, William P.; Mokler, David J.; Kinney, Hannah C.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy via maternal cigarette smoking is associated with visual deficits in children. This is possibly due to activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the occipital cortex which are important in the development of visual mapping. Using a baboon model we explored the effects of prenatal nicotine on parameters in the primary and associated visual cortices. Pregnant baboons were infused with nicotine (0.5 mg/hr, i.v.) or saline from 86 days gestation. At 161 days gestation fetal brains were collected (n=5/group) and the occipital lobe assessed for nAChRs and markers of the serotonergic and catecholaminergic systems using tissue autoradiography and/or high performance liquid chromatography. Neuronal nAChRs and serotonergic markers were expressed in a region and subunit dependent manner. Prenatal nicotine exposure was associated with increased binding for 3H-epibatidine sensitive nAChRs in the primary visual cortex (BA 17) and BA 18, but not BA 19, of the associative visual cortex (p<0.05). Markers of the serotonergic or catecholaminergic systems were not significantly altered. Thus, prenatal nicotine exposure is associated with alterations in the cholinergic system in the occipital lobe which may aid in the explanation of the appearance of visual deficits in children from mothers who smoke during pregnancy. PMID:24903536

  15. Prenatal nicotine exposure selectively affects nicotinic receptor expression in primary and associative visual cortices of the fetal baboon.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Jhodie R; Garland, Marianne; Stark, Raymond I; Myers, Michael M; Fifer, William P; Mokler, David J; Kinney, Hannah C

    2015-03-01

    Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy via maternal cigarette smoking is associated with visual deficits in children. This is possibly due to the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the occipital cortex, which are important in the development of visual mapping. Using a baboon model, we explored the effects of prenatal nicotine on parameters in the primary and associated visual cortices. Pregnant baboons were infused with nicotine (0.5 mg/h, intravenous) or saline from 86 days gestation. At 161 days gestation, fetal brains were collected (n = 5 per group) and the occipital lobe assessed for nAChRs and markers of the serotonergic and catecholaminergic systems using tissue autoradiography and/or high-performance liquid chromatography. Neuronal nAChRs and serotonergic markers were expressed in a region- and subunit-dependent manner. Prenatal nicotine exposure was associated with increased binding for (3) H-epibatidine sensitive nAChRs in the primary visual cortex [Brodmann areas (BA) 17] and BA 18, but not BA 19, of the associative visual cortex (P < 0.05). Markers of the serotonergic or catecholaminergic systems were not significantly altered. Thus, prenatal nicotine exposure is associated with alterations in the cholinergic system in the occipital lobe, which may aid in the explanation of the appearance of visual deficits in children from mothers who smoke during pregnancy.

  16. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Density in Cognitively Intact Subjects at an Early Stage of Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Isaias, Ioannis Ugo; Spiegel, Jörg; Brumberg, Joachim; Cosgrove, Kelly P.; Marotta, Giorgio; Oishi, Naoya; Higuchi, Takahiro; Küsters, Sebastian; Schiller, Markus; Dillmann, Ulrich; van Dyck, Christopher H.; Buck, Andreas; Herrmann, Ken; Schloegl, Susanne; Volkmann, Jens; Lassmann, Michael; Fassbender, Klaus; Lorenz, Reinhard; Samnick, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    We investigated in vivo brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) distribution in cognitively intact subjects with Parkinson’s disease (PD) at an early stage of the disease. Fourteen patients and 13 healthy subjects were imaged with single photon emission computed tomography and the radiotracer 5-[123I]iodo-3-[2(S)-2-azetidinylmethoxy]pyridine ([123I]5IA). Patients were selected according to several criteria, including short duration of motor signs (<7 years) and normal scores at an extensive neuropsychological evaluation. In PD patients, nAChR density was significantly higher in the putamen, the insular cortex and the supplementary motor area and lower in the caudate nucleus, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the middle temporal gyrus. Disease duration positively correlated with nAChR density in the putamen ipsilateral (ρ = 0.56, p < 0.05) but not contralateral (ρ = 0.49, p = 0.07) to the clinically most affected hemibody. We observed, for the first time in vivo, higher nAChR density in brain regions of the motor and limbic basal ganglia circuits of subjects with PD. Our findings support the notion of an up-regulated cholinergic activity at the striatal and possibly cortical level in cognitively intact PD patients at an early stage of disease. PMID:25177294

  17. Virtual screening studies of Chinese medicine Coptidis Rhizoma as alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists for treatment of Alzheimer's disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Li; Xu, Youdong; Zhang, Yan; Meng, Xianli; Wang, Ping

    2015-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease. Extensive in vitro and in vivo experiments have proved that the decreased activity of the cholinergic neuron is responsible for the memory and cognition deterioration. The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) is proposed to a drug target of AD, and compounds which acting as α7-nAChR agonists are considered as candidates in AD treatment. Chinese medicine CoptidisRhizoma and its compounds are reported in various anti-AD effects. In this study, virtual screening, docking approaches and hydrogen bond analyses were applied to screen potential α7-nAChR agonists from CoptidisRhizome. The 3D structure of the protein was obtained from PDB database. 87 reported compounds were included in this research and their structures were accessed by NCBI Pubchem. Docking analysis of the compounds was performed using AutoDock 4.2 and AutoDock Vina. The images of the binding modes hydrogen bonds and the hydrophobic interaction were rendered with PyMOL1.5.0.4. and LigPlot+ respectively. Finally, N-tran-feruloyltyramine, isolariciresinol, flavanone, secoisolariciresinol, (+)-lariciresinol and dihydrochalcone, exhibited the lowest docking energy of protein-ligand complex. The results indicate these 6 compounds are potential α7 nAChR agonists, and expected to be effective in AD treatment.

  18. 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

  19. The 15q13.3 deletion syndrome: Deficient α(7)-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, Stephen I; Burket, Jessica A; Benson, Andrew D; Urbano, Maria R

    2016-01-04

    Array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) has led to the identification of microdeletions of the proximal region of chromosome 15q between breakpoints (BP) 3 or BP4 and BP5 encompassing CHRNA7, the gene encoding the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) subunit. Phenotypic manifestations of persons with these microdeletions are variable and some heterozygous carriers are seemingly unaffected, consistent with their variable expressivity and incomplete penetrance. Nonetheless, the 15q13.3 deletion syndrome is associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, including idiopathic generalized epilepsy, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and schizophrenia. Haploinsufficient expression of CHRNA7 in this syndrome has highlighted important roles the α7nAChR plays in the developing brain and normal processes of attention, cognition, memory and behavior throughout life. Importantly, the existence of the 15q13.3 deletion syndrome contributes to an emerging literature supporting clinical trials therapeutically targeting the α7nAChR in disorders such as ASDs and schizophrenia, including the larger population of patients with no evidence of haploinsufficient expression of CHRNA7. Translational clinical trials will be facilitated by the existence of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the α7nAChR that act at sites on the receptor distinct from the orthosteric site that binds acetylcholine and choline, the receptor's endogenous ligands. PAMs lack intrinsic efficacy by themselves, but act where and