Science.gov

Sample records for ach receptors nachrs

  1. The regulation of hippocampal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) after a protracted treatment with selective or nonselective nAChR agonists.

    PubMed

    Auta, J; Longone, P; Guidotti, A; Costa, E

    1999-01-01

    In rats, 1 mg/kg twice daily for 10 d of nicotine, a nonselective agonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), fails to change alpha4 and beta2 nAChR subunit mRNA but significantly decreased alpha7 nAChR subunit mRNA and protein expression, which is associated with a 35-40% decrease in the number of 125I-alpha-Bgtx binding sites in hippocampus. In addition, this schedule of nicotine treatment produced a 40% increase in the number of high- (K(D) 1 nM), but decreased by 25% the number of low-affinity (K(D) 30 nM) binding sites for 3H-epibatidine in hippocampus. In contrast, repeated treatment with lobeline (2.7 mg/kg twice daily for 10 d), which selectively binds to high-affinity binding nAChRs, fails to change the expression of high- or low-affinity nAChRs. These data suggest that a simultaneous upregulation of high-affinity nAChRs and downregulation of low-affinity nAChRs is elicited by ligands that can bind to both low- and high-affinity nAChRs, but not by selective agonists of high-affinity nAChRs. One might infer that in hippocampus, high- and low-affinity nAChRs may be located in the same cells. When these two receptor types are stimulated simultaneously by nonselective ligands for high- and low-affinity nAChRs, they interact, bringing about an increase in binding site density of the high-affinity nAChRs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-26

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

  3. Photolabeling a Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) with an (α4)3(β2)2 nAChR-Selective Positive Allosteric Modulator.

    PubMed

    Hamouda, Ayman K; Deba, Farah; Wang, Ze-Jun; Cohen, Jonathan B

    2016-05-01

    Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) have potential clinical applications in the treatment of nicotine dependence and many neuropsychiatric conditions associated with decreased brain cholinergic activity, and 3-(2-chlorophenyl)-5-(5-methyl-1-(piperidin-4-yl)-1H-pyrrazol-4-yl)isoxazole (CMPI) has been identified as a PAM selective for neuronal nAChRs containing theα4 subunit. In this report, we compare CMPI interactions with low-sensitivity (α4)3(β2)2 and high-sensitivity (α4)2(β2)3 nAChRs, and with muscle-type nAChRs. In addition, we use the intrinsic reactivity of [(3)H]CMPI upon photolysis at 312 nm to identify its binding sites inTorpedonAChRs. Recording fromXenopusoocytes, we found that CMPI potentiated maximally the responses of (α4)3(β2)2nAChR to 10μM ACh (EC10) by 400% and with anEC50of ∼1µM. CMPI produced a left shift of the ACh concentration-response curve without altering ACh efficacy. In contrast, CMPI inhibited (∼35% at 10µM) ACh responses of (α4)2(β2)3nAChRs and fully inhibited human muscle andTorpedonAChRs with IC50values of ∼0.5µM. Upon irradiation at 312 nm, [(3)H]CMPI photoincorporated into eachTorpedo[(α1)2β1γδ] nAChR subunit. Sequencing of peptide fragments isolated from [(3)H]CMPI-photolabeled nAChR subunits established photolabeling of amino acids contributing to the ACh binding sites (αTyr(190),αTyr(198),γTrp(55),γTyr(111),γTyr(117),δTrp(57)) that was fully inhibitable by agonist and lower-efficiency, state-dependent [(3)H]CMPI photolabeling within the ion channel. Our results establish that CMPI is a potent potentiator of nAChRs containing anα4:α4 subunit interface, and that its intrinsic photoreactivy makes it of potential use to identify its binding sites in the (α4)3(β2)2nAChR. PMID:26976945

  4. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: a comparison of the nAChRs of Caenorhabditis elegans and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Joyner, Michelle; O'Connor, Vincent; Walker, Robert J

    2013-12-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play a key role in the normal physiology of nematodes and provide an established target site for anthelmintics. The free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, has a large number of nAChR subunit genes in its genome and so provides an experimental model for testing novel anthelmintics which act at these sites. However, many parasitic nematodes lack specific genes present in C. elegans, and so care is required in extrapolating from studies using C. elegans to the situation in other nematodes. In this review the properties of C. elegans nAChRs are reviewed and compared to those of parasitic nematodes. This forms the basis for a discussion of the possible subunit composition of nAChRs from different species of parasitic nematodes. Currently our knowledge on this is largely based on studies using heterologous expression and pharmacological analysis of receptor subunits in Xenopus laevis oocytes. It is concluded that more information is required regarding the subunit composition and pharmacology of endogenous nAChRs in parasitic nematodes. PMID:23500392

  5. 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.

  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. Conotoxin Interactions with α9α10-nAChRs: Is the α9α10-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor an Important Therapeutic Target for Pain Management?

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadi, Sarasa A.; Christie, MacDonald J.

    2015-01-01

    The α9α10-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) has been implicated in pain and has been proposed to be a novel target for analgesics. However, the evidence to support the involvement of the α9α10-nAChR in pain is conflicted. This receptor was first implicated in pain with the characterisation of conotoxin Vc1.1, which is highly selective for α9α10-nAChRs and is an efficacious analgesic in chronic pain models with restorative capacities and no reported side effects. Numerous other analgesic conotoxin and non-conotoxin molecules have been subsequently characterised that also inhibit α9α10-nAChRs. However, there is evidence that α9α10-nAChR inhibition is neither necessary nor sufficient for analgesia. α9α10-nAChR-inhibiting analogues of Vc1.1 have no analgesic effects. Genetically-modified α9-nAChR knockout mice have a phenotype that is markedly different from the analgesic profile of Vc1.1 and similar conotoxins, suggesting that the conotoxin effects are largely independent of α9α10-nAChRs. Furthermore, an alternative mechanism of analgesia by Vc1.1 and other similar conotoxins involving non-canonical coupling of GABAB receptors to voltage-gated calcium channels is known. Additional incongruities regarding α9α10-nAChRs in analgesia are discussed. A more comprehensive characterisation of the role of α9α10-nAChRs in pain is crucial for understanding the analgesic action of conotoxins and for improved drug design. PMID:26426047

  8. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at zebrafish red and white muscle show different properties during development.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Kazi T; Ali, Declan W

    2016-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are highly expressed at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction (NMJ) where they are required for muscle activation. Understanding the factors that underlie NMJ development is critical for a full understanding of muscle function. In this study we performed whole cell and outside-out patch clamp recordings, and single-cell RT-qPCR from zebrafish red and white muscle to examine the properties of nAChRs during the first 5 days of development. In red fibers miniature endplate currents (mEPCs) exhibit single exponential time courses at 1.5 days postfertilization (dpf) and double exponential time courses from 2 dpf onwards. In white fibers, mEPCs decay relatively slowly, with a single exponential component at 1.5 dpf. By 2 and 3 dpf, mEPC kinetics speed up, and decay with a double exponential component, and by 4 dpf the exponential decay reverts back to a single component. Single channel recordings confirm the presence of two main conductance classes of nAChRs (∼45 pS and ∼65 pS) in red fibers with multiple time courses. Two main conductance classes are also present in white fibers (∼55 pS and ∼73 pS), but they exhibit shorter mean open times by 5 dpf compared with red muscle. RT-qPCR of mRNA for nicotinic receptor subunits supports a switch from γ to ε subunits in white fibers but not in red. Our findings provide a developmental profile of mEPC properties from red and white fibers in embryonic and larval zebrafish, and reveal previously unknown differences between the NMJs of these muscle fibers.© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 916-936, 2016.

  9. Biochemical and functional properties of distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the superior cervical ganglion of mice with targeted deletions of nAChR subunit genes.

    PubMed

    David, Reinhard; Ciuraszkiewicz, Anna; Simeone, Xenia; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Papke, Roger L; McIntosh, J M; Huck, Sigismund; Scholze, Petra

    2010-03-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast synaptic transmission in ganglia of the autonomic nervous system. Here, we determined the subunit composition of hetero-pentameric nAChRs in the mouse superior cervical ganglion (SCG), the function of distinct receptors (obtained by deletions of nAChR subunit genes) and mechanisms at the level of nAChRs that might compensate for the loss of subunits. As shown by immunoprecipitation and Western blots, wild-type (WT) mice expressed: alpha 3 beta 4 (55%), alpha 3 beta 4 alpha 5 (24%) and alpha 3 beta 4 beta 2 (21%) nAChRs. nAChRs in beta 4 knockout (KO) mice were reduced to < 15% of controls and no longer contained the alpha 5 subunit. Compound action potentials, recorded from the postganglionic (internal carotid) nerve and induced by preganglionic nerve stimulation, did not differ between alpha 5 beta 4 KO and WT mice, suggesting that the reduced number of receptors in the KO mice did not impair transganglionic transmission. Deletions of alpha 5 or beta2 did not affect the overall number of receptors and we found no evidence that the two subunits substitute for each other. In addition, dual KOs allowed us to study the functional properties of distinct alpha 3 beta4 and alpha 3 beta 2 receptors that have previously only been investigated in heterologous expression systems. The two receptors strikingly differed in the decay of macroscopic currents, the efficacy of cytisine, and their responses to the alpha-conotoxins AuIB and MII. Our data, based on biochemical and functional experiments and several mouse KO models, clarify and significantly extend previous observations on the function of nAChRs in heterologous systems and the SCG. PMID:20377613

  10. 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

  11. Activation of the alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAchR) reverses referred mechanical hyperalgesia induced by colonic inflammation in mice.

    PubMed

    Costa, Robson; Motta, Emerson M; Manjavachi, Marianne N; Cola, Maíra; Calixto, João B

    2012-10-01

    In the current study, we investigated the effect of the activation of the alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAchR) on dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and referred mechanical hyperalgesia in mice. Colitis was induced in CD1 male mice through the intake of 4% DSS in tap water for 7 days. Control mice received unadulterated water. Referred mechanical hyperalgesia was evaluated for 7 days after the beginning of 4% DSS intake. Referred mechanical hyperalgesia started within 1 day after beginning DSS drinking, peaked at 3 days and persisted for 7 days. This time course profile perfectly matched with the appearance of signs of colitis. Both acute and chronic oral treatments with nicotine (0.1-1.0 mg/kg, p.o.) were effective in inhibiting the established referred mechanical hyperalgesia. The antinociceptive effect of nicotine was completely abrogated by cotreatment with the selective α7 nAchR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) (1.0 mg/kg). Consistent with these results, i.p. treatment with the selective α7 nAchR agonist PNU 282987 (0.1-1.0 mg/kg) reduced referred mechanical hyperalgesia at all periods of evaluation. Despite their antinociceptive effects, nicotinic agonists did not affect DSS-induced colonic damage or inflammation. Taken together, the data generated in the present study show the potential relevance of using α7 nAchR agonists to treat referred pain and discomfort associated with inflammatory bowel diseases.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Kinetic evidence that desensitized nAChR may promote transitions of active nAChR to desensitized states during sustained exposure to agonists in skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Manthey, Arthur A

    2006-06-01

    During prolonged exposure of postjunctional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) of skeletal muscle to acetylcholine (ACh), agonist-activated nAChR (nAChRa) gradually fall into a refractory "desensitized" state (nAChRd), which no longer supports the high-conductance channel openings characteristic of the initially active nAChRa. In the present study, the possibility was examined that nAChRd, rather than simply constituting a passive "trap" for nAChRa, may actively promote further conversions of nAChRa to nAChRd in a formally autocatalytic manner. Single-ion whole-cell voltage-clamp currents (Na+ and Li+ in separate trials) were measured using two KCl-filled capillary electrodes (5-10 MOmega) implanted at the postjunctional locus of single frog skeletal muscle fibers (Rana pipiens) equilibrated in 30 mM K+ bath media to eliminate mechanical responses. Various nAChR agonists (carbamylcholine, acetylcholine, suberyldicholine) at different concentrations were delivered focally by positive pressure microjet. It was found that the decline of postmaximal agonist-induced currents under these different conditions (driven by the growth of the subpool of nAChRd) consistently followed an autocatalytic logistic rule modified for population growth of fixed units in a planar array: [Formula: see text] (where y represents the remaining agonist-induced current at time t, A=initial maximum current, and n is a constant). Some further experimental features that might result from a self-promoting growth of nAChRd were also tested, namely, (1) the effect of increased nAChRa and (2) the effect of increased nAChRd. Increase in agonist concentration of the superfusate, by increasing the planar density of active nAChRa at the outset, should enhance the probability of autocatalytic interactions with emerging nAChRd, hence, the rate of decline of agonist-induced current, and this was a consistent finding under all conditions tested. Raising the initial level of desensitized nAChRd by

  18. α5-nAChR modulates nicotine-induced cell migration and invasion in A549 lung cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Sun, Haiji; Ma, Xiaoli

    2015-09-01

    Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor in the development of human lung cancer. Nicotine, the major component in tobacco, not only contributes to carcinogenesis but also promotes tumor metastasis. By binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), nicotine induces the proliferation and migration of non-small cell lung cancer. Recently studies have indicated that α5-nAChR is highly associated with lung cancer risk and nicotine dependence. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether nicotine promotes the migration and invasion through activation of α5-nAChR in lung cancer. In the present study, A549 cell was exposed to 1μN nicotine for 8, 24 or 48h. Wound-healing assay and transwell assay were used to evaluate the capability of A549 cell migration and cell invasion, respectively. Silencing of α5-nAChR was done by siRNA. Western blotting and PCR were used to detect α5-nAChR expression. Nicotine can induce activation of α5-nAChR in association with increased migration and invasion of human lung cancer A549 cell. Treatment of cells with α5-nAChR specific siRNA blocks nicotine-stimulated activation of α5-nAChR and suppresses A549 cell migration and invasion. Reduction of α5-nAChR resulted in upregulation of E-cadherin, consistent with E-cadherin being inhibitive of cancer cell invasion. These findings suggest that nicotine-induced migration and invasion may occur in a mechanism through activation of α5-nAChR, which can contribute to metastasis or development of human lung cancer.

  19. The 3,7-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane scaffold for subtype selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) ligands. Part 1: the influence of different hydrogen bond acceptor systems on alkyl and (hetero)aryl substituents.

    PubMed

    Eibl, Christoph; Tomassoli, Isabelle; Munoz, Lenka; Stokes, Clare; Papke, Roger L; Gündisch, Daniela

    2013-12-01

    3,7-Diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane is a naturally occurring scaffold interacting with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). When one nitrogen of the 3,7-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane scaffold was implemented in a carboxamide motif displaying a hydrogen bond acceptor (HBA) functionality, compounds with higher affinities and subtype selectivity for α4β2(∗) were obtained. The nature of the HBA system (carboxamide, sulfonamide, urea) had a strong impact on nAChR interaction. High affinity ligands for α4β2(∗) possessed small alkyl chains, small un-substituted hetero-aryl groups or para-substituted phenyl ring systems along with a carboxamide group. Electrophysiological responses of selected 3,7-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane derivatives to Xenopus oocytes expressing various nAChR subtypes showed diverse activation profiles. Compounds with strongest agonistic profiles were obtained with small alkyl groups whereas a shift to partial agonism/antagonism was observed for aryl substituents. PMID:24156938

  20. nAChR agonist-induced cognition enhancement: integration of cognitive and neuronal mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sarter, Martin; Parikh, Vinay; Howe, William M

    2009-10-01

    The identification and characterization of drugs for the treatment of cognitive disorders has been hampered by the absence of comprehensive hypotheses. Such hypotheses consist of (a) a precisely defined cognitive operation that fundamentally underlies a range of cognitive abilities and capacities and, if impaired, contributes to the manifestation of diverse cognitive symptoms; (b) defined neuronal mechanisms proposed to mediate the cognitive operation of interest; (c) evidence indicating that the putative cognition enhancer facilitates these neuronal mechanisms; (d) and evidence indicating that the cognition enhancer facilitates cognitive performance by modulating these underlying neuronal mechanisms. The evidence on the neuronal and attentional effects of nAChR agonists, specifically agonists selective for alpha4beta2* nAChRs, has begun to support such a hypothesis. nAChR agonists facilitate the detection of signals by augmenting the transient increases in prefrontal cholinergic activity that are necessary for a signal to gain control over behavior in attentional contexts. The prefrontal microcircuitry mediating these effects include alpha4beta2* nAChRs situated on the terminals of thalamic inputs and the glutamatergic stimulation of cholinergic terminals via ionotropic glutamate receptors. Collectively, this evidence forms the basis for hypothesis-guided development and characterization of cognition enhancers.

  1. Evidence for the exclusive expression of functional homomeric α7 nAChRs in hypothalamic histaminergic tuberomammillary neurons in rats.

    PubMed

    Tischkau, Shelley; Mhaskar, Yashanad; Uteshev, Victor V

    2014-03-20

    Hypothalamic histaminergic tuberomammillary (TM) neurons in rats express high densities of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) whose Ca(2+) permeability, kinetic and pharmacological properties are similar to those of heterologous homomeric α7 nAChRs. However, native α7 nAChR subunits can co-assemble with β or α5 nAChR subunits to form functional heteromeric α7-containing α7β or α7α5 nAChRs with kinetics and pharmacology similar to those of α7 homomers. Therefore, although TM nAChRs have been used as an ex vivo model of functional α7 homomers, the molecular makeup of TM nAChRs has not been determined and the expression of functional α7-containing heteromers in TM neurons has not been excluded. To determine the profile of TM nAChR subunit transcripts, we have conducted single-cell qRT-PCR experiments using acutely dissociated TM neurons in rats. TM neurons were found to express transcripts of only principal α3, α6 and α7 nAChR subunits. Transcripts of other known mammalian neuronal subunits (α2, α4-5, α9-10, β2-4) were not detected. In the absence of β and α5 subunits, the expression of functional α7-containing heteromers in TM neurons is highly unlikely because principal α3, α6 and α7 nAChR subunits alone are not known to form functional heteromeric nAChRs. These results support the exclusive expression of native functional α7 homomers in rat TM neurons and introduce these neurons as a unique reliable source of native functional homomeric α7 nAChRs suitable for ex vivo and in vitro pharmacological assays in developing selective α7 nAChR agents.

  2. 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.

  3. Real Time Ligand-Induced Motion Mappings of AChBP and nAChR Using X-ray Single Molecule Tracking

    PubMed Central

    Sekiguchi, Hiroshi; Suzuki, Yasuhito; Nishino, Yuri; Kobayashi, Suzuko; Shimoyama, Yoshiko; Cai, Weiyan; Nagata, Kenji; Okada, Masato; Ichiyanagi, Kouhei; Ohta, Noboru; Yagi, Naoto; Miyazawa, Atsuo; Kubo, Tai; Sasaki, Yuji C.

    2014-01-01

    We observed the dynamic three-dimensional (3D) single molecule behaviour of acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) using a single molecule tracking technique, diffracted X-ray tracking (DXT) with atomic scale and 100 μs time resolution. We found that the combined tilting and twisting motions of the proteins were enhanced upon acetylcholine (ACh) binding. We present the internal motion maps of AChBP and nAChR in the presence of either ACh or α-bungarotoxin (αBtx), with views from two rotational axes. Our findings indicate that specific motion patterns represented as biaxial angular motion maps are associated with channel function in real time and on an atomic scale. PMID:25223459

  4. 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.

  5. The Role of nAChR and Calcium Signaling in Pancreatic Cancer Initiation and Progression

    PubMed Central

    Schaal, Courtney; Padmanabhan, Jaya; Chellappan, Srikumar

    2015-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer shows a strong correlation with smoking and the current therapeutic strategies have been relatively ineffective in improving the survival of patients. Efforts have been made over the past many years to understand the molecular events that drive the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer, especially in the context of smoking. It has become clear that components of tobacco smoke not only initiate these cancers, especially pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDACs) through their mutagenic properties, but can also promote the growth and metastasis of these tumors by stimulating cell proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Studies in cell culture systems, animal models and human samples have shown that nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) activation enhances these tumor-promoting events by channeling signaling through multiple pathways. In this context, signaling through calcium channels appear to facilitate pancreatic cancer growth by itself or downstream of nAChRs. This review article highlights the role of nAChR downstream signaling events and calcium signaling in the growth, metastasis as well as drug resistance of pancreatic cancer. PMID:26264026

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-23

    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

  7. Activity of nAChRs Containing α9 Subunits Modulates Synapse Stabilization via Bidirectional Signaling Programs

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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) α9 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 α9 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 α9 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 α9 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 α9 null mice. Finally, by using mice expressing the nondesensitizing α9 L9′T point mutant nAChR subunit, we show that increased nAChR activity drives synaptic hyperinnervation. PMID:19790106

  8. Silencing A7-nAChR levels increases the sensitivity of gastric cancer cells to ixabepilone treatment.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Gastric cancer is an important health issue worldwide. Currently, improving the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy drugs is an important goal of cancer research. Alpha-7 nicotine acetylcholine receptor (A7-nAChR) is the key molecule that mediates gastric cancer progression, metastasis, and therapy responses; however, the role of A7-nAChR in the therapeutic efficacy of ixabepilone remains unclear. A7-nAChR expression was silenced by small interfering RNA (siRNA) technology. The cytotoxicity of ixabepilone was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and ixabepilone-induced apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) apoptotic assay. The expression patterns of anti-apoptotic proteins (AKT, phospho-AKT, Mcl-1, and Bcl-2) and pro-apoptotic proteins (Bad and Bax) were determined by western blot. Our study found that A7-nAChR knockdown (A7-nAChR-KD) AGS cells were more sensitive to ixabepilone administration than scrambled control AGS cells. We found that A7-nAChR knockdown enhanced ixabepilone-induced cell death as evidenced by the increased number of annexin V-positive (apoptotic) cells. After scrambled control and A7-nAChR-KD cells were treated with ixabepilone, we found that pAKT and AKT levels were significantly reduced in both groups of cells. The levels of Bcl-2 and the anti-apoptotic Mcl-1 isoform increased dramatically after ixabepilone treatment in scrambled control cells but not in A7-nAChR-KD cells. Bad and Bax levels did not change between the treatment group and vehicle group in both A7-nAChR-KD and scrambled control cells, whereas cleaved PARP levels dramatically increased in ixabepilone-treated A7-nAChR-KD cells. Our results demonstrated that knockdown of A7-nAChR enhanced the sensitivity of gastric cancer cells to ixabepilone administration. Thus, the A7-nAChR expression level in patients with gastric cancer may be a good indicator of ixabepilone sensitivity.

  9. 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. PMID:18485593

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Functionality and stability data 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

    2016-03-01

    The presented data provides additional information about the assessment of affinity purified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) rich membrane solubilized with long chain (16 saturated carbons) lysophospholipid with glycerol headgroup (LFG-16). The assessment of stability and functionality of solubilized membrane protein is a critical step prior to further crystallization trails. One of the key factors for this task is the appropriate choice of a detergent that can support nAChR activity and stability comparable to the crude membranes. The stability of the nAChR-LFG-16 complex incorporated into lipid cubic phase (LCP) was monitored for a period of 30 days by means of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and the functionality was evaluated after its incorporation into Xenopus oocyte by means of the two electrode voltage clamp technique. PMID:26870753

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    α6β2* nAChRs in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) 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 (ACh). Evoked extracellular dopamine (DA) levels were enhanced in α6L9’S NAc slices compared to control, non-transgenic (nonTg) slices. Extracellular DA levels in both nonTg 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 ACh 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 (DOPAC), and homovanillic acid (HVA) compared to nonTg NAc tissue. Serotonin (5-HT), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and norepinephrine (NE) were unchanged in α6L9’S compared to nonTg 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. PMID:24266758

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Expression and function of striatal nAChRs differ in the flinders sensitive (FSL) and resistant (FRL) rat lines.

    PubMed

    Auta, J; Lecca, D; Nelson, M; Guidotti, A; Overstreet, D H; Costa, E; Javaid, J I

    2000-10-01

    Rats of Flinders Sensitive (FSL) and Flinders Resistant lines (FRL) differ in their susceptibility to physiological and associated behavioral responses elicited by nicotine. In the present study, we measured dopamine (DA) content in striatal dialysates to investigate the sensitivity of FSL and FRL rats to nicotine delivered locally through a microdialysis probe placed in the striatum. We also measured the expression density of striatal high-affinity nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and that of mRNAs encoding for alpha3, alpha4, alpha7 and beta2 nAChR subunits in both lines. The DA content of dialysates was measured before and after a 1-min perfusion of nicotine (6, 10 or 20 nmoles/min) and the resulting DA increase was taken as a measure of the alkaloid's intrinsic activity for nAChRs involved in the release of DA. The nicotine-induced increase of striatal DA release was greater in FSL than in FRL rats for all concentrations of nicotine, suggesting that the intrinsic activity of nicotine was greater in the FSL than in the FRL rats. This was further supported by our finding that the density of high-affinity nAChRs in the striatum of FSL rats was 44% greater than in the FRL rats, whereas affinity (K(D)) was virtually the same in the two lines of rats. Also the expression of mRNAs encoding for alpha(4), alpha(7), and beta(2) subunits in the striatum was greater in FSL than in FRL rats (attomol/microg total RNA, alpha(4):98+/-10 vs. 77+/-7; alpha(7):279+/-16 vs. 184+/-16; beta(2):310+/-19 vs. 201+/-12). We hypothesize that the difference in nicotine-induced DA release in the striatum of FSL and FRL rats depends on the difference in nAChR subunit expression in the striatum between the two lines. The Flinders rats could be used as a model for nicotine self-administration studies to evaluate the susceptibilities of FSL and FRL rats to nicotine dependence.

  19. 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

  20. Characterization of a T-superfamily conotoxin TxVC from Conus textile that selectively targets neuronal nAChR subtypes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuo; Du, Tianpeng; Liu, Zhuguo; Wang, Sheng; Wu, Ying; Ding, Jiuping; Jiang, Ling; Dai, Qiuyun

    2014-11-01

    T-superfamily conotoxins have a typical cysteine pattern of "CC-CC", and are known to mainly target calcium or sodium ion channels. Recently, we screened the targets of a series of T-superfamily conotoxins and found that a new T-superfamily conotoxin TxVC (KPCCSIHDNSCCGL-NH2) from the venom of Conus textile. It selectively targeted the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes α4β2 and α3β2, with IC50 values of 343.4 and 1047.2nM, respectively, but did not exhibit obvious pharmacological effects on voltage-gated potassium, sodium or calcium channel in DRG cells, the BK channels expressed in HEK293 cells, or the Kv channels in LβT2 cells. The changes in the inhibitory activities of its Ala mutants, the NMR structure, and molecular simulation results based on other conotoxins targeting nAChR α4β2, all demonstrated that the residues Ile(6) and Leu(14) were the main hydrophobic pharmacophores. To our best knowledge, this is the first T-superfamily conotoxin that inhibits neuronal nAChRs and possesses high binding affinity to α4β2. This finding will expand the knowledge of the targets of T-superfamily conotoxins and the motif information could help the design of new nAChR inhibitors.

  1. Pharmacological stress is required for the anti-alcohol effect of the α3β4* nAChR partial agonist AT-1001.

    PubMed

    Cippitelli, Andrea; Brunori, Gloria; Gaiolini, Kelly A; Zaveri, Nurulain T; Toll, Lawrence

    2015-06-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are often taken together. The mechanisms underlying this frequent co-abuse are not well known. Genetic and pharmacological evidence suggests that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing the α3 and β4 subunits play a role in alcohol as well as nicotine addiction. AT-1001 is a high affinity α3β4 nAChR partial agonist recently found to block nicotine self-administration and relapse-like behavior in rats. Here, to study the involvement of α3β4 nAChRs in the mechanisms that regulate alcohol abuse we evaluated the effects of AT-1001 on alcohol taking and seeking in Sprague-Dawley rats. AT-1001 reduced operant alcohol self-administration at the highest dose examined (3.0 mg/kg), an effect also observed for food self-administration. A dose of 1.5 mg/kg AT-1001, which had no effect on alcohol or food self-administration, essentially eliminated reinstatement of alcohol seeking induced by yohimbine (0.625 mg/kg) whereas, reinstatement induced by alcohol-associated cues was not altered, nor did AT-1001 induce reinstatement of extinguished self-administration on its own. Finally, AT-1001 showed an anxiolytic activity when measured in the presence or absence of yohimbine stress in the elevated plus maze paradigm. Together, these observations do not support a specific involvement of the α3β4 nAChR in mediating alcohol reward or cue-induced relapse to alcohol seeking but rather indicate that the α3β4 nAChR partial agonism may constitute an attractive approach for treating alcohol use disorders exacerbated by elevated stress response.

  2. α6 nAChR subunit residues that confer α-conotoxin BuIA selectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun-Woo; McIntosh, J Michael

    2012-10-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing α6 and/or α4 subunits modulate the release of dopamine. However, few compounds can effectively discriminate between ligand-binding sites that contain α6 vs. α4 nAChR subunits. Using a chimeric (α6/α4) subunit, we showed that α-conotoxin BuIA binds the extracellular rat α6β2 vs. α4β2 interface with ∼60,000-fold selectivity. Chimeras containing residues from the α6 subunit were inserted into the homologous position of the α4 subunit to identify critical sequence segments. The region between residues 184 and 207 in the α6 subunit accounted for the potency difference. Chimeras within this region followed by point mutations were constructed for further definition. α6 Lys185, Thr187, and Ile188 form a triad of key residues that influence BuIA binding; when these 3 α6 residues were inserted into the α4 subunit, there was an ∼2000-fold increase in toxin potency. We used a crystal structure of BuIA bound to the acetylcholine-binding protein together with the structure of the Torepedo marmorata nAChR to build a homology model of BuIA bound to the interface between α6 and β2 subunits. The results indicate that the triad of α6 residues lies outside the C loop and is distantly located from bound BuIA (>10 Å). This suggests that alterations in potency are not caused by the direct interaction between the triad and BuIA. Instead, alterations in C-loop 3-dimensional structure and/or flexibility may account for differential potency. Thr198 and Tyr205 also contributed to BuIA potency. In addition, Thr198 caused BuIA potency differences between the closely related α6 and α3 subunits. Together, the findings provide insight into differences between the α6 and other α subunits that may be exploited by α-conotoxins to achieve binding selectivity. PMID:22751014

  3. Nicotinic ACh receptors as therapeutic targets in CNS disorders.

    PubMed

    Dineley, Kelly T; Pandya, Anshul A; Yakel, Jerrel L

    2015-02-01

    The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) can regulate neuronal excitability by acting on the cys-loop cation-conducting ligand-gated nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) channels. These receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system (CNS), being expressed on neurons and non-neuronal cells, where they participate in a variety of physiological responses such as anxiety, the central processing of pain, food intake, nicotine seeking behavior, and cognitive functions. In the mammalian brain, nine different subunits have been found thus far, which assemble into pentameric complexes with much subunit diversity; however, the α7 and α4β2 subtypes predominate in the CNS. Neuronal nAChR dysfunction is involved in the pathophysiology of many neurological disorders. Here we will briefly discuss the functional makeup and expression of the nAChRs in mammalian brain, and their role as targets in neurodegenerative diseases (in particular Alzheimer's disease, AD), neurodevelopmental disorders (in particular autism and schizophrenia), and neuropathic pain.

  4. Rodent habenulo-interpeduncular pathway expresses a large variety of uncommon nAChR subtypes, but only the α3β4* and α3β3β4* subtypes mediate acetylcholine release

    PubMed Central

    Grady, Sharon R.; Moretti, Milena; Zoli, Michele; Marks, Michael J.; Zanardi, Alessio; Pucci, Luca; Clementi, Francesco; Gotti, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that the neuronal nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) present in the habenulo-interpeduncular (Hb-IPn) system can modulate the reinforcing effect of addictive drugs and the anxiolytic effect of nicotine. Hb and IPn neurons express mRNAs for most nAChR subunits thus making it difficult to establish the subunit composition of functional receptors. We used immunoprecipitation and immunopurification studies performed in rat, and wildtype (+/+) and β2 knockout (−/−) mice to establish that the Hb and IPn contain significant β2* and β4* populations of nAChR receptors (each of which is heterogeneous). The β4* nAChR are more highly expressed in the IPn. We also identified novel native subtypes (α2β2*, α4β3β2*α3β3β4*, α6β3β4*). Our studies on IPn synaptosomes obtained from +/+ and α2, α4, α5, α6, α7, β2, β3 and β4−/− mice, show that only the α3β4 and α3β3β4 subtypes facilitate acetylcholine (ACh) release. Ligand binding, immunoprecipitation and Western blotting studies in β3−/− mice showed that in the IPn of these mice there is a concomitant reduction of ACh release and α3β4* receptors, while the receptor number remains the same in the Hb. We suggest that in habenular cholinergic neurons the β3 subunit may be important for transporting the α3β4* subtype from the medial habenula (MHb) to the IPn. Overall, these studies highlight the presence of a wealth of uncommon nAChR subtypes in the Hb-IPn system and identify α3β4 and α3β3β4, transported from the Hb and highly enriched in the IPn, as the subtypes modulating ACh release in the IPn. PMID:19228980

  5. Impairment of contextual fear extinction by chronic nicotine and withdrawal from chronic nicotine is associated with hippocampal nAChR upregulation.

    PubMed

    Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Oliver, Chicora; Huang, Peng; Liu-Chen, Lee-Yuan; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-10-01

    Chronic nicotine and withdrawal from chronic nicotine have been shown to be major modulators of fear learning behavior. Moreover, recent studies from our laboratory have shown that acute nicotine impaired fear extinction and safety learning in mice. However, the effects of chronic nicotine and withdrawal on fear extinction are unknown. Therefore, the current experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of chronic nicotine as well as withdrawal from chronic nicotine on contextual fear extinction in mice. C57BL6/J mice were given contextual fear conditioning training and retention testing during chronic nicotine administration. Mice then received contextual fear extinction either during chronic nicotine or during withdrawal from chronic nicotine. Our results showed that contextual fear extinction was impaired both during chronic nicotine administration and subsequent withdrawal. However, it was also observed that the effects of prior chronic nicotine disappeared after 72 h in withdrawal, a timeline that closely matches with the timing of the chronic nicotine-induced upregulation of hippocampal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) density. Additional experiments found that 4 days, but not 1 day, of continuous nicotine administration upregulated hippocampal nAChRs and impaired contextual fear extinction. These effects disappeared following 72 h withdrawal. Overall, these experiments provide a potential link between nicotine-induced upregulation of hippocampal nAChRs and fear extinction deficits observed in patients with anxiety disorders, which may lead to advancements in the pharmacological treatment methods for this disorder. PMID:27378334

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cloning of eight Rhopalosiphum padi (Hemiptera: Aphididae) nAChR subunit genes and mutation detection of the β1 subunit in field samples from China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meng; Qiao, Xianfeng; Li, Yuting; Fang, Bing; Zuo, Yayun; Chen, Maohua

    2016-09-01

    The bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), is one of the most important wheat pests. This aphid damages through direct feeding and by transmitting the Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). Both types of damage significantly reduce the quality and yield of wheat crops globally. Insecticides are the primary method of controlling the bird cherry-oat aphid in China, yet this aphid species has developed resistance to different types of insecticides, especially organophosphates and carbamates. In the last decade, control of R. padi depends primarily on the spray of neonicotinoid insecticides, however, research on the resistance of R. padi to neonicotinoids has been limited. In this study, the full lengths of seven α-subunit (Rpα1, Rpα2, Rpα3, Rpα4, Rpα5, Rpα7-1, and Rpα7-2) and one β-subunit (Rpβ1) genes from R. padi were obtained with RT-PCR and RACE techniques. Sequence analysis showed that these genes had all the characteristics of the nAChR gene family and were highly homologous with the reported nAChR genes from other insects, and alternative splicing was detected in Rpα3 and Rpα5 subunits. Analysis of the cDNA sequence of the extracellular region of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β1 subunit gene from 120 R. padi field samples collected in 11 Provinces revealed 17 single nucleotides polymorphism (SNP) sites, of which seven were amino acid polymorphism sites (V53I, V53G, N54T, A60T, F61L, W79C, and V83I) and two were in the loop D region (W79C and V83I). The current study will facilitate further studies on the molecular mechanisms of targeted resistance of the aphid to neonicotinoid insecticides. PMID:27521918

  11. A type-II positive allosteric modulator of α7 nAChRs reduces brain injury and improves neurological function after focal cerebral ischemia in rats.

    PubMed

    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

  12. Alpha 7 subunit of nAChR regulates migration of human mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Schraufstatter, Ingrid U; DiScipio, Richard G; Khaldoyanidi, Sophia K

    2009-01-01

    The efficient migration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to diseased tissues is required for the fulfillment of their regenerative potential. Recruitment of circulating cells into the damaged tissues is regulated by a complex network, which includes the non-neural cholinergic system. We found that human MSCs (hMSCs) express nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits alpha 7, beta 2 and beta 4. The receptor agonist nicotine caused calcium (Ca(++)) influx into hMSCs suggesting that the calcium ion channel alpha 7 homopolymer mediated this response. While high concentrations of nicotine (10(5)M) induced hMSC apoptosis, physiological concentrations (10(7)M) did not interfere with cell survival. At non-toxic concentrations, nicotine increased spontaneous migration of hMSCs, whereas chemotaxis of hMSCs toward C3a and bFGF in vitro and migration of intravenously infusion hMSCs into bone marrow and spleen in vivo were inhibited. The antagonist for the alpha 7 homopolymer, bungarotoxin, blocked the inhibitory effect of nicotine on chemotactic factor-induced migration of hMSCs. These findings reveal an involvement of the non-neural cholinergic system in regulation of hMSC migration.

  13. Neuroprotective effect of cellular prion protein (PrPC) is related with activation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAchR)-mediated autophagy flux.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Park, Sang-Youel

    2015-09-22

    Activation of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAchR) is regulated by prion protein (PrPC) expression and has a neuroprotective effect by modulating autophagic flux. In this study, we hypothesized that PrPC may regulate α7nAchR activation and that may prevent prion-related neurodegenerative diseases by regulating autophagic flux. PrP(106-126) treatment decreased α7nAchR expression and activation of autophagic flux. In addition, the α7nAchR activator PNU-282987 enhanced autophagic flux and protected neuron cells against PrP(106-126)-induced apoptosis. However, activation of autophagy and the protective effects of PNU-282987 were inhibited in PrPC knockout hippocampal neuron cells. In addition, PrPC knockout hippocampal neuron cells showed decreased α7nAchR expression levels. Adenoviral overexpression of PrPC in PrPC knockout hippocampal neuron cells resulted in activation of autophagic flux and inhibition of prion peptide-mediated cell death via α7nAchR activation. This is the first report demonstrating that activation of α7nAchR-mediated autophagic flux is regulated by PrPC, and that activation of α7nAchR regulated by PrPC expression may play a pivotal role in protection of neuron cells against prion peptide-induced neuron cell death by autophagy. These results suggest that α7nAchR-mediated autophagic flux may be involved in the pathogenesis of prion-related diseases and may be a therapeutic target for prion-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Neuroprotective effect of cellular prion protein (PrPC) is related with activation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAchR)-mediated autophagy flux.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Park, Sang-Youel

    2015-09-22

    Activation of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAchR) is regulated by prion protein (PrPC) expression and has a neuroprotective effect by modulating autophagic flux. In this study, we hypothesized that PrPC may regulate α7nAchR activation and that may prevent prion-related neurodegenerative diseases by regulating autophagic flux. PrP(106-126) treatment decreased α7nAchR expression and activation of autophagic flux. In addition, the α7nAchR activator PNU-282987 enhanced autophagic flux and protected neuron cells against PrP(106-126)-induced apoptosis. However, activation of autophagy and the protective effects of PNU-282987 were inhibited in PrPC knockout hippocampal neuron cells. In addition, PrPC knockout hippocampal neuron cells showed decreased α7nAchR expression levels. Adenoviral overexpression of PrPC in PrPC knockout hippocampal neuron cells resulted in activation of autophagic flux and inhibition of prion peptide-mediated cell death via α7nAchR activation. This is the first report demonstrating that activation of α7nAchR-mediated autophagic flux is regulated by PrPC, and that activation of α7nAchR regulated by PrPC expression may play a pivotal role in protection of neuron cells against prion peptide-induced neuron cell death by autophagy. These results suggest that α7nAchR-mediated autophagic flux may be involved in the pathogenesis of prion-related diseases and may be a therapeutic target for prion-related neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26295309

  15. 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. PMID:26180048

  16. α4β2 nicotinic receptors play a role in the nAChR-mediated decline in L-dopa-induced dyskinesias in parkinsonian rats

    PubMed Central

    Quik, Maryka; Campos, Carla; Bordia, Tanuja; Strachan, Jon-Paul; Zhang, Jenny; McIntosh, J. Michael; Letchworth, Sharon; Jordan, Kristen

    2013-01-01

    L-dopa-induced dyskinesias are a serious long-term side effect of dopamine replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease for which there are few treatment options. Our previous studies showed that nicotine decreased L-dopa-induced abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs). Subsequent work with knockout mice demonstrated that α6β2* nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) play a key role. The present experiments were done to determine if α4β2* nAChRs are also involved in L-dopa-induced dyskinesias. To approach this, we took advantage of the finding that α6β2* nAChRs are predominantly present on striatal dopaminergic nerve terminals, while a significant population of α4β2* nAChRs are located on other neurons. Thus, a severe dopaminergic lesion would cause a major loss in α6β2*, but not α4β2* nAChRs. Experiments were therefore done in which rats were unilaterally lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamine, at a dose that lead to severe nigrostriatal damage. The dopamine transporter, a dopamine nerve terminal marker, was decreased by >99%. This lesion also decreased striatal α6β2* nAChRs by 97%, while α4β2* nAChRs were reduced by only 12% compared to control. A series of β2* nAChR compounds, including TC-2696, TI-10165, TC-8831, TC-10600 and sazetidine reduced L-dopa-induced AIMs in these rats by 23–32%. TC-2696, TI-10165, TC-8831 were also tested for parkinsonism, with no effect on this behavior. Tolerance did not develop with up to 3 months of treatment. Since α4a5β2 nAChRs are also predominantly on striatal dopamine terminals, these data suggest that drugs targeting α4β2 nAChRs may reduce L-dopa-induced dyskinesias in late stage Parkinson’s disease. PMID:23583932

  17. 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…

  18. Neuroprotective effects of donepezil against Aβ42-induced neuronal toxicity are mediated through not only enhancing PP2A activity but also regulating GSK-3β and nAChRs activity.

    PubMed

    Noh, Min-Young; Koh, Seong H; Kim, Sung-Min; Maurice, Tangui; Ku, Sae-Kwang; Kim, Seung H

    2013-11-01

    The main purpose of this study was to evaluate whether donepezil, acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, shown to play a protective role through inhibiting glycogen synthesis kinase-3β (GSK-3β) activity, could also exert neuroprotective effects by stimulating protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity in the amyloid-beta (Aβ)42-induced neuronal toxicity model of Alzheimer's disease. In Aβ42-induced toxic conditions, each PP2A and GSK-3β activity measured at different times showed time-dependent reverse pattern toward the direction of accelerating neuronal deaths with the passage of time. In addition, donepezil pre-treatment showed dose-dependent stepwise increase of neuronal viability and stimulation of PP2A activity. However, such effects on them were significantly reduced through the depletion of PP2A activity with either okadaic acid or PP2Ac siRNA. In spite of blocked PP2A activity in this Aβ42 insult, however, donepezil pretreatment showed additional significant recovering effect on neuronal viability when compared to the value without donepezil. Moreover, donepezil partially recovered its dephosphorylating effect on hyperphosphorylated tau induced by Aβ42. This observation led us to assume that additional mechanisms of donepezil, including its inhibitory effect on GSK-3β activity and/or the activation role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), might be involved. Taken together, our results suggest that the neuroprotective effects of donepezil against Aβ42-induced neurotoxicity are mediated through activation of PP2A, but its additional mechanisms including regulation of GSK-3β and nAChRs activity would partially contribute to its effects. We investigated neuroprotective mechanisms of donepezil against Aβ42 toxicity: Donepezil increased neuronal viability with reduced p-tau by enhancing PP2A activity. Despite of blocked PP2A activity, donepezil showed additional recovering effect on neuronal viability, which findings led us to assume that additional

  19. Concomitant alpha7 and beta2 nicotinic AChR subunit deficiency leads to impaired energy homeostasis and increased physical activity in mice.

    PubMed

    Somm, Emmanuel; Guérardel, Audrey; Maouche, Kamel; Toulotte, Audrey; Veyrat-Durebex, Christelle; Rohner-Jeanrenaud, Françoise; Maskos, Uwe; Hüppi, Petra S; Schwitzgebel, Valérie M

    2014-05-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric ligand-gated cation channels well characterized in neuronal signal transmission. Moreover, recent studies have revealed nAChR expression in nonneuronal cell types throughout the body, including tissues involved in metabolism. In the present study, we screen gene expression of nAChR subunits in pancreatic islets and adipose tissues. Mice pancreatic islets present predominant expression of α7 and β2 nAChR subunits but at a lower level than in central structures. Characterization of glucose and energy homeostasis in α7β2nAChR(-/-) mice revealed no major defect in insulin secretion and sensitivity but decreased glycemia apparently unrelated to gluconeogenesis or glycogenolysis. α7β2nAChR(-/-) mice presented an increase in lean and bone body mass and a decrease in fat storage with normal body weight. These observations were associated with elevated spontaneous physical activity in α7β2nAChR(-/-) mice, mainly due to elevation in fine vertical (rearing) activity while their horizontal (ambulatory) activity remained unchanged. In contrast to α7nAChR(-/-) mice presenting glucose intolerance and insulin resistance associated to excessive inflammation of adipose tissue, the present metabolic phenotyping of α7β2nAChR(-/-) mice revealed a metabolic improvement possibly linked to the increase in spontaneous physical activity related to central β2nAChR deficiency.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. α7nAchR/NMDAR coupling affects NMDAR function and object recognition.

    PubMed

    Li, Shupeng; Nai, Qiang; Lipina, Tatiana V; Roder, John C; Liu, Fang

    2013-12-20

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAchR) and NMDA glutamate receptor (NMDAR) are both ligand-gated ion channels permeable to Ca2+ and Na+. Previous studies have demonstrated functional modulation of NMDARs by nAchRs, although the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. We have previously reported that α7nAchR forms a protein complex with the NMDAR through a protein-protein interaction. We also developed an interfering peptide that is able to disrupt the α7nAchR-NMDAR complex and blocks cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine-seeking in rat models of relapse. In the present study, we investigated whether the α7nAchR-NMDAR interaction is responsible for the functional modulation of NMDAR by α7nAchR using both electrophysiological and behavioral tests. We have found that activation of α7nAchR upregulates NMDAR-mediated whole cell currents and LTP of mEPSC in cultured hippocampal neurons, which can be abolished by the interfering peptide that disrupts the α7nAchR-NMDAR interaction. Moreover, administration of the interfering peptide in mice impairs novel object recognition but not Morris water maze performance. Our results suggest that α7nAchR/NMDAR coupling may selectively affect some aspects of learning and memory.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and cancer

    PubMed Central

    DANG, NINGNING; MENG, XIANGUANG; SONG, HAIYAN

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Differential inhibition of rat alpha3* and alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by tetrandrine and closely related bis-benzylisoquinoline derivatives.

    PubMed

    Virginio, Caterina; Graziani, Francesca; Terstappen, Georg C

    2005-06-24

    The patch-clamp technique was used to investigate the effects of bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids on two of the major neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the alpha3-containing nAChR (alpha3*nAChR) endogenously expressed in PC12 cells and the rat alpha7-nAChR heterologously expressed in GH4C1 cells. Tetrandrine and hernandezine reversibly inhibited both receptors displaying half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of 8.1 microM and 5.8 microM for alpha3*nAChR and 407.4 nM and 372.2 nM, respectively, for alpha7-nAChR. E6-berbamine completely inhibited the alpha3*nAChR with an IC50 of 5.1 microM, but only partially inhibited the alpha7-nAChR at concentrations up to 30 microM. Tetrandrine inhibition of alpha3*nAChR was functionally non-competitive. All three compounds displaced radiolabelled methyllycaconitine ([3H]-MLA) binding to alpha7-nAChR providing some evidence of competitive antagonism. The results demonstrate that these alkaloids are nAChRs antagonists, with tetrandrine and hernandezine displaying selectivity for one of the major neuronal subtype, the alpha7 nAChR. The different potencies and multiple modes of action on nAChRs may help to better understand the pharmacology of these receptors and to aid in novel drug design.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Natural compounds interacting with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: from low-molecular weight ones to peptides and proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:27435422

  16. The role of alpha-7 nicotinic receptors in food intake behaviors.

    PubMed

    McFadden, Kristina L; Cornier, Marc-Andre; Tregellas, Jason R

    2014-01-01

    Nicotine alters appetite and energy expenditure, leading to changes in body weight. While the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are not fully established, both central and peripheral involvement of the alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) has been suggested. Centrally, the α7nAChR modulates activity of hypothalamic neurons involved in food intake regulation, including proopiomelanocortin and neuropeptide Y. α7nAChRs also modulate glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems controlling reward processes that affect food intake. Additionally, α7nAChRs are important peripheral mediators of chronic inflammation, a key contributor to health problems in obesity. This review focuses on nicotinic cholinergic effects on eating behaviors, specifically those involving the α7nAChR, with the hypothesis that α7nAChR agonism leads to appetite suppression. Recent studies are highlighted that identify links between α7nAChR expression and obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes and describe early findings showing an α7nAChR agonist to be associated with reduced weight gain in a mouse model of diabetes. Given these effects, the α7nAChR may be a useful therapeutic target for strategies to treat and manage obesity.

  17. The Oncogenic Functions of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yue

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ion channels that are expressed in the cell membrane of all mammalian cells, including cancer cells. Recent findings suggest that nAChRs not only mediate nicotine addiction in the brain but also contribute to the development and progression of cancers directly induced by nicotine and its derived carcinogenic nitrosamines whereas deregulation of the nAChRs is observed in many cancers, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) indicate that SNPs nAChRs associate with risks of lung cancers and nicotine addiction. Emerging evidences suggest nAChRs are posited at the central regulatory loops of numerous cell growth and prosurvival signal pathways and also mediate the synthesis and release of stimulatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters induced by their agonists. Thus nAChRs mediated cell signaling plays an important role in stimulating the growth and angiogenic and neurogenic factors and mediating oncogenic signal transduction during cancer development in a cell type specific manner. In this review, we provide an integrated view of nAChRs signaling in cancer, heightening on the oncogenic properties of nAChRs that may be targeted for cancer treatment. PMID:26981122

  18. The Oncogenic Functions of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yue

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ion channels that are expressed in the cell membrane of all mammalian cells, including cancer cells. Recent findings suggest that nAChRs not only mediate nicotine addiction in the brain but also contribute to the development and progression of cancers directly induced by nicotine and its derived carcinogenic nitrosamines whereas deregulation of the nAChRs is observed in many cancers, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) indicate that SNPs nAChRs associate with risks of lung cancers and nicotine addiction. Emerging evidences suggest nAChRs are posited at the central regulatory loops of numerous cell growth and prosurvival signal pathways and also mediate the synthesis and release of stimulatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters induced by their agonists. Thus nAChRs mediated cell signaling plays an important role in stimulating the growth and angiogenic and neurogenic factors and mediating oncogenic signal transduction during cancer development in a cell type specific manner. In this review, we provide an integrated view of nAChRs signaling in cancer, heightening on the oncogenic properties of nAChRs that may be targeted for cancer treatment. PMID:26981122

  19. 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...

  20. Modulation of nicotinic receptor channels by adrenergic stimulation in rat pinealocytes

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jin-Young; Jung, Seung-Ryoung; Hille, Bertil

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin secretion from the pineal gland is triggered by norepinephrine released from sympathetic terminals at night. In contrast, cholinergic and parasympathetic inputs, by activating nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChR), have been suggested to counterbalance the noradrenergic input. Here we investigated whether adrenergic signaling regulates nAChR channels in rat pinealocytes. Acetylcholine or the selective nicotinic receptor agonist 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium iodide (DMPP) activated large nAChR currents in whole cell patch-clamp experiments. Norepinephrine (NE) reduced the nAChR currents, an effect partially mimicked by a β-adrenergic receptor agonist, isoproterenol, and blocked by a β-adrenergic receptor antagonist, propranolol. Increasing intracellular cAMP levels using membrane-permeable 8-bromoadenosine (8-Br)-cAMP or 5,6-dichlorobenzimidazole riboside-3′,5′-cyclic monophosphorothioate (cBIMPS) also reduced nAChR activity, mimicking the effects of NE and isoproterenol. Further, removal of ATP from the intracellular pipette solution blocked the reduction of nAChR currents, suggesting involvement of protein kinases. Indeed protein kinase A inhibitors, H-89 and Rp-cAMPS, blocked the modulation of nAChR by adrenergic stimulation. After the downmodulation by NE, nAChR channels mediated a smaller Ca2+ influx and less membrane depolarization from the resting potential. Together these results suggest that NE released from sympathetic terminals at night attenuates nicotinic cholinergic signaling. PMID:24553185

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Occur at Postsynaptic Densities of AMPA Receptor-Positive and -Negative Excitatory Synapses in Rat Sensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Robert B.; Aoki, Chiye

    2010-01-01

    NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation requires concurrent membrane depolarization, and glutamatergic synapses lacking AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are often considered “silent” in the absence of another source of membrane depolarization. During the second postnatal week, NMDA currents can be enhanced in rat auditory cortex through activation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR). Electrophysiological results support a mainly presynaptic role for α7nAChR at these synapses. However, immunocytochemical evidence that α7nAChR is prevalent at postsynaptic sites of glutamatergic synapses in hippocampus and neocortex, along with emerging electrophysiological evidence for postsynaptic nicotinic currents in neocortex and hippocampus, has prompted speculation that α7nAChR allows for activation of NMDAR postsynaptically at synapses lacking AMPAR. Here we used dual immunolabeling and electron microscopy to examine the distribution of α7nAChR relative to AMPAR (GluR1, GluR2, and GluR3 subunits combined) at excitatory synapses in somatosensory cortex of adult and 1-week-old rats. α7nAChR occurred discretely over most of the thick postsynaptic densities in all cortical layers of both age groups. AMPAR immunoreactivity was also detectable at most synapses; its distribution was independent of that of α7nAChR. In both age groups, approximately one-quarter of asymmetrical synapses were α7nAChR positive and AMPAR negative. The variability of postsynaptic α7nAChR labeling density was greater at postnatal day (PD) 7 than in adulthood, and PD 7 neuropil contained a subset of small AMPA receptor-negative synapses with a high density of α7nAChR immunoreactivity. These observations support the idea that acetylcholine receptors can aid in activating glutamatergic synapses and work together with AMPA receptors to mediate postsynaptic excitation throughout life. PMID:12077196

  3. Effects of chronic nicotine treatment on expression of diverse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. I. Dose- and time-dependent effects of nicotine treatment.

    PubMed

    Ke, L; Eisenhour, C M; Bencherif, M; Lukas, R J

    1998-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) exist as a diverse family of physiologically important ligand-gated ion channels active in classic, excitatory neurotransmission and perhaps in more novel forms of neurochemical signaling. Because of their critical functional roles centrally and peripherally, nAChRs are ideal targets for the regulation of nervous system function. nAChRs also are targets of nicotine, which acts acutely like acetylcholine to stimulate nAChR function. Here, we report studies using model cell culture systems testing the general hypothesis that more chronic nicotine exposure has unique effects on nAChRs. Chronic nicotine treatment induces increases in numbers of human muscle-type nAChRs containing alpha-1, beta-1, gamma and delta subunits, a human ganglionic nAChR subtype containing alpha-3 and beta-4 subunits and a human ganglionic nAChR containing alpha-7 subunits in intracellular and (except for alpha-7 nAChRs) in cell surface pools. However, the half-maximal potency with which nicotine has these effects differs across these nAChR subtypes, as do rates and magnitudes of the "nicotine-induced nAChR up-regulation." These changes in nAChR numbers are not attributable to either transient or sustained changes in nAChR subunit mRNA levels. Nicotine exposure more potently, more rapidly, and with nAChR-subtype specificity, induces two phases of losses in functional responsiveness of muscle-type nAChRs and alpha-3 beta-4 nAChRs, including a "persistent inactivation" that is distinct from classicly defined "desensitization." Based on these results, we hypothesize that chronic nicotine treatment induces persistent functional inactivation and numerical up-regulation of all nAChR subtypes via distinct post-transcriptional mechanisms and with potencies, at rates and with magnitudes that are nAChR-subtype specific. We also hypothesize that chronic nicotine exposure produces long-lasting changes in nervous system function, at least in part, by disabling

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 7 regulates cAMP signal within lipid rafts.

    PubMed

    Oshikawa, Jin; Toya, Yoshiyuki; Fujita, Takayuki; Egawa, Masato; Kawabe, Junichi; Umemura, Satoshi; Ishikawa, Yoshihiro

    2003-09-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are made of multiple subunits with diversified functions. The nAChR alpha 7-subunit has a property of high Ca2+ permeability and may have specific functions and localization within the plasma membrane as a signal transduction molecule. In PC-12 cells, fractionation by sucrose gradient centrifugation revealed that nAChR alpha 7 existed in low-density, cholesterol-enriched plasma membrane microdomains known as lipid rafts where flotillin also exists. In contrast, nAChR alpha 5- and beta2-subunits were located in high-density fractions, out of the lipid rafts. Type 6 adenylyl cyclase (AC6), a calcium-inhibitable isoform, was also found in lipid rafts and was coimmunoprecipitated with nAChR alpha 7. Cholesterol depletion from plasma membranes with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin redistributed nAChR alpha 7 and AC6 diffusely within plasma membranes. Nicotine stimulation reduced forskolin-stimulated AC activity by 35%, and this inhibition was negated by either treatment with alpha-bungarotoxin, a specific antagonist of nAChR alpha 7, or cholesterol depletion from plasma membranes. The effect of cholesterol depletion was negated by the addition of cholesterol. These data suggest that nAChR alpha 7 has a specific membrane localization relative to other nAChR subunits and that lipid rafts are necessary to localize nAChR alpha 7 with AC within plasma membranes. In addition, nAChR alpha 7 may regulate the AC activity via Ca2+ within lipid rafts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Endogenously released ACh and exogenous nicotine differentially facilitate long-term potentiation induction in the hippocampal CA1 region of mice.

    PubMed

    Nakauchi, Sakura; Sumikawa, Katumi

    2012-05-01

    We examined the role of α7- and β2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP). Theta-burst stimulation (TBS), mimicking the brain's naturally occurring theta rhythm, induced robust LTP in hippocampal slices from α7 and β2 knockout mice. This suggests TBS is capable of inducing LTP without activation of α7- or β2-containing nAChRs. However, when weak TBS was applied, the modulatory effects of nicotinic receptors on LTP induction became visible. We showed that during weak TBS, activation of α7 nAChRs occurs by the release of ACh, contributing to LTP induction. Additionally, bath-application of nicotine activated β2-containing nAChRs to promote LTP induction. Despite predicted nicotine-induced desensitization, synaptically mediated activation of α7 nAChRs still occurs in the presence of nicotine and contributed to LTP induction. Optical recording of single-stimulation-evoked excitatory activity with a voltage-sensitive dye revealed enhanced excitatory activity in the presence of nicotine. This effect of nicotine was robust during high-frequency stimulation, and was accompanied by enhanced burst excitatory postsynaptic potentials. Nicotine-induced enhancement of excitatory activity was observed in slices from α7 knockout mice, but was absent in β2 knockout mice. These results suggest that the nicotine-induced enhancement of excitatory activity is mediated by β2-containing nAChRs, and is related to the nicotine-induced facilitation of LTP induction. Thus, our study demonstrates that the activation of α7- and β2-containing nAChRs differentially facilitates LTP induction via endogenously released ACh and exogenous nicotine, respectively, in the hippocampal CA1 region of mice.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-20

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

  17. Functional analysis of Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in multiple activation states by SSM-based electrophysiology.

    PubMed

    Niessen, K V; Muschik, S; Langguth, F; Rappenglück, S; Seeger, T; Thiermann, H; Worek, F

    2016-04-15

    Organophosphorus compounds (OPC), i.e. nerve agents or pesticides, are highly toxic due to their strong inhibition potency against acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Inhibited AChE results in accumulation of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft and thus the desensitisation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in the postsynaptic membrane is provoked. Direct targeting of nAChR to reduce receptor desensitisation might be an alternative therapeutic approach. For drug discovery, functional properties of potent therapeutic candidates need to be investigated in addition to affinity properties. Solid supported membrane (SSM)-based electrophysiology is useful for functional characterisation of ligand-gated ion channels like nAChRs, as charge translocations via capacitive coupling of the supporting membrane can be measured. By varying the agonist (carbamoylcholine) concentration, different functional states of the nAChR were initiated. Using plasma membrane preparations obtained from Torpedo californica electric organ, functional properties of selected nAChR ligands and non-oxime bispyridinium compounds were investigated. Depending on overall-size, the bispyridinium compounds enhanced or inhibited cholinergic signals induced by 100 μM carbamoylcholine. Applying excessive concentrations of the agonist carbamoylcholine provoked desensitisation of the nAChRs, whereas addition of bispyridinium compounds bearing short alkyl linkers exhibited functional recovery of previously desensitised nAChRs. The results suggest that these non-oxime bispyridinium compounds possibly interacted with nAChR subtypes in a manner of a positive allosteric modulator (PAM). The described newly developed functional assay is a valuable tool for the assessment of functional properties of potential compounds such as nAChR modulating ligands, which might be a promising approach in the therapeutically treatment of OPC-poisonings. PMID:26851639

  18. 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

  19. Muscarinic and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Agonists and Allosteric Modulators for the Treatment of Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Carrie K; Byun, Nellie; Bubser, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (mAChRs and nAChRs) are emerging as important targets for the development of novel treatments for the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Preclinical and early proof-of-concept clinical studies have provided strong evidence that activators of specific mAChR (M1 and M4) and nAChR (α7 and α2β4) subtypes are effective in animal models of antipsychotic-like activity and/or cognitive enhancement, and in the treatment of positive and cognitive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. While early attempts to develop selective mAChR and nAChR agonists provided important preliminary findings, these compounds have ultimately failed in clinical development due to a lack of true subtype selectivity and subsequent dose-limiting adverse effects. In recent years, there have been major advances in the discovery of highly selective activators for the different mAChR and nAChR subtypes with suitable properties for optimization as potential candidates for clinical trials. One novel strategy has been to identify ligands that activate a specific receptor subtype through actions at sites that are distinct from the highly conserved ACh-binding site, termed allosteric sites. These allosteric activators, both allosteric agonists and positive allosteric modulators, of mAChR and nAChR subtypes demonstrate unique mechanisms of action and high selectivity in vivo, and may provide innovative treatment strategies for schizophrenia. PMID:21956443

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

    PubMed

    Marks, Michael J; Grady, Sharon R; Salminen, Outi; Paley, Miranda A; Wageman, Charles R; McIntosh, J Michael; Whiteaker, Paul

    2014-07-01

    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 down-regulated 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 down-regulation by chronic nicotine exposure in dopaminergic and optic-tract nuclei was ≈three-fold more sensitive than up-regulation of α4β2*-nAChR. In contrast, nAChR-mediated [(3) H]-dopamine release from dopamine-terminal region synaptosomal preparations changed only in response to chronic treatment with high nicotine doses, whereas 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 [(3) H]-DA release are primarily owing to changes in nAChR, rather than in dopaminergic, function. This study examined dose-response relationships for murine α6β2*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) down-regulation by chronic nicotine treatment. The ID50 value for α6β2* down-regulation (35 nM) is ≈ 3x lower than the ED50 value for α4β2* nAChR up-regulation (95 nM), both well within the range reached by human smokers. Chronic nicotine treatment altered α6β2*- and α4

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Activation of nicotinic ACh receptors with α4 subunits induces adenosine release at the rat carotid body

    PubMed Central

    Conde, Sílvia V; Monteiro, Emília C

    2006-01-01

    The effect of ACh on the release of adenosine was studied in rat whole carotid bodies, and the nicotinic ACh receptors involved in the stimulation of this release were characterized. ACh and nicotinic ACh receptor agonists, cytisine, DMPP and nicotine, caused a concentration-dependent increase in adenosine production during normoxia, with nicotine being more potent and efficient in stimulating adenosine release from rat CB than cytisine and DMPP. D-Tubocurarine, mecamylamine, DHβE and α-bungarotoxin, nicotinic ACh receptor antagonists, caused a concentration-dependent reduction in the release of adenosine evoked by hypoxia. The rank order of potency for nicotinic ACh receptor antagonists that inhibit adenosine release was DHβE>mecamylamine>D-tubocurarine>α-bungarotoxin. The effect of the endogenous agonist, ACh, which was mimicked by nicotine, was antagonized by DHβE, a selective nicotinic receptor antagonist. The ecto-5′-nucleotidase inhibitor AOPCP produces a 72% inhibition in the release of adenosine from CB evoked by nicotine. Taken together, these data indicate that ACh induced the production of adenosine, mainly from extracellular ATP catabolism at the CB through a mechanism that involves the activation of nicotinic receptors with α4 and β2 receptor subunits. PMID:16444287

  3. Nicotinic receptors and attention.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Britta

    2015-01-01

    Facilitation of different attentional functions by nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists may be of therapeutic potential in disease conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia. For this reason, the neuronal mechanisms underlying these effects have been the focus of research in humans and in preclinical models. Attention-enhancing effects of the nonselective nAChR agonist nicotine can be observed in human nonsmokers and in laboratory animals, suggesting that benefits go beyond a reversal of withdrawal deficits in smokers. The ultimate aim is to develop compounds acting with greater selectivity than nicotine at a subset of nAChRs, with an effects profile narrowly matching the targeted cognitive deficits and minimizing unwanted effects. To date, compounds tested clinically target the nAChR subtypes most abundant in the brain. To help pinpoint more selectively expressed subtypes critical for attention, studies have aimed at identifying the secondary neurotransmitter systems whose stimulation mediates the attention-enhancing properties of nicotine. Evidence indicates that noradrenaline and glutamate, but not dopamine release, are critical mediators. Thus, attention-enhancing nAChR agents could spare the system central to nicotine dependence. Neuroimaging studies suggest that nAChR agonists act on a variety of brain systems by enhancing activation, reducing activation, and enhancing deactivation by attention tasks. This supports the notion that effects on different attentional functions may be mediated by distinct central mechanisms, consistent with the fact that nAChRs interact with a multitude of brain sites and neurotransmitter systems. The challenge will be to achieve the optimal tone at the right subset of nAChR subtypes to modulate specific attentional functions, employing not just direct agonist properties, but also positive allosteric modulation and low-dose antagonism.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Nicotine Inhibits Cisplatin-Induced Apoptosis via Regulating α5-nAChR/AKT Signaling in Human Gastric Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hongqiao; Zhang, Huilin; Zhang, Xiuping; Xiao, Dongjie; Ma, Xiaoli; Wang, Yunshan

    2016-01-01

    Gastric cancer incidence demonstrates a strong etiologic association with smoking. Nicotine, the major component in tobacco, is a survival agonist that inhibits apoptosis induced by certain chemotherapeutic agents, but the precise mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. Recently studies have indicated that α5-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α5-nAChR) is highly associated with lung cancer risk and nicotine dependence. Nevertheless, no information has been available about whether nicotine also affects proliferation of human gastric cancer cells through regulation of α5-nAChR. To evaluate the hypothesis that α5-nAChR may play a role in gastric cancer, we investigated its expression in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines. The expression of α5-nAChR increased in gastric cancer tissue compared with para-carcinoma tissues. In view of the results, we proceeded to investigate whether nicotine inhibits cisplatin-induced apoptosis via regulating α5-nAChR in gastric cancer cell. The results showed that nicotine significantly promoted cell proliferation in a dose and time-dependent manner through α5-nAChR activation in human gastric cells. Furthermore, nicotine inhibited apoptosis induced by cisplatin. Silence of α5-nAChR ablated the protective effects of nicotine. However, when co-administrating LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3K/AKT pathway, an increased apoptosis was observed. This effect correlated with the induction of Bcl-2, Bax, Survivin and Caspase-3 by nicotine in gastric cell lines. These results suggest that exposure to nicotine might negatively impact the apoptotic potential of chemotherapeutic drugs and that α5-nAChR/AKT signaling plays a key role in the anti-apoptotic activity of nicotine induced by cisplatin. PMID:26909550

  6. Nicotine Inhibits Cisplatin-Induced Apoptosis via Regulating α5-nAChR/AKT Signaling in Human Gastric Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yanfei; Sun, Haiji; Wu, Hongqiao; Zhang, Huilin; Zhang, Xiuping; Xiao, Dongjie; Ma, Xiaoli; Wang, Yunshan

    2016-01-01

    Gastric cancer incidence demonstrates a strong etiologic association with smoking. Nicotine, the major component in tobacco, is a survival agonist that inhibits apoptosis induced by certain chemotherapeutic agents, but the precise mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. Recently studies have indicated that α5-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α5-nAChR) is highly associated with lung cancer risk and nicotine dependence. Nevertheless, no information has been available about whether nicotine also affects proliferation of human gastric cancer cells through regulation of α5-nAChR. To evaluate the hypothesis that α5-nAChR may play a role in gastric cancer, we investigated its expression in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines. The expression of α5-nAChR increased in gastric cancer tissue compared with para-carcinoma tissues. In view of the results, we proceeded to investigate whether nicotine inhibits cisplatin-induced apoptosis via regulating α5-nAChR in gastric cancer cell. The results showed that nicotine significantly promoted cell proliferation in a dose and time-dependent manner through α5-nAChR activation in human gastric cells. Furthermore, nicotine inhibited apoptosis induced by cisplatin. Silence of α5-nAChR ablated the protective effects of nicotine. However, when co-administrating LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3K/AKT pathway, an increased apoptosis was observed. This effect correlated with the induction of Bcl-2, Bax, Survivin and Caspase-3 by nicotine in gastric cell lines. These results suggest that exposure to nicotine might negatively impact the apoptotic potential of chemotherapeutic drugs and that α5-nAChR/AKT signaling plays a key role in the anti-apoptotic activity of nicotine induced by cisplatin. PMID:26909550

  7. Nicotine Inhibits Cisplatin-Induced Apoptosis via Regulating α5-nAChR/AKT Signaling in Human Gastric Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yanfei; Sun, Haiji; Wu, Hongqiao; Zhang, Huilin; Zhang, Xiuping; Xiao, Dongjie; Ma, Xiaoli; Wang, Yunshan

    2016-01-01

    Gastric cancer incidence demonstrates a strong etiologic association with smoking. Nicotine, the major component in tobacco, is a survival agonist that inhibits apoptosis induced by certain chemotherapeutic agents, but the precise mechanisms involved remain largely unknown. Recently studies have indicated that α5-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α5-nAChR) is highly associated with lung cancer risk and nicotine dependence. Nevertheless, no information has been available about whether nicotine also affects proliferation of human gastric cancer cells through regulation of α5-nAChR. To evaluate the hypothesis that α5-nAChR may play a role in gastric cancer, we investigated its expression in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines. The expression of α5-nAChR increased in gastric cancer tissue compared with para-carcinoma tissues. In view of the results, we proceeded to investigate whether nicotine inhibits cisplatin-induced apoptosis via regulating α5-nAChR in gastric cancer cell. The results showed that nicotine significantly promoted cell proliferation in a dose and time-dependent manner through α5-nAChR activation in human gastric cells. Furthermore, nicotine inhibited apoptosis induced by cisplatin. Silence of α5-nAChR ablated the protective effects of nicotine. However, when co-administrating LY294002, an inhibitor of PI3K/AKT pathway, an increased apoptosis was observed. This effect correlated with the induction of Bcl-2, Bax, Survivin and Caspase-3 by nicotine in gastric cell lines. These results suggest that exposure to nicotine might negatively impact the apoptotic potential of chemotherapeutic drugs and that α5-nAChR/AKT signaling plays a key role in the anti-apoptotic activity of nicotine induced by cisplatin.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25424654

  12. The α3β4* nicotinic ACh receptor subtype mediates physical dependence to morphine: mouse and human studies

    PubMed Central

    Muldoon, P P; Jackson, K J; Perez, E; Harenza, J L; Molas, S; Rais, B; Anwar, H; Zaveri, N T; Maldonado, R; Maskos, U; McIntosh, J M; Dierssen, M; Miles, M F; Chen, X; De Biasi, M; Damaj, M I

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Recent data have indicated that α3β4* neuronal nicotinic (n) ACh receptors may play a role in morphine dependence. Here we investigated if nACh receptors modulate morphine physical withdrawal. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACHES To assess the role of α3β4* nACh receptors in morphine withdrawal, we used a genetic correlation approach using publically available datasets within the GeneNetwork web resource, genetic knockout and pharmacological tools. Male and female European-American (n = 2772) and African-American (n = 1309) subjects from the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment dataset were assessed for possible associations of polymorphisms in the 15q25 gene cluster and opioid dependence. KEY RESULTS BXD recombinant mouse lines demonstrated an increased expression of α3, β4 and α5 nACh receptor mRNA in the forebrain and midbrain, which significantly correlated with increased defecation in mice undergoing morphine withdrawal. Mice overexpressing the gene cluster CHRNA5/A3/B4 exhibited increased somatic signs of withdrawal. Furthermore, α5 and β4 nACh receptor knockout mice expressed decreased somatic withdrawal signs compared with their wild-type counterparts. Moreover, selective α3β4* nACh receptor antagonists, α-conotoxin AuIB and AT-1001, attenuated somatic signs of morphine withdrawal in a dose-related manner. In addition, two human datasets revealed a protective role for variants in the CHRNA3 gene, which codes for the α3 nACh receptor subunit, in opioid dependence and withdrawal. In contrast, we found that the α4β2* nACh receptor subtype is not involved in morphine somatic withdrawal signs. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS Overall, our findings suggest an important role for the α3β4* nACh receptor subtype in morphine physical dependence. PMID:24750073

  13. Nicotinic Receptors in Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Posadas, Inmaculada; López-Hernández, Beatriz; Ceña, Valentín

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have focused on expanding our knowledge of the structure and diversity of peripheral and central nicotinic receptors. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the Cys-loop superfamily of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, which include GABA (A and C), serotonin, and glycine receptors. Currently, 9 alpha (α2-α10) and 3 beta (β2-β4) subunits have been identified in the central nervous system (CNS), and these subunits assemble to form a variety of functional nAChRs. The pentameric combination of several alpha and beta subunits leads to a great number of nicotinic receptors that vary in their properties, including their sensitivity to nicotine, permeability to calcium and propensity to desensitize. In the CNS, nAChRs play crucial roles in modulating presynaptic, postsynaptic, and extrasynaptic signaling, and have been found to be involved in a complex range of CNS disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), schizophrenia, Tourette´s syndrome, anxiety, depression and epilepsy. Therefore, there is growing interest in the development of drugs that modulate nAChR functions with optimal benefits and minimal adverse effects. The present review describes the main characteristics of nAChRs in the CNS and focuses on the various compounds that have been tested and are currently in phase I and phase II trials for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including PD, AD and age-associated memory and mild cognitive impairment. PMID:24179465

  14. Functional properties of homomeric, human alpha 7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors heterologously expressed in the SH-EP1 human epithelial cell line.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lingke; Kuo, Yen-Ping; George, Andrew A; Peng, Jian-Hong; Purandare, Madhuri Singh; Schroeder, Katherine M; Lukas, Ronald J; Wu, Jie

    2003-06-01

    alpha 7-Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha 7-nAChRs) are broadly distributed in the central nervous system, where they play important roles in chemical and electrical signaling, and perhaps in neurite outgrowth, synaptic plasticity, and neuronal death/survival. To help elucidate their normal and pathophysiological roles, we have heterologously expressed human alpha 7-nAChR in transfected SH-EP1 human epithelial cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and mRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses demonstrate expression of human alpha 7 subunits as messenger RNA. Patch-clamp recordings exploiting a novel strategy to prevent functional rundown of whole-cell peak current responses to repeated acute challenges with nicotinic agonists show successful expression of functional alpha 7-nAChR that mediate inward currents characterized by rapid phases of activation and inactivation. Concentration-response curves show that nicotine, acetylcholine, and choline are efficacious agonists at human alpha 7-nAChRs. Current-voltage relationships show inward rectification for agonist-induced currents. Human alpha 7-nAChRs exhibit some sensitivity to alpha 7-nAChR antagonists alpha-bungarotoxin (Bgt) or methyllycaconitine (MLA) when applied coincidentally with agonist, but much higher affinity block occurs when cells and alpha 7-nAChRs are pre-exposed to antagonists for 2 min before challenge with agonist. Both Bgt and MLA are competitive inhibitors of alpha 7-nAChR function. Whole-cell current peak amplitudes and half-times for inactivation of alpha 7-nAChR functional responses to nicotine are dramatically reduced in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, suggestive of high Ca2+ permeability of the alpha 7-nAChR channel. Thus, heterologously expressed human alpha 7-nAChR in mammalian cells have properties of native alpha 7-nAChR or of alpha 7-nAChR heterologously expressed in other systems and serve as excellent models for studies of molecular bases of alpha 7-nAChR

  15. Structural differences determine the relative selectivity of nicotinic compounds for native alpha 4 beta 2*-, alpha 6 beta 2*-, alpha 3 beta 4*- and alpha 7-nicotine acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Grady, Sharon R; Drenan, Ryan M; Breining, Scott R; Yohannes, Daniel; Wageman, Charles R; Fedorov, Nikolai B; McKinney, Sheri; Whiteaker, Paul; Bencherif, Merouane; Lester, Henry A; Marks, Michael J

    2010-06-01

    Mammalian brain expresses multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes that differ in subunit composition, sites of expression and pharmacological and functional properties. Among known subtypes of receptors, alpha 4 beta 2* and alpha 6 beta 2*-nAChR have the highest affinity for nicotine (where * indicates possibility of other subunits). The alpha 4 beta 2*-nAChRs are widely distributed, while alpha 6 beta 2*-nAChR are restricted to a few regions. Both subtypes modulate release of dopamine from the dopaminergic neurons of the mesoaccumbens pathway thought to be essential for reward and addiction. alpha 4 beta 2*-nAChR also modulate GABA release in these areas. Identification of selective compounds would facilitate study of nAChR subtypes. An improved understanding of the role of nAChR subtypes may help in developing more effective smoking cessation aids with fewer side effects than current therapeutics. We have screened a series of nicotinic compounds that vary in the distance between the pyridine and the cationic center, in steric bulk, and in flexibility of the molecule. These compounds were screened using membrane binding and synaptosomal function assays, or recordings from GH4C1 cells expressing h alpha 7, to determine affinity, potency and efficacy at four subtypes of nAChRs found in brain, alpha 4 beta 2*, alpha 6 beta 2*, alpha 7 and alpha 3 beta 4*. In addition, physiological assays in gain-of-function mutant mice were used to assess in vivo activity at alpha 4 beta 2* and alpha 6 beta 2*-nAChRs. This approach has identified several compounds with agonist or partial agonist activity that display improved selectivity for alpha 6 beta 2*-nAChR.

  16. Structural differences determine the relative selectivity of nicotinic compounds for native α4β2*-, α6β2*-, α3β4*- and α7-nicotine acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Grady, Sharon R.; Drenan, Ryan M.; Breining, Scott R.; Yohannes, Daniel; Wageman, Charles R.; Fedorov, Nikolai B.; McKinney, Sheri; Whiteaker, Paul; Bencherif, Merouane; Lester, Henry A.; Marks, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Mammalian brain expresses multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes that differ in subunit composition, sites of expression and pharmacological and functional properties. Among known subtypes of receptors, α4β2* and α6β2*-nAChR have the highest affinity for nicotine (where * indicates possibility of other subunits). The α4β2*-nAChRs are widely distributed, while α6β2*-nAChR are restricted to a few regions. Both subtypes modulate release of dopamine from the dopaminergic neurons of the meso-accumbens pathway thought to be essential for reward and addiction. α4β2*-nAChR also modulate GABA release in these areas. Identification of selective compounds would facilitate study of nAChR subtypes. An improved understanding of the role of nAChR subtypes may help in developing more effective smoking cessation aids with fewer side effects than current therapeutics. We have screened a series of nicotinic compounds that vary in the distance between the pyridine and the cationic center, in steric bulk, and in flexibility of the molecule. These compounds were screened using membrane binding and synaptosomal function assays, or recordings from GH4C1 cells expressing hα7, to determine affinity, potency and efficacy at four subtypes of nAChRs found in brain, α4β2*, α6β2*, α7 and α3β4*. In addition, physiological assays in gain-of-function mutant mice were used to assess in vivo activity at α4β2* and α6β2*-nAChRs. This approach has identified several compounds with agonist or partial agonist activity that display improved selectivity for α6β2*-nAChR. PMID:20114055

  17. Lack of acetylcholine nicotine alpha 7 receptor suppresses development of collagen-induced arthritis and adaptive immunity.

    PubMed

    Westman, M; Saha, S; Morshed, M; Lampa, J

    2010-10-01

    Activation of the alpha7 receptor (α7nAChR) has been shown to be important in inflammation and immune regulation, and is also essential in the neural cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of α7nAChR in the development of experimental arthritis and immune activation. Mice lacking the α7nAChR were immunized with collagen II and the development of arthritis was assessed. Another group of α7nAChR-deficient mice was immunized with ovalbumin, spleen and lymph node cells were isolated and the proliferative responses to restimulation with ovalbumin or concanavalin A were investigated. We could demonstrate significantly milder arthritis and less cartilage destruction, together with a decrease of T cell content in lymph nodes in mice lacking the α7nAChR compared to wild-type controls. In addition, mice lacking the α7nAChR had a deficient proliferative response to concanavalin A, whereas antigen presentation-dependent proliferation was not affected. These results indicate important roles for α7nAChR in arthritis development as well as in regulation of T cell-dependent immunological mechanisms. In addition, the data implicate α7nAChR as a therapeutic target for modulation of adaptive immune responses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Transmembrane potential polarization, calcium influx, and receptor conformational state modulate the sensitivity of the imidacloprid-insensitive neuronal insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bodereau-Dubois, Béatrice; List, Olivier; Calas-List, Delphine; Marques, Olivier; Communal, Pierre-Yves; Thany, Steeve H; Lapied, Bruno

    2012-05-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Recent studies revealed that their efficiency was altered by the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation process and the intracellular signaling pathway involved in the regulation of nAChRs. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology adapted for dissociated cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons, we demonstrated that intracellular factors involved in the regulation of nAChR function modulated neonicotinoid sensitivity. DUM neurons were known to express two α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR subtypes: nAChR1 and nAChR2. Whereas nAChR1 was sensitive to imidacloprid, nAChR2 was insensitive to this insecticide. Here, we demonstrated that, like nicotine, acetamiprid and clothianidin, other types of neonicotinoid insecticides, acted as agonists on the nAChR2 subtype. Using acetamiprid, we revealed that both steady-state depolarization and hyperpolarization affected nAChR2 sensitivity. The measurement of the input membrane resistance indicated that change in the acetamiprid-induced agonist activity was related to the receptor conformational state. Using cadmium chloride, ω-conotoxin GVIA, and (R,S)-(3,4-dihydro-6,7-dimethoxy-isoquinoline-1-yl)-2-phenyl-N,N-di-acetamide (LOE 908), we found that inhibition of calcium influx through high voltage-activated calcium channels and transient receptor potential γ (TRPγ) activated by both depolarization and hyperpolarization increased nAChR2 sensitivity to acetamiprid. Finally, using N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide hydrochloride (W7), forskolin, and cAMP, we demonstrated that adenylyl cyclase sensitive to the calcium/calmodulin complex regulated internal cAMP concentration, which in turn modulated TRPγ function and nAChR2 sensitivity to acetamiprid. Similar TRPγ-induced modulatory effects were also obtained when clothianidin was tested. These findings bring insights into the signaling pathway modulating

  2. Transmembrane potential polarization, calcium influx, and receptor conformational state modulate the sensitivity of the imidacloprid-insensitive neuronal insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Bodereau-Dubois, Béatrice; List, Olivier; Calas-List, Delphine; Marques, Olivier; Communal, Pierre-Yves; Thany, Steeve H; Lapied, Bruno

    2012-05-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Recent studies revealed that their efficiency was altered by the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation process and the intracellular signaling pathway involved in the regulation of nAChRs. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology adapted for dissociated cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons, we demonstrated that intracellular factors involved in the regulation of nAChR function modulated neonicotinoid sensitivity. DUM neurons were known to express two α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR subtypes: nAChR1 and nAChR2. Whereas nAChR1 was sensitive to imidacloprid, nAChR2 was insensitive to this insecticide. Here, we demonstrated that, like nicotine, acetamiprid and clothianidin, other types of neonicotinoid insecticides, acted as agonists on the nAChR2 subtype. Using acetamiprid, we revealed that both steady-state depolarization and hyperpolarization affected nAChR2 sensitivity. The measurement of the input membrane resistance indicated that change in the acetamiprid-induced agonist activity was related to the receptor conformational state. Using cadmium chloride, ω-conotoxin GVIA, and (R,S)-(3,4-dihydro-6,7-dimethoxy-isoquinoline-1-yl)-2-phenyl-N,N-di-acetamide (LOE 908), we found that inhibition of calcium influx through high voltage-activated calcium channels and transient receptor potential γ (TRPγ) activated by both depolarization and hyperpolarization increased nAChR2 sensitivity to acetamiprid. Finally, using N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide hydrochloride (W7), forskolin, and cAMP, we demonstrated that adenylyl cyclase sensitive to the calcium/calmodulin complex regulated internal cAMP concentration, which in turn modulated TRPγ function and nAChR2 sensitivity to acetamiprid. Similar TRPγ-induced modulatory effects were also obtained when clothianidin was tested. These findings bring insights into the signaling pathway modulating

  3. Natural genetic variability of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in mice: Consequences and confounds.

    PubMed

    Wilking, Jennifer A; Stitzel, Jerry A

    2015-09-01

    Recent human genetic studies have identified genetic variants in multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit genes that are associated with risk for nicotine dependence and other smoking-related measures. Genetic variability also exists in the nAChR subunit genes in mice. Most studies on mouse nAChR subunit gene variability to date have focused on Chrna4, the gene that encodes the α4 nAChR subunit and Chrna7, the gene that encodes the α7 nAChR subunit. However, genetic variability exists for all nAChR genes in mice. In this review, we will describe what is known about nAChR subunit gene polymorphisms in mice and how it relates to variability in nAChR expression and function in brain. The relationship between nAChR genetic variability in mice and the effects of nicotine on several behavioral and physiological measures also will be discussed. In addition, an overview of the contribution of other genetic variation to nicotine sensitivity in mice will be provided. Finally, the potential for natural genetic variability to confound and/or modify the results of studies that utilize genetically engineered mice will be considered. As an example of the ability of a natural genetic variant to modify the effect of an engineered mutation, data will be presented that demonstrate that the effect of Chrna5 deletion on oral nicotine intake is dependent upon naturally occurring variant alleles of Chrna4. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25498233

  4. Autocrine activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors contributes to Ca2+ spikes in mouse myotubes during myogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Bandi, Elena; Bernareggi, Annalisa; Grandolfo, Micaela; Mozzetta, Chiara; Augusti-Tocco, Gabriella; Ruzzier, Fabio; Lorenzon, Paola

    2005-01-01

    It is widely accepted that nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) channel activity controls myoblast fusion into myotubes during myogenesis. In this study we explored the possible role of nAChR channels after cell fusion in a murine cell model. Using videoimaging techniques we showed that embryonic muscle nAChR channel openings contribute to the spontaneous transients of intracellular concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and to twitches characteristic of developing myotubes before innervation. Moreover, we observed a choline acetyltransferase immunoreactivity in the myotubes and we detected an acetylcholine-like compound in the extracellular solution. Therefore, we suggest that the autocrine activation of nAChR channels gives rise to [Ca2+]i spikes and contractions. Spontaneous openings of the nAChR channels may be an alternative, although less efficient, mechanism. We report also that blocking the nAChRs causes a significant reduction in cell survival, detectable as a decreased number of myotubes in culture. This led us to hypothesize a possible functional role for the autocrine activation of the nAChRs. By triggering mechanical activity, such activation could represent a strategy to ensure the trophism of myotubes in the absence of nerves. PMID:16037088

  5. A motif present in the main cytoplasmic loop of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and catalases.

    PubMed

    Morgado-Valle, C; García-Colunga, J; Miledi, R; Díaz-Muñoz, M

    2001-05-01

    A motif containing five conserved amino acids (RXPXTH(X)14P) was detected in 111 proteins, including 82 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits and 20 catalases. To explore possible functional roles of this motif in nAChRs two approaches were used: first, the motif sequences in nAChR subunits and catalases were analysed and compared; and, second, deletions in the rat alpha2 and beta4 nAChR subunits expressed in Xenopus oocytes were analysed. Compared to the three-dimensional structure of bovine hepatic catalase, structural coincidences were found in the motif of catalases and nAChRs. On the other hand, partial deletions of the motif in the alpha2 or beta4 subunits and injection of the mutants into oocytes was followed by a very weak expression of functional nAChRs; oocytes injected with alpha2 and beta4 subunits in which the entire motif had been deleted failed to elicit any acetylcholine currents. The results suggest that the motif may play a role in the activation of nAChRs. PMID:11370971

  6. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors controlling attention: behavior, circuits and sensitivity to disruption by nicotine.

    PubMed

    Poorthuis, Rogier B; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2013-10-15

    Attention is a central cognitive function that enables long-term engagement in a task and suppression of irrelevant information to obtain future goals. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the main link in integrating emotional and motivational state of an animal to regulate top-down attentional processes. Acetylcholine modulates PFC neuronal networks by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) to support attention. However, how neuronal activity changes in the PFC during attention and which nAChR subtypes mediate this is only rudimentarily understood, but progress is being made. Recently, exciting new insights were obtained in the dynamics of cholinergic signaling in the PFC and modes of acetylcholine transmission via nAChRs in the cortex. In addition, mechanisms are uncovered on how the PFC circuitry is regulated by nAChRs. Novel studies show that endogenous activation of nAChRs in the PFC plays a central role in controlling attention. Here, we review current insights into how different subtypes of nAChRs expressed by distinct types of neurons in the PFC circuitry shape attention. In addition we discuss the impact of nicotine on the cholinergic system and prefrontal cortical circuits. Low concentrations of nicotine, as experienced by smokers, interfere with cholinergic signaling. In the long-term exposure to nicotine during adolescence leads to maladaptive adaptations of the PFC circuitry, which ultimately leads to a decrement in attention performance, again emphasizing the importance of nAChRs in attention.

  7. Nicotinic receptors regulate the dynamic range of dopamine release in vivo.

    PubMed

    Koranda, Jessica L; Cone, Jackson J; McGehee, Daniel S; Roitman, Mitchell F; Beeler, Jeff A; Zhuang, Xiaoxi

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed presynaptically on dopamine axon terminals, and their activation by endogenous acetylcholine from striatal cholinergic interneurons enhances dopamine release both independently of and in concert with dopamine neuron activity. Acute nAChR inactivation is believed to enhance the contrast between low- and high-frequency dopamine cell activity. Although these studies reveal a key role for acute activation and inactivation of nAChRs in striatal microcircuitry, it remains unknown if chronic inactivation/desensitization of nAChRs can alter dopamine release dynamics. Using in vivo cyclic voltammetry in anaesthetized mice, we examined whether chronic inactivation of nAChRs modulates dopamine release across a parametric range of stimulation, varying both frequency and pulse number. Deletion of β2*nAChRs and chronic nicotine exposure greatly diminished dopamine release across the entire range of stimulation parameters. In addition, we observed a facilitation of dopamine release at low frequency and pulse number in wild-type mice that is absent in the β2* knockout and chronic nicotine mice. These data suggest that deletion or chronic desensitization of nAChRs reduces the dynamic range of dopamine release in response to dopamine cell activity, decreasing rather than increasing contrast between high and low dopamine activity.

  8. Resistance to Inhibitors of Cholinesterase 3 (Ric-3) Expression Promotes Selective Protein Associations with the Human α7-Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Interactome

    PubMed Central

    Mulcahy, Matthew J.; Blattman, Sydney B.; Barrantes, Francisco J.; Lukas, Ronald J.; Hawrot, Edward

    2015-01-01

    The α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) is a ligand-gated ion channel widely expressed in vertebrates and is associated with numerous physiological functions. As transmembrane ion channels, α7-nAChRs need to be expressed on the surface of the plasma membrane to function. The receptor has been reported to associate with proteins involved with receptor biogenesis, modulation of receptor properties, as well as intracellular signaling cascades and some of these associated proteins may affect surface expression of α7-nAChRs. The putative chaperone resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase 3 (Ric-3) has been reported to interact with, and enhance the surface expression of, α7-nAChRs. In this study, we identified proteins that associate with α7-nAChRs when Ric-3 is expressed. Using α-bungarotoxin (α-bgtx), we isolated and compared α7-nAChR-associated proteins from two stably transfected, human tumor-derived cell lines: SH-EP1-hα7 expressing human α7-nAChRs and the same cell line further transfected to express Ric-3, SH-EP1-hα7-Ric-3. Mass spectrometric analysis of peptides identified thirty-nine proteins that are associated with α7-nAChRs only when Ric-3 was expressed. Significantly, and consistent with reports of Ric-3 function in the literature, several of the identified proteins are involved in biological processes that may affect nAChR surface expression such as post-translational processing of proteins, protein trafficking, and protein transport. Additionally, proteins affecting the cell cycle, the cytoskeleton, stress responses, as well as cyclic AMP- and inositol triphosphate-dependent signaling cascades were identified. These results illuminate how α-bgtx may be used to isolate and identify α7-nAChRs as well as how the expression of chaperones such as Ric-3 can influence proteins associating with α7-nAChRs. These associating proteins may alter activities of α7-nAChRs to expand their functionally-relevant repertoire as well as to affect

  9. N-Benzylpiperidine Derivatives as α7 Nicotinic Receptor Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Criado, Manuel; Mulet, José; Sala, Francisco; Sala, Salvador; Colmena, Inés; Gandía, Luis; Bautista-Aguilera, Oscar M; Samadi, Abdelouahid; Chioua, Mourad; Marco-Contelles, José

    2016-08-17

    A series of multitarget directed propargylamines, as well as other differently susbstituted piperidines have been screened as potential modulators of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Most of them showed antagonist actions on α7 nAChRs. Especially, compounds 13, 26, and 38 displayed submicromolar IC50 values on homomeric α7 nAChRs, whereas they were less effective on heteromeric α3β4 and α4β2 nAChRs (up to 20-fold higher IC50 values in the case of 13). Antagonism was concentration dependent and noncompetitive, suggesting that these compounds behave as negative allosteric modulators of nAChRs. Upon the study of a series of less complex derivatives, the N-benzylpiperidine motif, common to these compounds, was found to be the main pharmacophoric group. Thus, 2-(1-benzylpiperidin-4-yl)-ethylamine (48) showed an inhibitory potency comparable to the one of the previous compounds and also a clear preference for α7 nAChRs. In a neuroblastoma cell line, representative compounds 13 and 48 also inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, cytosolic Ca(2+) signals mediated by nAChRs. Finally, compounds 38 and 13 inhibited 5-HT3A serotonin receptors whereas they had no effect on α1 glycine receptors. Given the multifactorial nature of many pathologies in which nAChRs are involved, these piperidine antagonists could have a therapeutic potential in cases where cholinergic activity has to be negatively modulated. PMID:27254782

  10. α5 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mediates nicotine-induced HIF-1α and VEGF expression in non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Role of Nicotinic and Muscarinic Receptors on Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuenzalida, Marco; Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Arias, Hugo R

    2016-01-01

    The cholinergic activity in the brain is fundamental for cognitive functions. The modulatory activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) is mediated by activating a variety of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR). Accumulating evidence indicates that both nAChR and mAChRs can modulate the release of several other neurotransmitters, modify the threshold of long-term plasticity, finally improving learning and memory processes. Importantly, the expression, distribution, and/or function of these systems are altered in several neurological diseases. The aim of this review is to discuss our current knowledge on cholinergic receptors and their regulating synaptic functions and neuronal network activities as well as their use as targets for the development of new and clinically useful cholinergic ligands. These new therapies involve the development of novel and more selective cholinergic agonists and allosteric modulators as well as selective cholinesterase inhibitors, which may improve cognitive and behavioral symptoms, and also provide neuroprotection in several brain diseases. The review will focus on two nAChR receptor subtypes found in the mammalian brain and the most commonly targeted in drug discovery programs for neuropsychiatric disorder, the ligands of α4β2 nAChR and α7 nAChRs. PMID:26818867

  12. [125I]AT-1012, a New High Affinity Radioligand for the α3β4 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jinhua; Perry, David C.; Bupp, James E.; Jiang, Faming; Polgar, Willma E.; Toll, Lawrence; Zaveri, Nurulain T.

    2013-01-01

    Recent genetic and pharmacological studies have implicated the α3, β4 and a5 subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in dependence to nicotine and other abused drugs and nicotine withdrawal. The α3β4* nAChR subtype has been shown to co-assemble with the α5 or β3 nAChR subunits, and is found mainly in the autonomic ganglia and select brain regions. It has been difficult to study the α3β4 nAChR because there have been no selective nonpeptidic ligands available to independently examine its pharmacology. We recently reported the synthesis of a [125I]-radiolabeled analog of a high affinity, selective small-molecule α3β4 nAChR ligand, AT-1012. We report here the vitro characterization of this radioligand in receptor binding and in vitro autoradiographic studies targeting the α3β4* nAChR. Binding of [125I]AT-1012 was characterized at the rat α3β4- and α4β2 nAChR transfected into HEK cells as well as at the human α3β4α5 nAChR in HEK cells. Binding affinity of [125I]AT-1012 at the rat α3β4 nAChR was 1.4 nM, with a Bmax of 10.3 pmol/mg protein, similar to what was determined using [3H]epibatidine. Saturation isotherms suggested that [125I]AT-1012 binds to a single site on the α3β4 nAChR. Similar high binding affinity was also observed for [125I]AT-1012 at human α3β4α5 nAChR in a human α3β4aα nAChR transfected cell line. [125I]AT-1012 did not bind with high affinity to membranes from α4β2 nAChR-transfected HEK cells, and [3H]epibatidine binding studies showed that AT-1012 had over 100-fold binding selectivity for the α3β4 over α4β2 nAChR. Ki values determined for known nAChR compounds using [125I]AT-1012 as radioligand were comparable to those obtained with [3H]epibatidine. [125I]AT-1012 was also used to label the α3β4 nAChR in rat brain slices in vitro using autoradiography which showed highly localized binding of the radioligand in brain regions consistent with the discreet localization of the α3β4 nAChR. We

  13. 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

  14. Nicotinic receptor modulation to treat alcohol and drug dependence

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Shafiqur; Engleman, Eric A.; Bell, Richard L.

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol and drug dependence are serious public health problems worldwide. The prevalence of alcohol and drug dependence in the United States and other parts of the world is significant. Given the limitations in the efficacy of current pharmacotherapies to treat these disorders, research in developing alternative pharmacotherapies continues. Preclinical and clinical evidence thus far has indicated that brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are important pharmacological targets for the development of medications to treat alcohol and drug dependence. The nAChRs are a super family of ligand gated ion channels, and are expressed throughout the brain with twelve neuronal nAChR subunits (α2–α10 and β2–β4) identified. Here, we review preclinical and clinical evidence involving a number of nAChR ligands that target different nAChR subtypes in alcohol and nicotine addiction. The important ligands include cytisine, lobeline, mecamylamine, varenicline, sazetidine A and others that target α4β2* nAChR subtypes as small molecule modulators of the brain nicotinic cholinergic system are also discussed. Taken together, both preclinical and clinical data exist that support nAChR–based ligands as promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of alcohol and drug dependence. PMID:25642160

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Effect of α₇ nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists and antagonists on motor function in mice.

    PubMed

    Welch, Kevin D; Pfister, James A; Lima, Flavia G; 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Striatal α5 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Regulates Dopamine Transmission in Dorsal Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Exley, Richard; McIntosh, J. Michael; Marks, Michael J.; Maskos, Uwe

    2012-01-01

    Polymorphisms in the gene for the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit are associated with vulnerability to nicotine addiction. However, the underlying normal functions of α5-containing nAChRs in the brain are poorly understood. Striatal dopamine (DA) transmission is critical to the acquisition and maintenance of drug addiction and is modulated strongly by nicotine acting at heteromeric β2-containing (β2*) nAChRs. We explored whether α5 subunits, as well as α4, α6, and β3 subunits, participate in the powerful regulation of DA release probability by β2* nAChRs in nucleus accumbens (NAc) core and in dorsal striatum [caudatoputamen (CPu)]. We detected evoked dopamine release using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes in striatal slices from mice with deletions of α4, α5, α6, or β3 subunits. We show that the nAChR subtypes that dominantly regulate dopamine transmission depend critically upon α5 subunits in the dorsal CPu in α4α5(non-α6)β2-nAChRs but not in NAc core, where α4α6β2β3-nAChRs are required. These data reveal the distinct populations of nAChRs that govern DA transmission in NAc core versus dorsal CPu. Furthermore, they indicate that α5 subunits are critical to the regulation of DA transmission by α4β2* nAChRs in regions of striatum associated with habitual and instrumental responses (dorsal CPu) rather than pavlovian associations (NAc). PMID:22396410

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

    PubMed Central

    Dani, John A.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26472524

  20. 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.

  1. Spatial and intracellular relationships between the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter in the prefrontal cortex of rat and mouse

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, Aine M.; Zhou, Ping; Milner, Teresa A.; Pickel, Virginia M.

    2009-01-01

    The alpha-7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) is expressed in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain region where these receptors are implicated in cognitive function and in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Activation of this receptor is dependent on release of acetylcholine (ACh) from axon terminals that contain the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). Since rat and mouse models are widely used for studies of specific abnormalities in schizophrenia, we sought to determine the subcellular location of the α7nAChR with respect to VAChT storage vesicles in axon terminals in the PFC in both species. For this, we used dual electron microscopic immunogold and immunoperoxidase labeling of antisera raised against the α7nAChR and VAChT. In both species, the α7nAChR-immunoreactivity (-ir) was principally identified within dendrites and dendritic spines, receptive to axon terminals forming asymmetric excitatory-type synapses, but lacking detectable α7nAChR or VAChT-ir. Quantitative analysis of the rat PFC revealed that of α7nAChR labeled neuronal profiles, 65% (299/463) were postsynaptic structures (dendrites and dendritic spine) and only 22% (104/463) were axon terminals or small unmyelinated axons. In contrast, VAChT was principally localized to varicose vesicle-filled axonal profiles, without recognized synaptic specializations (n = 240). Of the α7nAChR-labeled axons, 47% (37/79) also contained VAChT, suggesting that ACh release is autoregulated through the presynaptic α7nAChR. The VAChT-labeled terminals rarely formed synapses, but frequently apposed α7nAChR-containing neuronal profiles. These results suggest that in rodent PFC, the α7nAChR plays a major role in modulation of the postsynaptic excitation in spiny dendrites in contact with VAChT containing axons. PMID:19374941

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Crystallization scale purification of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from mammalian cells using a BacMam expression system

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Hao; Fan, Chen; Zhang, Si-wei; Wu, Zhong-shan; Cui, Zhi-cheng; Melcher, Karsten; Zhang, Cheng-hai; Jiang, Yi; Cong, Yao; Xu, H Eric

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To report our methods for expression and purification of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR), a ligand-gated pentameric ion channel and an important drug target. Methods: α7-nAChRs of 10 different species were cloned into an inducible BacMam vector with an N-terminal tag of a tandem maltose-binding protein (MBP) and a TEV cleavage site. This α7-nAChR fusion receptor was expressed in mammalian HEK293F cells and detected by Western blot. The expression was scaled up to liters. The receptor was purified using amylose resin and size-exclusion chromatography. The quality of the purified receptor was assessed using SDS-PAGE gels, thermal stability analysis, and negative stain electron microscopy (EM). The expression construct was optimized through terminal truncations and site-directed mutagenesis. Results: Expression screening revealed that α7-nAChR from Taeniopygia guttata had the highest expression levels. The fusion receptor was expressed mostly on the cell surface, and it could be efficiently purified using one-step amylose affinity chromatography. One to two milligrams of the optimized α7-nAChR expression construct were purified from one liter of cell culture. The purified α7-nAChR samples displayed high thermal stability with a Tm of 60 °C, which was further enhanced by antagonist binding but decreased in the presence of agonist. EM analysis revealed ring-like structures with a central hydrophilic hole, which was consistent with the pentameric assembly of the α7-nAChR channel. Conclusion: We have established methods for crystallization scale expression and purification of α7-nAChR, which lays a foundation for high-resolution structural studies using X-ray crystallography or single particle cryo-EM analysis. PMID:26073323

  7. Rescue of amyloid-Beta-induced inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by a peptide homologous to the nicotine binding domain of the alpha 7 subtype.

    PubMed

    Nery, Arthur A; Magdesian, Margaret H; Trujillo, Cleber A; Sathler, Luciana B; Juliano, Maria A; Juliano, Luiz; Ulrich, Henning; Ferreira, Sergio T

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by brain accumulation of the neurotoxic amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) and by loss of cholinergic neurons and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Recent evidence indicates that memory loss and cognitive decline in AD correlate better with the amount of soluble Aβ than with the extent of amyloid plaque deposits in affected brains. Inhibition of nAChRs by soluble Aβ40 is suggested to contribute to early cholinergic dysfunction in AD. Using phage display screening, we have previously identified a heptapeptide, termed IQ, homologous to most nAChR subtypes, binding with nanomolar affinity to soluble Aβ40 and blocking Aβ-induced inhibition of carbamylcholine-induced currents in PC12 cells expressing α7 nAChRs. Using alanine scanning mutagenesis and whole-cell current recording, we have now defined the amino acids in IQ essential for reversal of Aβ40 inhibition of carbamylcholine-induced responses in PC12 cells, mediated by α7 subtypes and other endogenously expressed nAChRs. We further investigated the effects of soluble Aβ, IQ and analogues of IQ on α3β4 nAChRs recombinantly expressed in HEK293 cells. Results show that nanomolar concentrations of soluble Aβ40 potently inhibit the function of α3β4 nAChRs, and that subsequent addition of IQ or its analogues does not reverse this effect. However, co-application of IQ makes the inhibition of α3β4 nAChRs by Aβ40 reversible. These findings indicate that Aβ40 inhibits different subtypes of nAChRs by interacting with specific receptor domains homologous to the IQ peptide, suggesting that IQ may be a lead for novel drugs to block the inhibition of cholinergic function in AD.

  8. Atypical α-Conotoxin LtIA from Conus litteratus Targets a Novel Microsite of the α3β2 Nicotinic Receptor*

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sulan; Akondi, Kalyana Bharati; Zhangsun, Dongting; Wu, Yong; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Hu, Yuanyan; Christensen, Sean; Dowell, Cheryl; Daly, Norelle L.; Craik, David J.; Wang, Ching-I. Anderson; Lewis, Richard J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Michael McIntosh, J.

    2010-01-01

    Different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes are implicated in learning, pain sensation, and disease states, including Parkinson disease and nicotine addiction. α-Conotoxins are among the most selective nAChR ligands. Mechanistic insights into the structure, function, and receptor interaction of α-conotoxins may serve as a platform for development of new therapies. Previously characterized α-conotoxins have a highly conserved Ser-Xaa-Pro motif that is crucial for potent nAChR interaction. This study characterized the novel α-conotoxin LtIA, which lacks this highly conserved motif but potently blocked α3β2 nAChRs with a 9.8 nm IC50 value. The off-rate of LtIA was rapid relative to Ser-Xaa-Pro-containing α-conotoxin MII. Nevertheless, pre-block of α3β2 nAChRs with LtIA prevented the slowly reversible block associated with MII, suggesting overlap in their binding sites. nAChR β subunit ligand-binding interface mutations were used to examine the >1000-fold selectivity difference of LtIA for α3β2 versus α3β4 nAChRs. Unlike MII, LtIA had a >900-fold increased IC50 value on α3β2(F119Q) versus wild type nAChRs, whereas T59K and V111I β2 mutants had little effect. Molecular docking simulations suggested that LtIA had a surprisingly shallow binding site on the α3β2 nAChR that includes β2 Lys-79. The K79A mutant disrupted LtIA binding but was without effect on an LtIA analog where the Ser-Xaa-Pro motif is present, consistent with distinct binding modes. PMID:20145249

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Activation of α2A-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediates nicotine-induced motor output in embryonic zebrafish.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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. PMID:24833065

  15. Nicotinic receptors in addiction pathways.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Frances M; Mojica, Celina Y; Reynaga, Daisy D

    2013-04-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that consist of pentameric combinations of α and β subunits. These receptors are widely distributed throughout the brain and are highly expressed in addiction circuitry. The role of nAChRs in regulating neuronal activity and motivated behavior is complex and varies both in and among brain regions. The rich diversity of central nAChRs has hampered the characterization of their structure and function with use of classic pharmacological techniques. However, recent molecular approaches using null mutant mice with specific regional lentiviral re-expression, in combination with neuroanatomical and electrophysiological techniques, have allowed the elucidation of the influence of different nAChR types on neuronal circuit activity and behavior. This review will address the influence of nAChRs on limbic dopamine circuitry and the medial habenula-interpeduncular nucleus complex, which are critical mediators of reinforced behavior. Characterization of the mechanisms underlying regulation of addiction pathways by endogenous cholinergic transmission and by nicotine may lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for treating tobacco dependence and other addictions. PMID:23247824

  16. Selective activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by PHA-543613 improves Aβ25-35-mediated cognitive deficits in mice.

    PubMed

    Sadigh-Eteghad, S; Talebi, M; Mahmoudi, J; Babri, S; Shanehbandi, D

    2015-07-01

    Agonists of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are currently being considered as therapeutic approaches for managing cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Present study was designed to evaluate the effect of α7 nAChR selective activation by PHA-543613 (PHA) on beta-amyloid (Aβ)25-35-mediated cognitive deficits in mice. For this purpose, PHA (1mg/kg, i.p.), a selective α7 nAChR agonist, and galantamine (Gal) (3mg/kg, s.c.), an acetylcholine-esterase inhibitor (AChEI) effects on α7 nAChR were tested in Aβ25-35-received (intracerebroventricular, 10 nmol) mice model of AD. Methyllycaconitine (MLA) (1mg/kg, i.p.), a α7 nAChR antagonist, was used for receptor blockage effects evaluation. Working and reference memory in animals was assessed by the Morris water maze (MWM) task. The mRNA and protein levels of α7 subunit were analyzed by real-time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. PHA and Gal, ameliorate Aβ-impaired working and reference memory. However, Gal had less effect than PHA in this regard. Pretreatment with MLA reverses both Gal and PHA effects in MWM. PHA and Gal treatment prevent Aβ-induced α7 subunit protein reduction, but Gal has lesser effect than PHA. This effect blocked by pretreatment with MLA. In neither the pretreatment nor treatment group, the mRNA levels of nAChR α7 subunit were significantly changed. Therefore, α7 nAChR activation, reduces Aβ-induced cognitive deficits and increases the α7 protein level and subsequent neuron survival. However, blockage of receptor, increases Aβ toxicity and cognitive impairment and reduces the α7 nAChR protein level and flowing neuroprotection. PMID:25881725

  17. Alpha3* and alpha 7 nAChR-mediated Ca2+ transient generation in IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Ween, Hilde; Thorin-Hagene, Kirsten; Andersen, Elisabeth; Grønlien, Jens Halvard; Lee, Chih-Hung; Gopalakrishnan, Murali; Malysz, John

    2010-10-01

    Alpha3-containing (alpha 3*) and alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed in human IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells and implicated in Ca(2+) signaling. In this study, we investigated the intracellular Ca(2+) transient generation evoked by selective activation of alpha 3* (agonist potency rank order: epibatidine>varenicline>nicotine approximately cytisine) and alpha 7 (rank order in the presence of alpha 7 positive allosteric modulator or PAM: A-795723>NS6784 approximately PNU-282987) using, respectively, varenicline and NS6784 (+alpha 7 PAM) by Ca(2+) imaging. Effects of inhibitors of nAChRs (MLA and mecamylamine), ER Ca(2+) ATPase pump (CPA and thapsigargin), Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (ryanodine and dantrolene), Ca(2+) channels (nitrendipine, diltiazem, and Cd(2+)), and removal of extracellular Ca(2+) were examined. alpha 7 PAMs, when tested in the presence of NS6784, were more active when added first, followed by the agonist, than in the reverse order. Removal of extracellular Ca(2+) - but not CPA, thapsigargin, ryanodine, dantrolene, nitrendipine, diltiazem, or Cd(2+) - diminished the alpha 7 agonist-evoked Ca(2+) transients. In contrast, only diltiazem and nitrendipine and removal of extracellular Ca(2+) inhibited the alpha 3*-mediated Ca(2+) transients. The differential effect of diltiazem and nitrendipine versus Cd(2+) was due to direct inhibition of alpha 3* nAChRs as revealed by Ca(2+) imaging in HEK-293 cells expressing human alpha 3 beta 4 nAChRs and patch clamp in IMR-32 cells. In summary, this study provides evidence that alpha 3* and alpha 7 nAChR agonist-evoked global Ca(2+) transient generation in IMR-32 cells does not primarily involve voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels, intracellular Ca(2+) stores, or Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release. These mechanisms may, however, be still involved in other forms of nAChR-mediated Ca(2+) signaling.

  18. PPARα regulates cholinergic-driven activity of midbrain dopamine neurons via a novel mechanism involving α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Melis, Miriam; Scheggi, Simona; Carta, Gianfranca; Madeddu, Camilla; Lecca, Salvatore; Luchicchi, Antonio; Cadeddu, Francesca; Frau, Roberto; Fattore, Liana; Fadda, Paola; Ennas, M Grazia; Castelli, M Paola; Fratta, Walter; Schilstrom, Bjorn; Banni, Sebastiano; De Montis, M Graziella; Pistis, Marco

    2013-04-01

    Ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons control reward-driven learning, and their dysregulation can lead to psychiatric disorders. Tonic and phasic activity of these dopaminergic neurons depends on cholinergic tone and activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), particularly those containing the β2 subunit (β2*-nAChRs). Nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors type-α (PPARα) tonically regulate β2*-nAChRs and thereby control dopamine neuron firing activity. However, it is unknown how and when PPARα endogenous ligands are synthesized by dopamine cells. Using ex vivo and in vivo electrophysiological techniques combined with biochemical and behavioral analysis, we show that activation of α7-nAChRs increases in the rat VTA both the tyrosine phosphorylation of the β2 subunit of nAChRs and the levels of two PPARα endogenous ligands in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Accordingly, in vivo production of endogenous PPARα ligands, triggered by α7-nAChR activation, blocks in rats nicotine-induced increased firing activity of dopamine neurons and displays antidepressant-like properties. These data demonstrate that endogenous PPARα ligands are effectors of α7-nAChRs and that their neuromodulatory properties depend on phosphorylation of β2*-nAChRs on VTA dopamine cells. This reveals an autoinhibitory mechanism aimed at reducing dopamine cell overexcitation engaged during hypercholinergic drive. Our results unveil important physiological functions of nAChR/PPARα signaling in dopamine neurons and how behavioral output can change after modifications of this signaling pathway. Overall, the present study suggests PPARα as new therapeutic targets for disorders associated with unbalanced dopamine-acetylcholine systems. PMID:23554501

  19. Molecular modeling of human pentameric alpha(7) neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and its interaction with its agonist and competitive antagonist.

    PubMed

    Parthiban, Marimuthu; Rajasekaran, Mohan Babu; Ramakumar, Suryanarayanarao; Shanmughavel, Piramanayagam

    2009-04-01

    The nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) is the major class of neurotransmitter receptors that is involved in many neurodegenerative conditions such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The N-terminal region or Ligand Binding Domain (LBD) of nAChR is located at pre- and post-synaptic nervous system, which mediates synaptic transmission. nAChR acts as the drug target for agonist and competitive antagonist molecules that modulate signal transmission at the nerve terminals. Based on Acetylcholine Binding Protein (AChBP) from Lymnea stagnalis as the structural template, the homology modeling approach was carried out to build three dimensional model of the N-terminal region of human alpha(7)nAChR. This theoretical model is an assembly of five alpha(7) subunits with 5 fold axis symmetry, constituting a channel, with the binding pocket present at the interface region of the subunits. alpha-neurotoxin is a potent nAChR competitive antagonist that readily blocks the channel resulting in paralysis. The molecular interaction of alpha-Bungarotoxin, a long chain alpha-neurotoxin from (Bungarus multicinctus) and human alpha(7)nAChR was studied. Agonists such as acetylcholine, nicotine, which are used in a diverse array of biological activities, such as enhancements of cognitive performances, were also docked with the theoretical model of human alpha(7)nAChR. These docked complexes were analyzed further for identifying the crucial residues involved in interaction. These results provide the details of interaction of agonists and competitive antagonists with three dimensional model of the N-terminal region of human alpha(7)nAChR and thereby point to the design of novel lead compounds.

  20. Tonic modulation of GABA release by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in layer V of the murine prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Aracri, Patrizia; Consonni, Silvia; Morini, Raffaella; Perrella, Marco; Rodighiero, Simona; Amadeo, Alida; Becchetti, Andrea

    2010-07-01

    By regulating the neocortical excitability, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) control vigilance and cognition and are implicated in epileptogenesis. Modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release often accompanies these processes. We studied how nAChRs regulate GABAergic transmission in the murine neocortex with immunocytochemical and patch-clamp methods. The cholinergic fibers densely innervated the somatosensory, visual, motor, and prefrontal cortices (PFC). Laminar distribution was broadly homogeneous, especially in the PFC. The cholinergic terminals were often adjacent to the soma and dendrites of GABAergic interneurons, but well-differentiated synapses were rare. Tonically applied nicotine (1-100 microM) increased the frequency of spontaneous GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) on pyramidal neurons in PFC layer V. The contribution of nAChR types was assessed by using 1 microM dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE), to block heteromeric nAChRs, and 10 nM methyllycaconitine (MLA), to block homomeric nAChRs. Both inhibitors antagonized the effect of nicotine on IPSCs, suggesting that mixed nAChR types control pyramidal neuron inhibition in layer V. To determine whether nAChRs are expressed on basket cells' terminals, we studied miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs). These were revealed using 0.5 microM tetrodotoxin and 50 microM Cd(2+) to isolate the GABAergic terminals from the action potential drive. The nicotinic stimulation of mIPSCs was antagonized by DHbetaE, but not MLA, indicating that heteromeric nAChRs prevail in GABAergic terminals. Immunocytochemistry confirmed the expression of nAChRs on basket cells' somata and terminals. Finally, when the ionotropic glutamatergic transmission was blocked, nicotine partially inhibited the IPSCs, an effect counteracted by both DHbetaE and MLA. Therefore, a fraction of nAChRs are capable of activating GABAergic interneurons that in turn inhibit other GABAergic interneurons, thereby reducing the IPSCs. We

  1. The therapeutic potential of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists for pain control.

    PubMed

    Decker, M W; Meyer, M D; Sullivan, J P

    2001-10-01

    Due to the limitations of currently available analgesics, a number of novel alternatives are currently under investigation, including neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists. During the 1990s, the discovery of the antinociceptive properties of the potent nAChR agonist epibatidine in rodents sparked interest in the analgesic potential of this class of compounds. Although epibatidine also has several mechanism-related toxicities, the identification of considerable nAChR diversity suggested that the toxicities and therapeutic actions of the compound might be mediated by distinct receptor subtypes. Consistent with this view, a number of novel nAChR agonists with antinociceptive activity and improved safety profiles in preclinical models have now been identified, including A-85380, ABT-594, DBO-83, SIB-1663 and RJR-2403. Of these, ABT-594 is the most advanced and is currently in Phase II clinical evaluation. Nicotinically-mediated antinociception has been demonstrated in a variety of rodent pain models and is likely mediated by the activation of descending inhibitory pathways originating in the brainstem with the predominant high-affinity nicotine site in brain, the alpha4beta2 subtype, playing a critical role. Thus, preclinical findings suggest that nAChR agonists have the potential to be highly efficacious treatments in a variety of pain states. However, clinical proof-of-principle studies will be required to determine if nAChR agonists are active in pathological pain.

  2. Keratinocyte nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation modulates early TLR2-mediated wound healing responses.

    PubMed

    Kishibe, Mari; Griffin, Tina M; Radek, Katherine A

    2015-11-01

    The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway spans several macro- and micro-environments to control inflammation via α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Physiologic inflammation is necessary for normal wound repair and is triggered, in part, via Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Here, we demonstrate that keratinocyte nAChR activation dampens TLR2-mediated migration and pro-inflammatory cytokine and antimicrobial peptide (AMP) production, which is restored by a α7-selective nAChR antagonist. The mechanism of this response occurs by blocking the NF-κB and Erk1/2 pathway during early and late wound healing. In a mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus wound infection, topical nAChR activation reduces wound AMP and TLR2 production to augment bacterial survival in wild-type mice. These findings suggest that aberrant α7 nAChR activation may impair normal wound healing responses, and that pharmacologic administration of topical nAChR antagonists may improve wound healing outcomes in wounds necessitating a more robust inflammatory response.

  3. 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.

  4. Cerebellar Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptors are Intrinsic to the Cerebellum: Implications for Diverse Functional Roles

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Jill R.; Ortinski, Pavel I.; Sherrard, Rachel M.

    2016-01-01

    Although recent studies have delineated the specific nicotinic subtypes present in the mammalian cerebellum, very little is known about their location or function within the cerebellum. This is of increased interest since nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) in the cerebellum have recently been implicated in the pathology of autism spectrum disorders. To begin to better understand the roles of these heteromeric nAChRs in the cerebellar circuitry and their therapeutic potential as targets for drug development, we used various chemical and stereotaxic lesion models in conjunction with slice electrophysiology to examine how specific heteromeric nAChR subtypes may influence the surrounding cerebellar circuitry. Using subunit-specific immunoprecipitation of radiolabeled nAChRs in the cerebella following N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride, p-chloroamphetamine, and pendunculotomy lesions, we show that most, if not all, cerebellar nicotinic receptors are present in cells within the cerebellum itself and not in extracerebellar afferents. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the β4-containing, but not the β2-containing, nAChRs intrinsic to the cerebellum can regulate inhibitory synaptic efficacy at two major classes of cerebellar neurons. These tandem findings suggest that nAChRs may present a potential drug target for disorders involving the cerebellum. PMID:21562921

  5. Monkey Adrenal Chromaffin Cells Express α6β4* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24727685

  6. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Pathophysiology of Al zheimer's Disease: The Role of Protein-Protein Interactions in Current and Future Treatment.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Morten Skøtt; Andreasen, Jesper Tobias; Arvaniti, Maria; Kohlmeier, Kristi Anne

    2016-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been pursued for decades as potential molecular targets to treat cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to their positioning within regions of the brain critical in learning and memory, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, and their demonstrated role in processes underlying cognition such as synaptic facilitation, and theta and gamma wave activity. Historically, activity at these receptors is facilitated in AD by use of drugs that increase the levels of their endogenous agonist acetylcholine, and more recently nAChR selective ligands have undergone clinical trials. Here we discuss recent findings suggesting that the expression and function of nAChRs in AD may be regulated by direct interactions with specific proteins, including Lynx proteins, NMDA-receptors and the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, as well as β-amyloid. The ability of protein interactions to modify nAChR function adds a new level of complexity to cholinergic signaling in the brain that may be specifically altered in AD. It is currently not known to what degree current nAChR ligands affect these interactions, and it is possible that the difference in the clinical effect of nAChR ligands in AD is related to differences in their ability to modulate nAChR protein interactions, rather than their effects on ion flow through the receptors. Drugs designed to target these interactions may thus provide a new avenue for drug development to ameliorate cognitive symptoms in AD. Notably, the development of experimental drugs that specifically modulate these interactions may provide the opportunity to selectively affect those aspects of nAChR function that are affected in AD. PMID:26818866

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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 ([(3)H]phencyclidine; IC50 = 4 μM) than in the resting state ([(3)H]tetracaine; IC50 = 60 μM), whereas it bound with only very low affinity to the ACh binding sites ([(3)H]ACh, IC50 = 1 mM). Upon irradiation at 312 nm, [(3)H]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, [(3)H]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 [(3)H]dFBr is a photoaffinity probe with broad amino acid side chain reactivity. PMID:25870334

  8. [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

  9. [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

  10. Activation of nicotinic α(7) acetylcholine receptor enhances long term potentation in wild type mice but not in APP(swe)/PS1ΔE9 mice.

    PubMed

    Söderman, Andreas; Mikkelsen, Jens D; West, Mark J; Christensen, Ditte Z; Jensen, Morten S

    2011-01-10

    Amyloid β (Aβ) plays a central role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and binds to the nicotinic α(7) receptor (α(7) nAChR). Little is known about the degree to which the binding of Aβ to the α(7) nAChR influences the role of this receptor in long-term potentiation (LTP), however. We have studied the effect of the partial α(7) nAChR agonist SSR180711 on hippocampal slice preparations from normal wild type (Wt) and APP(swe)/PS1ΔE9 transgenic (Tg) mice. In the hippocampal slices from the 6 months old Wt mice, the application of both nicotine (5μM) and SSR180711 (300nM) resulted in a significant enhancement of LTP expressed in area CA1. However, in the Tg mice the application of SSR180711 did not result in an increase in LTP beyond control levels. The amount of binding of the α(7) nAChR ligand 125-I-α-bungarotoxin was not different between in Tg and Wt mice. These findings indicate that the α(7) nAChR is functionally blocked in the hippocampal neurons, downstream of the α(7) nAChR, and that this is likely due to an interaction between the receptor and Aβ, which leads to changes in LTP.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-27

    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

  13. Identification and Characterization of a G Protein-binding Cluster in α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    King, Justin R.; Nordman, Jacob C.; Bridges, Samuel P.; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kabbani, Nadine

    2015-01-01

    α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in synaptic transmission and inflammation. In response to ligands, this receptor channel opens to conduct cations into the cell but desensitizes rapidly. In recent studies we show that α7 nAChRs bind signaling proteins such as heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins). Here, we demonstrate that direct coupling of α7 nAChRs to G proteins enables a downstream calcium signaling response that can persist beyond the expected time course of channel activation. This process depends on a G protein-binding cluster (GPBC) in the M3-M4 loop of the receptor. A mutation of the GPBC in the α7 nAChR (α7345–348A) abolishes interaction with Gαq as well as Gβγ while having no effect on receptor synthesis, cell-surface trafficking, or α-bungarotoxin binding. Expression of α7345–348A, however, did significantly attenuate the α7 nAChR-induced Gαq calcium signaling response as evidenced by a decrease in PLC-β activation and IP3R-mediated calcium store release in the presence of the α7 selective agonist choline. Taken together, the data provides new evidence for the existence of a GPBC in nAChRs serving to promote intracellular signaling. PMID:26088141

  14. Activation of α4β2*/α6β2* nicotinic receptors alleviates anxiety during nicotine withdrawal without upregulating nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Yohn, Nicole L; Turner, Jill R; Blendy, Julie A

    2014-05-01

    Although nicotine mediates its effects through several nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes, it remains to be determined which nAChR subtypes directly mediate heightened anxiety during withdrawal. Relative success in abstinence has been found with the nAChR partial agonist varenicline (Chantix; Pfizer, Groton, CT); however, treatment with this drug fails to alleviate anxiety in individuals during nicotine withdrawal. Therefore, it is hypothesized that success can be found by the repurposing of other nAChR partial agonists for cessation therapies that target anxiety. It is noteworthy that the selective partial agonists for α4β2, ABT-089 [2-methyl-3-[2(S)-pyrrolidinylmethoxy]pyridine], and α7, ABT-107 [5-(6-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yloxy] pyridazin-3-yl)-1H-indole] (AbbVie, North Chicago, IL), have not been evaluated as possible therapeutics for nicotine cessation. Therefore, we examined the effect of ABT-089 and ABT-107 on anxiety during withdrawal from nicotine in the novelty-induced hypophagia (NIH) paradigm. We found that short-term administration of ABT-089 and ABT-107 alleviate anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal from nicotine while long-term administration of ABT-089 but not ABT-107 reduces anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal. After behavioral testing, brains were harvested and β2-containing nAChRs were measured using [(3)H]epibaditine. ABT-089 and ABT-107 do not upregulate nAChRs, which is in contrast to the upregulation of nAChRs observed after nicotine. Furthermore, ABT-089 is anxiogenic in nicotine naive animals, suggesting that the effects on anxiety are specifically related to the nicotine-dependent state. Together, these studies identify additional nAChR partial agonists that may aid in the rational development of smoking cessation aids.

  15. Activation of α4β2*/α6β2* nicotinic receptors alleviates anxiety during nicotine withdrawal without upregulating nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Yohn, Nicole L; Turner, Jill R; Blendy, Julie A

    2014-05-01

    Although nicotine mediates its effects through several nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes, it remains to be determined which nAChR subtypes directly mediate heightened anxiety during withdrawal. Relative success in abstinence has been found with the nAChR partial agonist varenicline (Chantix; Pfizer, Groton, CT); however, treatment with this drug fails to alleviate anxiety in individuals during nicotine withdrawal. Therefore, it is hypothesized that success can be found by the repurposing of other nAChR partial agonists for cessation therapies that target anxiety. It is noteworthy that the selective partial agonists for α4β2, ABT-089 [2-methyl-3-[2(S)-pyrrolidinylmethoxy]pyridine], and α7, ABT-107 [5-(6-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yloxy] pyridazin-3-yl)-1H-indole] (AbbVie, North Chicago, IL), have not been evaluated as possible therapeutics for nicotine cessation. Therefore, we examined the effect of ABT-089 and ABT-107 on anxiety during withdrawal from nicotine in the novelty-induced hypophagia (NIH) paradigm. We found that short-term administration of ABT-089 and ABT-107 alleviate anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal from nicotine while long-term administration of ABT-089 but not ABT-107 reduces anxiety-like behavior during withdrawal. After behavioral testing, brains were harvested and β2-containing nAChRs were measured using [(3)H]epibaditine. ABT-089 and ABT-107 do not upregulate nAChRs, which is in contrast to the upregulation of nAChRs observed after nicotine. Furthermore, ABT-089 is anxiogenic in nicotine naive animals, suggesting that the effects on anxiety are specifically related to the nicotine-dependent state. Together, these studies identify additional nAChR partial agonists that may aid in the rational development of smoking cessation aids. PMID:24627467

  16. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-lipid interactions: Mechanistic insight and biological function.

    PubMed

    Baenziger, John E; Hénault, Camille M; Therien, J P Daniel; Sun, Jiayin

    2015-09-01

    Membrane lipids are potent modulators of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) from Torpedo. Lipids influence nAChR function by both conformational selection and kinetic mechanisms, stabilizing varying proportions of activatable versus non-activatable conformations, as well as influencing the transitions between these conformational states. Of note, some membranes stabilize an electrically silent uncoupled conformation that binds agonist but does not undergo agonist-induced conformational transitions. The uncoupled nAChR, however, does transition to activatable conformations in relatively thick lipid bilayers, such as those found in lipid rafts. In this review, we discuss current understanding of lipid-nAChR interactions in the context of increasingly available high resolution structural and functional data. These data highlight different sites of lipid action, including the lipid-exposed M4 transmembrane α-helix. Current evidence suggests that lipids alter nAChR function by modulating interactions between M4 and the adjacent transmembrane α-helices, M1 and M3. These interactions have also been implicated in both the folding and trafficking of nAChRs to the cell surface. We review current mechanistic understanding of lipid-nAChR interactions, and highlight potential biological roles for lipid-nAChR interactions in modulating the synaptic response. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions. PMID:25791350

  17. Assessing the lipid requirements of the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Hamouda, Ayman K; Sanghvi, Mitesh; Sauls, Daniel; Machu, Tina K; Blanton, Michael P

    2006-04-01

    The lipid requirements of the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) were assessed by reconstituting purified receptors into lipid vesicles of defined composition and by using photolabeling with 3-trifluoromethyl-3-(m-[125I]iodophenyl)diazirine ([125I]TID) to determine functionality. Earlier studies demonstrated that nAChRs reconstituted into membranes containing phosphatidylcholine (PC), the anionic lipid phosphatidic acid (PA), and cholesterol (CH) are particularly effective at stabilizing the nAChR in the resting (closed) state that is capable of undergoing agonist-induced conformational transitions (i.e., functionality). The present studies demonstrate that (1) there is no obligatory requirement for PC, (2) increasing the CH content serves to increase the degree to which nAChRs are stabilized in the resting state, and this effect saturates at approximately 35 mol % (molar lipid percentage), and (3) the effect of increasing levels of PA saturates at approximately 12 mol % and in the absence of PA nAChRs are stabilized in the desensitized state (i.e., nonfunctional). Native Torpedo membranes contain approximately 35 mol % CH but less than 1 mol % PA, suggesting that other anionic lipids may substitute for PA. We report that (1) phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol (PI), anionic lipids that are abundant in native Torpedo membranes, also stabilize the receptor in the resting state although with reduced efficacy (approximately 50-60%) compared to PA, and (2) for nAChRs reconstituted into PA/CH membranes at different lipid-protein molar ratios, receptor functionality decreases rapidly below approximately 65 lipids per receptor. Collectively, these results are consistent with a functional requirement of a single shell of lipids surrounding the nAChR and specific anionic lipid- and sterol (CH)-protein interactions.

  18. Drug binding to the acetylcholine receptor: Nitroxide analogs of phencyclidine and a local anesthetic

    SciTech Connect

    Palma, A.L.

    1988-01-01

    The interaction of noncompetitive inhibitors (NCIs) with Torpedo californica native nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) membranes was examined primarily by the technique of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The goal of this work being to define some of the physical characteristics for the site(s) of association between an NCI and the nAChR membrane. A nitroxide labeled analog of a quaternary amine local anesthetic, 2-(N,N-dimethyl-N-4-(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinoxyl)amino)-ethyl 4-hexyloxybenzoate iodide (C6SLMeI), displays a strongly immobilized EPR component when added to nAChR membranes in the presence of carbamylcholine (carb). To further this work, a nitroxide labeled analog of phencyclidine (PCP), a potent NCI, was synthesized. 4-phenyl-4-(1-piperidinyl)-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinoxyl (PPT) exhibited one-third the potency of PCP in inhibiting nAChR mediated ion flux, and from competition binding studies with ({sup 3}H)PCP displayed a K{sub D} of 0.21 {mu}M towards a carb desensitized nAChR and a K{sub 0.5} of 18 {mu}M for a resting {alpha}-bungarotoxin treated nAChR.

  19. The Ubiquitin–Proteasome System Regulates the Stability of Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Rezvani, Khosrow; Teng, Yanfen

    2010-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a key event for protein degradation by the proteasome system, membrane protein internalization, and protein trafficking among cellular compartments. Few data are available on the role of the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) in the trafficking of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Experiments conducted in neuron-like differentiated rat pheochromocytoma cells (PC12 cells) show that the α3, β2, and β4 nAChR subunits are ubiquitinated and that their ubiquitination is necessary for degradation. A 24-h treatment with the proteasome inhibitor PS-341 increased the total levels of α3 and the two β subunits in both whole cell lysates and fractions enriched for the ER/Golgi compartment. nAChR subunit upregulation was also detected in plasma membrane-enriched fractions. Inhibition of the lysosomal degradation machinery by E-64 had a significantly smaller effect on nAChR turnover. The present data, together with previous results showing that the α7 nAChR subunit is a target of the UPS, point to a prominent role of the proteasome in nAChR trafficking. PMID:19693707

  20. 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.

  1. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae.

    PubMed

    Jones, Andrew K; Grauso, Marta; Sattelle, David B

    2005-02-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission in the insect nervous system and are targets of widely selling insecticides. We have identified the nAChR gene family from the genome of the malaria mosquito vector, Anopheles gambiae, to be the second complete insect nAChR gene family described following that of Drosophila melanogaster. Like Drosophila, Anopheles possesses 10 nAChR subunits with orthologous relationships evident between the two insects. Interestingly, the Anopheles orthologues of Dbeta2 and Dbeta3 possess the vicinal cysteines that define alpha subunits. As with Dalpha4 and Dalpha6, the Anopheles orthologues are alternatively spliced at equivalent exons. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis shows that RNA A-to-I editing sites conserved between Dalpha6 of Drosophila and alpha7-2 of the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens, are not shared with the equivalent nAChR subunit of Anopheles. Indeed, RNA-editing sites identified in functionally significant regions of Dbeta1, Dalpha5, and Dalpha6 are not conserved in the mosquito orthologues, indicating considerable divergence of RNA molecules targeted for editing within the insect order Diptera. These findings shed further light on the diversity of nAChR subunits and may present a useful basis for the development of improved malaria control agents by enhancing our understanding of a validated mosquito insecticide target.

  2. A pharmacodynamic comparison of piperidine and pyridine alkaloid actions at fetal muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Piperidine and pyridine alkaloids are found in many species of plants including Lobelia spp., Conium spp., Nicotiana spp., and Lupinus spp. Some of these alkaloids cause multiple congenital contracture deformities (MCC) and cleft palates in cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats. The mechanism behind MCC ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

  4. 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

  5. A novel positive allosteric modulator of the alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: in vitro and in vivo characterization.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Raymond S; Hajós, Mihaly; Raggenbass, Mario; Wall, Theron M; Higdon, Nicole R; Lawson, Judy A; Rutherford-Root, Karen L; Berkenpas, Mitchell B; Hoffmann, W E; Piotrowski, David W; Groppi, Vincent E; Allaman, Geraldine; Ogier, Roch; Bertrand, Sonia; Bertrand, Daniel; Arneric, Stephen P

    2005-04-27

    Several lines of evidence suggest a link between the alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and brain disorders including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and traumatic brain injury. The present work describes a novel molecule, 1-(5-chloro-2,4-dimethoxy-phenyl)-3-(5-methyl-isoxazol-3-yl)-urea (PNU-120596), which acts as a powerful positive allosteric modulator of the alpha7 nAChR. Discovered in a high-throughput screen, PNU-120596 increased agonist-evoked calcium flux mediated by an engineered variant of the human alpha7 nAChR. Electrophysiology studies confirmed that PNU-120596 increased peak agonist-evoked currents mediated by wild-type receptors and also demonstrated a pronounced prolongation of the evoked response in the continued presence of agonist. In contrast, PNU-120596 produced no detectable change in currents mediated by alpha4beta2, alpha3beta4, and alpha9alpha10 nAChRs. PNU-120596 increased the channel mean open time of alpha7 nAChRs but had no effect on ion selectivity and relatively little, if any, effect on unitary conductance. When applied to acute hippocampal slices, PNU-120596 increased the frequency of ACh-evoked GABAergic postsynaptic currents measured in pyramidal neurons; this effect was suppressed by TTX, suggesting that PNU-120596 modulated the function of alpha7 nAChRs located on the somatodendritic membrane of hippocampal interneurons. Accordingly, PNU-120596 greatly enhanced the ACh-evoked inward currents in these interneurons. Systemic administration of PNU-120596 to rats improved the auditory gating deficit caused by amphetamine, a model proposed to reflect a circuit level disturbance associated with schizophrenia. Together, these results suggest that PNU-120596 represents a new class of molecule that enhances alpha7 nAChR function and thus has the potential to treat psychiatric and neurological disorders. PMID:15858066

  6. 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.

  7. Lack of dystrophin functionally affects α3β2/β4-nicotinic acethylcholine receptors in sympathetic neurons of dystrophic mdx mice.

    PubMed

    Di Angelantonio, Silvia; De Stefano, Maria Egle; Piccioni, Alessio; Lombardi, Loredana; Gotti, Cecilia; Paggi, Paola

    2011-02-01

    In the sympathetic superior cervical ganglion (SCG), nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast synaptic transmission. We previously demonstrated that in SCG neurons of mdx mice, an animal model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, lack of dystrophin causes a decrease, compared to the wild-type, in post-synaptic nAChRs containing the α3 subunit associated with β2 and/or β4 (α3β2/β4-nAChRs), but not in those containing the α7 subunit. Here we show, by whole cell patch-clamp recordings from cultured SCG neurons, that both nicotine and acetylcholine-evoked currents through α3β2/β4-nAChRs are significantly reduced in mdx mice compared to the wild-type, while those through α7-nAChR are unaffected. This reduction associates with that of protein levels of α3, β2 and β4 subunits. Therefore, we suggest that, in mdx mouse SCG neurons, lack of dystrophin, by specifically affecting membrane stabilization of α3β2/β4-nAChRs, could determine an increase in receptor internalization and degradation, with consequent reduction in the fast intraganglionic cholinergic transmission.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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

  11. Lateral diffusion, function, and expression of the slow channel congenital myasthenia syndrome αC418W nicotinic receptor mutation with changes in lipid raft components.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-10-30

    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.

  12. 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. PMID:26656837

  13. α6-Containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in midbrain dopamine neurons are poised to govern dopamine-mediated behaviors and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Berry, J N; Engle, S E; McIntosh, J M; Drenan, R M

    2015-09-24

    Acetylcholine (ACh) acts through nicotinic and muscarinic ACh receptors in the ventral midbrain and striatal areas to influence dopamine (DA) transmission. This cholinergic control of DA transmission is important for processes such as attention and motivated behavior, and is manipulated by nicotine in tobacco products. Identifying and characterizing the key ACh receptors involved in cholinergic control of DA transmission could lead to small molecule therapeutics for treating disorders involving attention, addiction, Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia. α6-Containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are highly and specifically expressed in midbrain DA neurons, making them an attractive drug target. Here, we used genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, and biophysical approaches to study this nAChR subtype. For many experiments, we used mice expressing mutant α6 nAChRs ("α6L9S" mice) that increase the sensitivity of these receptors to agonists such as ACh and nicotine. Taking advantage of a simple behavioral phenotype exhibited by α6L9S mice, we compared the ability of full versus partial α6(∗) nAChR agonists to activate α6(∗) nAChRs in vivo. Using local infusions of both agonists and antagonists into the brain, we demonstrate that neurons and nAChRs in the midbrain are sufficient to account for this behavioral response. To complement these behavioral studies, we studied the ability of in vivo α6(∗) nAChR activation to support plasticity changes in midbrain DA neurons that are relevant to behavioral sensitization and addiction. By coupling local infusion of drugs and brain slice patch-clamp electrophysiology, we show that activating α6(∗) nAChRs in midbrain DA areas is sufficient to enhance glutamatergic transmission in ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons. Together, these results from in vivo studies strongly suggest that α6(∗) nAChRs expressed by VTA DA neurons are positioned to strongly influence both DA-mediated behaviors and the

  14. 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.

  15. Nicotine activates and up-regulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in bronchial epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xiao Wen; Lindstrom, Jon; Spindel, Eliot R

    2009-07-01

    Prenatal nicotine exposure impairs normal lung development and leads to diminished pulmonary function after birth. Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated that nicotine alters lung development by affecting a nonneuronal cholinergic autocrine loop that is expressed in lung. Bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) express choline acetyltransferase, the choline high-affinity transporter and nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) subunits. We now demonstrate through a combination of morphological and electrophysiological techniques that nicotine affects this autocrine loop by up-regulating and activating cholinergic signaling. RT-PCR showed the expression of alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 7, alpha 9, alpha 10, beta2, and beta 4 nAChR mRNAs in rhesus monkey lung and cultured BECs. The expression of alpha 7, alpha 4, and beta2 nAChR was confirmed by immunofluorescence in the cultured BECs and lung. The electrophysiological characteristics of nAChR in BECs were determined using whole-cell patch-clamp on cultured BECs. Both ACh and nicotine evoked an inward current, with a rapid desensitizing current. Nicotine induced inward currents in a concentration-dependent manner, with an EC(50) of 26.7 microM. Nicotine-induced currents were reversibly blocked by the nicotinic antagonists, mecamylamine, dihydro-beta-erythroidine, and methyllcaconitine. Incubation of BECs with 1 microM nicotine for 48 hours enhanced nicotine-induced currents by roughly 26%. The protein tyrosine phosphorylation inhibitor, genistein, increased nicotine-induced currents by 58% and enhanced methyllcaconitine-sensitive currents (alpha 7 nAChR activities) 2.3-fold, whereas the protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor, pervanadate, decreased the effects of nicotine. These results demonstrate that chronic nicotine exposure up-regulates nAChR activity in developing lung, and that nAChR activity can be further modified by tyrosine phosphorylation.

  16. Nicotine enhances expression of the alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 5, and alpha 7 nicotinic receptors modulating calcium metabolism and regulating adhesion and motility of respiratory epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Zia, S; Ndoye, A; Nguyen, V T; Grando, S A

    1997-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of direct toxic effects of nicotine (Nic) on human bronchial epithelial cells (BEC) suggested by our previous findings of functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the epithelial cells lining mucocutaneous membranes. We now demonstrate for the first time that human and murine BEC both in vivo and in vitro express functional nAChRs, and that classic alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 5 and alpha 7 subunits can contribute to formation of these acetylcholine-gated ion channels. In human bronchial and mouse lung tissues, and in cultures of human BEC, the nAChRs were visualized by subunit-specific antibodies on the cell membranes, particularly at the sites of cell-to-cell contacts. The epithelial cells of submucosal glands abundantly expressed alpha 7 nAChRs. Smoking significantly (p < 0.05) increased the relative numbers of nAChRs, and this effects could be reproduced in cultures of BEC exposed to 10 microM Nic. At a higher dose, Nic decreased the relative numbers of alpha 5-containing nAChRs, suggesting a role for receptor desensitization. The function of the nAChR channels expressed by BEC was demonstrated by biphasic increase in the concentrations of intracellular calcium ([Ca++]i) in response to activation of the channel by Nic and fluctuations of [Ca++]i due to channel blockade by mecamylamine (Mec). Long-term exposure to milimolar concentrations of Nic resulted in a steady increase of [Ca++]i, which may lead to cell damage. The biological roles of epithelial nAChRs apparently involve regulation of cell-to-cell communications, adhesion and motility, because Mec caused rapid and profound changes in these cell functions which were reversible by Nic. An over exposure of BEC to Nic, however, produced an antagonist-like effect, suggesting that the pathobiological effects of Nic toxicity might result from both activation of nAChR channels and nAChR desensitization. We conclude that medical consequences of

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Functional expression of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in human periodontal ligament fibroblasts and rat periodontal tissues.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Jing; Liu, Ying-Feng; Wang, Qing-Yu; Tsuruoka, Morito; Ohta, Kazumasa; Wu, Sheng-Xi; Yakushiji, Masashi; Inoue, Takashi

    2010-05-01

    Tobacco smoking is the main risk factor associated with chronic periodontitis, but the mechanisms that underlie this relationship are largely unknown. Recent reports proposed that nicotine plays an important role in tobacco-related morbidity by acting through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed by non-neuronal cells. The aim of this study was to investigate whether alpha 7 nAChR was expressed in periodontal tissues and whether it functions by regulating IL-1 beta in the process of periodontitis. In vitro, human periodontal ligament (PDL) cells were cultured with 10(-12) M of nicotine and/or 10(-9) M of alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-Btx), a alpha 7 nAChR antagonist. The expression of alpha 7 nAChR and IL-1 beta in PDL cells and the effects of nicotine/alpha-Btx administration on their expression were explored. In vivo, an experimental periodontitis rat model was established, and the effects of nicotine/alpha-Btx administration on expression of alpha 7 nAChR and development of periodontitis were evaluated. We found that alpha 7 nAChR was present in human PDL cells and rat periodontal tissues. The expressions of alpha 7 nAChR and IL-1 beta were significantly increased by nicotine administration, whereas alpha-Btx treatment partially suppressed these effects. This study was the first to demonstrate the functional expression of alpha 7 nAChR in human PDL cells and rat periodontal tissues. Our results may be pertinent to a better understanding of the relationships among smoking, nicotine, and periodontitis.

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

    PubMed

    Ngolab, Jennifer; Liu, Liwang; Zhao-Shea, Rubing; Gao, Guangping; Gardner, Paul D; Tapper, Andrew R

    2015-06-01

    Chronic nicotine exposure increases sensitivity to nicotine reward during a withdrawal period, which may facilitate relapse in abstinent smokers, yet the molecular neuroadaptation(s) that contribute to this phenomenon are unknown. Interestingly, chronic nicotine use induces functional upregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway potentially linking upregulation to increased drug sensitivity. In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), functional upregulation of nAChRs containing the α4 subunit (α4* nAChRs) is restricted to GABAergic neurons. To test the hypothesis that increased functional expression of α4* nAChRs in these neurons modulates nicotine reward behaviors, we engineered a Cre recombinase-dependent gene expression system to selectively express α4 nAChR subunits harboring a "gain-of-function" mutation [a leucine mutated to a serine residue at the 9' position (Leu9'Ser)] in VTA GABAergic neurons of adult mice. In mice expressing Leu9'Ser α4 nAChR subunits in VTA GABAergic neurons (Gad2(VTA):Leu9'Ser mice), subreward threshold doses of nicotine were sufficient to selectively activate VTA GABAergic neurons and elicit acute hypolocomotion, with subsequent nicotine exposures eliciting tolerance to this effect, compared to control animals. In the conditioned place preference procedure, nicotine was sufficient to condition a significant place preference in Gad2(VTA):Leu9'Ser mice at low nicotine doses that failed to condition control animals. Together, these data indicate that functional upregulation of α4* nAChRs in VTA GABAergic neurons confers increased sensitivity to nicotine reward and points to nAChR subtypes specifically expressed in GABAergic VTA neurons as molecular targets for smoking cessation therapeutics.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lombardo, Sylvia; Maskos, Uwe

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Cocaine inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors influences dopamine release

    PubMed Central

    Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Zhang, Lifen; Zhou, Fuwen; Gong, Suzhen; Gu, Howard; De Biasi, Mariella; Zhou, Fu-Ming; Dani, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) potently regulate dopamine (DA) release in the striatum and alter cocaine's ability to reinforce behaviors. Since cocaine is a weak nAChR inhibitor, we hypothesized that cocaine may alter DA release by inhibiting the nAChRs in DA terminals in the striatum and thus contribute to cocaine's reinforcing properties primarily associated with the inhibition of DA transporters. We found that biologically relevant concentrations of cocaine can mildly inhibit nAChR-mediated currents in midbrain DA neurons and consequently alter DA release in the dorsal and ventral striatum. At very high concentrations, cocaine also inhibits voltage-gated Na channels in DA neurons. Furthermore, our results show that partial inhibition of nAChRs by cocaine reduces evoked DA release. This diminution of DA release via nAChR inhibition more strongly influences release evoked at low or tonic stimulation frequencies than at higher (phasic) stimulation frequencies, particularly in the dorsolateral striatum. This cocaine-induced shift favoring phasic DA release may contribute to the enhanced saliency and motivational value of cocaine-associated memories and behaviors. PMID:25237305

  6. Cocaine inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors influences dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Zhang, Lifen; Zhou, Fuwen; Gong, Suzhen; Gu, Howard; De Biasi, Mariella; Zhou, Fu-Ming; Dani, John A

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) potently regulate dopamine (DA) release in the striatum and alter cocaine's ability to reinforce behaviors. Since cocaine is a weak nAChR inhibitor, we hypothesized that cocaine may alter DA release by inhibiting the nAChRs in DA terminals in the striatum and thus contribute to cocaine's reinforcing properties primarily associated with the inhibition of DA transporters. We found that biologically relevant concentrations of cocaine can mildly inhibit nAChR-mediated currents in midbrain DA neurons and consequently alter DA release in the dorsal and ventral striatum. At very high concentrations, cocaine also inhibits voltage-gated Na channels in DA neurons. Furthermore, our results show that partial inhibition of nAChRs by cocaine reduces evoked DA release. This diminution of DA release via nAChR inhibition more strongly influences release evoked at low or tonic stimulation frequencies than at higher (phasic) stimulation frequencies, particularly in the dorsolateral striatum. This cocaine-induced shift favoring phasic DA release may contribute to the enhanced saliency and motivational value of cocaine-associated memories and behaviors. PMID:25237305

  7. Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) autoantibodies suppress the MuSK pathway and ACh receptor retention at the mouse neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Ghazanfari, Nazanin; Morsch, Marco; Reddel, Stephen W; Liang, Simon X; Phillips, William D

    2014-01-01

    Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) autoantibodies from myasthenia gravis patients can block the activation of MuSK in vitro and/or reduce the postsynaptic localization of MuSK. Here we use a mouse model to examine the effects of MuSK autoantibodies upon some key components of the postsynaptic MuSK pathway and upon the regulation of junctional ACh receptor (AChR) numbers. Mice became weak after 14 daily injections of anti-MuSK-positive patient IgG. The intensity and area of AChR staining at the motor endplate was markedly reduced. Pulse-labelling of AChRs revealed an accelerated loss of pre-existing AChRs from postsynaptic AChR clusters without a compensatory increase in incorporation of (newly synthesized) replacement AChRs. Large, postsynaptic AChR clusters were replaced by a constellation of tiny AChR microaggregates. Puncta of AChR staining also appeared in the cytoplasm beneath the endplate. Endplate staining for MuSK, activated Src, rapsyn and AChR were all reduced in intensity. In the tibialis anterior muscle there was also evidence that phosphorylation of the AChR β-subunit-Y390 was reduced at endplates. In contrast, endplate staining for β-dystroglycan (through which rapsyn couples AChR to the synaptic basement membrane) remained intense. The results suggest that anti-MuSK IgG suppresses the endplate density of MuSK, thereby down-regulating MuSK signalling activity and the retention of junctional AChRs locally within the postsynaptic membrane scaffold. PMID:24860174

  8. 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. PMID:23429044

  9. α6-Containing Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons are Poised to Govern Dopamine-Mediated Behaviors and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Jennifer N.; Engle, Staci E.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Drenan, Ryan M.

    2015-01-01

    Acetylcholine acts through nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in ventral midbrain and striatal areas to influence dopamine (DA) transmission. This cholinergic control of DA transmission is important for processes such as attention and motivated behavior, and is manipulated by nicotine in tobacco products. Identifying and characterizing the key ACh receptors involved in cholinergic control of DA transmission could lead to small molecule therapeutics for treating disorders involving attention, addiction, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. α6-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are highly and specifically expressed in midbrain DA neurons, making them an attractive drug target. Here, we used genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, and biophysical approaches to study this nAChR subtype. For many experiments, we used mice expressing mutant α6 nAChRs (“α6L9S” mice) that increase the sensitivity of these receptors to agonists such as ACh and nicotine. Taking advantage of a simple behavioral phenotype exhibited by α6L9S mice, we compared the ability of full versus partial α6* nAChR agonists to activate α6* nAChRs in vivo. Using local infusions of both agonists and antagonists into brain, we demonstrate that neurons and nAChRs in the midbrain are sufficient to account for this behavioral response. To complement these behavioral studies, we studied the ability of in vivo α6* nAChR activation to support plasticity changes in midbrain DA neurons that are relevant to behavioral sensitization and addiction. By coupling local infusion of drugs and brain slice patch clamp electrophysiology, we show that activating α6* nAChRs in midbrain DA areas is sufficient to enhance glutamatergic transmission in VTA DA neurons. Together, these results from in vivo studies strongly suggest that α6* nAChRs expressed by VTA DA neurons are positioned to strongly influence both DA-mediated behaviors and the induction of synaptic plasticity by

  10. AT-1001 Is a Partial Agonist with High Affinity and Selectivity at Human and Rat α3β4 Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Tuan, Edward W.; Horti, Andrew G.; Olson, Thao T.; Gao, Yongiun; Stockmeier, Craig A.; Al-Muhtasib, Nour; Bowman Dalley, Carrie; Lewin, Amanda E.; Wolfe, Barry B.; Sahibzada, Niaz; Xiao, Yingxian

    2015-01-01

    AT-1001 [N-(2-bromophenyl)-9-methyl-9-azabicyclo[3.3.1] nonan-3-amine] is a high-affinity and highly selective ligand at α3β4 nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) that was reported to decrease nicotine self-administration in rats. It was initially reported to be an antagonist at rat α3β4 nAChRs heterologously expressed in HEK293 cells. Here we compared AT-1001 actions at rat and human α3β4 and α4β2 nAChRs similarly expressed in HEK 293 cells. We found that, as originally reported, AT-1001 is highly selective for α3β4 receptors over α4β2 receptors, but its binding selectivity is much greater at human than at rat receptors, because of a higher affinity at human than at rat α3β4 nAChRs. Binding studies in human and rat brain and pineal gland confirmed the selectivity of AT-1001 for α3β4 nAChRs and its higher affinity for human compared with rat receptors. In patch-clamp electrophysiology studies, AT-1001 was a potent partial agonist with 65–70% efficacy at both human and rat α3β4 nAChRs. It was also a less potent and weaker (18%) partial agonist at α4β2 nAChRs. Both α3β4 and α4β2 nAChRs are upregulated by exposure of cells to AT-1001 for 3 days. Similarly, AT-1001 desensitized both receptor subtypes in a concentration-dependent manner, but it was 10 and 30 times more potent to desensitize human α3β4 receptors than rat α3β4 and human α4β2 receptors, respectively. After exposure to AT-1001, the time to recovery from desensitization was longest for the human α3β4 nAChR and shortest for the human α4β2 receptor, suggesting that recovery from desensitization is primarily related to the dissociation of the ligand from the receptor. PMID:26162864

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:24972350

  13. 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. PMID:26232639

  14. Genetic knockout of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene alters hippocampal long-term potentiation in a background strain-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Freund, Ronald K; Graw, Sharon; Choo, Kevin S; Stevens, Karen E; Leonard, Sherry; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2016-08-01

    Reduced α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function is linked to impaired hippocampal-dependent sensory processing and learning and memory in schizophrenia. While knockout of the Chrna7 gene encoding the α7nAChR on a C57/Bl6 background results in changes in cognitive measures, prior studies found little impact on hippocampal synaptic plasticity in these mice. However, schizophrenia is a multi-genic disorder where complex interactions between specific genetic mutations and overall genetic background may play a prominent role in determining phenotypic penetrance. Thus, we compared the consequences of knocking out the α7nAChR on synaptic plasticity in C57/Bl6 and C3H mice, which differ in their basal α7nAChR expression levels. Homozygous α7 deletion in C3H mice, which normally express higher α7nAChR levels, resulted in impaired long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal CA1 synapses, while C3H α7 heterozygous mice maintained robust LTP. In contrast, homozygous α7 deletion in C57 mice, which normally express lower α7nAChR levels, did not alter LTP, as had been previously reported for this strain. Thus, the threshold of Chrna7 expression required for LTP may be different in the two strains. Measurements of auditory gating, a hippocampal-dependent behavioral paradigm used to identify schizophrenia-associated sensory processing deficits, was abnormal in C3H α7 knockout mice confirming that auditory gating also requires α7nAChR expression. Our studies highlight the importance of genetic background on the regulation of synaptic plasticity and could be relevant for understanding genetic and cognitive heterogeneity in human studies of α7nAChR dysfunction in mental disorders.

  15. A signal peptide missense mutation associated with nicotine dependence alters α2*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    A cytosine to thymidine (C → T) missense mutation in the signal peptide (SP) sequence (rs2472553) of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α2 subunit produces a threonine-to-isoleucine substitution (T22I) often associated with nicotine dependence (ND). We assessed effects on function of α2*-nAChR ('*'indicates presence of additional subunits) of this mutation, which could alter SP cleavage, RNA/protein secondary structure, and/or efficiency of transcription, translation, subunit assembly, receptor trafficking or cell surface expression. Two-electrode voltage clamp analyses indicate peak current responses to ACh or nicotine are decreased 2.8-5.8-fold for putative low sensitivity (LS; 10:1 ratio of α:β subunit cRNAs injected) α2β2- or α2β4-nAChR and increased for putative high sensitivity (HS; 1:10 α:β subunit ratio) α2β2- (5.7-15-fold) or α2β4- (1.9-2.2-fold) nAChR as a result of the mutation. Agonist potencies are decreased 1.6-4-fold for putative LS or HS α2(T22I)β2-nAChR or for either α2*-nAChR subtype formed in the presence of equal amounts of subunit cRNA, slightly decreased for LS α2(T22I)β4-nAChR, but increased 1.4-2.4-fold for HS α2(T22I)β4-nAChR relative to receptors containing wild-type α2 subunits. These effects suggest that the α2 subunit SP mutation generally favors formation of LS receptor isoforms. We hypothesize that lower sensitivity of human α2*-nAChR to nicotine could contribute to increased susceptibility to ND. To our knowledge this is the first report of a SP mutation having a functional effect in a member of cys-loop family of ligand-gated ion channels.

  16. 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.

  17. The linoleic acid derivative DCP-LA increases membrane surface localization of the α7 ACh receptor in a protein 4.1N-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Kanno, Takeshi; Tsuchiya, Ayako; Tanaka, Akito; Nishizaki, Tomoyuki

    2013-03-01

    In yeast two-hybrid screening, protein 4.1N, a scaffolding protein, was identified as a binding partner of the α7 ACh (acetylcholine) receptor. For rat hippocampal slices, the linoleic acid derivative DCP-LA {8-[2-(2-pentyl-cyclopropylmethyl)-cyclopropyl]-octanoic acid} increased the association of the α7 ACh receptor with 4.1N, and the effect was inhibited by GF109203X, an inhibitor of PKC (protein kinase C), although DCP-LA did not induce PKC phosphorylation of 4.1N. For PC-12 cells, the presence of the α7 ACh receptor in the plasma membrane fraction was significantly suppressed by knocking down 4.1N. DCP-LA increased the presence of the α7 ACh receptor in the plasma membrane fraction, and the effect was still inhibited by knocking down 4.1N. In the monitoring of α7 ACh receptor mobilization, DCP-LA enhanced signal intensities for the α7 ACh receptor at the membrane surface in PC-12 cells, which was clearly prevented by knocking down 4.1N. Taken together, the results of the present study show that 4.1N interacts with the α7 ACh receptor and participates in the receptor tethering to the plasma membrane. The results also indicate that DCP-LA increases membrane surface localization of the α7 ACh receptor in a 4.1N-dependent manner under the control of PKC, but without phosphorylating 4.1N.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-04

    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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Pharmacological and molecular studies on the interaction of varenicline with different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes. Potential mechanism underlying partial agonism at human α4β2 and α3β4 subtypes.

    PubMed

    Arias, Hugo R; Feuerbach, Dominik; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna; Kaczor, Agnieszka A; Poso, Antti; Jozwiak, Krzysztof

    2015-02-01

    To determine the structural components underlying differences in affinity, potency, and selectivity of varenicline for several human (h) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), functional and structural experiments were performed. The Ca2+ influx results established that: (a) varenicline activates (μM range) nAChR subtypes with the following rank sequence: hα7>hα4β4>hα4β2>hα3β4>hα1β1γδ; (b) varenicline binds to nAChR subtypes with the following affinity order (nM range): hα4β2~hα4β4>hα3β4>hα7>Torpedo α1β1γδ. The molecular docking results indicating that more hydrogen bond interactions are apparent for α4-containing nAChRs in comparison to other nAChRs may explain the observed higher affinity; and that (c) varenicline is a full agonist at hα7 (101%) and hα4β4 (93%), and a partial agonist at hα4β2 (20%) and hα3β4 (45%), relative to (±)-epibatidine. The allosteric sites found at the extracellular domain (EXD) of hα3β4 and hα4β2 nAChRs could explain the partial agonistic activity of varenicline on these nAChR subtypes. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the interaction of varenicline to each allosteric site decreases the capping of Loop C at the hα4β2 nAChR, suggesting that these allosteric interactions limit the initial step in the gating process. In conclusion, we propose that in addition to hα4β2 nAChRs, hα4β4 nAChRs can be considered as potential targets for the clinical activity of varenicline, and that the allosteric interactions at the hα3β4- and hα4β2-EXDs are alternative mechanisms underlying partial agonism at these nAChRs. PMID:25475645

  7. Association between Anti-Ganglionic Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (gAChR) Antibodies and HLA-DRB1 Alleles in the Japanese Population

    PubMed Central

    Maeda, Yasuhiro; Migita, Kiyoshi; Higuchi, Osamu; Mukaino, Akihiro; Furukawa, Hiroshi; Komori, Atsumasa; Nakamura, Minoru; Hashimoto, Satoru; Nagaoka, Shinya; Abiru, Seigo; Yatsuhashi, Hiroshi; Matsuo, Hidenori; Kawakami, Atsushi; Yasunami, Michio; Nakane, Shunya

    2016-01-01

    Background/Aims Anti-ganglionic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (gAChR) antibodies are observed in autoimmune diseases, as well as in patients with autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy. However, the genetic background of anti-gAChR antibodies is unclear. Here, we investigated HLA alleles in autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) patients with or without anti-gAChR antibodies. Methodology/Principal Findings Genomic DNA from 260 patients with type-1 autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) were genotyped for HLA-A, B, DRB1, and DQB1 loci. Anti-gAChR antibodies in the sera form AIH patients were measured using the luciferase immunoprecipitation system, and examined allelic association in patients with or without anti-gAChR antibodies. Methodology/ Methods We detected anti-α3 or -β4 gAChR antibodies in 11.5% (30/260) of patients with AIH. Among AIH patients there was no significant association between HLA-A, B DQB1 alleles and the positivity for anti-gAChR antibodies. Whereas the HLA-DRB1*0403 allele showed a significantly increased frequency in AIH patients with anti-gAChR antibodies compared with those without anti-gAChR antibodies. Conclusions/Significance The frequency of the HLA-DRB1*0403 allele differed among Japanese patients with AIH according to the presence or absence of anti-gAChR antibodies. Our findings suggest that particular HLA class II molecules might control the development of anti-gAChR antibodies in the autoimmune response to gAChR. PMID:26807576

  8. Functional interaction between Lypd6 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24972350

  10. Muscle-Type Nicotinic Receptor Blockade by Diethylamine, the Hydrophilic Moiety of Lidocaine.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Lidocaine bears in its structure both an aromatic ring and a terminal amine, which can be protonated at physiological pH, linked by an amide group. Since lidocaine causes multiple inhibitory actions on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), this work was aimed to determine the inhibitory effects of diethylamine (DEA), a small molecule resembling the hydrophilic moiety of lidocaine, on Torpedo marmorata nAChRs microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes. Similarly to lidocaine, DEA reversibly blocked acetylcholine-elicited currents (I ACh ) in a dose-dependent manner (IC 50 close to 70 μM), but unlike lidocaine, DEA did not affect I ACh desensitization. I ACh inhibition by DEA was more pronounced at negative potentials, suggesting an open-channel blockade of nAChRs, although roughly 30% inhibition persisted at positive potentials, indicating additional binding sites outside the pore. DEA block of nAChRs in the resting state (closed channel) was confirmed by the enhanced I ACh inhibition when pre-applying DEA before its co-application with ACh, as compared with solely DEA and ACh co-application. Virtual docking assays provide a plausible explanation to the experimental observations in terms of the involvement of different sets of drug binding sites. So, at the nAChR transmembrane (TM) domain, DEA and lidocaine shared binding sites within the channel pore, giving support to their open-channel blockade; besides, lidocaine, but not DEA, interacted with residues at cavities among the M1, M2, M3, and M4 segments of each subunit and also at intersubunit crevices. At the extracellular (EC) domain, DEA and lidocaine binding sites were broadly distributed, which aids to explain the closed channel blockade observed. Interestingly, some DEA clusters were located at the α-γ interphase of the EC domain, in a cavity near the orthosteric binding site pocket; by contrast, lidocaine contacted with all α-subunit loops conforming the ACh binding site, both in α-γ and α-δ and

  11. Muscle-Type Nicotinic Receptor Blockade by Diethylamine, the Hydrophilic Moiety of Lidocaine.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Lidocaine bears in its structure both an aromatic ring and a terminal amine, which can be protonated at physiological pH, linked by an amide group. Since lidocaine causes multiple inhibitory actions on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), this work was aimed to determine the inhibitory effects of diethylamine (DEA), a small molecule resembling the hydrophilic moiety of lidocaine, on Torpedo marmorata nAChRs microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes. Similarly to lidocaine, DEA reversibly blocked acetylcholine-elicited currents (I ACh ) in a dose-dependent manner (IC 50 close to 70 μM), but unlike lidocaine, DEA did not affect I ACh desensitization. I ACh inhibition by DEA was more pronounced at negative potentials, suggesting an open-channel blockade of nAChRs, although roughly 30% inhibition persisted at positive potentials, indicating additional binding sites outside the pore. DEA block of nAChRs in the resting state (closed channel) was confirmed by the enhanced I ACh inhibition when pre-applying DEA before its co-application with ACh, as compared with solely DEA and ACh co-application. Virtual docking assays provide a plausible explanation to the experimental observations in terms of the involvement of different sets of drug binding sites. So, at the nAChR transmembrane (TM) domain, DEA and lidocaine shared binding sites within the channel pore, giving support to their open-channel blockade; besides, lidocaine, but not DEA, interacted with residues at cavities among the M1, M2, M3, and M4 segments of each subunit and also at intersubunit crevices. At the extracellular (EC) domain, DEA and lidocaine binding sites were broadly distributed, which aids to explain the closed channel blockade observed. Interestingly, some DEA clusters were located at the α-γ interphase of the EC domain, in a cavity near the orthosteric binding site pocket; by contrast, lidocaine contacted with all α-subunit loops conforming the ACh binding site, both in α-γ and α-δ and

  12. 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

  13. Looking below the surface of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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 has a unique language for communication with its host cell. The conservation across species also suggests that the intracellular domains have 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.

  14. 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

  15. Evaluating the role of the alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Young, Jared W; Geyer, Mark A

    2013-10-15

    The group of schizophrenia disorders affects approximately 1% of the population and has both genetic and environmental etiologies. Sufferers report various behavioral abnormalities including hallucinations and delusions (positive symptoms), reduced joy and amotivation (negative symptoms), plus inattention and poor learning (cognitive deficits). Despite the heterogeneous symptoms experienced, most patients smoke. The self-medication hypothesis posits that patients smoke to alleviate symptoms, consistent with evidence for nicotine-induced enhancement of cognition. While nicotine acts on multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the primary target of research is often the homomeric α7 nAChR. Given genetic linkages between schizophrenia and this receptor, its association with P50 sensory gating deficits, and its reduced expression in post-mortem brains, many have attempted to develop α7 nAChR ligands for treating schizophrenia. Recent evidence that ligands can be orthosteric agonists or positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) has revitalized the hope for treatment discovery. Herein, we present evidence regarding: (1) pathophysiological alterations of α7 nAChRs that might occur in patients; (2) mechanistic evidence for the normal action of α7 nAChRs; (3) preclinical studies using α7 nAChR orthosteric agonists and type I/II PAMs; and (4) where successful translational testing has occurred for particular compounds, detailing what is still required. We report that the accumulating evidence is positive, but that greater work is required using positron emission tomography to understand current alterations in α7 nAChR expression and their relationship to symptoms. Finally, cross-species behavioral tasks should be used more regularly to determine the predictive efficacy of treatments.

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

    PubMed

    Thany, Steeve H

    2009-11-01

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

  17. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mutation (Y151S) causes reduced agonist potency to a range of neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zewen; Williamson, Martin S; Lansdell, Stuart J; Han, Zhaojun; Denholm, Ian; Millar, Neil S

    2006-11-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are potent selective agonists of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Since their introduction in 1991, resistance to neonicotinoids has been slow to develop, but it is now established in some insect field populations such as the planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, a major rice pest in many parts of Asia. We have reported recently the identification of a target-site mutation (Y151S) within two nAChR subunits (Nlalpha1 and Nlalpha3) from a laboratory-selected field population of N. lugens. In the present study, we have examined the influence of this mutation upon the functional properties of recombinant nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes (as hybrid nAChRs, co-expressed with a rat beta2 subunit). The agonist potency of several nicotinic agonists has been examined, including all of the neonicotinoid insecticides that are currently licensed for either crop protection or animal health applications (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam). The Y151S mutation was found to have no significant effect on the maximal current (I(max)) observed with the endogenous agonist, acetylcholine. In contrast, a significant reduction in I(max) was observed for all neonicotinoids (the I(max) for mutant nAChRs ranged from 13 to 81% of that observed on wild-type receptors). In addition, nAChRs containing the Y151S mutation caused a significant rightward shift in agonist dose-response curves for all neonicotinoids, but of varying magnitude (shifts in EC(50) values ranged from 1.3 to 3.6-fold). The relationship between neonicotinoid structure and their potency on nAChRs containing the Y151S target-site mutation is discussed.

  18. 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

    2015-03-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Identification and functional expression of a family of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in the central nervous system of the mollusc Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    van Nierop, Pim; Bertrand, Sonia; Munno, David W; Gouwenberg, Yvonne; van Minnen, Jan; Spafford, J David; Syed, Naweed I; Bertrand, Daniel; Smit, August B

    2006-01-20

    We described a family of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits underlying cholinergic transmission in the central nervous system (CNS) of the mollusc Lymnaea stagnalis. By using degenerate PCR cloning, we identified 12 subunits that display a high sequence similarity to nAChR subunits, of which 10 are of the alpha-type, 1 is of the beta-type, and 1 was not classified because of insufficient sequence information. Heterologous expression of identified subunits confirms their capacity to form functional receptors responding to acetylcholine. The alpha-type subunits can be divided into groups that appear to underlie cation-conducting (excitatory) and anion-conducting (inhibitory) channels involved in synaptic cholinergic transmission. The expression of the Lymnaea nAChR subunits, assessed by real time quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization, indicates that it is localized to neurons and widespread in the CNS, with the number and localization of expressing neurons differing considerably between subunit types. At least 10% of the CNS neurons showed detectable nAChR subunit expression. In addition, cholinergic neurons, as indicated by the expression of the vesicular ACh transporter, comprise approximately 10% of the neurons in all ganglia. Together, our data suggested a prominent role for fast cholinergic transmission in the Lymnaea CNS by using a number of neuronal nAChR subtypes comparable with vertebrate species but with a functional complexity that may be much higher.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-17

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. PMID:23583933

  7. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands; a patent review (2006-2011)

    PubMed Central

    Gündisch, Daniela; Eibl, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), pentameric ligand-gated cation channels, are potential targets for the development of therapeutics for a variety of disease states. Areas covered This article is reviewing recent advances in the development of small molecule ligands for diverse nAChR subtypes and is a continuation of an earlier review in this journal. Expert opinion The development of nAChR ligands with preference for α4β2 or α7 subtypes for the treatment of CNS disorders are in the most advanced developmental stage. In addition, there is a fast growing interest to generate so-called PAMs, positive allosteric modulators, to influence the channels’ functionalities. PMID:22098319

  8. Insect Nicotinic Receptor Agonists as Flea Adulticides in Small Animals

    PubMed Central

    Vo, Dai Tan; Hsu, Walter H.; Martin, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    Fleas are significant ectoparasites of small animals. They can be a severe irritant to animals and serve as a vector for a number of infectious diseases. In this article, we discuss the pharmacological characteristics of four insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists used as fleacides in dogs and cats, which include three neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, nitenpyram, and dinotefuran) and spinosad. Insect nAChR agonists are one of the most important new classes of insecticides, which are used to control sucking insects both on plants and on companion animals. These new compounds provide a new approach for practitioners to safely and effectively eliminate fleas. PMID:20646191

  9. Nicotine prevents synaptic impairment induced by amyloid-β oligomers through α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Inestrosa, Nibaldo C; Godoy, Juan A; Vargas, Jessica Y; Arrazola, Macarena S; Rios, Juvenal A; Carvajal, Francisco J; Serrano, Felipe G; Farias, Ginny G

    2013-09-01

    An emerging view on Alzheimer disease's (AD) pathogenesis considers amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers as a key factor in synaptic impairment and rodent spatial memory decline. Alterations in the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) have been implicated in AD pathology. Herein, we report that nicotine, an unselective α7-nAChR agonist, protects from morphological and synaptic impairments induced by Aβ oligomers. Interestingly, nicotine prevents both early postsynaptic impairment and late presynaptic damage induced by Aβ oligomers through the α7-nAChR/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway. On the other hand, a cross-talk between α7-nAChR and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was revealed by the following facts: (1) nicotine stabilizes β-catenin, in a concentration-dependent manner; (2) nicotine prevents Aβ-induced loss of β-catenin through the α7-nAChR; and (3) activation of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling induces α7-nAChR expression. Analysis of the α7-nAChR promoter indicates that this receptor is a new Wnt target gene. Taken together, these results demonstrate that nicotine prevents memory deficits and synaptic impairment induced by Aβ oligomers. In addition, nicotine improves memory in young APP/PS1 transgenic mice before extensive amyloid deposition and senile plaque development, and also in old mice where senile plaques have already formed. Activation of the α7-nAChR/PI3K signaling pathway and its cross-talk with the Wnt signaling pathway might well be therapeutic targets for potential AD treatments.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-31

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

  12. Nicotine receptors mediating sensorimotor gating and its enhancement by systemic nicotine.

    PubMed

    Pinnock, Farena; Bosch, Daniel; Brown, Tyler; Simons, Nadine; Yeomans, John R; DeOliveira, Cleusa; Schmid, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle occurs when intensity stimuli precede stronger startle-inducing stimuli by 10-1000 ms. PPI deficits are found in individuals with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, and they correlate with other cognitive impairments. Animal research and clinical studies have demonstrated that both PPI and cognitive function can be enhanced by nicotine. PPI has been shown to be mediated, at least in part, by mesopontine cholinergic neurons that project to pontine startle neurons and activate muscarinic and potentially nicotine receptors (nAChRs). The subtypes and anatomical location of nAChRs involved in mediating and modulating PPI remain unresolved. We tested the hypothesis that nAChRs that are expressed by pontine startle neurons contribute to PPI. We also explored whether or not these pontine receptors are responsible for the nicotine enhancement of PPI. While systemic administration of nAChR antagonists had limited effects on PPI, PnC microinfusions of the non-α7nAChR preferring antagonist TMPH, but not of the α7nAChR antagonist MLA, into the PnC significantly reduced PPI. Electrophysiological recordings from startle-mediating PnC neurons confirmed that nicotine affects excitability of PnC neurons, which could be antagonized by TMPH, but not by MLA, indicating the expression of non-α7nAChR. In contrast, systemic nicotine enhancement of PPI was only reversed by systemic MLA and not by TMPH or local microinfusions of MLA into the PnC. In summary, our data indicate that non-α7nAChRs in the PnC contribute to PPI at stimulus intervals of 100 ms or less, whereas activation of α7nAChRs in other brain areas is responsible for the systemic nicotine enhancement of PPI. This is important knowledge for the correct interpretation of behavioral, preclinical, and clinical data as well as for developing drugs for the amelioration of PPI deficits and the enhancement of cognitive function.

  13. Development of a Solid-Phase Receptor-Based Assay for the Detection of Cyclic Imines Using a Microsphere-Flow Cytometry System

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 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. PMID:23343192

  14. Nicotine exposure and the progression of chronic kidney disease: role of the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Rezonzew, Gabriel; Chumley, Phillip; Feng, Wenguang; Hua, Ping; Siegal, Gene P; Jaimes, Edgar A

    2012-07-15

    Clinical studies have established the role of cigarette smoking as a risk factor in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We have shown that nicotine promotes mesangial cell proliferation and hypertrophy via nonneuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The α7-nAChR is one of the most important subunits of the nAChRs. These studies were designed to test the hypothesis that nicotine worsens renal injury in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6Nx) and that the α7-nAChR subunit is required for these effects. We studied five different groups: Sham, 5/6Nx, 5/6Nx + nicotine (Nic; 100 μg/ml dry wt), 5/6Nx + Nic + α7-nAChR blocker methyllicaconitine (MLA; 3 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) sq), and Sham + Nic. Blood pressure was measured by the tail-cuff method, and urine was collected for proteinuria. After 12 wk, the rats were euthanized and kidneys were collected. We observed expression of the α7-nAChR in the proximal and distal tubules. The administration of nicotine induced a small increase in blood pressure and resulted in cotinine levels similar to those found in the plasma of smokers. In 5/6Nx rats, the administration of nicotine significantly increased urinary protein excretion (onefold), worsened the glomerular injury score and increased fibronectin (∼ 50%), NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4; ∼100%), and transforming growth factor-β expression (∼200%). The administration of nicotine to sham rats increased total proteinuria but not albuminuria, suggesting direct effects on tubular protein reabsorption. These effects were prevented by MLA, demonstrating a critical role for the α7-nAChR as a mediator of the effects of nicotine in the progression of CKD.

  15. The stereotypy-inducing and OCD-like effects of chronic ‘binge’ cocaine are modulated by distinct subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Metaxas, A; Keyworth, HL; Yoo, JH; Chen, Y; Kitchen, I; Bailey, A

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE High rates of cigarette smoking occur in cocaine-dependent individuals, reflecting an involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in cocaine-elicited behaviour. This study was designed to assess the contribution of different nAChR subtypes to the behavioural and neurochemical effects of chronic cocaine treatment. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Cocaine (15 mg·kg−1, i.p.) was administered to male C57BL/6J mice in a chronic ‘binge’ paradigm, with and without the coadministration of the α7 preferring nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA; 5 mg·kg−1, i.p.) or the β2* nAChR antagonist dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE; 2 mg·kg−1, i.p.). Quantitative autoradiography was used to examine the effect of cocaine exposure on α7 and α4β2* nAChRs, and on the high-affinity choline transporter. KEY RESULTS MLA+cocaine administration induced an intense self-grooming behaviour, indicating a likely role for α7 nAChRs in modulating this anxiogenic, compulsive-like effect of cocaine. In the major island of Calleja, a key area of action for neuroleptics, MLA+cocaine reduced choline transporter binding compared with cocaine (with or without DHβE) administration. DHβE treatment prevented the induction of stereotypy sensitisation to cocaine but prolonged locomotor sensitisation, implicating heteromeric β2* nAChRs in the neuroadaptations mediating cocaine-induced behavioural sensitisation. ‘Binge’ cocaine treatment region-specifically increased α4β2* nAChR binding in the midbrain dopaminergic regions: ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra pars compacta. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS We have shown a differential, subtype-selective, contribution of nAChRs to the behavioural and neurochemical sequelae of chronic cocaine administration. These data support the clinical utility of targeting specific nAChR subtypes for the alleviation of cocaine-abuse symptomatology. PMID:22568685

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Shulepko, Mikhail A; 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

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

    PubMed

    Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Shulepko, Mikhail A; 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

  19. 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

  20. Alpha 7 nicotinic receptor coupling to heterotrimeric G proteins modulates RhoA activation, cytoskeletal motility, and structural growth.

    PubMed

    King, Justin R; Kabbani, Nadine

    2016-08-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) modulate the growth and structure of neurons throughout the nervous system. Ligand stimulation of the α7 nAChR has been shown to regulate the large heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein (G protein) signaling in various types of cells. Here, we demonstrate a role for α7 nAChR/G protein interaction in the activation of the small (monomeric) RhoA GTPase leading to cytoskeletal changes during neurite growth. Treatment of PC12 cells with the α7 nAChR agonist choline or PNU-282987 was associated with an increase in RhoA activity and an inhibition in neurite growth. Specifically, choline treatment was found to attenuate the velocity of microtubule growth at the growth cone and decrease the rate of actin polymerization throughout the cell. The effects of α7 nAChR activation were abolished by expression of a dominant negative α7 nAChR (α7345-348A ) deficient in G protein coupling. Proteomic analysis of immunoprecipitated α7 nAChR complexes from differentiating PC12 cells and synaptic fractions of the developing mouse hippocampus revealed the existence of Rho GTPase-regulating guanine nucleotide exchange factors within α7 nAChR interactomes. These findings underscore the role of α7 nAChR/G protein in cytoskeletal regulation during neurite growth. This image depicts the hypothesized interaction of the traditionally ionotropic α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) and its ability to interact and signal through both large and small G proteins, leading to the regulation of cytoskeletal growth. Using differentiated PC12 cells, and the specific agonist choline, it was shown that α7 nAChR/G protein interactions mediate both short- and long-term neurite growth dynamics through increased RhoA activation. Activation of RhoA was shown to decrease actin polymerization, and lead to an overall decrease in neurite growth via regulation of the microtubule network. Cover Image for this issue: doi: 10.1111/jnc.13330.

  1. Nicotinic receptors in the ventral tegmental area promote uncertainty-seeking.

    PubMed

    Naudé, Jérémie; Tolu, Stefania; Dongelmans, Malou; Torquet, Nicolas; Valverde, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Guillaume; Pons, Stéphanie; Maskos, Uwe; Mourot, Alexandre; Marti, Fabio; Faure, Philippe

    2016-03-01

    Cholinergic neurotransmission affects decision-making, notably through the modulation of perceptual processing in the cortex. In addition, acetylcholine acts on value-based decisions through as yet unknown mechanisms. We found that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in the translation of expected uncertainty into motivational value. We developed a multi-armed bandit task for mice with three locations, each associated with a different reward probability. We found that mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit showed less uncertainty-seeking than their wild-type counterparts. Using model-based analysis, we found that reward uncertainty motivated wild-type mice, but not mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit. Selective re-expression of the β2 subunit in the VTA was sufficient to restore spontaneous bursting activity in dopamine neurons and uncertainty-seeking. Our results reveal an unanticipated role for subcortical nAChRs in motivation induced by expected uncertainty and provide a parsimonious account for a wealth of behaviors related to nAChRs in the VTA expressing the β2 subunit. PMID:26780509

  2. Nicotinic receptors in the ventral tegmental area promote uncertainty-seeking.

    PubMed

    Naudé, Jérémie; Tolu, Stefania; Dongelmans, Malou; Torquet, Nicolas; Valverde, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Guillaume; Pons, Stéphanie; Maskos, Uwe; Mourot, Alexandre; Marti, Fabio; Faure, Philippe

    2016-03-01

    Cholinergic neurotransmission affects decision-making, notably through the modulation of perceptual processing in the cortex. In addition, acetylcholine acts on value-based decisions through as yet unknown mechanisms. We found that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in the translation of expected uncertainty into motivational value. We developed a multi-armed bandit task for mice with three locations, each associated with a different reward probability. We found that mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit showed less uncertainty-seeking than their wild-type counterparts. Using model-based analysis, we found that reward uncertainty motivated wild-type mice, but not mice lacking the nAChR β2 subunit. Selective re-expression of the β2 subunit in the VTA was sufficient to restore spontaneous bursting activity in dopamine neurons and uncertainty-seeking. Our results reveal an unanticipated role for subcortical nAChRs in motivation induced by expected uncertainty and provide a parsimonious account for a wealth of behaviors related to nAChRs in the VTA expressing the β2 subunit.

  3. Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is a target in pharmacology and toxicology.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav

    2012-01-01

    Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) is an important part of the cholinergic nerve system in the brain. Moreover, it is associated with a cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in the termination of the parasympathetic nervous system. Antagonists of α7 nAChR are a wide group represented by conotoxin and bungarotoxin. Even Alzheimer's disease drug memantine acting as an antagonist in its side pathway belongs in this group. Agonists of α7 nAChR are suitable for treatment of multiple cognitive dysfunctions such as Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia. Inflammation or even sepsis can be ameliorated by the agonistic acting compounds. Preparations RG3487, SEN34625/WYE-103914, SEN12333, ABT-107, Clozapine, GTS-21, CNI-1493, and AR-R17779 are representative examples of the novel compounds with affinity toward the α7 nAChR. Pharmacological, toxicological, and medicinal significance of α7 nAChR are discussed throughout this paper.

  4. [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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26117304

  6. α7 Nicotinic Receptor Promotes the Neuroprotective Functions of Astrocytes against Oxaliplatin Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Di Cesare Mannelli, Lorenzo; Tenci, Barbara; Zanardelli, Matteo; Failli, Paola; Ghelardini, Carla

    2015-01-01

    Neuropathies are characterized by a complex response of the central nervous system to injuries. Glial cells are recruited to maintain neuronal homeostasis but dysregulated activation leads to pain signaling amplification and reduces the glial neuroprotective power. Recently, we highlighted the property of α7 nicotinic-acetylcholine-receptor (nAChR) agonists to relieve pain and induce neuroprotection simultaneously with a strong increase in astrocyte density. Aimed to study the role of α7 nAChR in the neuron-glia cross-talk, we treated primary rat neurons and astrocytes with the neurotoxic anticancer drug oxaliplatin evaluating the effect of the α7 nAChR agonist PNU-282987 (PNU). Oxaliplatin (1 μM, 48 h) reduced cell viability and increased caspase-3 activity of neuron monocultures without damaging astrocytes. In cocultures, astrocytes were not able to protect neurons by oxaliplatin even if glial cell metabolism was stimulated (pyruvate increase). On the contrary, the coculture incubation with 10 μM PNU improved neuron viability and inhibited apoptosis. In the absence of astrocytes, the protection disappeared. Furthermore, PNU promoted the release of the anti-inflammatory cytokine TGF-β1 and the expression of the glutamate-detoxifying enzyme glutamine synthetase. The α7 nAChR stimulation protects neurons from oxaliplatin toxicity through an astrocyte-mediated mechanism. α7 nAChR is suggested for recovering the homeostatic role of astrocytes. PMID:26146570

  7. Menthol suppresses nicotinic acetylcholine receptor functioning in sensory neurons via allosteric modulation.

    PubMed

    Hans, M; Wilhelm, M; Swandulla, D

    2012-06-01

    In this study, we have investigated how the function of native and recombinant nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is modulated by the monoterpenoid alcohol from peppermint (-) menthol. In trigeminal neurons (TG), we found that nicotine (75 μM)-activated whole-cell currents through nAChRs were reversibly reduced by menthol in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC₅₀ of 111 μM. To analyze the mechanism underlying menthol's action in more detail, we used single channel and whole-cell recordings from recombinant human α4β2 nAChR expressed in HEK tsA201 cells. Here, we found a shortening of channel open time and a prolongation of channel closed time, and an increase in single channel amplitude leading in summary to a reduction in single channel current. Furthermore, menthol did not affect nicotine's EC₅₀ value for currents through recombinant human α4β2 nAChRs but caused a significant reduction in nicotine's efficacy. Taken together, these findings indicate that menthol is a negative allosteric modulator of nAChRs.

  8. Chronic ethanol (EtOH) feeding increases muscarinic receptor (mAChR) density in esophagus without parallel change in dose response (D-R) to cholinergic agonists

    SciTech Connect

    Keshavarzian, A.; Gordon, J.H.; Urban, G.; Fields, J.Z. VA Hospital, Hines, IL )

    1991-03-11

    The mAChR/effector pathway for signal transduction is important in the physiology of esophagus and mAChR alterations are involved in EtOH induced changes in several organs. To see if EtOH-induced increases in lower esophageal sphincter pressure (LESP) are due to upregulation of mAChR, the authors evaluated mAChR binding and D-R curves for bethanechol (IV) induced increases in LESP, and compared these values to changes in LESP after acute and chronic EtOH. EtOH was given to cats acutely or chronically. The number of mAChR sites (Bmax) in esophagus was lowered by acute EtOH, withdrawal from chronic EtOH raised Bmax. Acute injection of EtOH to cats in withdrawal reversed this increase in mAChR density. These changes correlated with the earlier data on EtOH-induced changes in LESP. In contrast, the D-R curve for bethanechol shifted to the right. Thus, the withdrawal-associated increase in Bmax is more likely to be a compensatory response to deficits distal to the receptor recognition site than to proximal deficits and doesn't cause LESP hyperactivity. Also, receptor binding changes do not necessarily translate into physiological changes.

  9. Synthesis, in vitro and in vivo studies, and molecular modeling of N-alkylated dextromethorphan derivatives as non-competitive inhibitors of α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Jozwiak, Krzysztof; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna M; Kaczor, Agnieszka A; Kozak, Joanna; Ligeza, Agnieszka; Szacon, Elzbieta; Wrobel, Tomasz M; Budzynska, Barbara; Biala, Grazyna; Fornal, Emilia; Poso, Antti; Wainer, Irving W; Matosiuk, Dariusz

    2014-12-15

    9 N-alkylated derivatives of dextromethorphan are synthesized and studied as non-competitive inhibitors of α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In vitro activity towards α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is determined using a patch-clamp technique and is in the micromolar range. Homology modeling, molecular docking and molecular dynamics of ligand-receptor complexes in POPC membrane are used to find the mode of interactions of N-alkylated dextromethorphan derivatives with α3β4 nAChR. The compounds, similarly as dextromethorphan, interact with the middle portion of α3β4 nAChR ion channel. Finally, behavioral tests confirmed potential application of the studied compounds for the treatment of addiction.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26247203

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  14. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25411242

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Administration of nicotine to adolescent rats evokes regionally selective upregulation of CNS alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Slotkin, Theodore A; Cousins, Mandy M; Seidler, Frederic J

    2004-12-24

    Alpha 7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play a role in axonogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity, and are therefore targets for developmental neurotoxicants. We administered nicotine to adolescent rats and evaluated the effects on alpha 7 nAChRs in the striatum, brainstem and cerebellum. During the period of nicotine administration (30-47.5 days of age), nicotine elicited alpha 7 nAChR upregulation with a regional hierarchy of striatum>brainstem>cerebellum. Values returned to normal or became slightly subnormal almost immediately after the cessation of treatment (50 days of age) with no further changes through 75 days of age. The temporal and regional patterns of the effects on alpha 7 nAChRs were distinct from those reported earlier for the alpha 4 beta 2 subtype, and neither adult nor fetal/neonatal administration upregulates the alpha 7 subtype in the striatum. Targeting of the striatum is thus unique to nicotine exposure during adolescence and parallels earlier work showing regionally selective effects of this treatment on synaptic signaling. We obtained preliminary evidence for nicotine-induced oxidative stress as a potential contributory mechanism. The present findings reinforce the concept of biologically distinct effects of nicotine in the adolescent brain and provide evidence for a mechanistic involvement of alpha 7 nAChRs in its unique effects during this developmental period.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Cholinergic Modulation of Locomotion and Striatal Dopamine Release is Mediated by α6α4* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Drenan, Ryan M.; Grady, Sharon R.; Steele, Andrew D.; McKinney, Sheri; Patzlaff, Natalie E.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Marks, Michael J.; Miwa, Julie M.; Lester, Henry A.

    2012-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) release in striatum is governed by firing rates of midbrain DA neurons, striatal cholinergic tone, and nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) on DA presynaptic terminals. DA neurons selectively express α6* nAChRs, which show high ACh and nicotine sensitivity. To help identify nAChR subtypes that control DA transmission, we studied transgenic mice expressing hypersensitive α6L9′S* receptors. α6L9′S mice are hyperactive, travel greater distance, exhibit increased ambulatory behaviors such as walking, turning, and rearing, and show decreased pausing, hanging, drinking, and grooming. These effects were mediated by α6α4* pentamers, as α6L9′S mice lacking α4 subunits displayed essentially normal behavior. In α6L9′S mice, receptor numbers are normal, but loss of α4 subunits leads to fewer and less sensitive α6* receptors. Gain-of-function nicotine-stimulated DA release from striatal synaptosomes requires α4 subunits, implicating α6α4β2* nAChRs in α6L9′S mouse behaviors. In brain slices, we applied electrochemical measurements to study control of DA release by α6L9′S nAChRs. Burst stimulation of DA fibers elicited increased DA release relative to single action potentials selectively in α6L9′S, but not WT or α4KO/α6L9′S, mice. Thus, increased nAChR activity, like decreased activity, leads to enhanced extracellular DA release during phasic firing. Bursts may directly enhance DA release from α6L9′S presynaptic terminals, as there was no difference in striatal DA receptor numbers or DA transporter levels or function in vitro. These results implicate α6α4β2* nAChRs in cholinergic control of DA transmission, and strongly suggest that these receptors are candidate drug targets for disorders involving the DA system. PMID:20660270

  2. Up-regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in menthol cigarette smokers

    PubMed Central

    Brody, Arthur L; Mukhin, Alexey G; La Charite, Jaime; Ta, Karen; Farahi, Judah; Sugar, Catherine A.; Mamoun, Michael S.; Vellios, Evan; Archie, Meena; Kozman, Maggie; Phuong, Jonathan; Arlorio, Franca; Mandelkern, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    One-third of smokers primarily use menthol cigarettes and usage of these cigarettes leads to elevated serum nicotine levels and more difficulty quitting in standard treatment programmes. Previous brain imaging studies demonstrate that smoking (without regard to cigarette type) leads to up-regulation of β2*-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We sought to determine if menthol cigarette usage results in greater nAChR up-regulation than non-menthol cigarette usage. Altogether, 114 participants (22 menthol cigarette smokers, 41 non-menthol cigarette smokers and 51 non-smokers) underwent positron emission tomography scanning using the α4β2* nAChR radioligand 2-[18F]fluoro-A-85380 (2-FA). In comparing menthol to non-menthol cigarette smokers, an overall test of 2-FA total volume of distribution values revealed a significant between-group difference, resulting from menthol smokers having 9–28% higher α4β2* nAChR densities than non-menthol smokers across regions. In comparing the entire group of smokers to non-smokers, an overall test revealed a significant between-group difference, resulting from smokers having higher α4β2* nAChR levels in all regions studied (36–42%) other than thalamus (3%). Study results demonstrate that menthol smokers have greater up-regulation of nAChRs than non-menthol smokers. This difference is presumably related to higher nicotine exposure in menthol smokers, although other mechanisms for menthol influencing receptor density are possible. These results provide additional information about the severity of menthol cigarette use and may help explain why these smokers have more trouble quitting in standard treatment programmes. PMID:23171716

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

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

  5. Nicotinic α7 receptor inhibits the acylation stimulating protein-induced production of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and keratinocyte-derived chemokine in adipocytes by modulating the p38 kinase and nuclear factor-κB signaling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Zhou-Yang; Wu, Jing; Liu, Chao; Wen, Bing; Zhao, Wen-Zeng; Du, Xin-Ling

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, which is characterized by increased infiltration of macrophages into adipose tissue. Acylation stimulating protein (ASP) is an adipokine derived from the immune complement system, which constitutes a link between adipocytes and macrophages, and is involved in energy homeostasis and inflammation. The purpose of the present study was to preliminarily investigate in vitro, whether functional α7nAChR in adipocytes may suppress ASP-induced inflammation and determine the possible signaling mechanism. Studies have reported associations between the expression of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) and obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. Additionally, α7nAChRs are important peripheral mediators of chronic inflammation, which is a key contributor to health problems in obesity. The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of exogenous ASP and α7nAChR on macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue and to examine the potential underlying molecular mechanism. Western blot analysis revealed that recombinant ASP increased the expression levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) by 3T3-L1 adipocytes. However, nicotine significantly inhibited the production of ASP-induced cytokines via the stimulation of α7nAChR. It was also found that α7nAChR inhibited the ASP-induced activation of p38 kinase and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and the production of MCP-1 and KC. These data indicated that α7nAChR caused the inhibition of ASP-induced activation of p38 kinase and NF-κB to inhibit the production of MCP-1 and KC. PMID:27572255

  6. Nicotinic α7 receptor inhibits the acylation stimulating protein‑induced production of monocyte chemoattractant protein‑1 and keratinocyte‑derived chemokine in adipocytes by modulating the p38 kinase and nuclear factor‑κB signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Zhou-Yang; Wu, Jing; Liu, Chao; Wen, Bing; Zhao, Wen-Zeng; Du, Xin-Ling

    2016-10-01

    Obesity is associated with chronic low‑grade inflammation, which is characterized by increased infiltration of macrophages into adipose tissue. Acylation stimulating protein (ASP) is an adipokine derived from the immune complement system, which constitutes a link between adipocytes and macrophages, and is involved in energy homeostasis and inflammation. The purpose of the present study was to preliminarily investigate in vitro, whether functional α7nAChR in adipocytes may suppress ASP‑induced inflammation and determine the possible signaling mechanism. Studies have reported associations between the expression of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) and obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. Additionally, α7nAChRs are important peripheral mediators of chronic inflammation, which is a key contributor to health problems in obesity. The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of exogenous ASP and α7nAChR on macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue and to examine the potential underlying molecular mechanism. Western blot analysis revealed that recombinant ASP increased the expression levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein‑1 (MCP‑1) and keratinocyte‑derived chemokine (KC) by 3T3‑L1 adipocytes. However, nicotine significantly inhibited the production of ASP‑induced cytokines via the stimulation of α7nAChR. It was also found that α7nAChR inhibited the ASP‑induced activation of p38 kinase and nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB), and the production of MCP‑1 and KC. These data indicated that α7nAChR caused the inhibition of ASP‑induced activation of p38 kinase and NF‑κB to inhibit the production of MCP‑1 and KC. PMID:27572255

  7. Nicotinic α7 receptor inhibits the acylation stimulating protein‑induced production of monocyte chemoattractant protein‑1 and keratinocyte‑derived chemokine in adipocytes by modulating the p38 kinase and nuclear factor‑κB signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Zhou-Yang; Wu, Jing; Liu, Chao; Wen, Bing; Zhao, Wen-Zeng; Du, Xin-Ling

    2016-10-01

    Obesity is associated with chronic low‑grade inflammation, which is characterized by increased infiltration of macrophages into adipose tissue. Acylation stimulating protein (ASP) is an adipokine derived from the immune complement system, which constitutes a link between adipocytes and macrophages, and is involved in energy homeostasis and inflammation. The purpose of the present study was to preliminarily investigate in vitro, whether functional α7nAChR in adipocytes may suppress ASP‑induced inflammation and determine the possible signaling mechanism. Studies have reported associations between the expression of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) and obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. Additionally, α7nAChRs are important peripheral mediators of chronic inflammation, which is a key contributor to health problems in obesity. The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of exogenous ASP and α7nAChR on macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue and to examine the potential underlying molecular mechanism. Western blot analysis revealed that recombinant ASP increased the expression levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein‑1 (MCP‑1) and keratinocyte‑derived chemokine (KC) by 3T3‑L1 adipocytes. However, nicotine significantly inhibited the production of ASP‑induced cytokines via the stimulation of α7nAChR. It was also found that α7nAChR inhibited the ASP‑induced activation of p38 kinase and nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB), and the production of MCP‑1 and KC. These data indicated that α7nAChR caused the inhibition of ASP‑induced activation of p38 kinase and NF‑κB to inhibit the production of MCP‑1 and KC.

  8. Pyridostigmine but not 3,4-diaminopyridine exacerbates ACh receptor loss and myasthenia induced in mice by muscle-specific kinase autoantibody

    PubMed Central

    Morsch, Marco; Reddel, Stephen W; Ghazanfari, Nazanin; Toyka, Klaus V; Phillips, William D

    2013-01-01

    In myasthenia gravis, the neuromuscular junction is impaired by the antibody-mediated loss of postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). Muscle weakness can be improved upon treatment with pyridostigmine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, or with 3,4-diaminopyridine, which increases the release of ACh quanta. The clinical efficacy of pyridostigmine is in doubt for certain forms of myasthenia. Here we formally examined the effects of these compounds in the antibody-induced mouse model of anti-muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis. Mice received 14 daily injections of IgG from patients with anti-MuSK myasthenia gravis. This caused reductions in postsynaptic AChR densities and in endplate potential amplitudes. Systemic delivery of pyridostigmine at therapeutically relevant levels from days 7 to 14 exacerbated the anti-MuSK-induced structural alterations and functional impairment at motor endplates in the diaphragm muscle. No such effect of pyridostigmine was found in mice receiving control human IgG. Mice receiving smaller amounts of MuSK autoantibodies did not display overt weakness, but 9 days of pyridostigmine treatment precipitated generalised muscle weakness. In contrast, one week of treatment with 3,4-diaminopyridine enhanced neuromuscular transmission in the diaphragm muscle. Both pyridostigmine and 3,4-diaminopyridine increase ACh in the synaptic cleft yet only pyridostigmine potentiated the anti-MuSK-induced decline in endplate ACh receptor density. These results thus suggest that ongoing pyridostigmine treatment potentiates anti-MuSK-induced AChR loss by prolonging the activity of ACh in the synaptic cleft. PMID:23440963

  9. Three-finger snake neurotoxins and Ly6 proteins targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: pharmacological tools and endogenous modulators.

    PubMed

    Tsetlin, Victor I

    2015-02-01

    Snake venom neurotoxins and lymphocyte antigen 6 (Ly6) proteins, most of the latter being membrane tethered by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor, have a variety of biological activities, but their three-finger (3F) folding combines them in one Ly6/neurotoxin family. Subsets of two groups, represented by α-neurotoxins and Lynx1, respectively, interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and, hence, are of therapeutic interest for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, pain, and cancer. Information on the mechanisms of action and 3D structure of the binding sites, which is required for drug design, is available from the 3D structure of α-neurotoxin complexes with nAChR models. Here, I compare the structural and functional features of α-neurotoxins versus Lynx1 and its homologs to get a clearer picture of Lynx1-nAChR interactions that is necessary for fundamental science and practical applications.

  10. 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

  11. Positive allosteric modulation of alpha-7 nicotinic receptors promotes cell death by inducing Ca(2+) release from the endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

    Guerra-Álvarez, María; Moreno-Ortega, Ana J; Navarro, Elisa; Fernández-Morales, José Carlos; Egea, Javier; López, Manuela G; Cano-Abad, María F

    2015-05-01

    Positive allosteric modulation of α7 isoform of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) is emerging as a promising therapeutic approach for central nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease. However, its effect on Ca(2+) signaling and cell viability remains controversial. This study focuses on how the type II positive allosteric modulator (PAM II) PNU120596 affects intracellular Ca(2+) signaling and cell viability. We used human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells overexpressing α7-nAChRs (α7-SH) and their control (C-SH). We monitored cytoplasmic and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) with Fura-2 and the genetically encoded cameleon targeting the ER, respectively. Nicotinic inward currents were measured using patch-clamp techniques. Viability was assessed using methylthiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide or propidium iodide staining. We observed that in the presence of a nicotinic agonist, PNU120596 (i) reduced viability of α7-SH but not of C-SH cells; (ii) significantly increased inward nicotinic currents and cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration; (iii) released Ca(2+) from the ER by a Ca(2+) -induced Ca(2+) release mechanism only in α7-SH cells; (iv) was cytotoxic in rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures; and, lastly, all these effects were prevented by selective blockade of α7-nAChRs, ryanodine receptors, or IP3 receptors. In conclusion, positive allosteric modulation of α7-nAChRs with the PAM II PNU120596 can lead to dysregulation of ER Ca(2+) , overloading of intracellular Ca(2+) , and neuronal cell death. This study focuses on how the type II positive allosteric modulator PNU120596 (PAM II PNU12) affects intracellular Ca(2+) signaling and cell viability. Using SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells overexpressing α7-nAChRs (α7-SH) and their control (C-SH), we find that PAM of α7-nAChRs with PNU120596: (i) increases inward calcium current (ICa ) and cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+) ]cyt ); (ii) releases Ca(2+) from the ER ([Ca(2

  12. Involvement of stimulation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the suppressive effect of tropisetron on dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice.

    PubMed

    Tasaka, Yuichi; Yasunaga, Daiki; Kiyoi, Takeshi; Tanaka, Mamoru; Tanaka, Akihiro; Suemaru, Katsuya; Araki, Hiroaki

    2015-03-01

    Ulcerative colitis (UC) involves chronic inflammation of the large intestine. Several agents are used to treat UC, but adverse side effects are remaining problems. We examined the effect of tropisetron as a new type of drug for UC using a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced model of colitis in mice. We developed a DSS-induced model of colitis and calculated the Disease Activity Index and colon length. We measured myeloperoxidase activity and determined the protein level and mRNA level of cytokines in the colon. DSS-induced colitis was ameliorated by administration of tropisetron and PNU282987. Pre-administration of methyllycaconitine diminished the suppressive effect of tropisetron upon DSS-induced colitis. These findings suggested that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7 nAChRs) were related to the suppressive effect of tropisetron on DSS-induced colitis. Additionally, stimulation of α7 nAChRs decreased the colon level of interleukin-6 and interferon-γ upon DSS administration. Furthermore, stimulation of α7 nAChRs decreased macrophage infiltration, with expression of α7 nAChR increased by DSS administration. These results suggest that the underlying mechanism of this suppressive effect on DSS-induced colitis is via stimulation of α7 nAChRs and involves suppression of expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Tropisetron could be a new type of therapeutic agent for UC.

  13. 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

  14. Discovery of potent positive allosteric modulators of the α3β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by a chemical space walk in ChEMBL.

    PubMed

    Bürgi, Justus J; Awale, Mahendra; Boss, Silvan D; Schaer, Tifany; Marger, Fabrice; Viveros-Paredes, Juan M; Bertrand, Sonia; Gertsch, Jürg; Bertrand, Daniel; Reymond, Jean-Louis

    2014-05-21

    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

  15. 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

  16. Muscle-Type Nicotinic Receptor Blockade by Diethylamine, the Hydrophilic Moiety of Lidocaine

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Lidocaine bears in its structure both an aromatic ring and a terminal amine, which can be protonated at physiological pH, linked by an amide group. Since lidocaine causes multiple inhibitory actions on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), this work was aimed to determine the inhibitory effects of diethylamine (DEA), a small molecule resembling the hydrophilic moiety of lidocaine, on Torpedo marmorata nAChRs microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes. Similarly to lidocaine, DEA reversibly blocked acetylcholine-elicited currents (IACh) in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 close to 70 μM), but unlike lidocaine, DEA did not affect IACh desensitization. IACh inhibition by DEA was more pronounced at negative potentials, suggesting an open-channel blockade of nAChRs, although roughly 30% inhibition persisted at positive potentials, indicating additional binding sites outside the pore. DEA block of nAChRs in the resting state (closed channel) was confirmed by the enhanced IACh inhibition when pre-applying DEA before its co-application with ACh, as compared with solely DEA and ACh co-application. Virtual docking assays provide a plausible explanation to the experimental observations in terms of the involvement of different sets of drug binding sites. So, at the nAChR transmembrane (TM) domain, DEA and lidocaine shared binding sites within the channel pore, giving support to their open-channel blockade; besides, lidocaine, but not DEA, interacted with residues at cavities among the M1, M2, M3, and M4 segments of each subunit and also at intersubunit crevices. At the extracellular (EC) domain, DEA and lidocaine binding sites were broadly distributed, which aids to explain the closed channel blockade observed. Interestingly, some DEA clusters were located at the α-γ interphase of the EC domain, in a cavity near the orthosteric binding site pocket; by contrast, lidocaine contacted with all α-subunit loops conforming the ACh binding site, both in α-γ and α-δ and

  17. 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. PMID:24422997

  18. The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: A mediator of pathogenesis and therapeutic target in autism spectrum disorders and Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, Stephen I; Burket, Jessica A; Urbano, Maria R; Benson, Andrew D

    2015-10-15

    Currently, there are no medications that target core deficits of social communication and restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior in persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Adults with Down syndrome (DS) display a progressive worsening of adaptive functioning, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like histopathological changes in brain. Similar to persons with ASDs, there are no effective medication strategies to prevent or retard the progressive worsening of adaptive functions in adults with DS. Data suggest that the α7-subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) is implicated in the pathophysiology and serves as a promising therapeutic target of these disorders. In DS, production of the amyloidogenic Aβ1-42 peptide is increased and binds to the α7nAChR or the lipid milieu associated with this receptor, causing a cascade that results in cytotoxicity and deposition of amyloid plaques. Independently of their ability to inhibit the complexing of Aβ1-42 with the α7nAChR, α7nAChR agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) also possess procognitive and neuroprotective effects in relevant in vivo and in vitro models. The procognitive and neuroprotective effects of α7nAChR agonist interventions may be due, at least in part, to stimulation of the PI3K/Akt signaling cascade, cross-talk with the Wnt/β-catenin signaling cascade and both transcriptional and non-transcriptional effects of β-catenin, and effects of transiently increased intraneuronal concentrations of Ca(2+) on metabolism and the membrane potential. Importantly, α7nAChR PAMs are particularly attractive medication candidates because they lack intrinsic efficacy and act only when and where endogenous acetylcholine is released or choline is generated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-29

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Schaal, Courtney; Chellappan, Srikumar

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schaal, Courtney; Chellappan, Srikumar

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. A neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit (alpha 7) is developmentally regulated and forms a homo-oligomeric channel blocked by alpha-BTX.

    PubMed

    Couturier, S; Bertrand, D; Matter, J M; Hernandez, M C; Bertrand, S; Millar, N; Valera, S; Barkas, T; Ballivet, M

    1990-12-01

    cDNA and genomic clones encoding alpha 7, a novel neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha subunit, were isolated and sequenced. The mature alpha 7 protein (479 residues) has moderate homology with all other alpha and non-alpha nAChR subunits and probably assumes the same transmembrane topology. alpha 7 transcripts transiently accumulate in the developing optic tectum between E5 and E16. They are present in both the deep and the superficial layers of E12 tectum. In Xenopus oocytes, the alpha 7 protein assembles into a homo-oligomeric channel responding to acetylcholine and nicotine. The alpha 7 channel desensitizes very rapidly, rectifies strongly above -20 mV, and is blocked by alpha-bungarotoxin. A bacterial fusion protein encompassing residues 124-239 of alpha 7 binds labeled alpha-bungarotoxin. We conclude that alpha-bungarotoxin binding proteins in the vertebrate nervous system can function as nAChRs.

  5. α7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-specific antibody induces inflammation and amyloid β42 accumulation in the mouse brain to impair memory.

    PubMed

    Lykhmus, Olena; Voytenko, Larysa; Koval, Lyudmyla; Mykhalskiy, Sergiy; Kholin, Victor; Peschana, Kateryna; Zouridakis, Marios; Tzartos, Socrates; Komisarenko, Sergiy; Skok, Maryna

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the brain are involved in regulating cognitive functions, as well as inflammatory reactions. Their density is decreased upon Alzheimer disease accompanied by accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ42), memory deficit and neuroinflammation. Previously we found that α7 nAChR-specific antibody induced pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 production in U373 glioblastoma cells and that such antibodies were present in the blood of humans. We raised a hypothesis that α7 nAChR-specific antibody can cause neuroinflammation when penetrating the brain. To test this, C57Bl/6 mice were either immunized with extracellular domain of α7 nAChR subunit α7(1-208) or injected with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 5 months. We studied their behavior and the presence of α3, α4, α7, β2 and β4 nAChR subunits, Aβ40 and Aβ42 and activated astrocytes in the brain by sandwich ELISA and confocal microscopy. It was found that either LPS injections or immunizations with α7(1-208) resulted in region-specific decrease of α7 and α4β2 and increase of α3β4 nAChRs, accumulation of Aβ42 and activated astrocytes in the brain of mice and worsening of their episodic memory. Intravenously transferred α7 nAChR-specific-antibodies penetrated the brain parenchyma of mice pre-injected with LPS. Our data demonstrate that (1) neuroinflammation is sufficient to provoke the decrease of α7 and α4β2 nAChRs, Aβ42 accumulation and memory impairment in mice and (2) α7(1-208) nAChR-specific antibodies can cause inflammation within the brain resulting in the symptoms typical for Alzheimer disease. PMID:25816313

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Galantamine ameliorates the impairment of recognition memory in mice repeatedly treated with methamphetamine: involvement of allosteric potentiation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and dopaminergic-ERK1/2 systems.

    PubMed

    Noda, Yukihiro; Mouri, Akihiro; Ando, Yu; Waki, Yukari; Yamada, Shin-Nosuke; Yoshimi, Akira; Yamada, Kiyofumi; Ozaki, Norio; Wang, Dayong; Nabeshima, Toshitaka

    2010-11-01

    Galantamine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease, inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and allosterically modulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) resulting in stimulation of catecholamine neurotransmission. In this study, we investigated whether galantamine exerts cognitive-improving effects through the allosteric modulation of nAChRs in an animal model of methamphetamine (Meth) psychosis. The mice treated with Meth (1 mg/kg.d) for 7 d showed memory impairment in a novel object recognition test. Galantamine (3 mg/kg) ameliorated the memory impairment, and it increased the extracellular dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of Meth-treated mice. Donepezil, an AChE inhibitor (1 mg/kg) increased the extracellular ACh release in the PFC, whereas it had no effect on the memory impairment in Meth-treated mice. The nAChR antagonist, mecamylamine, and dopamine D1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390, blocked the ameliorating effect of galantamine on Meth-induced memory impairment, whereas the muscarinic AChR antagonist, scopolamine, had no effect. The effects of galantamine on extracellular dopamine release were also antagonized by mecamylamine. Galantamine attenuated the defect of the novelty-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). The ameliorating effect of galantamine on recognition memory in Meth-treated mice was negated by microinjection of an ERK inhibitor, PD98059, into the PFC. These results suggest that the ameliorating effect of galantamine on Meth-induced memory impairment is associated with indirect activation of dopamine D1 receptor-ERK1/2 following augmentation with dopaminergic neurotransmission in the PFC through the allosteric activation of nAChRs. Galantamine could be a useful therapeutic agent for treating cognitive deficits in schizophrenia/Meth psychosis, as well as Alzheimer's disease.

  10. Functional properties of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors co-expressed with RIC-3 in a stable recombinant CHO-K1 cell line.

    PubMed

    Roncarati, Renza; Seredenina, Tamara; Jow, Brian; Jow, Flora; Papini, Silvia; Kramer, Angela; Bothmann, Hendrick; Dunlop, John; Terstappen, Georg C

    2008-04-01

    Heterologous functional expression of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is difficult to achieve in mammalian cell lines, and the reasons have been associated with a lack of expression of the putative chaperone factor RIC-3. Here, we describe the generation and functional and pharmacological characterization of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cell line co-expressing the human alpha7 nAChR and RIC-3. Stable recombinant cells expressing alpha7 nAChR on the plasma membrane were selected by binding of fluorochrome-conjugated alpha-bungarotoxin and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The presence of functional alpha7 channels was demonstrated by whole cell patch clamp recordings. Nicotine and acetylcholine induced rapid desensitizing currents with 50% effective concentration values of 14 and 37 microM, respectively, with agonist-evoked currents detected in approximately 75% of the cell population. Surprisingly, when tested in a FLIPR (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA) Ca(2+) assay, activation of alpha7 nAChRs was measured only when nicotinic agonists were applied either in the presence of the positive allosteric modulator (PAM) PNU-120596 or after pretreatment of cells with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein. No Ca(2+) influx was measured upon addition of agonists alone or together with allosteric potentiators such as 5-hydroxyindole that predominantly increase the apparent peak amplitude without robustly affecting the current desensitization rate, as exemplified by PNU-120596. These results show that functional alpha7 nAChRs can stably be expressed in the non-neuronal CHO-K1 cell line. This recombinant cell system is useful for characterization of alpha7 nAChRs and to study the mechanism of action of chemical modulators, in particular the detection of PAMs capable of slowing receptor desensitization kinetics.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-14

    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. PMID:26355753

  13. 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.

  14. Mouse chromosome 11 harbors genetic determinants of hippocampal strain-specific nicotinic receptor expression.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Scott W; Weis, Janis J; Ma, Ying; Teuscher, Cory; Gahring, Lorise C

    2008-01-01

    Differences between isogenic mouse strains in cellular expression of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor subunit alpha 4 (nAChR alpha 4) by the dorsal hippocampus are well known. To investigate further the genetic basis of these variations, expression of the nAChR alpha 4 subunit was measured in congenic mouse lines derived from two strains exhibiting notable divergence in the expression of this subunit: C3H and C57BL/6. Congenic lines carrying reciprocally introgressed regions (quantitative trait loci; QTL) from chromosomes 4, 5, and 12 each retained the phenotype most closely associated with the parental strain. However, in congenic lines harboring the reciprocal transfer of a chromosome 11 QTL, a characteristic difference in the ratio of interneurons versus astrocytes expressing nAChR alpha 4 in the CA1 region is reversed relative to the parental strain. These finding suggest that this chromosomal segment harbors genes that regulate strain distinct hippocampal morphology that is revealed by nAChR alpha 4 expression.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26340537

  17. Functional Impact of 14 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Causing Missense Mutations of Human α7 Nicotinic Receptor

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26340537

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Modulators Reduce Sugar Intake.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Nicotine receptors and depression: revisiting and revising the cholinergic hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Mineur, Yann S.; Picciotto, Marina R.

    2010-01-01

    There is a well-established connection between smoking and depression, with depressed individuals over-represented among smokers and ex-smokers often experiencing increased depressive symptoms immediately after quitting. Nicotine in tobacco binds, activates and desensitizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), but it is not known whether activation or desensitization is more important for nicotine’s effects on depressive symptoms. In this article, we review the hypothesis that blockade rather than activation of neuronal nAChRs might be important for the effects of nicotinic agents on depressive symptoms based on clinical and preclinical studies of nicotinic drugs. The endogenous neurotransmitter for nAChRs is acetylcholine, and the effects of nicotine on depression-like behaviors support the idea that dysregulation of the cholinergic system might contribute to the etiology of major depressive disorder. Thus, pharmacological agents that limit acetylcholine signaling through neuronal nAChRs might be promising for the development of novel antidepressant medications. PMID:20965579

  3. In silico point mutation and evolutionary trace analysis applied to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in deciphering ligand-binding surfaces.

    PubMed

    Parthiban, Marimuthu; Shanmughavel, Piramanayagam; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan

    2010-10-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the Cys-loop superfamily and contain ligand gated ion channels (LGIC). These receptors are located mostly in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). nAChRs reside at pre-synaptic regions to mediate acetylcholine neurotransmission and in the post synaptic membrane to propagate nerve impulses through neurons via acetylcholine. Malfunction of this neurotransmitter receptor is believed to cause various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, and nAChRs are thus important drug targets. In the present work, starting from an earlier model of pentameric alpha7nAChR, a considerable effort has been taken to investigate interaction with ligands by performing docking studies with a diverse array of agonists and antagonists. Analysis of these docking complexes reveals identification of possible ligand-interacting residues. Some of these residues, e.g. Ser34, Gln55, Ser146, and Tyr166, which are evolutionarily conserved, were specifically subjected to virtual mutations based on their amino acid properties and found to be highly sensitive in the presence of antagonists by docking. Further, the study was extended using evolutionary trace analysis, revealing conserved and class-specific residues close to the putative ligand-binding site, further supporting the results of docking experiments.

  4. 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.

  5. Selective potentiation of (α4)3(β2)2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors augments amplitudes of prefrontal acetylcholine- and nicotine-evoked glutamatergic transients in rats.

    PubMed

    Grupe, Morten; Paolone, Giovanna; Jensen, Anders A; Sandager-Nielsen, Karin; Sarter, Martin; Grunnet, Morten

    2013-11-15

    Prefrontal glutamate release evoked through activation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) situated on thalamic glutamatergic afferents mediates cue detection processes and thus contributes to attentional performance. However, little is known about the respective contributions of the high sensitivity and low sensitivity (LS) stoichiometries of the α4β2 nAChR, (α4)2(β2)3 and (α4)3(β2)2, to these processes. In the present study we employed glutamate-sensitive microelectrodes and the (α4)3(β2)2-selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM) NS9283 to investigate the importance of the LS α4β2 nAChR for glutamate release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Firstly, the signaling evoked by physiologically relevant ACh concentrations through the (α4)3(β2)2 nAChR in HEK293 cells was potentiated by NS9283, consistent with the classification of NS9283 as a PAM. In urethane-anesthetized rats, intra-prefrontal pressure ejections of NS9283 evoked glutamatergic transients. Importantly, this glutamate release was attenuated by removal of cholinergic projections to the recording area. This finding indicates that the effects of NS9283 depend on endogenous ACh, again consistent with effects of a PAM. We then conducted microdialysis to demonstrate the presence of extracellular ACh in urethane-anesthetized control rats. While detectable, those levels were significantly lower than in awake rats. Finally, the amplitudes of glutamatergic transients evoked by local pressure ejections of a low concentration of nicotine were significantly augmented following systemic administration of NS9283 (3.0mg/kg). In conclusion, our results indicate that a LS α4β2 nAChR PAM such as NS9283 may enhance the cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the cortex, thereby perhaps alleviating the attentional impairments common to a range of brain disorders.

  6. Selective potentiation of (α4)3(β2)2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors augments amplitudes of prefrontal acetylcholine- and nicotine-evoked glutamatergic transients in rats

    PubMed Central

    Grupe, Morten; Paolone, Giovanna; Jensen, Anders A.; Sandager-Nielsen, Karin; Sarter, Martin; Grunnet, Morten

    2013-01-01

    Prefrontal glutamate release evoked through activation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) situated on thalamic glutamatergic afferents mediates cue detection processes and thus contributes to attentional performance. However, little is known about the respective contributions of the high sensitivity and low sensitivity (LS) stoichiometries of the α4β2 nAChR, (α4)2(β2)3 and (α4)3(β2)2, to these processes. In the present study we employed glutamate-sensitive microelectrodes and the (α4)3(β2)2-selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM) NS9283 to investigate the importance of the LS α4β2 nAChR for glutamate release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Firstly, the signaling evoked by physiologically relevant ACh concentrations through the (α4)3(β2)2 nAChR in HEK293 cells was potentiated by NS9283, consistent with the classification of NS9238 as a PAM. In urethane-anesthetized rats, intra-prefrontal pressure ejections of NS9283 evoked glutamatergic transients. Importantly, this glutamate release was attenuated by removal of cholinergic projections to the recording area. This finding indicates that the effects of NS9283 depend on endogenous ACh, again consistent with effects of a PAM. We then conducted microdialysis to demonstrate the presence of extracellular ACh in urethane-anesthetized control rats. While detectable, those levels were significantly lower than in awake rats. Finally, the amplitudes of glutamatergic transients evoked by local pressure ejections of a low concentration of nicotine were significantly augmented following systemic administration of NS9283 (3.0 mg/kg). In conclusion, our results indicate that a LS α4β2 nAChR PAMs such as NS9283 may enhance the cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the cortex, thereby perhaps alleviating the attentional impairments common to a range of brain disorders. PMID:24051136

  7. 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. PMID:26231941

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Nicotinic receptors on rat alveolar macrophages dampen ATP-induced increase in cytosolic calcium concentration

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) have been identified on a variety of cells of the immune system and are generally considered to trigger anti-inflammatory events. In the present study, we determine the nAChR inventory of rat alveolar macrophages (AM), and investigate the cellular events evoked by stimulation with nicotine. Methods Rat AM were isolated freshly by bronchoalveolar lavage. The expression of nAChR subunits was analyzed by RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and Western blotting. To evaluate function of nAChR subunits, electrophysiological recordings and measurements of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) were conducted. Results Positive RT-PCR results were obtained for nAChR subunits α3, α5, α9, α10, β1, and β2, with most stable expression being noted for subunits α9, α10, β1, and β2. Notably, mRNA coding for subunit α7 which is proposed to convey the nicotinic anti-inflammatory response of macrophages from other sources than the lung was not detected. RT-PCR data were supported by immunohistochemistry on AM isolated by lavage, as well as in lung tissue sections and by Western blotting. Neither whole-cell patch clamp recordings nor measurements of [Ca2+]i revealed changes in membrane current in response to ACh and in [Ca2+]i in response to nicotine, respectively. However, nicotine (100 μM), given 2 min prior to ATP, significantly reduced the ATP-induced rise in [Ca2+]i by 30%. This effect was blocked by α-bungarotoxin and did not depend on the presence of extracellular calcium. Conclusions Rat AM are equipped with modulatory nAChR with properties distinct from ionotropic nAChR mediating synaptic transmission in the nervous system. Their stimulation with nicotine dampens ATP-induced Ca2+-release from intracellular stores. Thus, the present study identifies the first acute receptor-mediated nicotinic effect on AM with anti-inflammatory potential. PMID:20920278

  11. Characterization of [(3)H]CHIBA-1001 binding to alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain from rat, monkey, and human.

    PubMed

    Tanibuchi, Yuko; Wu, Jin; Toyohara, Jun; Fujita, Yuko; Iyo, Masaomi; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2010-08-12

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the alpha7 subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) plays a role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Currently, there are no suitable small molecule radioligands for alpha7 nAChRs in the brain, although [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin has been widely used as a radioligand for alpha7 nAChRs. In the present study, we characterized a new radioligand, 4-[(3)H]methylphenyl 2,5-diazabicyclo[3.2.2]nonane-2-carboxylate ([(3)H]CHIBA-1001), a derivative of the selective alpha7 nAChR agonist SSR180711, in brain membranes from rat, monkey, and human. Scatchard analysis revealed an apparent equilibrium dissociation constant (Kd) of 193.4nM in rat brain membranes at 4 degrees C, and the maximal number of binding sites (Bmax) was 346.2fmol/mg protein. The order of drugs for the inhibition of [(3)H]CHIBA-1001 binding to rat brain membranes is SSR180711>A-844606>MG624>epibatidine>DMAB>A-582941, suggesting a similarity of alpha7 nAChR pharmacological profiles. In contrast, alpha-bungarotoxin, MLA, and nicotine were found to be very weak. The distribution of [(3)H]CHIBA-1001 binding to crude membranes from dissected regions of rat, monkey, and human brain was different from that of [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin binding, suggesting that [(3)H]CHIBA-1001 binding sites may not be identical to [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin binding in the brain. In summary, [(3)H]CHIBA-1001 would be a useful radioligand for alpha7 nAChRs in the brains of rodents, non-human primates, and humans. PMID:20537987

  12. 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

  13. Brain β2*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor occupancy after use of a nicotine inhaler

    PubMed Central

    Esterlis, Irina; Mitsis, Effie M.; Batis, Jeffery C.; Bois, Frederic; Picciotto, Marina R.; Stiklus, Stephanie M.; Kloczynski, Tracy; Perry, Edward; Seibyl, John P.; McKee, Sherry; Staley, Julie K.; Cosgrove, Kelly P.

    2012-01-01

    The Nicotrol® (Pfizer, USA) nicotine inhaler reduces craving by mimicking the behavioural component of cigarettes and delivering controlled doses of nicotine, which binds to the beta-2 subunit-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (β2*-nAChRs). Previous studies examined β2*-nAChR occupancy after administration of regular and low-nicotine cigarettes. Here, we measured occupancy of β2*-nAChRs after administration of nicotine via inhaler, and the relationship between occupancy and changes in craving for tobacco smoking and withdrawal symptoms. Tobacco smokers participated in [123I]5-IA-85380 SPECT studies with either a nicotine inhaler (n=9) or tobacco cigarette (n=4) challenge. [123I]5-IA was administered as a bolus plus constant infusion. After equilibrium was achieved, three 30-min baseline scans were collected, and subjects either used the nicotine inhaler or a regular cigarette, and up to six additional scans were obtained. Receptor occupancy was determined based on the Lassen plot method. Craving for tobacco smoking and withdrawal symptoms were evaluated pre- and post-challenge. Use of the nicotine inhaler produced an average 55.9±6.4% occupancy of β2*-nAChRs 2–5 h post-challenge, whereas use of a cigarette produced significantly higher receptor occupancy (F=10.6, p=0.009) with an average 67.6±14.1% occupancy 1.5–5 h post-challenge. There was a significant decrease in withdrawal symptoms post-nicotine inhaler use (F=6.13, p=0.04). These results demonstrate significant differences in occupancy of β2*-nAChRs by nicotine after use of the inhaler vs. a cigarette and confirm the ability of the nicotine inhaler to relieve withdrawal symptoms. PMID:21029513

  14. The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype mediates nicotine protection against NMDA excitotoxicity in primary hippocampal cultures through a Ca(2+) dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Dajas-Bailador, F A; Lima, P A; Wonnacott, S

    2000-10-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) have been suggested to play a role in a variety of modulatory and regulatory processes, including neuroprotection. Here we have characterized the neuroprotective effects of nicotine against an excitotoxic insult in primary hippocampal cultures. Exposure of hippocampal neurons to 200 microM NMDA for 1 h decreased cell viability by 25+/-5%, an effect blocked by NMDA receptor antagonists. Nicotine (10 microM) counteracted the NMDA-induced cell death when co-incubated with NMDA or when present subsequent to the NMDA treatment. Nicotine protection was prevented by 1 microM MLA, confirming that it was mediated by nAChR, and by 1 microM alpha-bungarotoxin, demonstrating that the alpha7 nAChR subtype was responsible. Both the NMDA evoked neurotoxicity and nicotine neuroprotection were Ca(2+)-dependent. In Fura-2-loaded hippocampal neurons, nicotine (10 microM) and NMDA (200 microM) acutely increased intracellular resting Ca(2+) from 70 nM to 200 and 500 nM, respectively. Responses to NMDA were unaffected by the presence of nicotine. (45)Ca(2+) uptake after a 1 h exposure to nicotine or NMDA also demonstrated quantitative differences between the two drugs. This study demonstrates that the alpha7 subtype of nAChR can support neuronal survival after an excitotoxic stimulus, through a Ca(2+) dependent mechanism that operates downstream of NMDA receptor activation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Ameliorating effects of tropisetron on dopaminergic disruption of prepulse inhibition via the alpha(7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Kohnomi, Shuntaro; Suemaru, Katsuya; Goda, Mitsunori; Choshi, Tominari; Hibino, Satoshi; Kawasaki, Hiromu; Araki, Hiroaki

    2010-09-24

    Nicotine has ameliorating effects on sensorimotor gating deficits in schizophrenia. We have shown that nicotine ameliorated disruption of prepulse inhibition (PPI) via the alpha(7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in Wistar rats. The 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist tropisetron was recently found to be an alpha(7) nAChR partial agonist. We initially investigated the effects of tropisetron on disruption of PPI induced by phencyclidine (PCP) (2mg/kg) or apomorphine (1mg/kg). Tropisetron had no effect on the disruption of PPI induced by PCP, but ameliorated the disruption by apomorphine. The ameliorating effect of tropisetron was antagonized by methyllycaconitine (2 or 5mg/kg), a partially selective alpha(7) nAChR antagonist. Next, to find the action site of tropisetron, we examined c-Fos protein expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), dorsolateral striatum (DLst) and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Tropisetron alone did not change the number of c-Fos-positive cells, whereas apomorphine increased the number of positive cells in the NAc and DLst. Tropisetron administration followed by apomorphine administration decreased the number of positive cells in the VTA compared with the apomorphine-alone group. These results suggest that tropisetron has an ameliorating effect on the sensorimotor gating deficits via the alpha(7) nAChR, and that one possible site of its action is the VTA.

  17. Accumulation of human full-length tau induces degradation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4 via activating calpain-2

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Yaling; Wang, Yali; Gao, Di; Ye, Jinwang; Wang, Xin; Fang, Lin; Wu, Dongqin; Pi, Guilin; Lu, Chengbiao; Zhou, Xin-Wen; Yang, Ying; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic impairments and tau accumulation are hallmark pathologies in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), however, the intrinsic link between tau accumulation and cholinergic deficits is missing. Here, we found that overexpression of human wild-type full-length tau (termed hTau) induced a significant reduction of α4 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with an increased cleavage of the receptor producing a ~55kDa fragment in primary hippocampal neurons and in the rat brains, meanwhile, the α4 nAChR currents decreased. Further studies demonstrated that calpains, including calpain-1 and calpain-2, were remarkably activated with no change of caspase-3, while simultaneous suppression of calpain-2 by selective calpain-2 inhibitor but not calpain-1 attenuated the hTau-induced degradation of α4 nAChR. Finally, we demonstrated that hTau accumulation increased the basal intracellular calcium level in primary hippocampal neurons. We conclude that the hTau accumulation inhibits nAChRs α4 by activating calpain-2. To our best knowledge, this is the first evidence showing that the intracellular accumulation of tau causes cholinergic impairments. PMID:27277673

  18. 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

  19. Accumulation of human full-length tau induces degradation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4 via activating calpain-2.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yaling; Wang, Yali; Gao, Di; Ye, Jinwang; Wang, Xin; Fang, Lin; Wu, Dongqin; Pi, Guilin; Lu, Chengbiao; Zhou, Xin-Wen; Yang, Ying; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic impairments and tau accumulation are hallmark pathologies in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD), however, the intrinsic link between tau accumulation and cholinergic deficits is missing. Here, we found that overexpression of human wild-type full-length tau (termed hTau) induced a significant reduction of α4 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with an increased cleavage of the receptor producing a ~55kDa fragment in primary hippocampal neurons and in the rat brains, meanwhile, the α4 nAChR currents decreased. Further studies demonstrated that calpains, including calpain-1 and calpain-2, were remarkably activated with no change of caspase-3, while simultaneous suppression of calpain-2 by selective calpain-2 inhibitor but not calpain-1 attenuated the hTau-induced degradation of α4 nAChR. Finally, we demonstrated that hTau accumulation increased the basal intracellular calcium level in primary hippocampal neurons. We conclude that the hTau accumulation inhibits nAChRs α4 by activating calpain-2. To our best knowledge, this is the first evidence showing that the intracellular accumulation of tau causes cholinergic impairments. PMID:27277673

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. {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.

  3. Inhibition of ACh release at an Aplysia synapse by neurotoxic phospholipases A2: specific receptors and mechanisms of action.

    PubMed Central

    Fossier, P; Lambeau, G; Lazdunski, M; Baux, G

    1995-01-01

    1. Monochain (OS2) and multichain (taipoxin) neurotoxic phospholipases A2 (PLA2), purified from taipan snake venom, both inhibited ACh release at a concentration of 20 nM (90% inhibition in 2 h) at an identified synapse from buccal ganglion of Aplysia californica. 2. The Na+ current was unchanged upon application of either OS2 or taipoxin. Conversely, presynaptic K+ currents (IA and IK) were increased by taipoxin but not by OS2. In addition, OS2 induced a significant decrease of the presynaptic Ca2+ current (30%) while taipoxin increased this latter current by 20-30%. 3. Bee venom PLA2, another monochain neurotoxic PLA2, also inhibited ACh release while non-toxic enzymatically active PLA2s like OS1 (also purified from taipan snake venom) or porcine pancreatic PLA2 elicited a much weaker inhibition of ACh release, suggesting a specific action of neurotoxic PLA2s versus non-toxic PLA2s on ACh release. 4. Using iodinated OS2, specific high affinity binding sites with molecular masses of 140 and 18 kDa have been identified on Aplysia ganglia. The maximal binding capacities were 55 and 300-400 fmol (mg protein)-1 for membrane preparations from whole and buccal ganglia, respectively. These binding sites are of high affinity for neurotoxic PLA2s (Kd values, 100-800 pM) and of very low affinity for non-toxic PLA2s (Kd values in the micromolar range), thus indicating that these binding sites are presumably involved in the blockade of ACh release by neurotoxic PLA2s. Images Figure 8 Figure 9 PMID:8583413

  4. Characterizing low affinity epibatidine binding to α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with ligand depletion and nonspecific binding

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Along with high affinity binding of epibatidine (Kd1≈10 pM) to α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), low affinity binding of epibatidine (Kd2≈1-10 nM) to an independent binding site has been reported. Studying this low affinity binding is important because it might contribute understanding about the structure and synthesis of α4β2 nAChR. The binding behavior of epibatidine and α4β2 AChR raises a question about interpreting binding data from two independent sites with ligand depletion and nonspecific binding, both of which can affect equilibrium binding of [3H]epibatidine and α4β2 nAChR. If modeled incorrectly, ligand depletion and nonspecific binding lead to inaccurate estimates of binding constants. Fitting total equilibrium binding as a function of total ligand accurately characterizes a single site with ligand depletion and nonspecific binding. The goal of this study was to determine whether this approach is sufficient with two independent high and low affinity sites. Results Computer simulations of binding revealed complexities beyond fitting total binding for characterizing the second, low affinity site of α4β2 nAChR. First, distinguishing low-affinity specific binding from nonspecific binding was a potential problem with saturation data. Varying the maximum concentration of [3H]epibatidine, simultaneously fitting independently measured nonspecific binding, and varying α4β2 nAChR concentration were effective remedies. Second, ligand depletion helped identify the low affinity site when nonspecific binding was significant in saturation or competition data, contrary to a common belief that ligand depletion always is detrimental. Third, measuring nonspecific binding without α4β2 nAChR distinguished better between nonspecific binding and low-affinity specific binding under some circumstances of competitive binding than did presuming nonspecific binding to be residual [3H]epibatidine binding after adding a large concentration of

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Dopamine-dependent modulation of rat globus pallidus excitation by nicotine acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Ríos, Alain; Barrientos, Rafael; Alatorre, Alberto; Delgado, Alfonso; Perez-Capistran, Teresa; Chuc-Meza, Eliezer; García-Ramirez, Martha; Querejeta, Enrique

    2016-02-01

    The globus pallidus (GP) coordinates information processing in the basal ganglia nuclei. The contribution of nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) to the spiking activity of GP neurons is largely unknown. Several studies have reported that the effect of nAChRs in other nuclei depends on dopaminergic input. Via in vivo single unit extracellular recordings and intranuclear drug infusions, we analyzed the effects of local activation and blockade of nAChRs in neurons of both sham and 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rats. In sham rats, the local application of nicotine and edrophonium (an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor) increases GP neurons spiking rate. Local application of mecamylamine, a neuronal nicotinic cholinergic antagonist, diminishes pallidal neurons spiking rate, an effect not produced by d-tubocurarine, a peripheral nicotinic cholinergic antagonist. Moreover, mecamylamine blocks the excitatory effect evoked by nicotine and edrophonium. In 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, local infusion of nicotine does not change pallidal neurons firing rate. Our results show that there is a tonic cholinergic input to the GP that increases their spiking rate through the activation of nAChRs and that this effect depends on functional dopaminergic pathways.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-30

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

  10. Enhancing the Reliability of GPCR Models by Accounting for Flexibility of Their Pro-Containing Helices: the Case of the Human mAChR1 Receptor.

    PubMed

    Pedretti, Alessandro; Mazzolari, Angelica; Ricci, Chiara; Vistoli, Giulio

    2015-04-01

    To better investigate the GPCR structures, we have recently proposed to explore their flexibility by simulating the bending of their Pro-containing TM helices so generating a set of models (the so-called chimeras) which exhaustively combine the two conformations (bent and straight) of these helices. The primary objective of the study is to investigate whether such an approach can be exploited to enhance the reliability of the GPCR models generated by distant templates. The study was focused on the human mAChR1 receptor for which a presumably reliable model was generated using the congener mAChR3 as the template along with a second less reliable model based on the distant β2-AR template. The second model was then utilized to produce the chimeras by combining the conformations of its Pro-containing helices (i.e., TM4, TM5, TM6 and TM7 with 16 modeled chimeras). The reliability of such chimeras was assessed by virtual screening campaigns as evaluated using a novel skewness metric where they surpassed the predictive power of the more reliable mAChR1 model. Finally, the virtual screening campaigns emphasize the opportunity of synergistically combining the scores of more chimeras using a specially developed tool which generates highly predictive consensus functions by maximizing the corresponding enrichment factors. PMID:27490167

  11. Central role of fibroblast alpha3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in mediating cutaneous effects of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Arredondo, Juan; Hall, Leon L; Ndoye, Assane; Nguyen, Vu Thuong; Chernyavsky, Alexander I; Bercovich, Dani; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Beaudet, Arthur L; Grando, Sergei A

    2003-02-01

    Smoking is associated with aberrant cutaneous tissue remodeling, such as precocious skin aging and impaired wound healing. The mechanism is not fully understood. Dermal fibroblasts (DF) are the primary cellular component of the dermis and may provide a target for pathobiologic effects of tobacco products. The purpose of this study was to characterize a mechanism of nicotine (Nic) effects on the growth and tissue remodeling function of DF. We hypothesized that the effects of Nic on DF result from its binding to specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed by these cells and that downstream signaling from the receptors alters normal cell functioning, leading to changes in skin homeostasis. Using RT-PCR and Western blotting, we found that a 24-hour exposure of human DF to 10 micro M Nic causes a 1.9- to 28-fold increase of the mRNA and protein levels of the cell cycle regulators p21, cyclin D1, Ki-67, and PCNA and a 1.7- to 2-fold increase of the apoptosis regulators Bcl-2 and caspase 3. Nic exposure also up-regulated expression of the dermal matrix proteins collagen type Ialpha1 and elastin as well as matrix metalloproteinase-1. Mecamylamine (Mec), the specific antagonist of nAChRs, abolished Nic-induced alterations, indicating that they resulted from a pharmacologic stimulation of nAChRs expressed by DF. To establish the relevance of these findings to a specific nicotinergic pathway, we studied human DF transfected with anti-alpha3 antisense oligonucleotides and murine DF from alpha3 nAChR knockout mice. In both cases, lack of alpha3 was associated with alterations in fibroblast growth and function that were opposite to those observed in DF treated with Nic, suggesting that the nicotinic effects on DF were mostly mediated by alpha3 nAChR. In addition to alpha3, the nAChR subunits detected in human DF were alpha5, alpha7, beta2, and beta4. The exposure of DF to Nic altered the relative amounts of each of these subunits, leading to reciprocal changes

  12. Hippocampal α7 nicotinic receptors modulate memory reconsolidation of an inhibitory avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M M; Blake, M G; Krawczyk, M C; Baratti, C M

    2010-12-01

    CF-1 male mice were trained in an inhibitory avoidance (IA) task using either a mild or a high footshock (0.8 or 1.2 mA, 50 Hz, 1 s). A retention test was given 48 h later. Immediately after the retention test, mice were given intra-dorsal hippocampus infusions of either choline (Ch, an α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) agonist, 0.08-1.30 μg/hippocampus), or methyllycaconitine (MLA, an α7nAChR antagonist, 1.0-30.0 μg/hippocampus). Memory retention was tested again 24 h later. Methyllycaconitine impaired retention performance regardless of footshock intensity and its effects were long lasting. Ch impaired retention performance only in those mice trained with a high footshock. On the contrary, Ch enhanced retention performance when mice were trained with a mild footshock. These effects were long lasting and dose- and time-dependent. Retention performance was not affected in drug-treated mice that were not subjected to memory reactivation, suggesting that the performance effects could not be attributable to non-specific effects of the drugs. Methyllycaconitine effects were dose-dependently reversed by choline, suggesting that MLA and Ch interact at the α7nAChR. Altogether, results suggest that hippocampal α7nAChRs play a critical role in reconsolidation of an IA response in mice, and may also have important implications for dynamic memory processes. This is the first presentation, to our knowledge, indicating that a specific receptor (α7nAChR) is able to modulate consolidated memories after retrieval. PMID:20832455

  13. Hippocampal α7 nicotinic receptors modulate memory reconsolidation of an inhibitory avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M M; Blake, M G; Krawczyk, M C; Baratti, C M

    2010-12-01

    CF-1 male mice were trained in an inhibitory avoidance (IA) task using either a mild or a high footshock (0.8 or 1.2 mA, 50 Hz, 1 s). A retention test was given 48 h later. Immediately after the retention test, mice were given intra-dorsal hippocampus infusions of either choline (Ch, an α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) agonist, 0.08-1.30 μg/hippocampus), or methyllycaconitine (MLA, an α7nAChR antagonist, 1.0-30.0 μg/hippocampus). Memory retention was tested again 24 h later. Methyllycaconitine impaired retention performance regardless of footshock intensity and its effects were long lasting. Ch impaired retention performance only in those mice trained with a high footshock. On the contrary, Ch enhanced retention performance when mice were trained with a mild footshock. These effects were long lasting and dose- and time-dependent. Retention performance was not affected in drug-treated mice that were not subjected to memory reactivation, suggesting that the performance effects could not be attributable to non-specific effects of the drugs. Methyllycaconitine effects were dose-dependently reversed by choline, suggesting that MLA and Ch interact at the α7nAChR. Altogether, results suggest that hippocampal α7nAChRs play a critical role in reconsolidation of an IA response in mice, and may also have important implications for dynamic memory processes. This is the first presentation, to our knowledge, indicating that a specific receptor (α7nAChR) is able to modulate consolidated memories after retrieval.

  14. 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.

  15. Blocking α4β2 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors inhibits the reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP by drug priming in mice.

    PubMed

    Feng, Bin; Xing, Jiang-hao; Jia, Dong; Liu, Shui-bing; Guo, Hong-ju; Li, Xiao-qiang; He, Xiao-sheng; Zhao, Ming-gao

    2011-06-20

    Investigating the interaction between nicotinic and opioid receptors is of great interest for both basic mechanistic and clinical reasons. Morphine and nicotine, two common drugs of abuse, share several behavioral and rewarding properties. However, little is known about the subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) in the reinstatement of morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). In this study, we found that a non-specific nAChR agonist, nicotine (0.5mg/kg), had no effects on the reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP. However, we found that pretreatment with specific α(4)β(2) and α(7) nAChR subtype antagonists, dihydroxy-β-erithroidine (DHβE, 5mg/kg) and methyllycaconitine (MLA, 4 mg/kg), 20 min prior to administration of morphine, inhibited the reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP by drug priming in mice. Furthermore, depression of the reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP by a single DHβE or MLA treatment lasted at least three days later when the reinstatement was induced by morphine priming. The data suggest that specific nAChR subtypes, i.e., α(4)β(2) and α(7), may contribute to the reinstatement of morphine-induced CPP by drug priming in mice.

  16. Action Potential-Independent and Nicotinic Receptor-Mediated Concerted Release of Multiple Quanta at Hippocampal CA3–Mossy Fiber Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Geeta; Grybko, Michael; Vijayaraghavan, Sukumar

    2009-01-01

    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 α7-subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-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 α7-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 α7-nAChR activation are mediated by biologically relevant doses of nicotine. Our results demonstrate a novel form of synaptic plasticity mediated by presynaptic α7-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. PMID:18322100

  17. The Dinoflagellate Toxin 20-Methyl Spirolide-G Potently Blocks Skeletal Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Couesnon, Aurélie; Aráoz, Rómulo; Iorga, Bogdan I; Benoit, Evelyne; Reynaud, Morgane; Servent, Denis; Molgó, Jordi

    2016-01-01

    The cyclic imine toxin 20-methyl spirolide G (20-meSPX-G), produced by the toxigenic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii/Alexandrium peruvianum, has been previously reported to contaminate shellfish in various European coastal locations, as revealed by mouse toxicity bioassay. The aim of the present study was to determine its toxicological profile and its molecular target selectivity. 20-meSPX-G blocked nerve-evoked isometric contractions in isolated mouse neuromuscular preparations, while it had no action on contractions elicited by direct electrical stimulation, and reduced reversibly nerve-evoked compound muscle action potential amplitudes in anesthetized mice. Voltage-clamp recordings in Xenopus oocytes revealed that 20-meSPX-G potently inhibited currents evoked by ACh on Torpedo muscle-type and human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR), whereas lower potency was observed in human α4β2 nAChR. Competition-binding assays showed that 20-meSPX-G fully displaced [³H]epibatidine binding to HEK-293 cells expressing the human α3β2 (Ki = 0.040 nM), whereas a 90-fold lower affinity was detected in human α4β2 nAChR. The spirolide displaced [(125)I]α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo membranes (Ki = 0.028 nM) and in HEK-293 cells expressing chick chimeric α7-5HT₃ nAChR (Ki = 0.11 nM). In conclusion, this is the first study to demonstrate that 20-meSPX-G is a potent antagonist of nAChRs, and its subtype selectivity is discussed on the basis of molecular docking models. PMID:27563924

  18. The Dinoflagellate Toxin 20-Methyl Spirolide-G Potently Blocks Skeletal Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Couesnon, Aurélie; Aráoz, Rómulo; Iorga, Bogdan I.; Benoit, Evelyne; Reynaud, Morgane; Servent, Denis; Molgó, Jordi

    2016-01-01

    The cyclic imine toxin 20-methyl spirolide G (20-meSPX-G), produced by the toxigenic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii/Alexandrium peruvianum, has been previously reported to contaminate shellfish in various European coastal locations, as revealed by mouse toxicity bioassay. The aim of the present study was to determine its toxicological profile and its molecular target selectivity. 20-meSPX-G blocked nerve-evoked isometric contractions in isolated mouse neuromuscular preparations, while it had no action on contractions elicited by direct electrical stimulation, and reduced reversibly nerve-evoked compound muscle action potential amplitudes in anesthetized mice. Voltage-clamp recordings in Xenopus oocytes revealed that 20-meSPX-G potently inhibited currents evoked by ACh on Torpedo muscle-type and human α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR), whereas lower potency was observed in human α4β2 nAChR. Competition-binding assays showed that 20-meSPX-G fully displaced [3H]epibatidine binding to HEK-293 cells expressing the human α3β2 (Ki = 0.040 nM), whereas a 90-fold lower affinity was detected in human α4β2 nAChR. The spirolide displaced [125I]α-bungarotoxin binding to Torpedo membranes (Ki = 0.028 nM) and in HEK-293 cells expressing chick chimeric α7-5HT3 nAChR (Ki = 0.11 nM). In conclusion, this is the first study to demonstrate that 20-meSPX-G is a potent antagonist of nAChRs, and its subtype selectivity is discussed on the basis of molecular docking models. PMID:27563924

  19. Synthesis and Pharmacological Evaluation of DHβE Analogues as Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) is a member of the Erythrina family of alkaloids and a potent competitive antagonist of the α4β2-subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Guided by an X-ray structure of DHβE in complex with an ACh binding protein, we detail the design, synthesis, and pharmacological characterization of a series of DHβE analogues in which two of the four rings in the natural product has been excluded. We found that the direct analogue of DHβE maintains affinity for the α4β2-subtype, but further modifications of the simplified analogues were detrimental to their activities on the nAChRs. PMID:25050162

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists with low intrinsic efficacy have antidepressant-like properties

    PubMed Central

    Mineur, Yann S.; Einstein, Emily B.; Seymour, Patricia A.; Coe, Jotham W.; O’Neill, Brian T.; Rollema, Hans

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that treatment with antagonists or partial agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the β2 subunit (β2* nAChRs) results in antidepressant-like effects. In the current study we tested 3 novel compounds with different affinity and functional efficacy at α4β2* nAChRs, which were synthesized as part of nAChR discovery projects at Pfizer in the tail suspension, forced swim and novelty-suppressed feeding tests of antidepressant efficacy. All compounds tested reduced immobility in the forced swim test and one of the compounds also reduced immobility in the tail suspension test. All the compounds appeared to affect food intake on their own, with 2 compounds reducing feeding significantly in the home cage, precluding a clear interpretation of the results in the novelty-suppressed feeding test. None of the compounds altered locomotor activity at the doses and time points used here. Therefore, a subset of these compounds has pharmacological and behavioral properties that demonstrate the potential of nicotinic compounds as a treatment of mood disorders. Further development of nicotinic-based antidepressants should focus on increasing nAChR subtype selectivity to obtain consistent antidepressant properties with an acceptable side effect profile. PMID:21566524

  3. 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

  4. Nicotine activates cell-signaling pathways through muscle-type and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in non-small cell lung cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Carlisle, Diane L; Liu, Xuwan; Hopkins, Toni M; Swick, Michelle C; Dhir, Rajiv; Siegfried, Jill M

    2007-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are expressed on non-neuronal cell types, including normal bronchial epithelial cells, and nicotine has been reported to cause Akt activation in cultured normal airway cells. This study documents mRNA and protein expression of subunits known to form a muscle-type nAChR in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. In one NSCLC examined, mRNA and protein for a heteropentamer neuronal-type alpha3beta2 nAChR was detected in addition to a muscle-type receptor. Protein for the alpha5 nAChR was also detected in NSCLC cells. Although, mRNA for the alpha7 nAChR subunit was observed in all cell lines, alpha7 protein was not detectable by immunoblot in NSCLC cell extracts. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) of NSCLC primary tissues from 18 patients demonstrated protein expression of nAChR alpha1 and beta1 subunits, but not alpha7 subunit, in lung tumors, indicating preferential expression of the muscle-type receptor. In addition, the beta1 subunit showed significantly increased expression in lung tumors as compared to non-tumor bronchial tissue. The alpha1 subunit also showed evidence of high expression in lung tumors. Nicotine at a concentration of 10 microM caused phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) (p44/42) that could be inhibited using nAChR antagonists. Inhibition was observed at 100 nM alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTX) or 10 microM hexamethonium (HEX); maximal inhibition was achieved using a combination of alpha-BTX and HEX. Akt was also phosphorylated in NSCLC cells after exposure to nicotine; this effect was inhibited by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and antagonists to the neuronal-type nAChR, but not to the muscle-type receptor. Nicotine triggered influx of calcium in the 273T NSCLC cell line, suggesting that L-type calcium channels were activated. 273T cells also showed greater activation of p44/42 MAPK than of Akt in response to nicotine. Cultures treated with nicotine and the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor

  5. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 when the endogenous ligands are released in response to relevant social and cognitive provocations to increase the likelihood they will result in α7nAChR ion channel activation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Nicotine is a selective pharmacological chaperone of acetylcholine receptor number and stoichiometry. Implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Lester, Henry A; Xiao, Cheng; Srinivasan, Rahul; Son, Cagdas D; Miwa, Julie; Pantoja, Rigo; Banghart, Matthew R; Dougherty, Dennis A; Goate, Alison M; Wang, Jen C

    2009-03-01

    The acronym SePhaChARNS, for "selective pharmacological chaperoning of acetylcholine receptor number and stoichiometry," is introduced. We hypothesize that SePhaChARNS underlies classical observations that chronic exposure to nicotine causes "upregulation" of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs). If the hypothesis is proven, (1) SePhaChARNS is the molecular mechanism of the first step in neuroadaptation to chronic nicotine; and (2) nicotine addiction is partially a disease of excessive chaperoning. The chaperone is a pharmacological one, nicotine; and the chaperoned molecules are alpha4beta2* nAChRs. SePhaChARNS may also underlie two inadvertent therapeutic effects of tobacco use: (1) the inverse correlation between tobacco use and Parkinson's disease; and (2) the suppression of seizures by nicotine in autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy. SePhaChARNS arises from the thermodynamics of pharmacological chaperoning: ligand binding, especially at subunit interfaces, stabilizes AChRs during assembly and maturation, and this stabilization is most pronounced for the highest-affinity subunit compositions, stoichiometries, and functional states of receptors. Several chemical and pharmacokinetic characteristics render exogenous nicotine a more potent pharmacological chaperone than endogenous acetylcholine. SePhaChARNS is modified by desensitized states of nAChRs, by acid trapping of nicotine in organelles, and by other aspects of proteostasis. SePhaChARNS is selective at the cellular, and possibly subcellular, levels because of variations in the detailed nAChR subunit composition, as well as in expression of auxiliary proteins such as lynx. One important implication of the SePhaChARNS hypothesis is that therapeutically relevant nicotinic receptor drugs could be discovered by studying events in intracellular compartments rather than exclusively at the surface membrane.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. AChE for DNA degradation.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Osuna, María; Yuste, Victor J

    2015-06-01

    DNA hydrolysis is a biochemical process often associated with different forms of cell death, including apoptosis. In a recent paper published in Cell Discovery, Du et al. report that synaptic acetylcholinesterase (AChE-S) shows an unexpected enzymatic activity as DNase switched on after cytotoxic insults. PMID:25930710

  12. Spontaneous opening of the acetylcholine receptor channel in developing muscle cells from normal and dystrophic mice

    SciTech Connect

    Franco-Obregon, A.; Lansman, J.B.

    1995-12-31

    Single-channel activity was recorded from cell-attached patches on skeletal muscle cells isolated from wild-type mice and from mice carrying the dy or mdx mutations. Spontaneous openings of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channel (nAChR) were detected in virtually all recordings from either 4v/dy or dyl + myotubes. but only infrequently from wild-type or mdx myotubes. Spontaneous openings were also present in most recordings from undifferentiated myoblasts from all of the mouse strains studied. The biophysical properties of the spontaneous activity were similar to those of the embryonic form of the nAChR in the presence of acetylcholine (ACh). Examination of the single-channel currents evoked by low concentrations of ACh showed a reduced sensitivity to the agonist in the dystrophic dy and mdx myotubes. but not in wild- type myotubes. The results suggest that alterations in nAChR function are associated with the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy in the dy mouse.

  13. The nicotine metabolite, cotinine, alters the assembly and trafficking of a subset of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Fox, Ashley M; Moonschi, Faruk H; Richards, Christopher I

    2015-10-01

    Exposure to nicotine alters the trafficking and assembly of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), leading to their up-regulation on the plasma membrane. Although the mechanism is not fully understood, nicotine-induced up-regulation is believed to contribute to nicotine addiction. The effect of cotinine, the primary metabolite of nicotine, on nAChR trafficking and assembly has not been extensively investigated. We utilize a pH-sensitive variant of GFP, super ecliptic pHluorin, to differentiate between intracellular nAChRs and those expressed on the plasma membrane to quantify changes resulting from cotinine and nicotine exposure. Similar to nicotine, exposure to cotinine increases the number of α4β2 receptors on the plasma membrane and causes a redistribution of intracellular receptors. In contrast to this, cotinine exposure down-regulates α6β2β3 receptors. We also used single molecule fluorescence studies to show that cotinine and nicotine both alter the assembly of α4β2 receptors to favor the high sensitivity (α4)2(β2)3 stoichiometry.

  14. The Nicotine Metabolite, Cotinine, Alters the Assembly and Trafficking of a Subset of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Ashley M.; Moonschi, Faruk H.; Richards, Christopher I.

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to nicotine alters the trafficking and assembly of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), leading to their up-regulation on the plasma membrane. Although the mechanism is not fully understood, nicotine-induced up-regulation is believed to contribute to nicotine addiction. The effect of cotinine, the primary metabolite of nicotine, on nAChR trafficking and assembly has not been extensively investigated. We utilize a pH-sensitive variant of GFP, super ecliptic pHluorin, to differentiate between intracellular nAChRs and those expressed on the plasma membrane to quantify changes resulting from cotinine and nicotine exposure. Similar to nicotine, exposure to cotinine increases the number of α4β2 receptors on the plasma membrane and causes a redistribution of intracellular receptors. In contrast to this, cotinine exposure down-regulates α6β2β3 receptors. We also used single molecule fluorescence studies to show that cotinine and nicotine both alter the assembly of α4β2 receptors to favor the high sensitivity (α4)2(β2)3 stoichiometry. PMID:26269589

  15. Targeting α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the enteric nervous system: a cholinergic agonist prevents gut barrier failure after severe burn injury.

    PubMed

    Costantini, Todd W; Krzyzaniak, Michael; Cheadle, Gerald A; Putnam, James G; Hageny, Ann-Marie; Lopez, Nicole; Eliceiri, Brian P; Bansal, Vishal; Coimbra, Raul

    2012-08-01

    We have previously shown that vagal nerve stimulation prevents intestinal barrier loss in a model of severe burn injury in which injury was associated with decreased expression and altered localization of intestinal tight junction proteins. α-7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α-7 nAchR) has been shown to be necessary for the vagus nerve to modulate the systemic inflammatory response, but the role of α-7 nAchR in mediating gut protection remained unknown. We hypothesized that α-7 nAchR would be present in the gastrointestinal tract and that treatment with a pharmacological agonist of α-7 nAchR would protect against burn-induced gut barrier injury. The effects of a pharmacological cholinergic agonist on gut barrier integrity were studied using an intraperitoneal injection of nicotine 30 minutes after injury. Intestinal barrier integrity was examined by measuring permeability to 4-kDa fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran and by examining changes in expression and localization of the intestinal tight junction proteins occludin and ZO-1. Nicotine injection after injury prevented burn-induced intestinal permeability and limited histological gut injury. Treatment with nicotine prevented decreased expression and altered localization of occludin and ZO-1, as seen in animals undergoing burn alone. Defining the interactions among the vagus nerve, the enteric nervous system, and the intestinal epithelium may lead to development of targeted therapeutics aimed at reducing gut barrier failure and intestinal inflammation after severe injury.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-06-15

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

  17. Infiltration of CCR2+Ly6Chigh Proinflammatory Monocytes and Neutrophils into the Central Nervous System Is Modulated by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in a Model of Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wei; St-Pierre, Stéphanie; Roy, Patrick; Morley, Barbara J.

    2016-01-01

    Myeloid cells, including proinflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, have important roles in the pathology of multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). These cells infiltrate the CNS in the early stages of disease development and contribute to the inflammatory response that is associated with symptom severity. It is thus crucial to identify and understand new mechanisms that can regulate the CNS infiltration of proinflammatory myeloid cells. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been increasingly studied for their immune-regulatory properties. In this study, we assessed the ability of nicotine, an nAChR ligand, to modulate proinflammatory myeloid cell numbers within the bone marrow, spleen, blood, and CNS of EAE mice. We found that nicotine significantly inhibits the infiltration of proinflammatory monocytes and neutrophils into the CNS at time points where these cells are known to play critical roles in disease pathology. In contrast, nicotine does not affect the expansion of other monocytes. We also show that nicotine exerts these effects by acting on α7 and α9 nAChR subtypes. Finally, mRNA transcript levels for CCL2 and CXCL2, chemokines involved in the chemotaxis of proinflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, respectively, are reduced in the brain of nicotine-treated EAE mice before the massive infiltration of these cells. Taken together, our data provide evidence that nAChRs can regulate proinflammatory cell infiltration into the CNS, which could be of significant value for the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders. PMID:26810225

  18. Structural determinants within residues 180-199 of the rodent. alpha. 5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit involved in. alpha. -bungarotoxin binding

    SciTech Connect

    McLane, K.E.; Xiadong Wu; Conti-Tronconi, B.M. )

    1991-11-05

    Synthetic peptides corresponding to sequence segments of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) {alpha} subunits have been used to identify regions that contribute to formation of the binding sites for cholinergic ligands. The authors have previously defined {alpha}-bungarotoxin ({alpha}-BTX) binding sequences between residues 180 and 199 of a putative rat neuronal nAChR {alpha} subunit, designated {alpha}5, and between residues 181 and 200 of the chick neuronal {alpha}7 and {alpha}8 subunits. These sequences are relatively divergent compared with the Torpedo and muscle nAChR {alpha}1 {alpha}-BTX binding sites, which indicates a serious limitation of predicting functional domains of proteins based on homology in general. Given the highly divergent nature of the {alpha}5 sequence, they were interested in determining the critical amino acid residues for {alpha}-BTX binding. In the present study, the effects of single amino acid substitutions of Gly or Ala for each residue of the rat {alpha}(180-199) sequence were tested, using a competition assay, in which peptides compete for {sup 125}I-{alpha}-BTX binding with native Torpedo nAChR. These results indicate that a disulfide bridge between the vicinal cysteines at positions 191 and 192 of the {alpha}5 sequence is not an absolute requirement for {alpha}-BTX binding activity.

  19. Modulation of AMPA receptor mediated current by nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in layer I neurons of rat prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Bo; Luo, Dong; Yang, Jie; Xu, Xiao-Yan; Zhu, Bing-Lin; Wang, Xue-Feng; Yan, Zhen; Chen, Guo-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Layer I neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) exhibit extensive synaptic connections with deep layer neurons, implying their important role in the neural circuit. Study demonstrates that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) increases excitatory neurotransmission in this layer. Here we found that nicotine selectively increased the amplitude of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated current and AMPA/NMDA ratio, while without effect on NMDA receptor-mediated current. The augmentation of AMPAR current by nicotine was inhibited by a selective α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) and intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA. In addition, nicotinic effect on mEPSC or paired-pulse ratio was also prevented by MLA. Moreover, an enhanced inward rectification of AMPAR current by nicotine suggested a functional role of calcium permeable and GluA1 containing AMPAR. Consistently, nicotine enhancement of AMPAR current was inhibited by a selective calcium-permeable AMPAR inhibitor IEM-1460. Finally, the intracellular inclusion of synthetic peptide designed to block GluA1 subunit of AMPAR at CAMKII, PKC or PKA phosphorylation site, as well as corresponding kinase inhibitor, blocked nicotinic augmentation of AMPA/NMDA ratio. These results have revealed that nicotine increases AMPAR current by modulating the phosphorylation state of GluA1 which is dependent on α7-nAChR and intracellular calcium. PMID:26370265

  20. Role of α7- and β4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the affective and somatic aspects of nicotine withdrawal: studies in knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Stoker, Astrid K; Olivier, Berend; Markou, Athina

    2012-05-01

    To assess which nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are involved in the aversive aspects of nicotine withdrawal, brain reward function and the somatic signs of nicotine withdrawal were assessed in mice that lack α7 and β4 nAChR subunits. Brain reward function was assessed with the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) procedure, in which elevations in ICSS thresholds reflect an anhedonic mood state. At 3-6 h of spontaneous nicotine/saline withdrawal, thresholds were elevated in nicotine-withdrawing α7(+/+) and β4(+/+), but not α7(-/-) or β4(-/-), mice compared with saline-withdrawing mice, indicating a delay in the onset of withdrawal in the knockout mice. From 8 to 100 h of withdrawal, thresholds in α7(+/+) and α7(-/-) mice were equally elevated, whereas thresholds in β4(+/+) and β4(-/-) mice returned to baseline levels. Somatic signs were attenuated in nicotine-withdrawing β4(-/-), but not α7(-/-), mice. Administration of a low dose of the nAChR antagonist mecamylamine induced threshold elevations in α7(-/-), but not α7(+/+), mice, whereas the highest dose tested only elevated thresholds in α7(+/+) mice. Mecamylamine-induced threshold elevations were similar in β4(-/-) and β4(+/+) mice. In conclusion, null mutation of the α7 and β4 nAChR subunits resulted in a delayed onset of the anhedonic aspects of the spontaneous nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Previous findings of attenuated somatic signs of nicotine withdrawal in β4(-/-), but not α7(-/-), mice were confirmed in the present study, indicating an important role for β4-containing nAChRs in the somatic signs of nicotine withdrawal. The mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal data suggest that compensatory adaptations may occur in constitutive α7(-/-) mice or that mecamylamine may interact with other receptors besides nAChRs in these mice. In summary, the present results indicate an important role for α7 and β4-containing nAChRs in the anhedonic or somatic signs of nicotine withdrawal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-24

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

  2. Differential expression of the beta4 neuronal nicotinic receptor subunit affects tolerance development and nicotinic binding sites following chronic nicotine treatment

    PubMed Central

    Meyers, Erin E.; Loetz, Esteban C.; Marks, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    The role of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) containing the β4 subunit in tolerance development and nicotinic binding site levels following chronic nicotine treatment was investigated. Mice differing in expression of the β4 nAChR subunit [wild-type (β4++), heterozygote (β4+−) and null mutant (β4−−)] were chronically treated for 10 days with nicotine (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 or 4.0 mg/kg/hr) by constant intravenous infusion. Chronic nicotine treatment elicited dose-dependent tolerance development. β4−− mice developed significantly more tolerance than either β4++ or β4+− mice which was most evident following treatment with 4.0 mg/kg/hr nicotine. Subsets of [125I]-epibatidine binding were measured in several brain regions. Deletion of the β4 subunit had little effect on initial levels of cytisine-sensitive [125I]-epibatidine binding (primarily α4β2-nAChR sites) or their response (generally increased binding) to chronic nicotine treatment. In contrast, β4 gene-dose-dependent decreases in expression 5IA-85380 resistant [125I]-epibatidine binding sites (primarily β4*-nAChR) were observed. While these β4*nAChR sites were generally resistant to regulation by chronic nicotine treatment, significant increases in binding were noted for habenula and hindbrain. Comparison of previously published tolerance development in β2−− mice (less tolerance) to that of β4−− mice (more tolerance) supports a differential role for these receptor subtypes in regulating tolerance following chronic nicotine treatment. PMID:25560939

  3. Early postnatal nicotine exposure disrupts the α2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated control of oriens-lacunosum moleculare cells during adolescence in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kang; Nakauchi, Sakura; Su, Hailing; Tanimoto, Saki; Sumikawa, Katumi

    2016-02-01

    Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and maternal nicotine exposure in animal models are associated with cognitive impairments in offspring. However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Oriens-lacunosum moleculare (OLM) cells expressing α2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are an important component of hippocampal circuitry, gating information flow and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region. Here we investigated whether early postnatal nicotine exposure alters the normal role of α2*-nAChR-expressing OLM cells during adolescence in rats. We found that early postnatal nicotine exposure significantly decreased not only the number of α2-mRNA-expressing interneurons in the stratum oriens/alveus, but also α2*-nAChR-mediated responses in OLM cells. These effects of nicotine were prevented by co-administration with the nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine, suggesting that nicotine-induced activation, but not desensitization, of nAChRs mediates the effects. α2*-nAChR-mediated depolarization of OLM cells normally triggers action potentials, causing an increase in spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in synaptically connected pyramidal cells. However, these α2*-nAChR-mediated effects were profoundly reduced after early postnatal nicotine exposure, suggesting altered control of CA1 circuits by α2*-nAChR-expressing OLM cells. Furthermore, these effects were associated with altered excitatory neural activity and LTP as well as the loss of normal α2*-nAChR-mediated control of excitatory neural activity and LTP. These findings suggest the altered function of α2*-nAChR-expressing OLM cells as an important target of further study for identifying the mechanisms underlying the cognitive impairment induced by maternal smoking during pregnancy.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Antagonizing amyloid-β/calcium-sensing receptor signaling in human astrocytes and neurons: a key to halt Alzheimer's disease progression?

    PubMed Central

    Dal Prà, Ilaria; Chiarini, Anna; Armato, Ubaldo

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes’ roles in late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) promotion are important, since they survive soluble or fibrillar amyloid-β peptides (Aβs) neurotoxic effects, undergo alterations of intracellular and intercellular Ca2+ signaling and gliotransmitters release via the Aβ/α7-nAChR (α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor) signaling, and overproduce/oversecrete newly synthesized Aβ42 oligomers, NO, and VEGF-A via the Aβ/CaSR (calcium-sensing receptor) signaling. Recently, it was suggested that the NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor) inhibitor nitromemantine would block the synapse-destroying effects of Aβ/α7-nAChR signaling. Yet, this and the progressive extracellular accrual and spreading of Aβ42 oligomers would be stopped well upstream by NPS 2143, an allosteric CaSR antagonist (calcilytic). PMID:25883618

  6. Nonaggressive and adapted social cognition is controlled by the interplay between noradrenergic and nicotinic receptor mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Coura, Renata S.; Cressant, Arnaud; Xia, Jing; de Chaumont, Fabrice; Olivo-Marin, Jean Christophe; Pelloux, Yann; Dalley, Jeffrey W.; Granon, Sylvie

    2013-01-01

    Social animals establish flexible behaviors and integrated decision-making processes to adapt to social environments. Such behaviors are impaired in all major neuropsychiatric disorders and depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC). We previously showed that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and norepinephrine (NE) in the PFC are necessary for mice to show adapted social cognition. Here, we investigated how the cholinergic and NE systems converge within the PFC to modulate social behavior. We used a social interaction task (SIT) in C57BL/6 mice and mice lacking β2*nAChRs (β2−/− mice), making use of dedicated software to analyze >20 social sequences and pinpoint social decisions. We performed specific PFC NE depletions before SIT and measured monoamines and acetylcholine (ACh) levels in limbic corticostriatal circuitry. After PFC-NE depletion, C57BL/6 mice exhibited impoverished and more rigid social behavior and were 6-fold more aggressive than sham-lesioned animals, whereas β2−/− mice showed unimpaired social behavior. Our biochemical measures suggest a critical involvement of DA in SIT. In addition, we show that the balance between basal levels of monoamines and of ACh modulates aggressiveness and this modulation requires functional β2*nAChRs. These findings demonstrate the critical interplay between prefrontal NE and nAChRs for the development of adapted and nonaggressive social cognition.—Coura, R. S., Cressant, A., Xia, J., de Chaumont, F., Olivo-Marin, J. C., Pelloux, Y., Dalley, J. W., Granon, S. Nonaggressive and adapted social cognition is controlled by the interplay between noradrenergic and nicotinic receptor mechanisms in the prefrontal cortex. PMID:23882123

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Acetylcholine Receptor (AChR) Clustering Is Regulated Both by Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β (GSK3β)-dependent Phosphorylation and the Level of CLIP-associated Protein 2 (CLASP2) Mediating the Capture of Microtubule Plus-ends*

    PubMed Central

    Basu, Sreya; Sladecek, Stefan; Pemble, Hayley; Wittmann, Torsten; Slotman, Johan A.; van Cappellen, Wiggert; Brenner, Hans-Rudolf; Galjart, Niels

    2014-01-01

    The postsynaptic apparatus of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) traps and anchors acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at high density at the synapse. We have previously shown that microtubule (MT) capture by CLASP2, a MT plus-end-tracking protein (+TIP), increases the size and receptor density of AChR clusters at the NMJ through the delivery of AChRs and that this is regulated by a pathway involving neuronal agrin and several postsynaptic kinases, including GSK3. Phosphorylation by GSK3 has been shown to cause CLASP2 dissociation from MT ends, and nine potential phosphorylation sites for GSK3 have been mapped on CLASP2. How CLASP2 phosphorylation regulates MT capture at the NMJ and how this controls the size of AChR clusters are not yet understood. To examine this, we used myotubes cultured on agrin patches that induce AChR clustering in a two-dimensional manner. We show that expression of a CLASP2 mutant, in which the nine GSK3 target serines are mutated to alanine (CLASP2–9XS/9XA) and are resistant to GSK3β-dependent phosphorylation, promotes MT capture at clusters and increases AChR cluster size, compared with myotubes that express similar levels of wild type CLASP2 or that are noninfected. Conversely, myotubes expressing a phosphomimetic form of CLASP2 (CLASP2–8XS/D) show enrichment of immobile mutant CLASP2 in clusters, but MT capture and AChR cluster size are reduced. Taken together, our data suggest that both GSK3β-dependent phosphorylation and the level of CLASP2 play a role in the maintenance of AChR cluster size through the regulated capture and release of MT plus-ends. PMID:25231989

  9. Involvement of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in gene expression of dopamine biosynthetic enzymes in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Serova, Lidia; Sabban, Esther L

    2002-12-01

    Brain dopaminergic systems are critical in mediating the physiological responses to nicotine. The effects of several concentrations of nicotine (0.08, 0.17, or 0.33 mg/kg body weight) and involvement of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in gene expression of key enzymes in dopamine biosynthesis were evaluated in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN), cell bodies of the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathways. Nicotine elicited a dose-dependent elevation of mRNA for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine biosynthesis in VTA and SN. The VTA was more sensitive to lower concentrations of nicotine with maximal response observed with the lowest dose of nicotine. Nicotine also elevated mRNA levels of GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH), rate limiting in biosynthesis of TH's essential cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin in both dopaminergic locations. The changes in TH and GTPCH mRNAs were correlated. Pretreatment with the alpha7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine prevented the nicotine-induced rise in TH or GTPCH mRNA in VTA and SN. Administration of alpha7 nAChR agonist 3-[2,4-dimethoxybenzilidene]anabaseine at 1 to 10 mg/kg or (E,E-3-(cinnamylidene)anabaseine at 0.3 to 1 mg/kg increased TH mRNA in VTA and SN, but not in peripheral catecholaminergic cells. Thus, agonists of alpha7 nAChRs have therapeutic potential for increasing TH gene expression in dopaminergic regions without some of nicotine's disadvantages, such as its harmful effects on the cardiovascular system. The findings indicate that nicotine may regulate dopamine biosynthesis by alterations in gene expression of TH and its cofactor. The alpha7 nAChRs are involved in mediating these effects of nicotine.

  10. Cognitive improvements in a mouse model with substituted 1,2,3-triazole agonists for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-19

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a recognized drug target for dementias of aging and certain developmental disorders. Two selective and potent α7-nAChR agonists, winnowed from a list of 43 compounds characterized in a companion article (DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00058), 5-((quinuclid-3-yl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)-1H-indole (IND8) and 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl-1,2,3-triazol-1-yl) quinuclidine (QND8), were evaluated for cognitive improvement in both short- and long-term memory. Tacrine, a centrally active acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, and PNU-282987, a congeneric α7 nAChR agonist, were employed as reference standards. Three behavioral tests, modified Y-maze, object recognition test (ORT), and water maze, were performed in scopolamine-induced amnesic mice. Intraperitoneal injection of these two compounds significantly improved the cognitive impairment in a modified Y-maze test (5 μmol/kg for IND8 and 10 μmol/kg for QND8), ORT (10 μmol/kg), and water maze test (25 μmol/kg). For delay induced memory deficit or natural memory loss in mice, IND8 and QND8 at 10 μmol/kg were able to enhance memory comparable to PNU-282987 when evaluated using ORT time delay model. Cognitive enhancement of IND8 and QND8 was mediated through α7-nAChRs as evidenced by its complete abolition after pretreatment with a selective α7-nAChR antagonist, methyllycaconitine. These data demonstrate that IND8 and QND8 and their congeners are potential candidates for treatment of cognitive disorders, and the substituted triazole series formed by cycloaddition of alkynes and azides warrant further preclinical optimization. PMID:25978789

  11. Cognitive improvements in a mouse model with substituted 1,2,3-triazole agonists for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-19

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a recognized drug target for dementias of aging and certain developmental disorders. Two selective and potent α7-nAChR agonists, winnowed from a list of 43 compounds characterized in a companion article (DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00058), 5-((quinuclid-3-yl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)-1H-indole (IND8) and 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl-1,2,3-triazol-1-yl) quinuclidine (QND8), were evaluated for cognitive improvement in both short- and long-term memory. Tacrine, a centrally active acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, and PNU-282987, a congeneric α7 nAChR agonist, were employed as reference standards. Three behavioral tests, modified Y-maze, object recognition test (ORT), and water maze, were performed in scopolamine-induced amnesic mice. Intraperitoneal injection of these two compounds significantly improved the cognitive impairment in a modified Y-maze test (5 μmol/kg for IND8 and 10 μmol/kg for QND8), ORT (10 μmol/kg), and water maze test (25 μmol/kg). For delay induced memory deficit or natural memory loss in mice, IND8 and QND8 at 10 μmol/kg were able to enhance memory comparable to PNU-282987 when evaluated using ORT time delay model. Cognitive enhancement of IND8 and QND8 was mediated through α7-nAChRs as evidenced by its complete abolition after pretreatment with a selective α7-nAChR antagonist, methyllycaconitine. These data demonstrate that IND8 and QND8 and their congeners are potential candidates for treatment of cognitive disorders, and the substituted triazole series formed by cycloaddition of alkynes and azides warrant further preclinical optimization.

  12. High-affinity α4β2 nicotinic receptors mediate the impairing effects of acute nicotine on contextual fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Holliday, Erica; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-02-01

    Previously, studies from our lab have shown that while acute nicotine administered prior to training and testing enhances contextual fear conditioning, acute nicotine injections prior to extinction sessions impair extinction of contextual fear. Although there is also strong evidence showing that the acute nicotine's enhancing effects on contextual fear conditioning require high-affinity α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), it is unknown which nAChR subtypes are involved in the acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction. In this study, we investigated the effects of acute nicotine administration on contextual fear extinction in knock-out (KO) mice lacking α4, β2 or α7 subtypes of nAChRs and their wild-type (WT) littermates. Both KO and WT mice were first trained and tested for contextual fear conditioning and received a daily contextual extinction session for 4 days. Subjects received intraperitoneal injections of nicotine (0.18 mg/kg) or saline 2-4 min prior to each extinction session. Our results showed that the mice that lack α4 and β2 subtypes of nAChRs showed normal contextual fear extinction but not the acute nicotine-induced impairment while the mice that lack the α7 subtype showed both normal contextual extinction and nicotine-induced impairment of contextual extinction. In addition, control experiments showed that acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction persisted when nicotine administration was ceased and repeated acute nicotine administrations alone did not induce freezing behavior in the absence of context-shock learning. These results clearly demonstrate that high-affinity α4β2 nAChRs are necessary for the effects of acute nicotine on contextual fear extinction.

  13. High-affinity α4β2 nicotinic receptors mediate the impairing effects of acute nicotine on contextual fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Holliday, Erica; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-02-01

    Previously, studies from our lab have shown that while acute nicotine administered prior to training and testing enhances contextual fear conditioning, acute nicotine injections prior to extinction sessions impair extinction of contextual fear. Although there is also strong evidence showing that the acute nicotine's enhancing effects on contextual fear conditioning require high-affinity α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), it is unknown which nAChR subtypes are involved in the acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction. In this study, we investigated the effects of acute nicotine administration on contextual fear extinction in knock-out (KO) mice lacking α4, β2 or α7 subtypes of nAChRs and their wild-type (WT) littermates. Both KO and WT mice were first trained and tested for contextual fear conditioning and received a daily contextual extinction session for 4 days. Subjects received intraperitoneal injections of nicotine (0.18 mg/kg) or saline 2-4 min prior to each extinction session. Our results showed that the mice that lack α4 and β2 subtypes of nAChRs showed normal contextual fear extinction but not the acute nicotine-induced impairment while the mice that lack the α7 subtype showed both normal contextual extinction and nicotine-induced impairment of contextual extinction. In addition, control experiments showed that acute nicotine-induced impairment of contextual fear extinction persisted when nicotine administration was ceased and repeated acute nicotine administrations alone did not induce freezing behavior in the absence of context-shock learning. These results clearly demonstrate that high-affinity α4β2 nAChRs are necessary for the effects of acute nicotine on contextual fear extinction. PMID:26688111

  14. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mutation conferring target-site resistance to imidacloprid in Nilaparvata lugens (brown planthopper).

    PubMed

    Liu, Zewen; Williamson, Martin S; Lansdell, Stuart J; Denholm, Ian; Han, Zhaojun; Millar, Neil S

    2005-06-14

    Neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid, are nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists with potent insecticidal activity. Since its introduction in the early 1990s, imidacloprid has become one of the most extensively used insecticides for both crop protection and animal health applications. As with other classes of insecticides, resistance to neonicotinoids is a significant threat and has been identified in several pest species, including the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, a major rice pest in many parts of Asia. In this study, radioligand binding experiments have been conducted with whole-body membranes prepared from imidacloprid-susceptible and imidacloprid-resistant strains of N. lugens. The results reveal a much higher level of [3H]imidacloprid-specific binding to the susceptible strain than to the resistant strain (16.7 +/- 1.0 and 0.34 +/- 0.21 fmol/mg of protein, respectively). With the aim of understanding the molecular basis of imidacloprid resistance, five nAChR subunits (Nlalpha1-Nlalpha4 and Nlbeta1) have been cloned from N. lugens.A comparison of nAChR subunit genes from imidacloprid-sensitive and imidacloprid-resistant populations has identified a single point mutation at a conserved position (Y151S) in two nAChR subunits, Nlalpha1 and Nlalpha3. A strong correlation between the frequency of the Y151S point mutation and the level of resistance to imidacloprid has been demonstrated by allele-specific PCR. By expression of hybrid nAChRs containing N. lugens alpha and rat beta2 subunits, evidence was obtained that demonstrates that mutation Y151S is responsible for a substantial reduction in specific [3H]imidacloprid binding. This study provides direct evidence for the occurrence of target-site resistance to a neonicotinoid insecticide. PMID:15937112

  15. In vivo chronic nicotine exposure differentially and reversibly affects upregulation and stoichiometry of α4β2 nicotinic receptors in cortex and thalamus.

    PubMed

    Fasoli, F; Moretti, M; Zoli, M; Pistillo, F; Crespi, A; Clementi, F; Mc Clure-Begley, T; Marks, M J; Gotti, C

    2016-09-01

    Studies with heterologous expression systems have shown that the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype can exist in two stoichiometries (with two [(α4)2(β2)3] or three [(α4)3(β2)2] copies of the α subunit in the receptor pentamer) which have different pharmacological and functional properties and are differently regulated by chronic nicotine treatment. However, the effects of nicotine treatment in vivo on native α4β2 nAChR stoichiometry are not well known. We investigated in C57BL/6 mice the in vivo effect of 14-day chronic nicotine treatment and subsequent withdrawal, on the subunit expression and β2/α4 subunit ratio of (3)H-epibatidine labeled α4β2*-nAChR in total homogenates of cortex and thalamus. We found that in basal conditions the ratio of the β2/α4 subunit in the cortex and thalamus is different indicating a higher proportion in receptors with (α4)2(β2)3 subunit stoichiometry in the thalamus. For cortex exposure to chronic nicotine elicited an increase in receptor density measured by (3)H-epibatidine binding, an increase in the α4 and β2 protein levels, and an increase in β2/α4 subunit ratio, that indicates an increased proportion of receptors with the (α4)2(β2)3 stoichiometry. For thalamus we did not find a significant increase in receptor density, α4 and β2 protein levels, or changes in β2/α4 subunit ratio. All the changes elicited by chronic nicotine in cortex were transient and returned to basal levels with an average half-life of 2.8 days following nicotine withdrawal. These data suggest that chronic nicotine exposure in vivo favors increased assembly of α4β2 nAChR containing three β2 subunits. A greater change in stoichiometry was observed for cortex (which has relatively low basal expression of (α4)2(β2)3 nAChR) than in thalamus (which has a relatively high basal expression of (α4)2(β2)3 nAChR).

  16. A component of Premarin® enhances multiple cognitive functions and influences nicotinic receptor expression

    PubMed Central

    Talboom, Joshua S.; Engler-Chiurazzi, Elizabeth B.; Whiteaker, Paul; Simard, Alain R.; Lukas, Ronald; Acosta, Jazmin I.; Prokai, Laszlo; Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A.

    2010-01-01

    In women, ovarian hormone loss at menopause has been related to cognitive decline, and some studies suggest that estrogen-containing hormone therapy (HT) can mitigate these effects. Recently, the Women’s Health Initiative study found that conjugated equine estrogens, the most commonly prescribed HT, do not benefit cognition. Isolated components of conjugated equine estrogens (tradename Premarin®) have been evaluated in vitro, with Δ8,9-dehydroestrone (Δ8E1) and equilin showing the strongest neuroprotective profiles. It has not been evaluated whether Δ8E1 or equilin impact cognition or the cholinergic system, which is affected by other estrogens and known to modulate cognition. Here, in middle-aged, ovariectomized rats, we evaluated the effects of Δ8E1 and equilin treatments on a cognitive battery and cholinergic nicotinic receptors (nAChR). Specifically, we used 125I-labeled epibatidine binding to assay the neuronal nicotinic receptor containing 4α and 2β subunits (α4β2-nAChR), since this nicotinic receptor subtype has been shown previously to be sensitive to other estrogens. Δ8E1 enhanced spatial working, recent and reference memory. Δ8E1 also decreased hippocampal and entorhinal cortex α4β2-nAChR expression, which was related to spatial reference memory performance. Equilin treatment did not affect spatial memory or rat α4β2-nAChR expression. Neither estrogen impacted 86Rb+ efflux, indicating lack of direct action on human α4β2 nAChR function. Both estrogens influenced vaginal smear profiles, uterine weights, and serum luteinizing hormone levels, analogous to classic estrogens. The findings indicate that specific isolated Premarin® components differ in their ability to affect cognition and nAChR expression. Taken with the works of others showing Δ8E1-induced benefits on several dimensions of health-related concerns associated with menopause, this identifies Δ8E1 as a new avenue to be investigated as a potential component of HT that may

  17. Effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on primate brain development and attempted amelioration with supplemental choline or vitamin C: neurotransmitter receptors, cell signaling and cell development biomarkers in fetal brain regions of rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Slotkin, Theodore A; Seidler, Frederic J; Qiao, Dan; Aldridge, Justin E; Tate, Charlotte A; Cousins, Mandy M; Proskocil, Becky J; Sekhon, Harmanjatinder S; Clark, Jennifer A; Lupo, Stacie L; Spindel, Eliot R

    2005-01-01

    Studies in developing rodents indicate that nicotine is a neuroteratogen that disrupts brain development by stimulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that control neural cell replication and differentiation. We administered nicotine to pregnant Rhesus monkeys from gestational day 30 through 160 by continuous infusion, achieving maternal plasma levels comparable to those in smokers (30 ng/ml). Fetal brain regions and peripheral tissues were examined for nAChR subtypes, other neurotransmitter receptors, and indices of cell signaling and cell damage. Nicotine evoked nAChR upregulation, but with distinct regional disparities indicative of selective stimulatory responses. Similarly, indices of cell loss (reduced DNA), cell size and neuritic outgrowth (protein/DNA and membrane/total protein ratios) were distinct for each region and did not necessarily follow the rank order of nAChR upregulation, suggesting the involvement of additional mechanisms such as oxidative stress. We then attempted to offset the adverse effects of nicotine with standard dietary supplements known to interact with nicotine. By itself, choline elicited nicotine-like actions commensurate with its promotion of cholinergic neurotransmission. When given in combination with nicotine, choline protected some regions from damage but worsened nicotine's effects in other regions. Similarly, Vitamin C supplementation had mixed effects, increasing nAChR responses while providing protection from cell damage in the caudate, the brain region most susceptible to oxidative stress. Our results indicate that nicotine elicits neurodevelopmental damage that is highly selective for different brain regions, and that dietary supplements ordinarily thought to be neuroprotectant may actually worsen some of the adverse effects of nicotine on the fetal brain.

  18. Effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on primate brain development and attempted amelioration with supplemental choline or vitamin C: neurotransmitter receptors, cell signaling and cell development biomarkers in fetal brain regions of rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Slotkin, Theodore A; Seidler, Frederic J; Qiao, Dan; Aldridge, Justin E; Tate, Charlotte A; Cousins, Mandy M; Proskocil, Becky J; Sekhon, Harmanjatinder S; Clark, Jennifer A; Lupo, Stacie L; Spindel, Eliot R

    2005-01-01

    Studies in developing rodents indicate that nicotine is a neuroteratogen that disrupts brain development by stimulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that control neural cell replication and differentiation. We administered nicotine to pregnant Rhesus monkeys from gestational day 30 through 160 by continuous infusion, achieving maternal plasma levels comparable to those in smokers (30 ng/ml). Fetal brain regions and peripheral tissues were examined for nAChR subtypes, other neurotransmitter receptors, and indices of cell signaling and cell damage. Nicotine evoked nAChR upregulation, but with distinct regional disparities indicative of selective stimulatory responses. Similarly, indices of cell loss (reduced DNA), cell size and neuritic outgrowth (protein/DNA and membrane/total protein ratios) were distinct for each region and did not necessarily follow the rank order of nAChR upregulation, suggesting the involvement of additional mechanisms such as oxidative stress. We then attempted to offset the adverse effects of nicotine with standard dietary supplements known to interact with nicotine. By itself, choline elicited nicotine-like actions commensurate with its promotion of cholinergic neurotransmission. When given in combination with nicotine, choline protected some regions from damage but worsened nicotine's effects in other regions. Similarly, Vitamin C supplementation had mixed effects, increasing nAChR responses while providing protection from cell damage in the caudate, the brain region most susceptible to oxidative stress. Our results indicate that nicotine elicits neurodevelopmental damage that is highly selective for different brain regions, and that dietary supplements ordinarily thought to be neuroprotectant may actually worsen some of the adverse effects of nicotine on the fetal brain. PMID:15316571

  19. Structure-activity studies with ring E analogues of methyllycaconitine. Synthesis and evaluation of enantiopure isomers of selective antagonist at the alpha3 nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Ismail, K A; Bergmeier, S C

    2002-06-01

    The four diastereomers 4a-d of methyllycaconitine (MLA) analogue 3 ( R =(CH(2))(3)Ph, R'=CH(3)) have been synthesized in enantiomerically pure form by coupling both (S)- and (R)-2-(methylsuccinimido)benzoic acid (5a and 5b) with both (S)- and (R)-3-hydroxymethyl-N-(3-phenyl) propylpiperidine (6a and 6b) using TBTU. These compounds were assayed for potency as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRs) antagonist. All the four diastereomers showed the same potency at both the alpha3 and alpha7 receptors as racemic compound 3. This indicates that the binding at nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAchRs) is probably non-stereospecific. PMID:12204473

  20. Activation of the recombinant human alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor significantly raises intracellular free calcium.

    PubMed

    Delbono, O; Gopalakrishnan, M; Renganathan, M; Monteggia, L M; Messi, M L; Sullivan, J P

    1997-01-01

    The alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype, unlike other neuronal nicotinic receptors, exhibits a relatively high permeability to Ca++ ions. Although Ca++ entry through this receptor subtype has been implicated in various Ca(++)-dependent processes in the central nervous system, little is known about how this receptor modulates mammalian intracellular Ca++ dynamics. Intracellular Ca++ responses evoked by activation of the human alpha 7 nAChRs stably expressed in HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells were studied. Inward current and intracellular Ca++ transients were recorded simultaneously in response to a fast drug application system. Current recordings under whole-cell voltage-clamp and fast ratiometric intracellular Ca++ imaging acquisition were synchronized to drug pulses. The mean peak [Ca++]i observed with 100 microM (-)-nicotine was 356 +/- 48 nM (n = 8). The magnitude of the intracellular Ca++ elevation corresponds to a 20% fractional current carried by Ca++ ions. The EC50 of the intracellular Ca++ responses for (-)-nicotine, (+/-)-epibatidine, 1,1 dimethyl-4-phenyl-piperazinium and acetylcholine were 51, 3.5, 75 and 108 microM, respectively. These EC50 values strongly correlate with those recorded for the cationic inward current through alpha 7 nAChR. alpha-Bungarotoxin, methyllcaconitine or extracellular Ca++ chelation ablated (-)-nicotine-evoked increase in intracellular Ca++ concentration. This study provides evidence that cation influx through the human alpha 7 nAChR is sufficient to mediate a significant, transient, rise in intracellular Ca++ concentration.

  1. Local application of drugs to study nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function in mouse brain slices.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-29

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

  2. Brain region specific modulation of ethanol-induced depression of GABAergic neurons in the brain reward system by the nicotine receptor antagonist mecamylamine.

    PubMed

    Adermark, Louise; Söderpalm, Bo; Burkhardt, John M

    2014-08-01

    The mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system are not fully understood, but increased extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (nAc) has been shown to involve nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Basal activity of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is under the influence of GABAergic neurotransmission, and the aim of this study was to characterize the involvement of nAChRs in mediating acute ethanol effects on GABAergic activity in subregions of the brain reward system. Multi-electrode in vivo recordings were made in the VTA and nAc of awake and behaving C57BL6/J mice receiving intraperitoneal injections of saline or ethanol (2.0 g/kg), combined with, or without, pre-injection of the non-competitive nAChR antagonist mecamylamine (1.0 mg/kg). Ethanol significantly decreased the activity of quinpirole-insensitive slow-spiking and fast-spiking units in both the VTA and the nAc as compared to saline injection. Pre-treatment with mecamylamine inhibited the rate-inhibiting properties of ethanol in the VTA, but not in the nAc. The data presented here show that ethanol depresses the activity of quinpirole-insensitive, putative GABAergic neurons, in the mesolimbic dopamine system of mice, and that nAChRs contribute to this modulation. This finding, taken together with previous microdialysis studies, supports an involvement of GABAergic neurons and nAChRs in ethanol's interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine system.

  3. Encenicline, an α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Partial Agonist, Reduces Immune Cell Infiltration in the Colon and Improves Experimental Colitis in Mice.

    PubMed

    Salaga, M; Blomster, L V; Piechota-Polańczyk, A; Zielińska, M; Jacenik, D; Cygankiewicz, A I; Krajewska, W M; Mikkelsen, J D; Fichna, Jakub

    2016-01-01

    The α7 pentamer nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a target in transduction of anti-inflammatory signals from the central nervous system to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory action of the novel α7 nAChR partial agonist encenicline and to determine the mechanism underlying its activity. Anti-inflammatory activity of encenicline was evaluated using trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)- and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced models of colitis. Macroscopic score, ulcer score, colon length and thickness, as well as myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were recorded. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to measure the infiltration of immune cells in the colon. Furthermore, we employed flow cytometry to determine the effect of encenicline on frequencies of FoxP3(+) and interleukin (IL)-17A(+) T cells in the mouse colon. Encenicline attenuated TNBS- and DSS-induced colitis in mice via α7 nAChRs, as indicated by significantly reduced macroscopic parameters and MPO activity. Treatment with encenicline significantly reduced the infiltration of macrophages, neutrophils, and B cells in the colon of TNBS-treated animals, as indicated by IHC. In the TNBS model encenicline reduced the frequency of FoxP3(+) IL-17A(+) T cells in the colon. In the DSS-model treatment encenicline increased the frequency of FoxP3(+) T cells and reduced IL-17A(+) T cells. Stimulation of α7 nAChR with partial agonist encenicline alleviates colitis via alteration of the number and/or activation status of the immune cells in the gut, emphasizing a potential role of α7 nAChRs as a target for anticolitic drugs. PMID:26462538

  4. Activation of α-7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Reduces Ischemic Stroke Injury through Reduction of Pro-Inflammatory Macrophages and Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Han, Zhenying; Shen, Fanxia; He, Yue; Degos, Vincent; Camus, Marine; Maze, Mervyn; Young, William L.; Su, Hua

    2014-01-01

    Activation of α-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α-7 nAchR) has a neuro-protective effect on ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. However, the underlying mechanism is not completely understood. We hypothesized that α-7 nAchR agonist protects brain injury after ischemic stroke through reduction of pro-inflammatory macrophages (M1) and oxidative stress. C57BL/6 mice were treated with PHA568487 (PHA, α-7 nAchR agonist), methyllycaconitine (MLA, nAchR antagonist), or saline immediately and 24 hours after permanent occlusion of the distal middle cerebral artery (pMCAO). Behavior test, lesion volume, CD68+, M1 (CD11b+/Iba1+) and M2 (CD206/Iba1+) microglia/macrophages, and phosphorylated p65 component of NF-kB in microglia/macrophages were quantified using histological stained sections. The expression of M1 and M2 marker genes, anti-oxidant genes and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase were quantified using real-time RT-PCR. Compared to the saline-treated mice, PHA mice had fewer behavior deficits 3 and 7 days after pMCAO, and smaller lesion volume, fewer CD68+ and M1 macrophages, and more M2 macrophages 3 and 14 days after pMCAO, whereas MLA's effects were mostly the opposite in several analyses. PHA increased anti-oxidant genes and NADPH oxidase expression associated with decreased phosphorylation of NF-kB p65 in microglia/macrophages. Thus, reduction of inflammatory response and oxidative stress play roles in α-7 nAchR neuro-protective effect. PMID:25157794

  5. A three amino acid deletion in the transmembrane domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α6 subunit confers high-level resistance to spinosad in Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Wang, Xingliang; Lansdell, Stuart J.; Zhang, Jianheng; Millar, Neil S.; Wu, Yidong

    2016-01-01

    Spinosad is a macrocyclic lactone insecticide that acts primarily at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) of target insects. Here we describe evidence that high levels of resistance to spinosad in the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) are associated with a three amino acid (3-aa) deletion in the fourth transmembrane domain (TM4) of the nAChR α6 subunit (Pxα6). Following laboratory selection with spinosad, the SZ-SpinR strain of P. xylostella exhibited 940-fold resistance to spinosad. In addition, the selected insect population had 1060-fold cross-resistance to spinetoram but, in contrast, no cross-resistance to abamectin was observed. Genetic analysis indicates that spinosad resistance in SZ-SpinR is inherited as a recessive and autosomal trait, and that the 3-aa deletion (IIA) in TM4 of Pxα6 is tightly linked to spinosad resistance. Because of well-established difficulties in functional expression of cloned insect nAChRs, the analogous resistance-associated deletion mutation was introduced into a prototype nAChR (the cloned human α7 subunit). Two-electrode voltage-clamp recording with wild-type and mutated nAChRs expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes indicated that the mutation causes a complete loss of agonist activation. In addition, radioligand binding studies indicated that the 3-aa deletion resulted in significantly lower-affinity binding of the extracellular neurotransmitter-binding site. These findings are consistent with the 3-amino acid (IIA) deletion within the transmembrane domain of Pxα6 being responsible for target-site resistance to spinosad in the SZ-SpinR strain of P. xylostella. PMID:26855198

  6. Role of α5-containing nicotinic receptors in neuropathic pain and response to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Xanthos, Dimitris N; Beiersdorf, Johannes W; Thrun, Ariane; Ianosi, Bogdan; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Huck, Sigismund; Scholze, Petra

    2015-08-01

    Nicotinic receptors in the central nervous system (nAChRs) are known to play important roles in pain processing and modulate behavioral responses to analgesic drugs, including nicotine. The presence of the α5-neuronal nicotinic accessory subunit in the nicotinic receptor complex is increasingly understood to modulate reward and aversive states, addiction, and possibly pathological pain. In the current study, using α5-knockout (KO) mice and subunit-specific antibodies, we assess the role of α5-containing neuronal nicotinic receptors in neuropathic pain and in the analgesic response to nicotine. After chronic constriction injury (CCI) or partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL), no differences in mechanical, heat, or cold hyperalgesia were found in wild-type (WT) versus α5-KO littermate mice. The number of α5-containing nAChRs was decreased (rather than increased) after CCI in the spinal cord and in the thalamus. Nevertheless, thermal analgesic response to nicotine was marginally reduced in CCI α5-KO mice at 4 days after CCI, but not at later timepoints or after PSNL. Interestingly, upon daily intermittent nicotine injections in unoperated mice, WT animals developed tolerance to nicotine-induced analgesia to a larger extent than α5-KO mice. Our results suggest that α5-containing nAChRs mediate analgesic tolerance to nicotine but do not play a major role in neuropathic pain.

  7. Nicotinic receptors in non-human primates: Analysis of genetic and functional conservation with humans.

    PubMed

    Shorey-Kendrick, Lyndsey E; Ford, Matthew M; Allen, Daicia C; Kuryatov, Alexander; Lindstrom, Jon; Wilhelm, Larry; Grant, Kathleen A; Spindel, Eliot R

    2015-09-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are highly conserved between humans and non-human primates. Conservation exists at the level of genomic structure, protein structure and epigenetics. Overall homology of nAChRs at the protein level is 98% in macaques versus 89% in mice, which is highly relevant for evaluating subtype-specific ligands that have different affinities in humans versus rodents. In addition to conservation at the protein level, there is high conservation of genomic structure in terms of intron and exon size and placement of CpG sites that play a key role in epigenetic regulation. Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) shows that while the majority of SNPs are not conserved between humans and macaques, some functional polymorphisms are. Most significantly, cynomolgus monkeys express a similar α5 nAChR Asp398Asn polymorphism to the human α5 Asp398Asn polymorphism that has been linked to greater nicotine addiction and smoking related disease. Monkeys can be trained to readily self-administer nicotine, and in an initial study we have demonstrated that cynomolgus monkeys bearing the α5 D398N polymorphism show a reduced behavioral sensitivity to oral nicotine and tend to consume it in a different pattern when compared to wild-type monkeys. Thus the combination of highly homologous nAChR, higher cortical functions and capacity for complex training makes non-human primates a unique model to study in vivo functions of nicotinic receptors. In particular, primate studies on nicotine addiction and evaluation of therapies to prevent or overcome nicotine addiction are likely to be highly predictive of treatment outcomes in humans. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25661700

  8. Differential rate responses to nicotine in rat heart: evidence for two classes of nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Ji, Susan; Tosaka, Toshimasa; Whitfield, Bernard H; Katchman, Alexander N; Kandil, Abdurrahman; Knollmann, Bjoern C; Ebert, Steven N

    2002-06-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are pentameric, typically being composed of two or more different subunits. To investigate which receptor subtypes are active in the heart, we initiated a series of experiments using an isolated perfused rat heart (Langendorff) preparation. Nicotine administration (100 microM) caused a brief decrease (-7 +/- 2%) followed by a much larger increase (17 +/- 5%) in heart rate that slowly returned to baseline within 10 to 15 min. The nicotine-induced decrease in heart rate could be abolished by an alpha7-specific antagonist, alpha-bungarotoxin (100 nM). In contrast, the nicotine-induced increase in heart rate persisted in the presence of alpha-bungarotoxin. These results suggest that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that mediate the initial decrease in heart rate probably contain alpha7 subunits, whereas those that mediate the increase in heart rate probably do not contain alpha7 subunits. To investigate which subunits may contribute to the nicotine-induced increase in heart rate, we repeated our experiments with cytisine, an agonist at nAChRs that contain beta4 subunits. The cytisine results were similar to those obtained with nicotine, thereby suggesting that the nAChRs on sympathetic nerve terminals in the heart probably contain beta4 subunits. Thus, the results of this study show that pharmacologically distinct nAChRs are responsible for the differential effects of nicotine on heart rate. More specifically, our results suggest that alpha7 subunits participate in the initial nicotine-induced heart rate decrease, whereas beta4 subunits help to mediate the subsequent nicotine-induced rise in heart rate.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Structurally Similar Allosteric Modulators of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Exhibit Five Distinct Pharmacological Effects*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is associated with the binding of agonists such as acetylcholine to an extracellular site that is located at the interface between two adjacent receptor subunits. More recently, there has been considerable interest in compounds, such as positive and negative allosteric modulators (PAMs and NAMs), that are able to modulate nAChR function by binding to distinct allosteric sites. Here we examined a series of compounds differing only in methyl substitution of a single aromatic ring. This series of compounds includes a previously described α7-selective allosteric agonist, cis-cis-4-p-tolyl-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-8-sulfonamide (4MP-TQS), together with all other possible combinations of methyl substitution at a phenyl ring (18 additional compounds). Studies conducted with this series of compounds have revealed five distinct pharmacological effects on α7 nAChRs. These five effects can be summarized as: 1) nondesensitizing activation (allosteric agonists), 2) potentiation associated with minimal effects on receptor desensitization (type I PAMs), 3) potentiation associated with reduced desensitization (type II PAMs), 4) noncompetitive antagonism (NAMs), and 5) compounds that have no effect on orthosteric agonist responses but block allosteric modulation (silent allosteric modulators (SAMs)). Several lines of experimental evidence are consistent with all of these compounds acting at a common, transmembrane allosteric site. Notably, all of these chemically similar compounds that have been classified as nondesensitizing allosteric agonists or as nondesensitizing (type II) PAMs are cis-cis-diastereoisomers, whereas all of the NAMs, SAMs, and type I PAMs are cis-trans-diastereoisomers. Our data illustrate the remarkable pharmacological diversity of allosteric modulators acting on nAChRs. PMID:25516597

  11. The effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on nicotinic receptors: Intracellular calcium increase, calpain/caspase 3 activation, and functional upregulation

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Rates, Sara; Camarasa, Jordi

    2010-05-01

    Previous work by our group demonstrated that homomeric alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) play a role in the neurotoxicity induced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), as well as the binding affinity of this drug to these receptors. Here we studied the effect of MDMA on the activation of nAChR subtypes, the consequent calcium mobilization, and calpain/caspase 3 activation because prolonged Ca{sup 2+} increase could contribute to cytotoxicity. As techniques, we used fluorimetry in Fluo-4-loaded PC12 cells and electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes. MDMA produced a rapid and sustained increase in calcium without reaching the maximum effect induced by ACh. It also concentration-dependently inhibited the response induced by ACh, nicotine, and the specific alpha7 agonist PNU 282987 with IC{sub 50} values in the low micromolar range. Similarly, MDMA induced inward currents in Xenopus oocytes transfected with human alpha7 but not with alpha4beta2 nAChR and inhibited ACh-induced currents in both receptors in a concentration-dependent manner. The calcium response was inhibited by methyllycaconitine (MLA) and alpha-bungarotoxin but not by dihydro-beta-erythroidine. These results therefore indicate that MDMA acts as a partial agonist on alpha7 nAChRs and as an antagonist on the heteromeric subtypes. Subsequently, calcium-induced Ca{sup 2+} release from the endoplasmic reticulum and entry through voltage-operated calcium channels are also implicated as proved using specific antagonists. In addition, treatment with MDMA for 24 h significantly increased basal Ca{sup 2+} levels and induced an increase in alpha-spectrin breakdown products, which indicates that calpain and caspase 3 were activated. These effects were inhibited by pretreatment with MLA. Moreover, pretreatment with MDMA induced functional upregulation of calcium responses to specific agonists of both heteromeric and alpha7 nAChR. Sustained calcium entry and calpain activation could favor the