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Sample records for neuronal nicotinic receptors

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

    PubMed

    Davis, Tiffany J; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    The identification of a genetically transmissible form of epilepsy that is associated with a mutation in CHRNA4, the gene that encodes the α4 subunit of the high-affinity nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, was the first demonstration that an alteration in a ligand-gated ion channel can cause seizures. Since then, nine mutations have been found, and analysis of their physiologic properties has revealed that all of them enhance receptor function. PMID:15309115

  3. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are modulated by zinc.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Gómez, Elizabeth; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2009-01-01

    It is known that zinc modulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here, we studied the effects of zinc on neuronal alpha4beta4 nAChRs, expressed in Xenopus oocytes and activated by nicotine. Membrane ion currents elicited by nicotine (10 nM to 100 microM) were enhanced by zinc (100 microM). Maximal zinc potentiation of the nicotine-activated current (2530%) occurred at 50 nM nicotine, and potentiation gradually decreased as the nicotine concentration increased. The EC(50) and IC(50) for the nicotine-activated current were 639 nM and 14.7 microM nicotine, respectively. Both parameters decreased in the presence of zinc to 160 nM and 4.6 microM, respectively, probably due to an increase of sensitivity of nAChRs for nicotine. We used different concentrations and durations of exposure to nicotine, due to desensitization of nAChRs directly depends on both these factors. With 500 nM nicotine and 20 min washing periods between nicotine applications, zinc potentiation remained constant, 901% for 2 min and 813% for 20 min of nicotine exposure. With continuous application of nicotine, zinc potentiation decreased as the time of nicotine exposure increased, 721% for 2 min and 254% for 48 min of nicotine exposure. Our results indicate that zinc-potentiating effects on alpha4beta4 nAChRs strongly depend on both concentration and time of exposure to nicotine, suggesting that zinc potentiation depends on the degree of desensitization.

  4. Nicotinic modulation of neuronal networks: from receptors to cognition.

    PubMed

    Mansvelder, Huibert D; van Aerde, Karlijn I; Couey, Jonathan J; Brussaard, Arjen B

    2006-03-01

    Nicotine affects many aspects of human cognition, including attention and memory. Activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in neuronal networks modulates activity and information processing during cognitive tasks, which can be observed in electroencephalograms (EEGs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. In this review, we will address aspects of nAChR functioning as well as synaptic and cellular modulation important for nicotinic impact on neuronal networks that ultimately underlie its effects on cognition. Although we will focus on general mechanisms, an emphasis will be put on attention behavior and nicotinic modulation of prefrontal cortex. In addition, we will discuss how nicotinic effects at the neuronal level could be related to its effects on the cognitive level through the study of electrical oscillations as observed in EEGs and brain slices. Very little is known about mechanisms of how nAChR activation leads to a modification of electrical oscillation frequencies in EEGs. The results of studies using pharmacological interventions and transgenic animals implicate some nAChR types in aspects of cognition, but neuronal mechanisms are only poorly understood. We are only beginning to understand how nAChR distribution in neuronal networks impacts network functioning. Unveiling receptor and neuronal mechanisms important for nicotinic modulation of cognition will be instrumental for treatments of human disorders in which cholinergic signaling have been implicated, such as schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and addiction.

  5. Progesterone Modulates a Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valera, S.; Ballivet, M.; Bertrand, D.

    1992-10-01

    The major brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is assembled from two subunits termed α 4 and nα 1. When expressed in Xenopus oocytes, these subunits reconstitute a functional acetylcholine receptor that is inhibited by progesterone levels similar to those found in serum. In this report, we show that the steroid interacts with a site located on the extracellular part of the protein, thus confirming that inhibition by progesterone is not due to a nonspecific perturbation of the membrane bilayer or to the activation of second messengers. Because inhibition by progesterone does not require the presence of agonist, is voltage-independent, and does not alter receptor desensitization, we conclude that the steroid is not an open channel blocker. In addition, we show that progesterone is not a competitive inhibitor but may interact with the acetylcholine binding site and that its effect is independent of the ionic permeability of the receptor.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Cholinergic neurons in the medial habenula (MHb) modulate anxiety during nicotine withdrawal although the molecular neuroadaptation(s) within the MHb that induce affective behaviors during nicotine cessation is largely unknown. MHb cholinergic neurons are unique in that they robustly express neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), although their behavioral role as autoreceptors in these neurons has not been described. To test the hypothesis that nAChR signaling in MHb cholinergic neurons could modulate anxiety, we expressed novel "gain of function" nAChR subunits selectively in MHb cholinergic neurons of adult mice. Mice expressing these mutant nAChRs exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior that was alleviated by blockade with a nAChR antagonist. To test the hypothesis that anxiety induced by nicotine withdrawal may be mediated by increased MHb nicotinic receptor signaling, we infused nAChR subtype selective antagonists into the MHb of nicotine naïve and withdrawn mice. While antagonists had little effect on nicotine naïve mice, blocking α4β2 or α6β2, but not α3β4 nAChRs in the MHb alleviated anxiety in mice undergoing nicotine withdrawal. Consistent with behavioral results, there was increased functional expression of nAChRs containing the α6 subunit in MHb neurons that also expressed the α4 subunit. Together, these data indicate that MHb cholinergic neurons regulate nicotine withdrawal-induced anxiety via increased signaling through nicotinic receptors containing the α6 subunit and point toward nAChRs in MHb cholinergic neurons as molecular targets for smoking cessation therapeutics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Shih, Pei-Yu; McIntosh, J. Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ungless, Mark A; Cragg, Stephanie J

    2006-06-15

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

  10. Nicotine is highly effective at producing desensitization of rat α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Paradiso, K G; Steinbach, Joe Henry

    2003-01-01

    We examined desensitization by acetylcholine (ACh) and nicotine at the rat α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptor stably expressed in HEK cells. For both agonists, the decay in response due to desensitization (‘onset’) was best fitted by the sum of two exponentials with the fast component dominant at concentrations > 1 μm. The time constants for onset were similar for both agonists, and showed little concentration dependence over the range of 0.1–100 μm. Recovery from desensitization also showed two exponential components. In contrast to the similarity in onset, nicotine produced longer lasting desensitization, resulting from an increase in the proportion of receptors in the slowly recovering population and from an increase in the time constant for the slow recovery process. The proportion of receptors in the slowly recovering population increased as the duration of the desensitizing pulse increased. Desensitization was also induced by low concentrations of agonist, with no apparent macroscopic response. A 100 s application of 10 nm nicotine desensitized 70 % of the peak response, while 100 s of 10 nm ACh desensitized only 15 %. At higher concentrations of agonist, which result in a macroscopic response, desensitization in the absence of activation also can occur. Nicotine is a very potent and efficacious desensitizing agent at this neuronal nicotinic receptor. PMID:14555718

  11. Neuronal nicotinic receptors as analgesic targets: it's a winding road.

    PubMed

    Umana, Iboro C; Daniele, Claire A; McGehee, Daniel S

    2013-10-15

    Along with their well known role in nicotine addiction and autonomic physiology, neuronal nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) also have profound analgesic effects in animal models and humans. This is not a new idea, even in the early 1500s, soon after tobacco was introduced to the new world, its proponents listed pain relief among the beneficial properties of smoking. In recent years, analgesics that target specific nAChR subtypes have shown highly efficacious antinociceptive properties in acute and chronic pain models. To date, the side effects of these drugs have precluded their advancement to the clinic. This review summarizes the recent efforts to identify novel analgesics that target nAChRs, and outlines some of the key neural substrates that contribute to these physiological effects. There remain many unanswered mechanistic questions in this field, and there are still compelling reasons to explore neuronal nAChRs as targets for the relief of pain.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Involvement of neuronal β2 subunit-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in nicotine reward and withdrawal: Implications for pharmacotherapies

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Steven J.; Gould, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY What is known and objective Tobacco smoking remains a major health problem. Nicotine binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which can cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of nicotine administration. Pharmacotherapies for nicotine addiction target brain alterations that underlie withdrawal symptoms. This review will delineate the involvement of the β2 subunit of neuronal nAChRs in nicotine reward and in generating withdrawal symptoms to better understand the efficacy of smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. Comment Chronic nicotine desensitizes and upregulates β2 subunit-containing nAChRs, and the prolonged upregulation of receptors may underlie symptoms of withdrawal. Experimental research has demonstrated that the β2 subunit of neuronal nAChRs is necessary for generating nicotine reward and withdrawal symptoms. What is new and conclusion Smoking cessation pharmacotherapies act on β2 subunit-containing nAChRs to reduce nicotine reward and withdrawal symptom severity. PMID:24828779

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Nicotine-induced upregulation of native neuronal nicotinic receptors is caused by multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Govind, Anitha P.; Walsh, Heather; Green, William N.

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine causes changes in brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) during smoking that initiate addiction. Nicotine-induced upregulation is the long-lasting increase in nAChR radio-ligand binding sites in brain resulting from exposure. The mechanisms causing upregulation are not established. Many different mechanisms have been reported with the assumption that there is a single, underlying cause. Using live cortical neurons, we examined for the first time how exposure and withdrawal of nicotine shape the kinetics of native α4β2-containing nAChR upregulation in real time. Upregulation kinetics demonstrate that at least two different mechanisms underlie this phenomenon. First, a transient upregulation occurs that rapidly reverses, faster than nAChR degradation, and corresponds to nAChR conformational changes as assayed by conformational-dependent, subunit-specific antibodies. Second, a long-lasting process occurs correlating with increases in nAChR numbers caused by decreased proteasomal subunit degradation. Previous radio-ligand binding measurements to brain tissue have measured the second process and largely missed the first. We conclude that nicotine-induced upregulation is composed of multiple processes occurring at different rates with different underlying causes. PMID:22323734

  17. Nicotine-induced upregulation of native neuronal nicotinic receptors is caused by multiple mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Govind, Anitha P; Walsh, Heather; Green, William N

    2012-02-08

    Nicotine causes changes in brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) during smoking that initiate addiction. Nicotine-induced upregulation is the long-lasting increase in nAChR radioligand binding sites in brain resulting from exposure. The mechanisms causing upregulation are not established. Many different mechanisms have been reported with the assumption that there is a single underlying cause. Using live rat cortical neurons, we examined for the first time how exposure and withdrawal of nicotine shape the kinetics of native α4β2-containing nAChR upregulation in real time. Upregulation kinetics demonstrates that at least two different mechanisms underlie this phenomenon. First, a transient upregulation occurs that rapidly reverses, faster than nAChR degradation, and corresponds to nAChR conformational changes as assayed by conformational-dependent, subunit-specific antibodies. Second, a long-lasting process occurs correlating with increases in nAChR numbers caused by decreased proteasomal subunit degradation. Previous radioligand binding measurements to brain tissue have measured the second process and largely missed the first. We conclude that nicotine-induced upregulation is composed of multiple processes occurring at different rates with different underlying causes.

  18. Neuronal nicotinic receptors as targets for novel analgesics.

    PubMed

    Vincler, Michelle

    2005-10-01

    The potential use of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists has been the subject of a number of recent reviews. Despite the promises of better things to come, few new compounds have been identified that circumvent the issues hindering the widespread use of the previously described nicotinic analgesics, mainly a narrow therapeutic window between analgesic efficacy and toxicity, and a lack of knowledge of native nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression. However, several recent developments have potentially opened new windows of opportunity in the use of nicotinic agents for analgesia. A small number of laboratories have reported that peripheral nerve injury alters the pharmacology of nicotinic receptors, resulting in a leftward shift of analgesic potency but not of toxicity. Another important development in the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain is the reliance of nerve injury-induced behavioural hypersensitivity on both peripheral and central neural immune interactions. Finally, the reported neuroprotective effects of nicotine following spinal cord injury may provide an opportunity for the development of selective nicotinic agonists that are capable of attenuating chronic pain. The current review will attempt to highlight these recent developments and outline key findings that demonstrate further opportunity for the development of nicotinic agonists as novel analgesics.

  19. Symposium overview: mechanism of action of nicotine on neuronal acetylcholine receptors, from molecule to behavior.

    PubMed

    Narahashi, T; Fenster, C P; Quick, M W; Lester, R A; Marszalec, W; Aistrup, G L; Sattelle, D B; Martin, B R; Levin, E D

    2000-10-01

    Nicotine has long been known to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors since Langley used it extensively to chart sympathetic ganglia a century ago. It has also been used as an effective insecticide. However, it was not until the 1990s that the significance of nicotine was increasingly recognized from the toxicological, pharmacological, and environmental points of view. This is partly because studies of neuronal nicotinic ACh receptors are rapidly emerging from orphan status, fueled by several lines of research. Since Alzheimer's disease is known to be associated with down-regulation of cholinergic activity in the brain, a variety of nicotine derivatives are being tested and developed for treatment of the disease. Public awareness of the adverse effects of nicotine has reached the highest level recently. Since insect resistance to insecticides is one of the most serious issues in the pest-control arena, it is an urgent requirement to develop new insecticides that act on target sites not shared by the existing insecticides. The neuronal nicotinic ACh receptor is one of them, and new nicotinoids are being developed. Thus, the time is ripe to discuss the mechanism of action of nicotine from a variety of angles, including the molecular, physiological, and behavioral points of view. This Symposium covered a wide area of nicotine studies: genetic, genomic, and functional aspects of nicotinic ACh receptors were studied, as related to anthelmintics and insecticides; interactions between ethanol and nicotine out the ACh receptor were analyzed, in an attempt to explain the well-known heavy drinker-heavy smoker correlation; the mechanisms that underlie the desensitization of ACh receptors were studied as related to nicotine action; selective pharmacological profiles of nicotine, and descriptions of some derivatives were described; and chronic nicotine infusion effects on memory were examined using animal models.

  20. Nicotinic receptor-mediated biphasic effect on neuronal excitability in chick lateral spiriform neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y-B; Guo, J-Z; Chiappinelli, V A

    2007-09-21

    Local neuronal circuits integrate synaptic information with different excitatory or inhibitory time windows. Here we report that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) leads to biphasic effects on excitability in chick lateral spiriform (SPL) neurons during whole cell recordings in brain slices. Carbachol (100 microM in the presence of 1 microM atropine) produced an initial short-term increase in the firing rates of SPL neurons (125+/-14% of control) that was mediated by postsynaptic nAChRs. However, after 3 min exposure to nicotinic agonists, the firing rate measured during an 800 ms depolarizing pulse declined to 19+/-7% (100 microM carbachol) or 26+/-8% (10 microM nicotine) of the control rate and remained decreased for 10-20 min after washout of the agonists. Similarly, after 60 s of electrically-stimulated release of endogenous acetylcholine (ACh) from cholinergic afferent fibers, there was a marked reduction (45+/-5% of control) in firing rates in SPL neurons. All of these effects were blocked by the nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (30 microM). The inhibitory effect was not observed in Ca(2+)-free buffer. The nAChR-mediated inhibition depended on active G-proteins in SPL neurons and was prevented by the GABA(B) receptor antagonist phaclofen (200 microM), while the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen (10 microM) decreased firing rate in SPL neurons to 13+/-1% of control. The inhibitory response thus appears to be due to a nAChR-mediated enhancement of presynaptic GABA release, which then activates postsynaptic GABA(B) receptors. In conclusion, activation of nAChRs in the SPL initiates a limited time window for an excitatory period, after which a prolonged inhibitory effect turns off this window. The prolonged inhibitory effect may serve to protect SPL neurons from excessive excitation.

  1. Nicotine enhances the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase-mediated phosphorylation of alpha4 subunits of neuronal nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Y N; Edwards, S C; Wecker, L

    1997-12-01

    Studies determined whether alpha4beta2 or alpha3beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes are substrates for cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and whether nicotine affects receptor phosphorylation. The cRNAs for the subunits were coinjected into oocytes, and cells were incubated for 24 h in the absence or presence of nicotine (50 nM for alpha4beta2 and 500 nM for alpha3beta2 receptors). Nicotine did not interfere with the isolation of the receptors. When receptors isolated from oocytes expressing alpha4beta2 receptors were incubated with [gamma-32P]ATP and the catalytic subunit of PKA, separated by electrophoresis, and visualized by autoradiography, a labeled phosphoprotein with the predicted molecular size of the alpha4 subunit was present. Phosphorylation of alpha4 subunits of alpha4beta2 receptors increased within the first 5 min of incubation with nicotine and persisted for 24 h. In contrast, receptors isolated from oocytes expressing alpha3beta2 receptors did not exhibit a labeled phosphoprotein corresponding to the size of the alpha3 subunit. Results suggest that the PKA-mediated phosphorylation of alpha4 and not alpha3 subunits may explain the differential inactivation by nicotine of these receptor subtypes expressed in oocytes.

  2. Effect of dextrometorphan and dextrorphan on nicotine and neuronal nicotinic receptors: in vitro and in vivo selectivity.

    PubMed

    Damaj, M I; Flood, P; Ho, K K; May, E L; Martin, B R

    2005-02-01

    The effects of dextrometorphan and its metabolite dextrorphan on nicotine-induced antinociception in two acute thermal pain assays after systematic administration were evaluated in mice and compared with that of mecamylamine. Dextrometorphan and dextrorphan were found to block nicotine's antinociception in the tail-flick and hot-plate tests with different potencies (dextrometorphan is 10 times more potent than its metabolite). This blockade was not due to antagonism of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors and/or interaction with opiate receptors, since selective drugs of these receptors failed to block nicotine's analgesic effects. Our results with the tail-flick and hot-plate tests showed an interesting in vivo functional selectivity for dextrometorphan over dextrorphan. In oocytes expressing various neuronal acetylcholine nicotinic receptors (nAChR), dextrometorphan and dextrorphan blocked nicotine activation of expressed alpha(3)beta(4), alpha(4)beta(2), and alpha(7) subtypes with a small degree of selectivity. However, the in vivo antagonistic potency of dextrometorphan and dextrorphan in the pain tests does not correlate well with their in vitro blockade potency at expressed nAChR subtypes. Furthermore, the apparent in vivo selectivity of dextrometorphan over dextrorphan is not related to its in vitro potency and does suggest the involvement of other mechanisms. In that respect, dextrometorphan seems to behave as another mecamylamine, a noncompetitive nicotinic receptor antagonist with a preferential activity to alpha(3)beta(4)(*) neuronal nAChR subtypes.

  3. Influence of subunit composition on desensitization of neuronal acetylcholine receptors at low concentrations of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Fenster, C P; Rains, M F; Noerager, B; Quick, M W; Lester, R A

    1997-08-01

    The influence of alpha and beta subunits on the properties of nicotine-induced activation and desensitization of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in Xenopus oocytes was examined. Receptors containing alpha4 subunits were more sensitive to activation by nicotine than alpha3-containing receptors. At low concentrations of nicotine, nAChRs containing beta2 subunits reached near-maximal desensitization more rapidly than beta4-containing receptors. The concentration of nicotine producing half-maximal desensitization was influenced by the particular alpha subunit expressed; similar to results for activation, alpha4-containing receptors were more sensitive to desensitizing levels of nicotine than alpha3-containing receptors. The alpha subunit also influenced the rate of recovery from desensitization; this rate was approximately inversely proportional to the apparent nicotine affinity for the desensitized state. The homomeric alpha7 receptor showed the lowest sensitivity to nicotine for both activation and desensitization; alpha7 nAChRs also demonstrated the fastest desensitization kinetics. These subunit-dependent properties remained in the presence of external calcium, although subtle, receptor subtype-specific effects on both the apparent affinities for activation and desensitization and the desensitization kinetics were noted. These data imply that the subunit composition of various nAChRs determines the degree to which receptors are desensitized and/or activated by tobacco-related levels of nicotine. The subtype-specific balance between receptor activation and desensitization should be considered important when the cellular and behavioral actions of nicotine are interpreted.

  4. Conditional Knockout of NMDA Receptors in Dopamine Neurons Prevents Nicotine-Conditioned Place Preference

    PubMed Central

    Phillip Wang, Lei; Li, Fei; Shen, Xiaoming; Tsien, Joe Z.

    2010-01-01

    Nicotine from smoking tobacco produces one of the most common forms of addictive behavior and has major societal and health consequences. It is known that nicotine triggers tobacco addiction by activating nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the midbrain dopaminergic reward system, primarily via the ventral tegmental area. Heterogeneity of cell populations in the region has made it difficult for pharmacology-based analyses to precisely assess the functional significance of glutamatergic inputs to dopamine neurons in nicotine addiction. By generating dopamine neuron-specific NR1 knockout mice using cre/loxP-mediated method, we demonstrate that genetic inactivation of the NMDA receptors in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons selectively prevents nicotine-conditioned place preference. Interestingly, the mutant mice exhibit normal performances in the conditioned place aversion induced by aversive air puffs. Therefore, this selective effect on addictive drug-induced reinforcement behavior suggests that NMDA receptors in the dopamine neurons are critical for the development of nicotine addiction. PMID:20062537

  5. Conditional knockout of NMDA receptors in dopamine neurons prevents nicotine-conditioned place preference.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei Phillip; Li, Fei; Shen, Xiaoming; Tsien, Joe Z

    2010-01-07

    Nicotine from smoking tobacco produces one of the most common forms of addictive behavior and has major societal and health consequences. It is known that nicotine triggers tobacco addiction by activating nicotine acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the midbrain dopaminergic reward system, primarily via the ventral tegmental area. Heterogeneity of cell populations in the region has made it difficult for pharmacology-based analyses to precisely assess the functional significance of glutamatergic inputs to dopamine neurons in nicotine addiction. By generating dopamine neuron-specific NR1 knockout mice using cre/loxP-mediated method, we demonstrate that genetic inactivation of the NMDA receptors in ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons selectively prevents nicotine-conditioned place preference. Interestingly, the mutant mice exhibit normal performances in the conditioned place aversion induced by aversive air puffs. Therefore, this selective effect on addictive drug-induced reinforcement behavior suggests that NMDA receptors in the dopamine neurons are critical for the development of nicotine addiction.

  6. Neuronal nicotinic receptor ligands modulate chronic nicotine-induced ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Sajja, Ravi K; Rahman, Shafiqur

    2012-07-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are commonly abused drugs in humans and evidence suggests that neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the midbrain dopamine system are common targets for the neurobehavioral interactions between alcohol (ethanol) and nicotine. The present study examined the efficacy of nAChR ligands with different pharmacological profiles such as cytisine, lobeline and dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) to modulate chronic nicotine-induced increase in ethanol intake by C57BL/6J mice, using a two-bottle choice procedure. After establishment of baseline ethanol preference (10%, v/v), animals received daily subcutaneous injections of saline, nicotine (0.4 mg/kg) or different doses of cytisine, lobeline or DHβE 15 min prior to nicotine, for 10 days. Ethanol and water were presented immediately after the last (saline or nicotine) injection and fluid levels were monitored for post 1 h and 2 h treatment. Compared to control, nicotine injection significantly increased mean ethanol intake over 10 days, at both post 1 h and 2 h. Pretreatment with cytisine (0.5, 1.5 or 3.0 mg/kg) or lobeline (4.0 or 10.0 mg/kg) significantly reduced nicotine-induced increase in ethanol intake post 1 h and 2 h, without affecting water consumption. DHβE (0.5 or 2.0 mg/kg) failed to suppress nicotine-induced ethanol intake across 2 h post injection. These results indicate that nAChRmediated signaling is critical in regulating nicotine-induced ethanol drinking behaviors.

  7. Erythrina mulungu Alkaloids Are Potent Inhibitors of Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor Currents in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Setti-Perdigão, Pedro; Serrano, Maria A. R.; Flausino, Otávio A.; Bolzani, Vanderlan S.; Guimarães, Marília Z. P.; Castro, Newton G.

    2013-01-01

    Crude extracts and three isolated alkaloids from Erythrina mulungu plants have shown anxiolytic effects in different animal models. We investigated whether these alkaloids could affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and if they are selective for different central nervous system (CNS) subtypes. Screening experiments were performed using a single concentration of the alkaloid co-applied with acetylcholine in whole cell patch-clamp recordings in three different cell models: (i) PC12 cells natively expressing α3* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; (ii) cultured hippocampal neurons natively expressing α7* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; and (iii) HEK 293 cells heterologoulsy expressing α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. For all three receptors, the percent inhibition of acetylcholine-activated currents by (+)-11á-hydroxyerysotrine was the lowest, whereas (+)-erythravine and (+)-11á-hydroxyerythravine inhibited the currents to a greater extent. For the latter two substances, we obtained concentration-response curves with a pre-application protocol for the α7* and α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The IC50 obtained with (+)-erythravine and (+)-11á-hydroxyerythravine were 6 µM and 5 µM for the α7* receptors, and 13 nM and 4 nM for the α4β2 receptors, respectively. Our data suggest that these Erythrina alkaloids may exert their behavioral effects through inhibition of CNS nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, particularly the α4β2 subtype. PMID:24349349

  8. Erythrina mulungu alkaloids are potent inhibitors of neuronal nicotinic receptor currents in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Setti-Perdigão, Pedro; Serrano, Maria A R; Flausino, Otávio A; Bolzani, Vanderlan S; Guimarães, Marília Z P; Castro, Newton G

    2013-01-01

    Crude extracts and three isolated alkaloids from Erythrina mulungu plants have shown anxiolytic effects in different animal models. We investigated whether these alkaloids could affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and if they are selective for different central nervous system (CNS) subtypes. Screening experiments were performed using a single concentration of the alkaloid co-applied with acetylcholine in whole cell patch-clamp recordings in three different cell models: (i) PC12 cells natively expressing α3* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; (ii) cultured hippocampal neurons natively expressing α7* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; and (iii) HEK 293 cells heterologoulsy expressing α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. For all three receptors, the percent inhibition of acetylcholine-activated currents by (+)-11á-hydroxyerysotrine was the lowest, whereas (+)-erythravine and (+)-11á-hydroxyerythravine inhibited the currents to a greater extent. For the latter two substances, we obtained concentration-response curves with a pre-application protocol for the α7* and α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The IC50 obtained with (+)-erythravine and (+)-11á-hydroxyerythravine were 6 µM and 5 µM for the α7* receptors, and 13 nM and 4 nM for the α4β2 receptors, respectively. Our data suggest that these Erythrina alkaloids may exert their behavioral effects through inhibition of CNS nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, particularly the α4β2 subtype.

  9. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Deflorio, Cristina; Blanchard, Stéphane; Carisì, Maria Carla; Bohl, Delphine; Maskos, Uwe

    2017-02-01

    Tobacco smoking is a public health problem, with ∼5 million deaths per year, representing a heavy burden for many countries. No effective therapeutic strategies are currently available for nicotine addiction, and it is therefore crucial to understand the etiological and pathophysiological factors contributing to this addiction. The neuronal α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit is critically involved in nicotine dependence. In particular, the human polymorphism α5D398N corresponds to the strongest correlation with nicotine dependence risk found to date in occidental populations, according to meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. To understand the specific contribution of this subunit in the context of nicotine addiction, an efficient screening system for native human nAChRs is needed. We have differentiated human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons and obtained a comprehensive characterization of these neurons by quantitative RT-PCR. The functional properties of nAChRs expressed in these human DA neurons, with or without the polymorphism in the α5 subunit, were studied with the patch-clamp electrophysiological technique. Our results in human DA neurons carrying the polymorphism in the α5 subunit showed an increase in EC50, indicating that, in the presence of the polymorphism, more nicotine or acetylcholine chloride is necessary to obtain the same effect. This human cell culturing system can now be used in drug discovery approaches to screen for compounds that interact specifically with human native and polymorphic nAChRs.-Deflorio, C., Blanchard, S., Carisì, M. C., Bohl, D., Maskos, U. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

  10. Direct muscarinic and nicotinic receptor-mediated excitation of rat medial vestibular nucleus neurons in vitro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phelan, K. D.; Gallagher, J. P.

    1992-01-01

    We have utilized intracellular recording techniques to investigate the cholinoceptivity of rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons in a submerged brain slice preparation. Exogenous application of the mixed cholinergic agonists, acetylcholine (ACh) or carbachol (CCh), produced predominantly membrane depolarization, induction of action potential firing, and decreased input resistance. Application of the selective muscarinic receptor agonist muscarine (MUSC), or the selective nicotinic receptor agonists nicotine (NIC) or 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium (DMPP) also produced membrane depolarizations. The MUSC-induced depolarization was accompanied by decreased conductance, while an increase in conductance appeared to underlie the NIC- and DMPP-induced depolarizations. The muscarinic and nicotinic receptor mediated depolarizations persisted in tetrodotoxin and/or low Ca2+/high Mg2+ containing media, suggesting direct postsynaptic receptor activation. The MUSC-induced depolarization could be reversibly blocked by the selective muscarinic-receptor antagonist, atropine, while the DMPP-induced depolarization could be reversibly suppressed by the selective ganglionic nicotinic-receptor antagonist, mecamylamine. Some neurons exhibited a transient membrane hyperpolarization during the depolarizing response to CCh or MUSC application. This transient inhibition could be reversibly blocked by the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) antagonist, bicuculline, suggesting that the underlying hyperpolarization results indirectly from the endogenous release of GABA acting at GABA receptors. This study confirms the cholinoceptivity of MVN neurons and establishes that individual MVN cells possess muscarinic as well as nicotinic receptors. The data provide support for a prominent role of cholinergic mechanisms in the direct and indirect regulation of the excitability of MVN neurons.

  11. Direct muscarinic and nicotinic receptor-mediated excitation of rat medial vestibular nucleus neurons in vitro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phelan, K. D.; Gallagher, J. P.

    1992-01-01

    We have utilized intracellular recording techniques to investigate the cholinoceptivity of rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons in a submerged brain slice preparation. Exogenous application of the mixed cholinergic agonists, acetylcholine (ACh) or carbachol (CCh), produced predominantly membrane depolarization, induction of action potential firing, and decreased input resistance. Application of the selective muscarinic receptor agonist muscarine (MUSC), or the selective nicotinic receptor agonists nicotine (NIC) or 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium (DMPP) also produced membrane depolarizations. The MUSC-induced depolarization was accompanied by decreased conductance, while an increase in conductance appeared to underlie the NIC- and DMPP-induced depolarizations. The muscarinic and nicotinic receptor mediated depolarizations persisted in tetrodotoxin and/or low Ca2+/high Mg2+ containing media, suggesting direct postsynaptic receptor activation. The MUSC-induced depolarization could be reversibly blocked by the selective muscarinic-receptor antagonist, atropine, while the DMPP-induced depolarization could be reversibly suppressed by the selective ganglionic nicotinic-receptor antagonist, mecamylamine. Some neurons exhibited a transient membrane hyperpolarization during the depolarizing response to CCh or MUSC application. This transient inhibition could be reversibly blocked by the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) antagonist, bicuculline, suggesting that the underlying hyperpolarization results indirectly from the endogenous release of GABA acting at GABA receptors. This study confirms the cholinoceptivity of MVN neurons and establishes that individual MVN cells possess muscarinic as well as nicotinic receptors. The data provide support for a prominent role of cholinergic mechanisms in the direct and indirect regulation of the excitability of MVN neurons.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Nicotine-induced up-regulation and desensitization of alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptors depend on subunit ratio.

    PubMed

    López-Hernández, Gretchen Y; Sánchez-Padilla, Javier; Ortiz-Acevedo, Alejandro; Lizardi-Ortiz, José; Salas-Vincenty, Janice; Rojas, Legier V; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2004-09-03

    Desensitization induced by chronic nicotine exposure has been hypothesized to trigger the up-regulation of the alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in the central nervous system. We studied the effect of acute and chronic nicotine exposure on the desensitization and up-regulation of different alpha4beta2 subunit ratios (1alpha:4beta, 2alpha:3beta, and 4alpha:1beta) expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The presence of alpha4 subunit in the oocyte plasmatic membrane increased linearly with the amount of alpha4 mRNA injected. nAChR function and expression were assessed during acute and after chronic nicotine exposure using a two-electrode voltage clamp and whole-mount immunofluorescence assay along with confocal imaging for the detection of the alpha4 subunit. The 2alpha4:3beta2 subunit ratio displayed the highest ACh sensitivity. Nicotine dose-response curves for the 1alpha4:4beta2 and 2alpha4:3beta2 subunit ratios displayed a biphasic behavior at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 300 microm. A biphasic curve for 4alpha4:1beta2 was obtained at nicotine concentrations higher than 300 microm. The 1alpha4:4beta2 subunit ratio exhibited the lowest ACh- and nicotine-induced macroscopic current, whereas 4alpha4:1beta2 presented the largest currents at all agonist concentrations tested. Desensitization by acute nicotine exposure was more evident as the ratio of beta2:alpha4 subunits increased. All three alpha4beta2 subunit ratios displayed a reduced state of activation after chronic nicotine exposure. Chronic nicotine-induced up-regulation was obvious only for the 2alpha4: 3beta2 subunit ratio. Our data suggest that the subunit ratio of alpha4beta2 determines the functional state of activation, desensitization, and up-regulation of this neuronal nAChR. We propose that independent structural sites regulate alpha4beta2 receptor activation and desensitization.

  15. Bispyridinium Compounds Inhibit Both Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Human Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Ring, Avi; Strom, Bjorn Oddvar; Turner, Simon R.; Timperley, Christopher M.; Bird, Michael; Green, A. Christopher; Chad, John E.; Worek, Franz; Tattersall, John E. H.

    2015-01-01

    Standard treatment of poisoning by organophosphorus anticholinesterases uses atropine to reduce the muscarinic effects of acetylcholine accumulation and oximes to reactivate acetylcholinesterase (the effectiveness of which depends on the specific anticholinesterase), but does not directly address the nicotinic effects of poisoning. Bispyridinium molecules which act as noncompetitive antagonists at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have been identified as promising compounds and one has been shown to improve survival following organophosphorus poisoning in guinea-pigs. Here, we have investigated the structural requirements for antagonism and compared inhibitory potency of these compounds at muscle and neuronal nicotinic receptors and acetylcholinesterase. A series of compounds was synthesised, in which the length of the polymethylene linker between the two pyridinium moieties was increased sequentially from one to ten carbon atoms. Their effects on nicotinic receptor-mediated calcium responses were tested in muscle-derived (CN21) and neuronal (SH-SY5Y) cells. Their ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity was tested using human erythrocyte ghosts. In both cell lines, the nicotinic response was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner and the inhibitory potency of the compounds increased with greater linker length between the two pyridinium moieties, as did their inhibitory potency for human acetylcholinesterase activity in vitro. These results demonstrate that bispyridinium compounds inhibit both neuronal and muscle nicotinic receptors and that their potency depends on the length of the hydrocarbon chain linking the two pyridinium moieties. Knowledge of structure-activity relationships will aid the optimisation of molecular structures for therapeutic use against the nicotinic effects of organophosphorus poisoning. PMID:26274808

  16. 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.

  17. Barium permeability of neuronal nicotinic receptor alpha 7 expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Sands, S B; Costa, A C; Patrick, J W

    1993-01-01

    The rat alpha 7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor was expressed and studied in Xenopus oocytes. The magnitude and reversal potential of instantaneous whole cell currents were examined in solutions containing varying concentrations of either calcium or barium, and in the presence or absence of the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA. In external barium, application of nicotine elicits an inwardly rectifying response; in calcium the response is larger and has a linear IV relation. Pretreatment of oocytes with BAPTA-AM could not prevent activation of calcium-dependent chloride channels in external Ringer containing calcium. Using an extended GHK equation, the permeability ratio PBa/PNa of the alpha 7 receptor was determined to be about 17. Our results suggest that alpha 7 nicotinic receptors are highly permeable to divalent cations. PMID:8312496

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-02

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

  19. Are neuronal nicotinic receptors a target for antiepileptic drug development? Studies in different seizure models in mice and rats.

    PubMed

    Löscher, Wolfgang; Potschka, Heidrun; Wlaź, Piotr; Danysz, Wojciech; Parsons, Christopher G

    2003-04-11

    Altered function of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain has recently been associated with an idiopathic form of partial epilepsy, suggesting that functional alterations of these receptors can be involved in the processes leading to epileptic seizures. Thus, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may form a novel target for antiepileptic drug development. In the present study, various nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists, including novel amino-alkyl-cyclohexane derivatives, were evaluated in two animal models, namely the maximal electroshock seizure test in mice and amygdala-kindling in rats. For comparison with these standard models of generalized and partial seizures, the effects against nicotine-induced seizures were examined. Because some of the agents tested showed an overlap between channel blocking at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and NMDA receptors, the potency at these receptors was assessed by using patch clamp in a hippocampal cell preparation. Preferential nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists were potent anticonvulsants in the maximal electroshock seizure test and against nicotine-induced seizures. The anticonvulsant potency in the maximal electroshock seizure test was decreased by administration of a subconvulsant dose of nicotine. Such a potency shift was also seen with selective NMDA receptor antagonists, which were also efficacious anticonvulsants against both maximal electroshock seizures and nicotine-induced seizures. Experiments with agents combining nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and NMDA receptor antagonistic effects suggested that both mechanisms contributed to the anticonvulsant effect of the respective agents in the maximal electroshock seizure test. This was not found in kindled rats, in which nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists exerted less robust effects. In conclusion, it may be suggested that nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonism might be a valuable therapeutic approach to treat

  20. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are important targets for alcohol reward and dependence.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jie; Gao, Ming; Taylor, Devin H

    2014-03-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are important targets for alcohol reward and dependence. Alcoholism is a serious public health problem and has been identified as the third major cause of preventable mortality in the world. Worldwide, about 2 billion people consume alcohol, with 76.3 million having diagnosable alcohol use disorders. Alcohol is currently responsible for the death of 4% of adults worldwide (about 2.5 million deaths each year), and this number will be significantly increased by 2020 unless effective action is taken. Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance by humans. Ethanol (EtOH) is the intoxicating agent in alcoholic drinks that can lead to abuse and dependence. Although it has been extensively studied, the mechanisms of alcohol reward and dependence are still poorly understood. The major reason is that, unlike other addictive drugs (eg, morphine, cocaine or nicotine) that have specific molecular targets, EtOH affects much wider neuronal functions. These functions include phospholipid membranes, various ion channels and receptors, synaptic and network functions, and intracellular signaling molecules. The major targets in the brain that mediate EtOH's effects remain unclear. This knowledge gap results in a therapeutic barrier in the treatment of alcoholism. Interestingly, alcohol and nicotine are often co-abused, which suggests that neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the molecular targets for nicotine, may also contribute to alcohol's abusive properties. Here, we briefly summarize recent lines of evidence showing how EtOH modulates nAChRs in the mesolimbic pathway, which provides a perspective that nAChRs are important targets mediating alcohol abuse.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Marine alkaloids (-)-pictamine and (-)-lepadin B block neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Tsuneki, Hiroshi; You, Yueren; Toyooka, Naoki; Sasaoka, Toshiyasu; Nemoto, Hideo; Dani, John A; Kimura, Ikuko

    2005-04-01

    Ascidians (sea squirts) contain a wealth of alkaloids, but their influence over neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has not been evaluated. In this study, we examined the effects of two synthetic compounds, (-)-pictamine, a quinolizidine alkaloid from Clavelina picta, and (-)-lepadin B, a decahydroquinoline alkaloid from Clavelina lepadiformis, on major types of neuronal nicotinic receptors (alpha4beta2 and alpha7) expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We found that these alkaloids are potent blockers at these receptors: acetylcholine-elicited currents through alpha4beta2 and alpha7 receptors were blocked by (-)-pictamine with IC(50) values of 1.5 microM and 1.3 microM, respectively, and by (-)-lepadin B with IC(50) values of 0.9 microM and 0.7 microM, respectively. Interestingly, no recovery was observed after the removal of (-)-pictamine in oocytes expressing alpha4beta2 receptors, whereas the inhibited alpha7 currents quickly recovered after the removal of (-)-pictamine. Since there are few compounds that elicit irreversible blocks of alpha4beta2 receptors, (-)-pictamine will be a novel, valuable tool to remove the alpha4beta2-nAChR action from neuronal activities mediated by these two major types of nAChRs.

  3. Inhibition of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by the abused solvent, toluene

    PubMed Central

    Bale, Ambuja S; Smothers, Corigan T; Woodward, John J

    2002-01-01

    Toluene is a representative example of a class of industrial solvents that are voluntarily inhaled as drugs of abuse. Previous data from this lab and others has shown that toluene modulates the function of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine receptors at concentrations that do not affect non-NMDA receptors. We utilized two-electrode voltage-clamp and whole cell patch-clamp techniques to assess the effects of toluene on neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in oocytes and cultured hippocampal neurons. Toluene (50 μM to 10 mM) produced a reversible, concentration-dependent inhibition of acetylcholine-induced current in Xenopus oocytes expressing various nicotinic receptor subtypes. The α4β2 and α3β2 subunit combinations were significantly more sensitive to toluene inhibition than the α4β4, α3β4 and α7 receptors. Receptors composed of α4 and β2(V253F) subunits showed α4β4-like toluene sensitivity while those containing α4 and β4(F255V) subunits showed α4β2-like sensitivity. In hippocampal neurons, toluene (50 μM to 10 mM) dose-dependently inhibited ACh-mediated responses with an IC50 of 1.1 mM. Taken together, these results suggest that nicotinic receptors, like NMDA receptors, show a subunit-dependent sensitivity to toluene and may represent an important site of action for some of the neurobehavioural effects of toluene. PMID:12237258

  4. Cortical parvalbumin and somatostatin GABA neurons express distinct endogenous modulators of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Demars, Michael P; Morishita, Hirofumi

    2014-10-31

    Inhibition from GABAergic interneurons in brain circuits is a critical component of cognitive function. This inhibition is regulated through a diverse network of neuromodulation. A number of recent studies suggest that one of the major regulators of interneuron function is nicotinic acetylcholinergic transmission and dysregulation of both systems is common in psychiatric conditions. However, how nicotinic modulation impacts specific subpopulations of diverse GABAergic interneurons remains in question. One potential way of conferring specificity to the convergence of GABAergic and nicotinic signaling is through the expression of a unique family of nicotinic acetycholine receptor modulators, the Lynx family. The present study sought to identify members of the Lynx family enriched in cortical interneurons and to elucidate subpopulations of GABAergic neurons that express unique nicotinic modulators. We utilize double fluorescence in situ hybridization to examine the interneuronal expression of the Lynx family in adult mouse visual cortex. We find that two of the Lynx family members, Lynx1 and Lypd6, are enriched in interneuron populations in cortex. Nearly all parvalbumin interneurons express Lynx1 but we did not detect Lypd6 in this population. Conversely, in somatostatin interneurons Lypd6 was found in a subset localized to deep cortical layers but no somatostatin neurons show detectable levels of Lynx1. Using a combination of genetic and viral manipulations we further show that a subpopulation of deep-layer cortico-cortical long-range somatostatin neurons also express Lypd6. This work shows that distinct subpopulations of GABAergic interneurons express unique Lynx family members. The pattern of expression of Lynx family members within interneurons places them in a unique position to potentially regulate the convergence of GABAergic and nicotinic systems, dysfunction of which are characteristic of psychiatric disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jayakar, Selwyn S.

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Neuronal nicotinic receptors as novel targets for inflammation and neuroprotection: mechanistic considerations and clinical relevance

    PubMed Central

    Bencherif, Merouane

    2009-01-01

    A number of studies have confirmed the potential for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (NNR)-mediated neuroprotection and, more recently, its anti-inflammatory effects. The mechanistic overlap between these pathways and the ubiquitous effects observed following diverse insults suggest that NNRs modulate fundamental pathways involved in cell survival. These results have wide-reaching implications for the design of experimental therapeutics that regulate inflammatory and anti-apoptotic responses through NNRs and represent an initial step toward understanding the benefits of novel therapeutic strategies for the management of central nervous system disorders that target neuronal survival and associated inflammatory processes. PMID:19498416

  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.

  9. Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors as Pharmacotherapeutic Targets for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, S.; Bartlett, S.E.

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are complex and developing effective treatments will require the combination of novel medications and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches. Epidemiological studies have shown there is a high correlation between alcohol consumption and tobacco use, and the prevalence of smoking in alcoholics is as high as 80% compared to about 30% for the general population. Both preclinical and clinical data provide evidence that nicotine administration increases alcohol intake and non-specific nicotinic receptor antagonists reduce alcohol-mediated behaviors. As nicotine interacts specifically with the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) system, this suggests that nAChRs play an important role in the behavioral effects of alcohol. In this review, we discuss the importance of nAChRs for the treatment of AUDs and argue that the use of FDA approved nAChR ligands, such as varenicline and mecamylamine, approved as smoking cessation aids may prove to be valuable treatments for AUDs. We also address the importance of combining effective medications with behavioral therapy for the treatment of alcohol dependent individuals. PMID:20201817

  10. Varenicline, a partial agonist at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, reduces nicotine-induced increases in 20% ethanol operant self-administration in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Bito-Onon, Jade J; Simms, Jeffrey A; Chatterjee, Susmita; Holgate, Joan; Bartlett, Selena E

    2011-07-01

    Alcohol and nicotine use disorders are often treated as separate diseases, despite evidence that approximately 80-90% of alcohol dependent individuals are also heavy smokers. Both nicotine and ethanol have been shown to interact with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), suggesting these receptors are a common biological target for the effects of nicotine and ethanol in the brain. There are few studies that have examined the effects of co-administered nicotine and ethanol on the activity of nAChRs in rodents. In the present study, we show that Sprague-Dawley rats, a strain often used for nicotine studies but not as often for voluntary ethanol intake studies, will consume 20% ethanol using both the intermittent-access two-bottle-choice and operant self-administration models without the need for sucrose fading. We show that nicotine (0.2 mg/kg and 0.8 mg/kg, s.c.) significantly increases operant 20% ethanol self-administration and varenicline (2 mg/kg, s.c), a partial agonist at nAChRs, significantly decreases operant ethanol self-administration and nicotine-induced increases in ethanol self-administration. This suggests that nAChRs play an important role in increasing ethanol self-administration and that varenicline may be an efficacious treatment for alcohol and nicotine co-dependencies.

  11. Varenicline, a Partial Agonist at Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors, Reduces Nicotine-Induced Increases in 20% Ethanol Operant Self-Administration in Sprague-Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Bito-Onon, Jade J.; Simms, Jeffrey A.; Chatterjee, Susmita; Holgate, Joan; Bartlett, Selena E.

    2010-01-01

    Alcohol and nicotine use disorders are often treated as separate diseases, despite evidence that approximately 80–90% of alcohol dependent individuals are also heavy smokers. Both nicotine and ethanol have been shown to interact with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), suggesting these receptors are a common biological target for the effects of nicotine and ethanol in the brain. There are few studies that have examined the effects of co-administered nicotine and ethanol on the activity of nAChRs in rodents. In the present study, we show that Sprague-Dawley rats, a strain often used for nicotine studies but not as often for voluntary ethanol intake studies, will consume 20% ethanol using both the intermittent-access two-bottle-choice and operant self-administration models without the need for sucrose fading. We show that nicotine (0.2mg/kg and 0.8mg/kg, s.c.) significantly increases operant 20% ethanol self-administration and varenicline (2mg/kg, s.c), a partial agonist at nAChRs, significantly decreases operant ethanol self-administration and nicotine-induced increases in ethanol self-administration. This suggests that nAChRs play an important role in increasing ethanol self-administration and that varenicline may be an efficacious treatment for alcohol and nicotine co-dependencies. PMID:21392178

  12. Differential inhibition of nicotine- and acetylcholine-evoked currents through alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptors by tobacco cembranoids in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Eaton, Misty J; Ospina, Claudia A; Rodríguez, Abimael D; Eterović, Vesna A

    2004-08-05

    In tobacco, there are two types of compounds that interact with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nnAChRs) in the brain. The first is the addictive component of tobacco and an agonist of these receptors, nicotine. The second are cyclic diterpenoids called cembranoids that non-competitively inhibit many types of nnAChRs. Nictotinic receptors composed of alpha4beta2 subunits are the predominant type of nicotinic receptors in the brain. These alpha4beta2 receptors are up-regulated upon chronic exposure to nicotine and have been implicated in nicotine addiction. The present study was designed to determine whether the inhibitory effects of two cembranoids from tobacco [(1S, 2E, 4R, 6R, 7E, 11E)-2,7,11-cembratriene-4,6-diol (4R) and its diastereoisomer (1S, 2E, 4S, 6R, 7E, 11E)-2,7,11-cembratriene-4,6-diol (4S)] were comparable on acetylcholine (ACh) and nicotine-evoked currents through alpha4beta2 nnAChRs. alpha4beta2 nnAChRs from rat brain were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. The dose-response curves for acetylcholine and nicotine were hyperbolic and bell-shaped, respectively. Although there was no difference in the potency between cembranoids 4R and 4S, both of these cembranoids more potently inhibited nicotine-induced currents than acetylcholine-induced currents. Furthermore, both cembranoids were more potent inhibitors of this receptor when they were preincubated for 1 min prior to application of agonist. The finding that cembranoids preferentially inhibit nicotine-induced currents over those elicited by the natural neurotransmitter acetylcholine may have important implications when developing strategies to prevent nicotine addiction and tobacco use.

  13. Neuronal nicotinic receptor agonists improve gait and balance in olivocerebellar ataxia.

    PubMed

    Wecker, L; Engberg, M E; Philpot, R M; Lambert, C S; Kang, C W; Antilla, J C; Bickford, P C; Hudson, C E; Zesiewicz, T A; Rowell, Peter P

    2013-10-01

    Clinical studies have reported that the nicotinic receptor agonist varenicline improves balance and coordination in patients with several types of ataxia, but confirmation in an animal model has not been demonstrated. This study investigated whether varenicline and nicotine could attenuate the ataxia induced in rats following destruction of the olivocerebellar pathway by the neurotoxin 3-acetylpyridine (3-AP). The administration of 3-AP (70 mg/kg followed by 300 mg niacinamide/kg; i.p.) led to an 85% loss of inferior olivary neurons within one week without evidence of recovery, and was accompanied by a 72% decrease in rotorod activity, a 3-fold increase in the time to traverse a stationary beam, a 19% decrease in velocity and 31% decrease in distance moved in the open field, and alterations in gait parameters, with a 19% increase in hindpaw stride width. The daily administration of nicotine (0.33 mg free base/kg) for one week improved rotorod performance by 50% and normalized the increased hindpaw stride width, effects that were prevented by the daily preadministration of the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (0.8 mg free base/kg). Varenicline (1 and 3 mg free base/kg daily) also improved rotorod performance by approximately 50% following one week of administration, and although it did not alter the time to traverse the beam, it did improve the ability to maintain balance on the beam. Neither varenicline nor nicotine, at doses that improved balance, affected impaired locomotor activity in the open field. Results provide evidence that nicotinic agonists are of benefit for alleviating some of the behavioral deficits in olivocerebellar ataxia and warrant further studies to elucidate the specific mechanism(s) involved. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor Agonists Improve Gait and Balance in Olivocerebellar Ataxia

    PubMed Central

    Wecker, L.; Engberg, M.E.; Philpot, R.M.; Lambert, C.S.; Kang, C.W.; Antilla, J.C.; Bickford, P.C.; Hudson, C. E.; Zesiewicz, T. A.; Rowell, Peter P.

    2013-01-01

    Clinical evidence indicates that the nicotinic receptor agonist varenicline improves axial symptoms in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, but pharmacological evidence in an animal model of olivocerebellar degeneration has not been demonstrated. This study investigated whether varenicline and nicotine were efficacious for attenuating ataxia in rats induced by chemical destruction of the olivocerebellar pathway. Rats were trained to maintain their balance on a rotating rod and walk across a stationary beam; rod and beam performance, locomotor activity, and gait were assessed prior to and after administration of the neurotoxin 3-acetylpyridine (3-AP). The administration of 3-AP led to an 85% loss of neurons in the inferior olive at one week after administration without evidence of recovery over the following 4 weeks. The lesion was accompanied by a 72% decrease in rotorod activity, a 3.1-fold increase in the time required to traverse a stationary beam, a 19% decrease in velocity and 31% decrease in distance moved in the open field, and alterations in both forepaw and hindpaw gait parameters, with a 19% increase in hindpaw stride width. The daily administration of nicotine (0.33 mg free base/kg) improved rotorod performance by 50%, an effect apparent following the first week of administration, and which did not improve further over time. Nicotine also normalized the increased hindpaw stride width induced by the lesion. The ability of nicotine to alleviate both rotorod and gait deficits induced by 3-AP were prevented by the administration of the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (0.8 mg free base/kg) prior to the daily administration of nicotine. The effects of varenicline were dose-related and doses of 1.0 and 3.0 mg free base/kg daily improved rotorod performance by approximately 50% following the first week of administration. Further, varenicline did not alter the time required for animals to traverse the stationary beam, but did improve the ability of rats

  15. Menthol Suppresses Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Functioning in Sensory Neurons via Allosteric Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Wilhelm, M.; Swandulla, D.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22281529

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1988-01-01

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

  17. Pharmacology of nicotinic receptor-mediated inhibition in rat dorsolateral septal neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Wong, L A; Gallagher, J P

    1991-01-01

    1. Intracellular electrophysiological techniques were employed to investigate the effects of nicotinic receptor stimulation on rat dorsolateral septal nucleus (DLSN) neurones in a submerged rat brain slice preparation. 2. Acetylcholine (in the presence of the muscarinic antagonist, atropine), nicotine or dimethylphenylpiperazinium (DMPP), applied either by pressure ejection or superfusion, produced predominantly a membrane potential hyperpolarization. 3. Following concentration-response comparisons, DMPP appeared to exhibit fewer desensitizing properties and greater efficacy than nicotine with half-maximal hyperpolarizing responses attainable at 3 and 10 microM, respectively. 4. Pharmacological analyses revealed that the agonist-induced membrane hyperpolarization was sensitive to antagonism by mecamylamine (50-100 microM) and neuronal bungarotoxin (0.2-0.3 microM), but not alpha-bungarotoxin (0.5-1.0 microM), curare (10-50 microM) or dihydro-beta-erythroidine (50-100 microM). 5. Hyperpolarizing responses to DMPP were found to reverse near the equilibrium potential for potassium and were sensitive to changes in extracellular potassium concentration as predicted by the Nernst equation. Under single-electrode voltage clamp, application of DMPP produced an outward current (75-100 pA) which approached reversal at around -88 mV. These findings indicated that the hyperpolarizing response to nicotinic receptor stimulation was mediated by changes in membrane permeability to potassium. 6. DMPP-induced membrane hyperpolarization resulted from a direct action on postsynaptic DLSN neurones since the response persisted under conditions of superfusion with calcium-free/high-magnesium media or tetrodotoxin; both conditions blocked orthodromically induced neurotransmission. The hyperpolarizing response remained unaltered in TTX but was diminished in calcium-free/high-magnesium media. Further studies revealed blockade of the DMPP response following intracellular injection of EGTA

  18. 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

    2015-08-07

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-03-20

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

  20. Autoradiographic localization of putative nicotinic receptors in the rat brain using sup 125 I-neuronal bungarotoxin

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, D.W.; Loring, R.H.; Aizenman, E.; Zigmond, R.E. )

    1991-01-01

    Neuronal bungarotoxin (NBT), a snake venom neurotoxin, selectively blocks nicotinic receptors in many peripheral and central neuronal preparations. alpha-Bungarotoxin (alpha BT), on the other hand, a second toxin isolated from the venom of the same snake, is an ineffective nicotinic antagonist in most vertebrate neuronal preparations studied thus far. To examine central nicotinic receptors recognized by NBT, we have characterized the binding of 125I-labeled NBT (125I-NBT) to rat brain membranes and have mapped the distribution of 125I-NBT binding in brain sections using quantitative light microscopic autoradiography. The binding of 125I-NBT was found to be saturable, of high affinity, and heterogeneously distributed in the brain. Pharmacological studies suggested that more than one population of sites is labeled by 125I-NBT. For example, one component of 125I-NBT binding was also recognized by alpha BT, while a second component, not recognized by alpha BT, was recognized by the nicotinic agonist nicotine. The highest densities of these alpha BT-insensitive, nicotine-sensitive sites were found in the fasciculus retroflexus, the lateral geniculate nucleus, the medial terminal nucleus of the accessory optic tract, and the olivary pretectal nucleus. alpha BT-sensitive NBT binding sites were found in highest density in the lateral geniculate nucleus, the subthalamic nucleus, the dorsal tegmental nucleus, and the medial mammillary nucleus (lateral part). The number of brain regions with a high density of 125I-NBT binding sites, blocked either by alpha BT or by nicotine, is low when compared with results obtained using other approaches to studying the central distribution of nicotinic receptors, such as labeling with 3H-nicotine or labeling with cDNA probes to mRNAs coding for putative receptor subunits.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Alterations of cortical pyramidal neurons in mice lacking high-affinity nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ballesteros-Yáñez, Inmaculada; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Bourgeois, Jean-Pierre; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; DeFelipe, Javier

    2010-01-01

    The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are allosteric membrane proteins involved in multiple cognitive processes, including attention, learning, and memory. The most abundant form of heterooligomeric nAChRs in the brain contains the β2- and α4- subunits and binds nicotinic agonists with high affinity. In the present study, we investigated in the mouse the consequences of the deletion of one of the nAChR components: the β2-subunit (β2−/−) on the microanatomy of cortical pyramidal cells. Using an intracellular injection method, complete basal dendritic arbors of 650 layer III pyramidal neurons were sampled from seven cortical fields, including primary sensory, motor, and associational areas, in both β2−/− and WT animals. We observed that the pyramidal cell phenotype shows significant quantitative differences among different cortical areas in mutant and WT mice. In WT mice, the density of dendritic spines was rather similar in all cortical fields, except in the prelimbic/infralimbic cortex, where it was significantly higher. In the absence of the β2-subunit, the most significant reduction in the density of spines took place in this high-order associational field. Our data suggest that the β2-subunit is involved in the dendritic morphogenesis of pyramidal neurons and, in particular, in the circuits that contribute to the high-order functional connectivity of the cerebral cortex. PMID:20534523

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Some properties of human neuronal alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors fused to the green fluorescent protein.

    PubMed

    Palma, Eleonora; Mileo, Anna M; Martinez-Torres, Ataulfo; Eusebi, Fabrizio; Miledi, Ricardo

    2002-03-19

    The functional properties and cellular localization of the human neuronal alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine (AcCho) receptor (alpha7 AcChoR) and its L248T mutated (mut) form were investigated by expressing them alone or as gene fusions with the enhanced version of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Xenopus oocytes injected with wild-type (wt), mutalpha7, or the chimeric subunit cDNAs expressed receptors that gated membrane currents when exposed to AcCho. As already known, AcCho currents generated by wtalpha7 receptors decay much faster than those elicited by the mutalpha7 receptors. Unexpectedly, the fusion of GFP to the wt and mutated alpha7 receptors led to opposite results: the AcCho-current decay of the wt receptors became slower, whereas that of the mutated receptors was accelerated. Furthermore, repetitive applications of AcCho led to a considerable "run-down" of the AcCho currents generated by mutalpha7-GFP receptors, whereas those of the wtalpha7-GFP receptors remained stable or increased in amplitude. The AcCho-current run-down of mutalpha7-GFP oocytes was accompanied by a marked decrease of alpha-bungarotoxin binding activity. Fluorescence, caused by the chimeric receptors expressed, was seen over the whole oocyte surface but was more intense and abundant in the animal hemisphere, whereas it was much weaker in the vegetal hemisphere. We conclude that fusion of GFP to wtalpha7 and mutalpha7 receptors provides powerful tools to study the distribution and function of alpha7 receptors. We also conclude that fused genes do not necessarily recapitulate all of the properties of the original receptors. This fact must be borne close in mind whenever reporter genes are attached to proteins.

  6. Some properties of human neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors fused to the green fluorescent protein

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Eleonora; Mileo, Anna M.; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo; Eusebi, Fabrizio; Miledi, Ricardo

    2002-01-01

    The functional properties and cellular localization of the human neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine (AcCho) receptor (α7 AcChoR) and its L248T mutated (mut) form were investigated by expressing them alone or as gene fusions with the enhanced version of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Xenopus oocytes injected with wild-type (wt), mutα7, or the chimeric subunit cDNAs expressed receptors that gated membrane currents when exposed to AcCho. As already known, AcCho currents generated by wtα7 receptors decay much faster than those elicited by the mutα7 receptors. Unexpectedly, the fusion of GFP to the wt and mutated α7 receptors led to opposite results: the AcCho-current decay of the wt receptors became slower, whereas that of the mutated receptors was accelerated. Furthermore, repetitive applications of AcCho led to a considerable “run-down” of the AcCho currents generated by mutα7-GFP receptors, whereas those of the wtα7-GFP receptors remained stable or increased in amplitude. The AcCho-current run-down of mutα7-GFP oocytes was accompanied by a marked decrease of α-bungarotoxin binding activity. Fluorescence, caused by the chimeric receptors expressed, was seen over the whole oocyte surface but was more intense and abundant in the animal hemisphere, whereas it was much weaker in the vegetal hemisphere. We conclude that fusion of GFP to wtα7 and mutα7 receptors provides powerful tools to study the distribution and function of α7 receptors. We also conclude that fused genes do not necessarily recapitulate all of the properties of the original receptors. This fact must be borne close in mind whenever reporter genes are attached to proteins. PMID:11891308

  7. Antagonist pharmacology of desensitizing and non-desensitizing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in cockroach neurons.

    PubMed

    Salgado, Vincent L

    2016-09-01

    Two α-bungarotoxin-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor subtypes in neurons of the American cockroach have been identified as desensitizing (nAChD) and selectively inhibitable with 100nM imidacloprid, and non-desensitizing (nAChN) and selectively inhibitable with 100pM methyllycaconitine. In this paper, the single-electrode voltage-clamp technique was used to measure concentration-response relations for the action of ACh and five antagonists on pharmacologically separated nAChD and nAChN receptors of acutely dissociated neurons from thoracic ganglia of the American cockroach. A dual bath and U-tube perfusion system was used to achieve rapid application of ACh in the continued presence of antagonists, which was essential to accurately measure inhibition by rapidly-reversible antagonists. ACh activated both receptors with an EC50 of 7μM and the antagonist potencies were (nAChD/nAChN in nM): dihydro-β-erythroidine: 1.0/5.6, d-tubocurarine: 1000/34, condelphine: 0.39/0.65, phencyclidine: 74/980 and mecamylamine 47/1150. While each of these antagonists displayed some subtype selectivity, none are selective enough to be used as subtype-selective tools. These results bring to a total of 16 the number of nicotinic compounds that have been measured on nAChD and nAChN currents. Characterization of these receptors is important for understanding the role of nAChRs in the insect nervous system and the mechanism of action of insecticides.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-02-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. NEURONAL NICOTINIC RECEPTOR AGONISTS FOR THE TREATMENT OF ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER: FOCUS ON COGNITION

    PubMed Central

    Wilens, Timothy E.; Decker, Michael W.

    2010-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder in children and adolescents, and in about half of these patients, significant symptomology continues into adulthood. Although impulsivity and hyperactivity are the most salient features of ADHD, cognitive deficits, particularly impairments in attention and executive function, are an important component, particularly in adolescents and adults, with over 90% of adults seeking treatment for ADHD manifesting cognitive dysfunction. Currently available medications treat the core ADHD symptoms but typically do not adequately address cognitive aspects of ADHD, underscoring the need for new therapeutics. Dopamine and norepinephrine are hypothesized to be particularly important in ADHD, but there is emerging evidence that cholinergic neurotransmission, particularly involving neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), may play a role in the pathophysiology of ADHD. Nicotine has demonstrated procognitive effects in both humans and experimental animals and has produced signals of efficacy in small proof-of-concept adult ADHD trials. Although adverse effects associated with nicotine preclude its development as a therapeutic, a number of novel nAChR agonists with improved safety/tolerability profiles have been discovered. Of these, ABT-418 and ABT-089 have both demonstrated signals of efficacy in adults with ADHD. Notably, tolerability issues that might be expected of a nAChR agonist, such as nausea and emesis, were not observed at efficacious doses of ABT-089. Further understanding of the effects of novel neuronal nAChR agonists on specific aspects of cognitive functioning in ADHD is required to assess the full potential of this approach. PMID:17689498

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-09-01

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

  12. Potentiation of nicotinic receptor response by external calcium in rat central neurons.

    PubMed

    Mulle, C; Léna, C; Changeux, J P

    1992-05-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) responses of rat medial habenular neurons are potentiated up to 3.5-fold by increasing the concentration of external Ca2+ in the millimolar range. This effect, independent of voltage, is probably due to the binding of Ca2+ to an external site. External Ca2+ decreases nAChR single-channel conductance at negative but not positive potentials, and it markedly enhances the frequency of opening of acetylcholine activated channels. The potentiating effect of Ca2+ is mimicked by Ba2+ and Sr2+, but barely by Mg2+. These data support the existence of positively acting allosteric sites for Ca2+, distinct from those involved in the decrease of single-channel conductance. A model in which external Ca2+ changes the properties of activation of the nAChR appears consistent with these data.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-03-01

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

  14. Neuronal nicotinic receptors: a perspective on two decades of drug discovery research.

    PubMed

    Arneric, Stephen P; Holladay, Mark; Williams, Michael

    2007-10-15

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been a target for drug discovery efforts, primarily for CNS indications, for the past two decades. While nicotine and related natural products have been used for smoking cessation in various formulations (e.g., gum, spray, patches), it was only in 2006 with the launch of varenicline (Chantix) by Pfizer for smoking cessation that a new chemical entity (NCE) originating from a rational medicinal chemistry effort targeting neuronal AChRs was approved. The current overview outlines the chronology of drug discovery efforts in nAChRs from the cloning of the receptor family in the 1980s, to initial research efforts at SIBIA, R.J. Reynolds and Abbott, to the current industry-wide interest in nAChR agonists as novel therapeutics for pain, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease. Key events in the evolution of the nAChR field were the development of high throughput electrophysiological screening tools that provided the means to enable lead optimization efforts in medicinal chemistry and the discovery by John Daly at the NIH of the frog alkaloid, epibatidine, that provided the framework for the discovery of ABT-594, an alpha4beta2 agonist that is 200 times more potent than morphine as an analgesic. Over the next decade, it is anticipated that additional NCEs including antagonists and allosteric modulators (both positive and negative), interacting with various nAChR subtypes, will be advanced to the clinic in areas of high unmet medical need, e.g., pain, neurodegeneration, to provide novel medications with improved efficacy.

  15. Cell-Autonomous Inhibition of α7-Containing Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Prevents Death of Parasympathetic Neurons during Development

    PubMed Central

    Hruska, Martin; Nishi, Rae

    2010-01-01

    Neurotrophic molecules are key retrograde influences of cell survival in the developing nervous system, but other influences such as activity are also emerging as important factors. In the avian ciliary ganglion, half the neurons are eliminated between embryonic day 8 (E8) and E14, but it is not known how cell death is initiated. Because systemic application of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonists prevents this cell loss, we examined differences in receptor densities and responses of intracellular calcium to nicotine using the calcium-sensitive dye fura-2. In addition, we determined whether cell-autonomous inhibition of α7 activation in neurons prevented cell death. E8 neurons are heterogeneous with respect to α7-nAChR density, which leads to large increases in [Ca2+]i in some neurons; E8 neurons also exhibit a slower rate of Ca2+decay after nicotinic stimulation than E13 neurons. Expressing α-bungarotoxin that is tethered to the membrane by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage (GPIαbtx) in ciliary ganglion neurons with the retroviral vector RCASBP(A) blocks increases in intracellular calcium induced by nicotine through α7-nAChRs and prevents neurons from dying. Expression of GPIαbtx in surrounding non-neural tissues, but not in neurons, does not prevent cell loss. Furthermore, the GPIαbtx is not efficiently expressed in the accessory oculomotor neurons, eliminating preganglionic inputs as another site for action of the antagonist. These results support the hypothesis that cholinergic inputs facilitate cell death in the developing autonomic nervous system by activating α7-nAChRs, possibly by leading to increases in intracellular calcium that exceed the threshold for cell survival. PMID:17959793

  16. Agonist actions of neonicotinoids on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed by cockroach neurons.

    PubMed

    Tan, Jianguo; Galligan, James J; Hollingworth, Robert M

    2007-07-01

    The agonist actions of seven commercial neonicotinoid insecticides and nicotine were studied on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed by neurons isolated from the three thoracic ganglia of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Single electrode voltage clamp recording was used to measure agonist-induced inward currents. Acetylcholine, nicotine and all neonicotinoids tested, except thiamethoxam, caused inward currents which were blocked reversibly by methyllycaconitine, a nAChR antagonist. Based on maximum inward currents, neonicotinoids could be divided into two subgroups: (1) those with a heterocyclic ring in their electronegative pharmacophore moiety (i.e. nicotine, imidacloprid and thiacloprid) were relatively weak partial agonists causing only 20-25% of the maximum ACh current and (2) open chain compounds (i.e. acetamiprid, dinotefuran, nitenpyram, and clothiandin) which were much more effective agonists producing 60-100% of the maximum ACh current. These compounds also elicited different symptoms of poisoning in American cockroaches with excitatory responses evident for the low efficacy agonists but depressive and paralytic responses predominating for the most efficacious agonists. No correlation was observed between agonist affinity and efficacy on these nAChRs. Thiamethoxam, even at 100 microM, failed to cause an inward current and showed no competitive interaction with other neonicotinoids on nAChRs, indicating that it is not a direct-acting agonist or antagonist. Despite the probable presence of multiple subtypes of nAChRs on cockroach neurons, competition studies between neonicotinoids did not reveal evidence that separate binding sites exist for the tested compounds. The size of inward currents induced by co-application of neonicotinoid pairs at equal concentration (100 microM) were predominantly determined by the one with higher binding affinity as indicated by EC(50) values, rather than by the one with higher binding efficacy as

  17. Activation and inhibition of rat neuronal nicotinic receptors by ABT-418

    PubMed Central

    Papke, Roger L; Thinschmidt, Jeffrey S; Moulton, Becky A; Meyer, Edwin M; Poirier, Amy

    1997-01-01

    ABT-418 appeared to function as a relatively broad spectrum activator of neuronal nicotinic receptors, expressed in Xenopus oocytes, with little cross reactivity to the mammalian muscle receptor subtype. However, the relative potencies of ABT-418 at the various subtypes differed from those acetylcholine (ACh). For example, ACh was most potent at α3β2 (EC50≈30 μM) and least potent at α2β2 (EC50≈500 μM). ABT-418 was most potent at α4β2 and α2β2 (EC50≈6 μM and 11 μM, respectively) and least potent at α3β4 (EC50≈188 μM).In addition to activating neuronal receptors, ABT-418 exhibited complex properties, including the inhibition of ACh responses.The current responses elicited by relatively high concentrations of ABT-418 on the α4β2 receptor subtype were protracted beyond the application interval. The coapplication of ABT-418 with either of the use-dependent inhibitors bis(1,2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-4-pipendimyl)sebacate (BTMPS) or tetramethyl-pipenidine (TMP) eliminated the late protracted phase of the currents with only small effects on the initial activation phase. When the reversible inhibitor TMP was washed from the bath, the previously inhibited late current reappeared, suggesting that the observed mixed agonist-antagonist effects of ABT-418 and (±)-epibatidine on α4β2 were due to a concentration-dependent noncompetitive inhibition, an effect similar to that obtained for (−)-nicotine.The inhibition of α4β2 receptors by ABT-418 was voltage-dependent. When high concentrations of ABT-418 were applied under depolarizing conditions, additional late currents could be observed under conditions which suggested that a build up of ABT-418 in an unstirred layer over the surface of the oocyte was occurring. This may have been due to the dissociation of the drug from channel blocking sites on the receptors themselves, or alternatively, from the plasma membrane of the cells. PMID:9031746

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiulin; Albers, Kathryn M.; Gold, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    The goals of the present study were to determine 1) the properties of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) currents in rat cutaneous DRG neurons; 2) the impact of nAChR activation on the excitability of cutaneous DRG neurons; and 3) the impact of inflammation on the density and distribution of nAChR currents among cutaneous DRG neurons. Whole cell patch clamp techniques were used to study retrogradely labeled DRG neurons from naïve and complete Freund's adjuvant inflamed rats. Nicotine-evoked currents were detectable in ~70% of the cutaneous DRG neurons, where only one of two current types, fast or slow currents based on rates of activation and inactivation, was present in each neuron. The biophysical and pharmacological properties of the fast current were consistent with nAChRs containing an α7 subunit while those of the slow current were consistent with nAChRs containing α3/β4 subunits. The majority of small diameter neurons with fast current were IB4- while the majority of small diameter neurons with slow current were IB4+. Preincubation with nicotine (1 μM) produced a transient (1 min) depolarization and increase in the excitability of neurons with fast current and a decrease in the amplitude of capsaicin-evoked current in neurons with slow current. Inflammation increased the current density of both slow and fast currents in small diameter neurons and increased the percentage of neurons with the fast current. With the relatively selective distribution of nAChR currents in putative nociceptive cutaneous DRG neurons, our results suggest that the role of these receptors in inflammatory hyperalgesia is likely to be complex and dependent on the concentration and timing of acetylcholine release in the periphery. PMID:25453771

  20. Nicotine-induced upregulation of nicotinic receptors: underlying mechanisms and relevance to nicotine addiction.

    PubMed

    Govind, Anitha P; Vezina, Paul; Green, William N

    2009-10-01

    A major hurdle in defining the molecular biology of nicotine addiction has been characterizing the different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes in the brain and how nicotine alters their function. Mounting evidence suggests that the addictive effects of nicotine, like other drugs of abuse, occur through interactions with its receptors in the mesolimbic dopamine system, particularly ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons, where nicotinic receptors act to modulate the release of dopamine. The molecular identity of the nicotinic receptors responsible for drug seeking behavior, their cellular and subcellular location and the mechanisms by which these receptors initiate and maintain addiction are poorly defined. In this commentary, we review how nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are upregulated by nicotine exposure, the potential posttranslational events that appear to cause it and how upregulation is linked to nicotine addiction.

  1. Action of nereistoxin on recombinant neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Raymond Delpech, Valérie; Ihara, Makoto; Coddou, Claudio; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Sattelle, David B

    2003-11-01

    Nereistoxin (NTX), a natural neurotoxin from the salivary glands of the marine annelid worm Lumbriconereis heteropoda, is highly toxic to insects. Its synthetic analogue, Cartap, was the first commercial insecticide based on a natural product. We have used voltage-clamp electrophysiology to compare the actions of NTX on recombinant nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nicotinic AChRs) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes following nuclear injection of cDNAs. The recombinant nicotinic AChRs investigated were chicken alpha7, chicken alpha4beta2 and the Drosophila melanogaster/chicken hybrid receptors SAD/beta2 and ALS/beta2. No agonist action of NTX (0.1-100 microM) was observed on chicken alpha7, chicken alpha4beta2 and the Drosophila/chicken hybrid nicotinic AChRs. Currents elicited by ACh were reduced in amplitude by NTX in a dose-dependent manner. The toxin was slightly more potent on recombinant Drosophila/vertebrate hybrid receptors than on vertebrate homomeric (alpha7) or heteromeric (alpha4beta2) nicotinic AChRs. Block by NTX of the chicken alpha7, chicken alpha4beta2 and the SAD/beta2 and ALS/beta2 Drosophila/chicken hybrid receptors is in all cases non-competitive. Thus, the site of action on nicotinic AChRs of NTX, to which the insecticide Cartap is metabolised in insects, differs from that of the major nicotinic AChR-active insecticide, imidacloprid.

  2. Artemin growth factor increases nicotinic cholinergic receptor subunit expression and activity in nociceptive sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Artemin (Artn), a member of the glial cell line-derived growth factor (GDNF) family, supports the development and function of a subpopulation of peptidergic, TRPV1-positive sensory neurons. Artn (enovin, neublastin) is elevated in inflamed tissue and its injection in skin causes transient thermal hyperalgesia. A genome wide expression analysis of trigeminal ganglia of mice that overexpress Artn in the skin (ART-OE mice) showed elevation in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, suggesting these ion channels contribute to Artn-induced sensitivity. Here we have used gene expression, immunolabeling, patch clamp electrophysiology and behavioral testing assays to investigate the link between Artn, nicotinic subunit expression and thermal hypersensitivity. Results Reverse transcriptase-PCR validation showed increased levels of mRNAs encoding the nAChR subunits α3 (13.3-fold), β3 (4-fold) and β4 (7.7-fold) in trigeminal ganglia and α3 (4-fold) and β4 (2.8-fold) in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of ART-OE mice. Sensory ganglia of ART-OE mice had increased immunoreactivity for nAChRα3 and exhibited increased overlap in labeling with GFRα3-positive neurons. Patch clamp analysis of back-labeled cutaneous afferents showed that while the majority of nicotine-evoked currents in DRG neurons had biophysical and pharmacological properties of α7-subunit containing nAChRs, the Artn-induced increase in α3 and β4 subunits resulted in functional channels. Behavioral analysis of ART-OE and wildtype mice showed that Artn-induced thermal hyperalgesia can be blocked by mecamylamine or hexamethonium. Complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) inflammation of paw skin, which causes an increase in Artn in the skin, also increased the level of nAChR mRNAs in DRG. Finally, the increase in nAChRs transcription was not dependent on the Artn-induced increase in TRPV1 or TRPA1 in ART-OE mice since nAChRs were elevated in ganglia of TRPV1/TRPA1 double knockout mice. Conclusions

  3. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies to Study the Structural Basis of the Function of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Electric Organ and Muscle, and to Determine the Structure of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-03-16

    brains. We have also been studying nicotinic receptors from a human neuronal cell line which appear to be of the muscle type. Using synthetic...AND MUSCLE, AND TO DETERMINE THE STRUCTURE OF NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS ON NEURONS Annual Report Jon M. Lindstrom D T IC ELECTE March 16, 1987...AUTHOR(S) ON NEURONS . LINDSTROM. Jon M. 1 3a. TYPE OF REPORT I1 3b. TIME COVERED 114. DTOF REPORT (Year, Mlonth, Day) IS15 PAGE COUNT Annual IFROm2/15/8

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  5. The β subunit dominates the relaxation kinetics of heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Figl, Antonio; Cohen, Bruce N

    2000-01-01

    The ACh-induced voltage-jump relaxation currents of the nicotinic receptors formed by pair-wise expression of the rat α2, α3, or α4 subunits with the β2 or β4 subunit in Xenopus oocytes were fitted best by the sum of two exponentials and a constant between -60 and -150 mV. As the ACh concentration approached zero, the relaxation time constants approached limiting values that should equal the single-channel burst duration at low ACh concentrations and the synaptic current decay time constants. β4 co-expression prolonged the zero ACh concentration limits for the relaxation time constants. The fast β4 zero ACh concentration limits ranged from 40 to 121 ms between -60 and -150 mV, and the slow β4 zero ACh concentration limits ranged from 274 to 1039 ms. In contrast, the fast β2 limits were 4–6 ms over the same voltage range and the slow β2 limits were 30–53 ms. Expression with the β4 subunit increased the voltage sensitivity of the α2, α3 and slow α4 relaxation time constants but not that of the fast α4 relaxation time constant. Reducing the temperature from 22°C to 8–9°C increased the α4β2 and α3β4 relaxation time constants 2.3- to 6.6-fold and reduced the fractional amplitude of the fast relaxation component. It also increased the voltage dependence of the fast α3β4 relaxation time constant and decreased that of the slow time constant. The Q10 for α4β2 and α3β4 relaxation time constants ranged from 1.9 to 3.9 between 10 and 20°C. The β subunit appears to have a dominant influence on the voltage-jump relaxation kinetics of heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptors. PMID:10790151

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Strychnine activates neuronal α7 nicotinic receptors after mutations in the leucine ring and transmitter binding site domains

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Eleonora; Fucile, Sergio; Barabino, Benedetta; Miledi, Ricardo; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    1999-01-01

    Recent work has shown that strychnine, the potent and selective antagonist of glycine receptors, is also an antagonist of nicotinic acetylcholine (AcCho) receptors including neuronal homomeric α7 receptors, and that mutating Leu-247 of the α7 nicotinic AcCho receptor-channel domain (L247Tα7; mut1) converts some nicotinic antagonists into agonists. Therefore, a study was made of the effects of strychnine on Xenopus oocytes expressing the chick wild-type α7 or L247Tα7 receptors. In these oocytes, strychnine itself did not elicit appreciable membrane currents but reduced the currents elicited by AcCho in a reversible and dose-dependent manner. In sharp contrast, in oocytes expressing L247Tα7 receptors with additional mutations at Cys-189 and Cys-190, in the extracellular N-terminal domain (L247T/C189–190Sα7; mut2), micromolar concentrations of strychnine elicited inward currents that were reversibly inhibited by the nicotinic receptor blocker α-bungarotoxin. Single-channel recordings showed that strychnine gated mut2-channels with two conductance levels, 56 pS and 42 pS, and with kinetic properties similar to AcCho-activated channels. We conclude that strychnine is a modulator, as well as an activator, of some homomeric nicotinic α7 receptors. After injecting oocytes with mixtures of cDNAs encoding mut1 and mut2 subunits, the expressed hybrid receptors were activated by strychnine, similar to the mut2, and had a high affinity to AcCho like the mut1. A pentameric symmetrical model yields the striking conclusion that two identical α7 subunits may be sufficient to determine the functional properties of α7 receptors. PMID:10557336

  8. Parallel Anxiolytic-Like Effects and Upregulation of Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Following Chronic Nicotine and Varenicline

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Jill R.; Castellano, Laura M.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: Clinical and preclinical studies suggest that regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) maybe involved in the etiology of withdrawal symptoms. Methods: We evaluated heteromeric nAChR regulation via [3H]epibatidine binding following cessation of chronic nicotine or varenicline treatment. Animals were concurrently tested in the marble-burying test to evaluate treatment-related effects. Results: We found that both nicotine (18 mg/kg/day, free base) and varenicline (1.8 mg/kg/day) chronically administered for 14 days upregulated nAChRs significantly in the cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and thalamus. The duration of upregulation (up to 72 hr) was both drug and region specific. In addition to nAChR upregulation, chronic administration of both nicotine and varenicline had anxiolytic-like effects in the marble-burying test. This effect was maintained for 48 hr following cessation of varenicline but was absent 24 hr following cessation from nicotine. Additionally, marble-burying behavior positively correlated to the regulation of cortical nAChRs following cessation of either treatment. Conclusions: Varenicline has been shown to be an efficacious smoking cessation aid, with a proposed mechanism of action that includes modulation of dopamine release in reward areas of the brain. Our studies show that varenicline elicits both anxiolytic effects in the marble-burying test as well as region- and time-specific receptor upregulation. These findings suggest receptor upregulation as a mechanism for its efficacy as a smoking cessation therapy. PMID:21097981

  9. 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

  10. Afterhyperpolarization induced by the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in pelvic ganglion neurons of male rats.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyu-Sang; Cha, Seung-Kuy; Kim, Min-Jeong; Kim, Na-Hyun; Lee, Joong-Woo; Jeong, Seong-Woo; Kong, In Deok

    2010-09-27

    The electrophysiological mechanism underlying afterhyperpolarization induced by the activation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in male rat major pelvic ganglion neurons (MPG) was investigated using a gramicidin-perforated patch clamp and microscopic fluorescence measurement system. Acetylcholine (ACh) induced fast depolarization through the activation of nAChR, followed by a sustained hyperpolarization after the removal of ACh in a dose-dependent manner (10 microM to 1mM). ACh increased both intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) and Na(+) concentrations ([Na(+)](i)) in MPG neurons. The recovery of [Na(+)](i) after the removal of ACh was markedly delayed by ouabain (100 microM), an inhibitor of Na(+)/K(+) ATPase. Pretreatment with ouabain blocked ACh-induced hyperpolarization by 67.2+/-5.4% (n=7). ACh-induced hyperpolarization was partially attenuated by either the chelation of [Ca(2+)](i) with BAPTA/AM (20 microM) or the blockade of small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels by apamin (500 nM). Taken together, the activation of nAChR increases [Na(+)](i) and [Ca(2+)](i), which activates Na(+)/K(+) ATPase and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels, respectively. Consequently, hyperpolarization occurs after the activation of nAChR in the autonomic pelvic ganglia. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Partial agonists for α4β2 nicotinic receptors stimulate dopaminergic neuron firing with relatively enhanced maximal effects

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ying; Broad, Lisa M; Phillips, Keith G; Zwart, Ruud

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Partial agonists selective for α4β2 nicotinic ACh receptors have been developed for smoking cessation as they induce weak activation of native α4β2* receptors and inhibit effect of nicotine. However, it is unclear whether at brain functions there is an existence of receptor reserve that allows weak receptor activation to induce maximum physiological effects. We assessed the extent of α4β2 partial agonist-induced increase of firing rate in dopaminergic neurons and evaluated the influence of receptor reserve. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The relative maximal effects and potencies of six nicotinic agonists were assessed on recombinant human α4β2 and α7 receptors expressed in mammalian cell lines by measuring calcium influx. Agonist-induced increase of the spontaneous firing rate of dopaminergic neurons was recorded using microelectrodes in the ventral tegmental area of rat brain slices. KEY RESULTS All α4β2 partial and full agonists increased the firing rate concentration-dependently. Their sensitivity to subtype-selective antagonists showed predominant activation of native α4β2* receptors. However, partial agonists with relative maximal effects as low as 33% on α4β2 receptors maximally increased the firing rate and induced additional depolarization block of firing, demonstrating that partial activation of receptors caused the maximum increase in firing rate in the presence of a receptor reserve. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Partial α4β2 agonists induced relatively enhanced effects on the firing rate of dopaminergic neurons, and the effect was mainly attributed to the existence of native α4β2* receptor reserve. The results have implications in the understanding of physiological effects and therapeutic efficacies of α4β2 partial agonists. PMID:21838750

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Neuronal α7 Nicotinic Receptors as a Target for the Treatment of Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Tanya L; Bertrand, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a lifelong disease, the burden of which is often underestimated. Characterized by positive (e.g., hallucinations) and negative (e.g., avolition, amotivation) symptoms, schizophrenia is also accompanied with profound impairments in cognitive function that progress throughout the development of the disease. Although treatment with antipsychotic medications can effectively dampen some of the positive symptoms, these medications largely fail to reverse cognitive deficits or to mitigate negative symptoms. With a worldwide prevalence of approximately 1%, schizophrenia remains a large unmet medical need that stands to benefit greatly from (1) continued research to better understand the biological underpinnings of the disease and (2) the targeted development of novel therapeutics to improve the lives of those affected individuals. Improvements in our understanding of the neuronal networks associated with schizophrenia as well as progress in identifying genetic risk factors and environmental conditions that may predispose individuals to developing the disease are advancing new strategies to study and treat it. Herein, we review the evidence that supports the role of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system and why these receptors constitute a promising target to treat some of the prominent symptoms of schizophrenia.

  14. Introduced Amino Terminal Epitopes Can Reduce Surface Expression of Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Bracamontes, John R.; Akk, Gustav; Steinbach, Joe Henry

    2016-01-01

    Epitopes accessible on the surface of intact cells are extremely valuable in studies of membrane proteins, allowing quantification and determination of the distribution of proteins as well as identification of cells expressing large numbers of proteins. However for many membrane proteins there are no suitable antibodies to native sequences, due to lack of availability, low affinity or lack of specificity. In these cases the use of an introduced epitope at specific sites in the protein of interest can often provide a suitable tool for studies. However, the introduction of the epitope sequence has the potential to affect protein expression, the assembly of multisubunit proteins or transport to the surface membrane. We find that surface expression of heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptors containing the α4 and β4 subunits can be affected by introduced epitopes when inserted near the amino terminus of a subunit. The FLAG epitope greatly reduces surface expression when introduced into either α4 or β4 subunits, the V5 epitope has little effect when placed in either, while the Myc epitope reduces expression more when inserted into β4 than α4. These results indicate that the extreme amino terminal region is important for assembly of these receptors, and demonstrate that some widely used introduced epitopes may severely reduce surface expression. PMID:26963253

  15. Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors in Sleep-Related Epilepsy: Studies in Integrative Biology

    PubMed Central

    Becchetti, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    Although Mendelian diseases are rare, when considered one by one, overall they constitute a significant social burden. Besides the medical aspects, they propose us one of the most general biological problems. Given the simplest physiological perturbation of an organism, that is, a single gene mutation, how do its effects percolate through the hierarchical biological levels to determine the pathogenesis? And how robust is the physiological system to this perturbation? To solve these problems, the study of genetic epilepsies caused by mutant ion channels presents special advantages, as it can exploit the full range of modern experimental methods. These allow to extend the functional analysis from single channels to whole brains. An instructive example is autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE), which can be caused by mutations in neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In vitro, such mutations often produce hyperfunctional receptors, at least in heterozygous condition. However, understanding how this leads to sleep-related frontal epilepsy is all but straightforward. Several available animal models are helping us to determine the effects of ADNFLE mutations on the mammalian brain. Because of the complexity of the cholinergic regulation in both developing and mature brains, several pathogenic mechanisms are possible, which also present different therapeutic implications. PMID:25969754

  16. Regulation of GABAergic Inputs to CA1 Pyramidal Neurons by Nicotinic Receptors and Kynurenic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Jyotirmoy; Alkondon, Manickavasagom; Pereira, Edna F. R.

    2012-01-01

    Impaired α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function and GABAergic transmission in the hippocampus and elevated brain levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA), an astrocyte-derived metabolite of the kynurenine pathway, are key features of schizophrenia. KYNA acts as a noncompetitive antagonist with respect to agonists at both α7 nAChRs and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. Here, we tested the hypothesis that in hippocampal slices tonically active α7 nAChRs control GABAergic transmission to CA1 pyramidal neurons and are sensitive to inhibition by rising levels of KYNA. The α7 nAChR-selective antagonist α-bungarotoxin (α-BGT; 100 nM) and methyllycaconitine (MLA; 10 nM), an antagonist at α7 and other nAChRs, reduced by 51.3 ± 1.3 and 65.2 ± 1.5%, respectively, the frequency of GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons. MLA had no effect on miniature GABAergic PSCs. Thus, GABAergic synaptic activity in CA1 pyramidal neurons is maintained, in part, by tonically active α7 nAChRs located on the preterminal region of axons and/or the somatodendritic region of interneurons that synapse onto the neurons under study. l-Kynurenine (20 or 200 μM) or KYNA (20–200 μM) suppressed concentration-dependently the frequency of GABAergic PSCs; the inhibitory effect of 20 μM l-kynurenine had an onset time of approximately 35 min and could not be detected in the presence of 100 nM α-BGT. These results suggest that KYNA levels generated from 20 μM kynurenine inhibit tonically active α7 nAChR-dependent GABAergic transmission to the pyramidal neurons. Disruption of nAChR-dependent GABAergic transmission by mildly elevated levels of KYNA can be an important determinant of the cognitive deficits presented by patients with schizophrenia. PMID:22344459

  17. TC-5214 (S-(+)-mecamylamine): a neuronal nicotinic receptor modulator with antidepressant activity.

    PubMed

    Lippiello, Patrick M; Beaver, Jessica S; Gatto, Gregory J; James, John W; Jordan, Kristen G; Traina, Vincent M; Xie, Jianxun; Bencherif, Merouane

    2008-01-01

    Both clinical and preclinical data support a potential therapeutic benefit of modulating the activity of CNS neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNRs) to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Based on the notion that the depressive states involve hypercholinergic tone, we have examined the potential palliative role of NNR antagonism in these disorders, using TC-5214 (S-(+) enantiomer of mecamylamine), a noncompetitive NNR antagonist. TC-5214 demonstrated positive effects in a number of animal models of depression and anxiety. TC-5214 was active in the forced swim test in rats (minimum effective dose (MED)=3 mg/kg i.p.), a classical depression model. It was also active in the behavioral despair test in mice (0.1-3.0 mg/kg i.p.), another model of depression. In the social interaction paradigm in rats, a model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), TC-5214 was active at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg s.c. In the light/dark chamber paradigm in rats, a model of GAD and phobia, TC-5214 was also active at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg s.c. Although TC-5214 shows modest selectivity among NNR subtypes, the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects seen in these studies are likely attributable to antagonist effects at the alpha4beta2 NNRs. This is supported by the observation of similar effects with alpha4beta2-selective partial agonists such as cytisine and with alpha4beta2-selective antagonists such as TC-2216. TC-5214 was well tolerated in acute and chronic toxicity studies in mice, rats, and dogs, showed no mutagenicity and displayed safety pharmacology, pharmacokinetic and metabolic profiles appropriate for therapeutic development. Overall, the results support a novel nicotinic cholinergic antagonist mechanism for antidepressant and anxiolytic effects and highlight the potential of NNR antagonists such as TC-5214 as therapeutics for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

  18. Activation of presynaptic alpha7 nicotinic receptors evokes an excitatory response in hippocampal CA3 neurones in anaesthetized rats: an in vivo iontophoretic study.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lan-Ting; Sherwood, John L; Sun, Ya-Jie; Lodge, David; Wang, Yun

    2010-02-01

    alpha7 Nicotinic receptors have been suggested to play an important role in hippocampal learning and memory. However, the direct action of this receptor subtype on hippocampal pyramidal neurones in vivo has not yet been fully investigated. The availability of selective agonists for alpha7 receptors [AR-R17779 and (R)-(-)-5'-phenylspiro[1-azabicyclo[2.2.2] octane-3,2'-(3'H)furo[2,3-b]pyridine (PSAB-OFP)] has now allowed this role to be investigated. Single-cell extracellular recordings were made from hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurones in anaesthetized rats. The effects of nicotine, AR-R17779 and PSAB-OFP, applied either systemically or iontophoretically, were studied on the activity of these neurones. Intravenous injection of cumulative doses of nicotine and PSAB-OFP induced dose-related, significant increases in neuronal firing in the majority of neurones tested. This excitation could be inhibited by intravenous administration of methyllycaconitine (MLA), a selective alpha7 nicotinic receptor antagonist. Furthermore, iontophoretic application of nicotine, AR-R17779 and PSAB-OFP each evoked current-dependent excitation of most CA3 pyramidal neurones studied, and this excitation was antagonized by co-iontophoretic application of MLA. In addition, the excitation induced by iontophoretic application of nicotine, AR-R17779 or PSAB-OFP was also blocked by co-iontophoretic application of either 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX) or D(2)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (D-AP5), selective N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptor antagonists respectively. CA3 pyramidal neurones are modulated by activation of presynaptic alpha7 nicotinic receptors, which, at least in part, enhances glutamate release onto post-synaptic (RS)-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole proprionic acid and NMDA receptors on these CA3 neurones. This mechanism probably contributes to the effects of nicotine on hippocampal learning and memory.

  19. Selective down-regulation of α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain of uremic rats with cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Ballesta, Juan J; del Pozo, Carlos; Castelló-Banyuls, Juan; Faura, Clara C

    2012-07-01

    Cognitive impairment is common in patients with chronic kidney disease. Brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors modulate cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. Pharmacological cholinergic enhancement is useful in patients with cognitive dysfunction. The major nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes in the brain are heteromeric α4β2 and homomeric α7 receptors. To study the involvement of neuronal acetylcholine receptors in cognitive impairment in uremic rats, bilateral nephrectomy was performed. 24 weeks after nephrectomy, memory was assessed using the one trial step-down inhibitory avoidance test. Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain were studied by radioligand binding, immunoprecipitation, Western blot and sucrose gradient experiments. We demonstrated that rats with severe renal failure show disorders of short term memory. Long term memory was not altered in these rats. The number of functional α4β2 heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptors was decreased in the brains of rats with severe renal failure. There was a significant correlation between the degree of renal impairment and the number of heteromeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. The down-regulation of functional α4β2 receptors in the brains of rats with severe renal failure was not due to a reduction of α4 or β2 subunit proteins. The number of α7 homomeric neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors was not altered. These findings may have important clinical significance for the management of cognitive impairment in patients with chronic kidney disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Expression of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit mRNAs in rat hippocampal GABAergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Son, Jong-Hyun; Winzer-Serhan, Ursula H

    2008-11-10

    Hippocampal inhibitory interneurons are a diverse population of cells widely scattered in the hippocampus, where they regulate hippocampal circuit activity. The hippocampus receives cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain, and functional studies have suggested the presence of different subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons. Single-cell polymerase chain reaction analysis had confirmed that several nAChR subunit mRNAs are co-expressed with glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), the marker for GABAergic interneurons. In this anatomical study, we systematically investigated the co-expression of GAD67 with different nAChR subunits by using double in situ hybridization with a digoxigenin-labeled GAD67 probe and (35)S-labeled probes for nAChR subunits (alpha2, alpha3, alpha4, alpha5, alpha6, alpha7, beta2, beta3, and beta4). The results revealed that most GAD67-positive interneurons expressed beta2, and 67 % also expressed alpha7 mRNA. In contrast, mRNA expression of other subunits was limited; only 13 % of GAD67-positive neurons co-expressed alpha4, and less than 10% expressed transcripts for alpha2, alpha3, alpha5, or beta4. Most GAD67/alpha2 co-expression was located in CA1/CA3 stratum oriens, and GAD67/alpha5 co-expression was predominantly detected in CA1/CA3 stratum radiatum/lacunosum moleculare and the dentate gyrus. Expression of alpha6 and beta3 mRNAs was rarely detected in the hippocampus, and mRNAs were not co-expressed with GAD67. These findings suggest that the majority of nicotinic responses in GABAergic interneurons should be mediated by a homomeric alpha7 or heteromeric alpha7*-containing nAChRs. Other possible combinations such as alpha2beta2*, alpha4beta2*, or alpha5beta2* heteromeric nAChRs could contribute to functional nicotinic response in subsets of GABAergic interneurons but overall would have a minor role.

  1. Increased sensitivity of the neuronal nicotinic receptor alpha 2 subunit causes familial epilepsy with nocturnal wandering and ictal fear.

    PubMed

    Aridon, Paolo; Marini, Carla; Di Resta, Chiara; Brilli, Elisa; De Fusco, Maurizio; Politi, Fausta; Parrini, Elena; Manfredi, Irene; Pisano, Tiziana; Pruna, Dario; Curia, Giulia; Cianchetti, Carlo; Pasqualetti, Massimo; Becchetti, Andrea; Guerrini, Renzo; Casari, Giorgio

    2006-08-01

    Sleep has traditionally been recognized as a precipitating factor for some forms of epilepsy, although differential diagnosis between some seizure types and parasomnias may be difficult. Autosomal dominant frontal lobe epilepsy is characterized by nocturnal seizures with hyperkinetic automatisms and poorly organized stereotyped movements and has been associated with mutations of the alpha 4 and beta 2 subunits of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. We performed a clinical and molecular genetic study of a large pedigree segregating sleep-related epilepsy in which seizures are associated with fear sensation, tongue movements, and nocturnal wandering, closely resembling nightmares and sleep walking. We identified a new genetic locus for familial sleep-related focal epilepsy on chromosome 8p12.3-8q12.3. By sequencing the positional candidate neuronal cholinergic receptor alpha 2 subunit gene (CHRNA2), we detected a heterozygous missense mutation, I279N, in the first transmembrane domain that is crucial for receptor function. Whole-cell recordings of transiently transfected HEK293 cells expressing either the mutant or the wild-type receptor showed that the new CHRNA2 mutation markedly increases the receptor sensitivity to acetylcholine, therefore indicating that the nicotinic alpha 2 subunit alteration is the underlying cause. CHRNA2 is the third neuronal cholinergic receptor gene to be associated with familial sleep-related epilepsies. Compared with the CHRNA4 and CHRNB2 mutations reported elsewhere, CHRNA2 mutations cause a more complex and finalized ictal behavior.

  2. Bimodal concentration-response of nicotine involves the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1, and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 channels in mouse trachea and sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Kichko, Tatjana I; Lennerz, Jochen; Eberhardt, Mirjam; Babes, Ramona M; Neuhuber, Winfried; Kobal, Gerd; Reeh, Peter W

    2013-11-01

    High concentrations of nicotine, as in the saliva of oral tobacco consumers or in smoking cessation aids, have been shown to sensitize/activate recombinant transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (rTRPV1) and mouse TRPA1 (mTRPA1) channels. By measuring stimulated calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) release from the isolated mouse trachea, we established a bimodal concentration-response relationship with a threshold below 10 µM (-)-nicotine, a maximum at 100 µM, an apparent nadir between 0.5 and 10 mM, and a renewed increase at 20 mM. The first peak was unchanged in TRPV1/A1 double-null mutants as compared with wild-types and was abolished by specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) inhibitors and by camphor, discovered to act as nicotinic antagonist. The nicotine response at 20 mM was strongly pHe-dependent, - five times greater at pH 9.0 than 7.4, indicating that intracellular permeation of the (uncharged) alkaloid was required to reach the TRPV1/A1 binding sites. The response was strongly reduced in both null mutants, and more so in double-null mutants. Upon measuring calcium transients in nodose/jugular and dorsal root ganglion neurons in response to 100 µM nicotine, 48% of the vagal (but only 14% of the somatic) sensory neurons were activated, the latter very weakly. However, nicotine 20 mM at pH 9.0 repeatedly activated almost every single cultured neuron, partly by releasing intracellular calcium and independent of TRPV1/A1 and nAChRs. In conclusion, in mouse tracheal sensory nerves nAChRs are 200-fold more sensitive to nicotine than TRPV1/A1; they are widely coexpressed with the capsaicin receptor among vagal sensory neurons and twice as abundant as TRPA1. Nicotine is the major stimulant in tobacco, and its sensory impact through nAChRs should not be disregarded.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  4. Lobeline esters as novel ligands for neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurotransmitter transporters

    PubMed Central

    Hojahmat, Marhaba; Horton, David B.; Norrholm, Seth D.; Miller, Dennis K.; Grinevich, Vladimir P.; Deaciuc, Agripina Gabriela; Dwoskin, Linda P.; Crooks, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    Vescular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) is a viable target for development of pharmacotherapies for psychostimulant abuse. Lobeline (1) is a potent antagonist at α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, has moderate affinity (Ki=5.46 μM) for VMAT2, and is being investigated currently as a clinical candidate for treatment of psychostimulant abuse. A series of carboxylic acid and sulfonic acid ester analogs 2–20 of lobeline were synthesized and evaluated for interaction with α4β2* and α7* neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the dopamine transporter (DAT), serotonin transporter (SERT) and VMAT2. Both carboxylic acid and sulfonic acid esters had low affinity at α7* nAChRs. Similar to lobeline (Ki=4 nM), sulfonic acid esters had high affinity at α4β2* (Ki=5–17 nM). Aromatic carboxylic acid ester analogs of lobeline (2–4) were 100–1000-fold less potent than lobeline at α4β2* nAChRs, whereas aliphatic carboxylic acid ester analogs were 10–100-fold less potent than lobeline at α4β2*. Two representative lobeline esters, the 10-O-benzoate (2) and the 10-O-benzenesulfonate (10) were evaluated in the 36Rb+ efflux assay using rat thalamic synaptosomes, and were shown to be antagonists with IC50 values of 0.85 μM and 1.60 μM, respectively. Both carboxylic and sulfonic acid esters exhibited a range of potencies (equipotent to 13–45-fold greater potency compared to lobeline) for inhibiting DAT and SERT, respectively, and like lobeline, had moderate affinity (Ki=1.98–10.8 μM) for VMAT2. One of the more interesting analogs, p-methoxybenzoic acid ester 4, had low affinity at α4β2* nAChRs (Ki=19.3 μM) and was equipotent with lobeline, at VMAT2 (Ki=2.98 μM), exhibiting a 6.5-fold selectivity for VMAT2 over α4β2 nAChRs. Thus, esterification of the lobeline molecule may be a useful structural modification for the development of lobeline analogs with improved selectivity at VMAT2. PMID:20036131

  5. Cholinergic modulation of the medial prefrontal cortex: the role of nicotinic receptors in attention and regulation of neuronal activity

    PubMed Central

    Bloem, Bernard; Poorthuis, Rogier B.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2014-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is crucial for normal cognitive performance. Despite the fact that many have studied how ACh affects neuronal processing in the mPFC and thereby influences attention behavior, there is still a lot unknown about how this occurs. Here we will review the evidence that cholinergic modulation of the mPFC plays a role in attention and we will summarize the current knowledge about the role between ACh receptors (AChRs) and behavior and how ACh receptor activation changes processing in the cortical microcircuitry. Recent evidence implicates fast phasic release of ACh in cue detection and attention. This review will focus mainly on the fast ionotropic nicotinic receptors and less on the metabotropic muscarinic receptors. Finally, we will review limitations of the existing studies and address how innovative technologies might push the field forward in order to gain understanding into the relation between ACh, neuronal activity and behavior. PMID:24653678

  6. The prototoxin lynx1 acts on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to balance neuronal activity and survival in vivo.

    PubMed

    Miwa, Julie M; Stevens, Tanya R; King, Sarah L; Caldarone, Barbara J; Ibanez-Tallon, Ines; Xiao, Cheng; Fitzsimonds, Reiko Maki; Pavlides, Constantine; Lester, Henry A; Picciotto, Marina R; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2006-09-07

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) affect a wide array of biological processes, including learning and memory, attention, and addiction. lynx1, the founding member of a family of mammalian prototoxins, modulates nAChR function in vitro by altering agonist sensitivity and desensitization kinetics. Here we demonstrate, through the generation of lynx1 null mutant mice, that lynx1 modulates nAChR signaling in vivo. Its loss decreases the EC(50) for nicotine by approximately 10-fold, decreases receptor desensitization, elevates intracellular calcium levels in response to nicotine, and enhances synaptic efficacy. lynx1 null mutant mice exhibit enhanced performance in specific tests of learning and memory. Consistent with reports that mutations resulting in hyperactivation of nAChRs can lead to neurodegeneration, aging lynx1 null mutant mice exhibit a vacuolating degeneration that is exacerbated by nicotine and ameliorated by null mutations in nAChRs. We conclude that lynx1 functions as an allosteric modulator of nAChR function in vivo, balancing neuronal activity and survival in the CNS.

  7. Shifting topographic activation and 5-HT1A receptor-mediated inhibition of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons produced by nicotine exposure and withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Sperling, Robin; Commons, Kathryn G

    2011-05-01

    Nicotine activates serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] neurons innervating the forebrain, and this is thought to reduce anxiety. Nicotine withdrawal has also been associated with an activation of 5-HT neurotransmission, although withdrawal increases anxiety. In each case, 5-HT1A receptors have been implicated in the response. To determine whether there are different subgroups of 5-HT cells activated during nicotine administration and withdrawal, we mapped the appearance of Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, in 5-HT cells of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and median raphe nucleus (MR). To understand the role of 5-HT1A receptor feedback inhibitory pathways in 5-HT cell activity during these conditions, we administered a selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist and measured novel disinhibited Fos expression within 5-HT cells. Using these approaches, we found evidence that acute nicotine exposure activates 5-HT neurons rostrally and in the lateral wings of the DR, whereas there is 5-HT1A receptor-dependent inhibition of cells located ventrally at both the rostral level and mid-level. Previous chronic nicotine exposure did not modify the pattern of activation produced by acute nicotine exposure, but increased 5-HT1A receptor-dependent inhibition of 5-HT cells in the caudal DR. This pattern was nearly reversed during nicotine withdrawal, when there was evidence for caudal activation and mid-level and rostral 5-HT1A receptor-dependent inhibition. These results suggest that the distinct behavioral states produced by nicotine exposure and withdrawal correlate with reciprocal rostral-caudal patterns of activation and 5-HT1A receptor-mediated inhibition of DR 5-HT neurons. The complementary patterns of activation and inhibition suggest that 5-HT1A receptors may help to shape distinct topographic patterns of activation within the DR.

  8. Beta2-containing neuronal nicotinic receptors as major actors in the flexible choice between conflicting motivations.

    PubMed

    Serreau, P; Chabout, J; Suarez, S V; Naudé, J; Granon, S

    2011-11-20

    Beside a critical role in nicotine addiction, the role of nicotinic receptors in cognitive or emotional processes remains difficult to elucidate, mostly because of a lack of specificity of compounds and because they up or down regulate easily. Using knockout mice may be one key to elucidate the role of nicotinic receptors stimulated by their endogenous ligand acetylcholine. We and others have previously explored the behaviour of mice knockout for the beta2-subunit containing nicotinic receptor - β2*nAChRs - β2(-/-) mice. These mice exhibit a particular kind of hyperactive locomotion, with profound deficits in cognitive and social interaction tasks, only when they have to show flexible choices. We wonder here whether the latter is due to a lack of motor control - i.e. motor impulsivity, a lack of estimation of reward value - i.e. cognitive impulsivity, and/or a lack of appropriate ranking or choice between different motivations. We designed behavioural tasks allowing the study of these distinct processes in mice. Our current results highlight the important role of β2*nAChRs in flexible behaviours in conflicting situations, such as social contact, spatial exploration and food consumption. They also show that the cognitive deficits exhibited by β2(-/-) mice cannot be explained by impaired inhibitory behaviours. Although social cognition is considerably enriched in humans as compared to rodents, we provide here novel data for the neurobiology of flexible social behaviours that could ultimately be useful for humans. Indeed, the ability to show flexible behaviours and to display adapted social interactions is profoundly impaired in a myriad of psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Corticosterone affects the differentiation of a neuronal cerebral cortex-derived cell line through modulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Baier, C J; Franco, D L; Gallegos, C E; Mongiat, L A; Dionisio, L; Bouzat, C; Caviedes, P; Barrantes, F J

    2014-08-22

    Chronic exposure to stress hormones has an impact on brain structures relevant to cognition. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) are involved in numerous cognitive processes including learning and memory formation. In order to better understand the molecular mechanisms of chronic stress-triggered mental disease, the effect of corticosterone (CORT) on the biology of AChRs was studied in the neuronal cell line CNh. We found that chronic treatment with CORT reduced the expression levels of the α7-type neuronal AChR and, to a lesser extent, of α4-AChR. CORT also delayed the acquisition of the mature cell phenotype in CNh cells. Chronic nicotine treatment affected the differentiation of CNh cells and exerted a synergistic effect with CORT, suggesting that AChR could participate in signaling pathways that control the cell cycle. Overexpression of α7-AChR-GFP abolished the CORT effects on the cell cycle and the specific α7-AChR inhibitor, methyllycaconitine, mimicked the proliferative action exerted by CORT. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings showed a significant decrease in nicotine-evoked currents in CORT-treated cells. Taken together, these observations indicate that AChRs, and the α7-AChR in particular, could act as modulators of the differentiation of CNh cells and that CORT could impair the acquisition of a mature phenotype by affecting the function of this AChR subtype. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Neonatal intermittent hypoxia impairs neuronal nicotinic receptor expression and function in adrenal chromaffin cells

    PubMed Central

    Souvannakitti, Dangjai; Kuri, Barbara; Yuan, Guoxiang; Pawar, Anita; Kumar, Ganesh K.; Smith, Corey; Fox, Aaron P.

    2010-01-01

    We recently reported that adrenomedullary chromaffin cells (AMC) from neonatal rats treated with intermittent hypoxia (IH) exhibit enhanced catecholamine secretion by hypoxia (Souvannakitti D, Kumar GK, Fox A, Prabhakar NR. J Neurophysiol 101: 2837–2846, 2009). In the present study, we examined whether neonatal IH also facilitate AMC responses to nicotine, a potent stimulus to chromaffin cells. Experiments were performed on rats exposed to either IH (15-s hypoxia-5-min normoxia; 8 h/day) or to room air (normoxia; controls) from ages postnatal day 0 (P0) to P5. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed expression of mRNAs encoding α3-, α5-, α7-, and β2- and β4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits in adrenal medullae from control P5 rats. Nicotine-elevated intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in AMC and nAChR antagonists prevented this response, suggesting that nAChRs are functional in neonatal AMC. In IH-treated rats, nAChR mRNAs were downregulated in AMC, which resulted in a markedly attenuated nicotine-evoked elevation in [Ca2+]i and subsequent catecholamine secretion. Systemic administration of antioxidant prevented IH-evoked downregulation of nAChR expression and function. P35 rats treated with neonatal IH exhibited reduced nAChR mRNA expression in adrenal medullae, attenuated AMC responses to nicotine, and impaired neurogenic catecholamine secretion. Thus the response to neonatal IH lasts for at least 30 days. These observations demonstrate that neonatal IH downregulates nAChR expression and function in AMC via reactive oxygen species signaling, and the effects of neonatal IH persist at least into juvenile life, leading to impaired neurogenic catecholamine secretion from AMC. PMID:20664070

  11. Regulation of neuronal function by choline and 4OH-GTS-21 through alpha 7 nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Uteshev, Vladimir V; Meyer, Edwin M; Papke, Roger L

    2003-04-01

    A unique feature of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor physiology is that, under normal physiological conditions, alpha7 receptors are constantly perfused with their natural selective agonist, choline. Studying neurons of hypothalamic tuberomammillary (TM) nucleus, we show that choline and the selective alpha7 receptor agonist 4OH-GTS-21 can regulate neuronal functions directly, via activation of the native alpha7 receptors, and indirectly, via desensitizing those receptors or transferring them into a state "primed" for desensitization. The direct action produces depolarization and thereby increases the TM neuron spontaneous firing (SF) rate. The regulation of the spontaneous firing rate is robust in a nonphysiological range of choline concentrations >200 microM. However, modest effects persist at concentrations of choline that are likely to be attained perineuronally under some conditions (20-100 microM). At high physiological concentration levels, the indirect choline action reduces or even eliminates the responsiveness of alpha7 receptors and their availability to other strong cholinergic inputs. Similarly to choline, 4OH-GTS-21 increases the TM neuron spontaneous firing rate via activation of alpha7 receptors, and this regulation is robust in the range of clinically relevant concentrations of 4OH-GTS-21. We conclude that factors that regulate choline accumulation in the brain and in experimental slices such as choline uptake, hydrolysis of ACh, membrane phosphatidylcholine catabolism, and solution perfusion rate influence alpha7 nAChR neuronal and synaptic functions, especially under pathological conditions such as stroke, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, and head trauma, when the choline concentration in the CSF is expected to rise.

  12. The magnitude of alpha7 nicotinic receptor currents in rat hippocampal neurons is dependent upon GABAergic activity and depolarization.

    PubMed

    Santos, Hélio R; Ribeiro, Helizane S; Setti-Perdigão, Pedro; Albuquerque, Edson X; Castro, Newton G

    2006-10-01

    Hippocampal alpha7(*) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors modulate the release of GABA and glutamate. The control of functional receptor pools by cell firing or synaptic activity could therefore allow for a local adjustment of the sensitivity to cholinergic input upon changes in neuronal activity. We first investigated whether tonic depolarization or cell firing affected the function of alpha7(*). The amplitude of alpha7(*)-gated whole-cell currents in cultured rat hippocampal neurons exposed to high-extracellular K(+) (40 mM KCl) for 24 to 48 h increased 1.3 to 5.5 times. The proportion of alpha7(*)-responsive neurons (99%), the potency of acetylcholine, and the sensitivity to nicotinic antagonists were all unaffected. In contrast, block of spontaneous cell firing with tetrodotoxin for 24 h led to a 37% reduction in mean current amplitude. Reduced alpha7(*) responses were seen after a 24-h blockade of N-type calcium channels but not of L-type calcium channels, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), or non-NMDA receptor channels, protein kinase C, or calcium-calmodulin kinases II and IV. The N-type or L-type calcium channel antagonists omega-conotoxin GVIA and nifedipine did not prevent the current-potentiating effect of KCl. The GABA(A) antagonist picrotoxin led to a 44% reduction of the currents, despite increasing action potential firing, and also reversed the potentiating effect of KCl. Treatment with GABA, midazolam, or a GABA uptake blocker led to increased currents. These data indicate that alpha7(*)-gated currents in hippocampal neurons are regulated by GABAergic activity and suggest that depolarization-induced GABA release may underlie the effect of increased extracellular KCl.

  13. Activation of presynaptic α7 nicotinic receptors evokes an excitatory response in hippocampal CA3 neurones in anaesthetized rats: an in vivo iontophoretic study

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lan-Ting; Sherwood, John L; Sun, Ya-Jie; Lodge, David; Wang, Yun

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose: α7 Nicotinic receptors have been suggested to play an important role in hippocampal learning and memory. However, the direct action of this receptor subtype on hippocampal pyramidal neurones in vivo has not yet been fully investigated. The availability of selective agonists for α7 receptors [AR-R17779 and (R)-(-)-5′-phenylspiro[1-azabicyclo[2.2.2] octane-3,2′-(3′H)furo[2,3-b]pyridine (PSAB-OFP)] has now allowed this role to be investigated. Experimental approach: Single-cell extracellular recordings were made from hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurones in anaesthetized rats. The effects of nicotine, AR-R17779 and PSAB-OFP, applied either systemically or iontophoretically, were studied on the activity of these neurones. Key results: Intravenous injection of cumulative doses of nicotine and PSAB-OFP induced dose-related, significant increases in neuronal firing in the majority of neurones tested. This excitation could be inhibited by intravenous administration of methyllycaconitine (MLA), a selective α7 nicotinic receptor antagonist. Furthermore, iontophoretic application of nicotine, AR-R17779 and PSAB-OFP each evoked current-dependent excitation of most CA3 pyramidal neurones studied, and this excitation was antagonized by co-iontophoretic application of MLA. In addition, the excitation induced by iontophoretic application of nicotine, AR-R17779 or PSAB-OFP was also blocked by co-iontophoretic application of either 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX) or D(2)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (D-AP5), selective N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptor antagonists respectively. Conclusions and implications: CA3 pyramidal neurones are modulated by activation of presynaptic α7 nicotinic receptors, which, at least in part, enhances glutamate release onto post-synaptic (RS)-α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole proprionic acid and NMDA receptors on these CA3 neurones. This mechanism probably contributes to the effects of

  14. Sustained nicotine exposure differentially affects alpha 3 beta 2 and alpha 4 beta 2 neuronal nicotinic receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Y N; Amin, J; Weiss, D S; Wecker, L

    1996-02-01

    To determine whether prolonged exposure to nicotine differentially affects alpha 3 beta 2 versus alpha 4 beta 2 nicotinic receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes, oocytes were coinjected with subunit cRNAs, and peak responses to agonist, evoked by 0.7 or 7 microM nicotine for alpha 4 beta 2 and alpha 3 beta 2 receptors, respectively, were determined before and following incubation for up to 48 h with nanomolar concentrations of nicotine. Agonist responses of alpha 4 beta 2 receptors decreased in a concentration-dependent manner with IC50 values in the 10 nM range following incubation for 24 h and in the 1 nM range following incubation for 48 h. In contrast, responses of alpha 3 beta 2 receptors following incubation for 24-48 h with 1,000 nM nicotine decreased by only 50-60%, and total ablation of responses could not be achieved. Attenuation of responses occurred within the first 5 min of nicotine exposure and was a first-order process for both subtypes; half-lives for inactivation were 4.09 and 2.36 min for alpha 4 beta 2 and alpha 3 beta 2 receptors, respectively. Recovery was also first-order for both subtypes; half-lives for recovery were 21 and 7.5 h for alpha 4 beta 2 and alpha 3 beta 2 receptors, respectively. Thus, the responsiveness of both receptors decreased following sustained exposure to nicotine, but alpha 4 beta 2 receptors recovered much slower. Results may explain the differential effect of sustained nicotine exposure on nicotinic receptor-mediated neurotransmitter release.

  15. Computational analysis of the binding ability of heterocyclic and conformationally constrained epibatidine analogs in the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Soriano, Elena; Marco-Contelles, José; Colmena, Inés; Gandía, Luis

    2010-05-01

    One of the most critical issues on the study of ligand-receptor interactions in drug design is the knowledge of the bioactive conformation of the ligand. In this study, we describe a computational approach aimed at estimating the binding ability of epibatidine analogs to interact with the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and get insights into the bioactive conformation. The protocol followed consists of a docking analysis and evaluation of pharmacophore parameters of the docked structures. On the basis of the biological data, the results have revealed that the docking analysis is able to predict active ligands, whereas further efforts are needed to develop a suitable and solid pharmacophore model.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  17. Nicotine recruits glutamate receptors to postsynaptic sites.

    PubMed

    Duan, Jing-Jing; Lozada, Adrian F; Gou, Chen-Yu; Xu, Jing; Chen, Yuan; Berg, Darwin K

    2015-09-01

    Cholinergic neurons project throughout the nervous system and activate nicotinic receptors to modulate synaptic function in ways that shape higher order brain function. The acute effects of nicotinic signaling on long-term synaptic plasticity have been well-characterized. Less well understood is how chronic exposure to low levels of nicotine, such as those encountered by habitual smokers, can alter neural connections to promote addiction and other lasting behavioral effects. We show here that chronic exposure of hippocampal neurons in culture to low levels of nicotine recruits AMPA and NMDA receptors to the cell surface and sequesters them at postsynaptic sites. The receptors include GluA2-containing AMPA receptors, which are responsible for most of the excitatory postsynaptic current mediated by AMPA receptors on the neurons, and include NMDA receptors containing GluN1 and GluN2B subunits. Moreover, we find that the nicotine treatment also increases expression of the presynaptic component synapsin 1 and arranges it in puncta juxtaposed to the additional AMPA and NMDA receptor puncta, suggestive of increases in synaptic contacts. Consistent with increased synaptic input, we find that the nicotine treatment leads to an increase in the excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by AMPA and NMDA receptors. Further, the increases skew the ratio of excitatory-to-inhibitory input that the cell receives, and this holds both for pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region. The GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor redistribution at synapses is associated with a significant increase in GluN2B phosphorylation at Tyr1472, a site known to prevent GluN2B endocytosis. These results suggest that chronic exposure to low levels of nicotine not only alters functional connections but also is likely to change excitability levels across networks. Further, it may increase the propensity for synaptic plasticity, given the increase in synaptic NMDA receptors.

  18. Nicotine Recruits Glutamate Receptors to Postsynaptic Sites

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Jing-jing; Lozada, Adrian F.; Gou, Chen-yu; Xu, Jing; Chen, Yuan; Berg, Darwin K.

    2015-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons project throughout the nervous system and activate nicotinic receptors to modulate synaptic function in ways that shape higher order brain function. The acute effects of nicotinic signaling on long-term synaptic plasticity have been well-characterized. Less well understood is how chronic exposure to low levels of nicotine, such as those encountered by habitual smokers, can alter neural connections to promote addiction and other lasting behavioral effects. We show here that chronic exposure of hippocampal neurons in culture to low levels of nicotine recruits AMPA and NMDA receptors to the cell surface and sequesters them at postsynaptic sites. The receptors include GluA2-containing AMPA receptors, which are responsible for most of the excitatory postsynaptic current mediated by AMPA receptors on the neurons, and include NMDA receptors containing GluN1 and GluN2B subunits. Moreover, we find that the nicotine treatment also increases expression of the presynaptic component synapsin 1 and arranges it in puncta juxtaposed to the additional AMPA and NMDA receptor puncta, suggestive of increases in synaptic contacts. Consistent with increased synaptic input, we find that the nicotine treatment leads to an increase in the excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by AMPA and NMDA receptors. Further, the increases skew the ratio of excitatory-to-inhibitory input the cell receives, and this holds both for pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region. The GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor redistribution at synapses is associated with a significant increase in GluN2B phosphorylation at Tyr1472, a site known to prevent GluN2B endocytosis. These results suggest that chronic exposure to low levels of nicotine not only alters functional connections but also is likely to change excitability levels across networks. Further, it may increase the propensity for synaptic plasticity, given the increase in synaptic NMDA receptors. PMID:26365992

  19. ENDOGENOUS SIGNALING THROUGH α7-CONTAINING NICOTINIC RECEPTORS PROMOTES MATURATION AND INTEGRATION OF ADULTBORN NEURONS IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Nolan R.; Fernandes, Catarina C.; Halff, Andrew W.; Berg, Darwin K.

    2010-01-01

    Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus occurs throughout adult mammalian life and is essential for proper hippocampal function. Early in their development, adultborn neurons express homomeric α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs) and receive direct cholinergic innervation. We show here that functional α7-nAChRs are necessary for normal survival, maturation, and integration of adultborn neurons in the dentate gyrus. Stereotaxic retroviral injection into the dentate gyrus of wildtype and α7-knockout (α7KO) male and female mice was used to label and birthdate adultborn neurons for morphological and electrophysiological measures; BrdU injections were used to quantify cell survival. In α7KO mice, we find that adultborn neurons develop with truncated, less complex dendritic arbors, and display GABAergic postsynaptic currents with immature kinetics. The neurons also have a prolonged period of GABAergic depolarization characteristic of an immature state. In this condition they receive fewer spontaneous synaptic currents and are more prone to die during the critical period when adultborn neurons are normally integrated into behaviorally relevant networks. Even those adultborn neurons that survive the critical period retain long-term dendritic abnormalities in α7KO mice. Interestingly, local infection with retroviral constructs to knockdown α7-mRNA mimics the α7KO phenotype, demonstrating that the relevant α7-nAChR signaling is cell-autonomous. The results indicate a profound role for α7-nAChRs in adult neurogenesis and predict that α7-nAChR loss will cause progressive impairment in hippocampal circuitry and function over time as fewer neurons are added to the dentate gyrus and those that are added integrate less well. PMID:20592195

  20. 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

  1. Co-expression of alpha7 and beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit mRNAs within rat brain cholinergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Azam, L; Winzer-Serhan, U; Leslie, F M

    2003-01-01

    Nicotine enhances cognitive and attentional processes through stimulation of the basal forebrain cholinergic system. Although muscarinic cholinergic autoreceptors have been well characterized, pharmacological characterization of nicotinic autoreceptors has proven more difficult. The present study used double-labeling in situ hybridization to determine expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit mRNAs within basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in order to gain information about possible nAChR autoreceptor properties. Cholinergic cells of the mesopontine tegmentum and striatal interneurons were also examined, as were septohippocampal GABAergic neurons that interact with cholinergic neurons to regulate hippocampal activity. alpha7 and beta2 nAChR mRNAs were found to be co-expressed in almost all cholinergic cells and in the majority of GABAergic neurons examined. alpha4 nAChR mRNA expression was restricted to cholinergic cells of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis, and to non-cholinergic cells of the medial septum and mesopontine tegmentum. These data suggest possible regional differences in the pharmacological properties of nicotinic autoreceptors on cholinergic cells. Whereas most cholinergic cells express rapidly desensitizing alpha7 homomers or alpha7beta2 heteromers, cortical projection neurons may also express a pharmacologically distinct alpha4beta2 nAChR subtype. There may also be differential nAChR regulation of cholinergic and non-cholinergic cells within the mesopontine tegmentum that are implicated in acquisition of nicotine self-administration.

  2. Ultrastructural localization of the alpha4-subunit of the neuronal acetylcholine nicotinic receptor in the rat substantia nigra.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Jim nez, M M; Bourgeois, J P; Marubio, L M; Le Sourd, A M; Ottersen, O P; Rinvik, E; Fairén, A; Changeux, J P

    1999-08-01

    The distribution of the alpha4-subunit of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in the rat brain was examined at light and electron microscopy levels using immunohistochemical staining. In the present study we demonstrate the specificity, in both tissue homogenates and brain sections, of a polyclonal antibody raised against the rat nAChR alpha4-subunit. The characterization of this antibody involved: (1) Western blot analysis of rat brain homogenates and membrane extracts from cells previously transfected with diverse combinations of neuronal nAChR subunits, and (2) immunohistochemistry using transfected cells and rat brain tissue. At the light microscope level, the alpha4-subunit-like-immunoreactivity (LI) was widely distributed in the rat brain and matched the distribution of the alpha4-subunit transcripts observed previously by in situ hybridization. Strong immunohistochemical labeling was detected in the mesencephalic dopaminergic nuclei. The nAChRs in this region are thought to be responsible for the modulation of dopaminergic transmission. The neurotransmitter identity of alpha4-immunolabeled neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and the ventral tegmental area was thus assessed by investigating the possible colocalization of the nAChR alpha4-subunit with tyrosine hydroxylase using confocal microscopy. The double labeling experiments unambiguously indicated that the alpha4-subunit-LI is present in dopaminergic neurons. At the electron microscope level, the neurons in the SNpc exhibited alpha4-subunit-LI in association with a minority of postsynaptic densities, suggesting that the alpha4-subunit may be a component of functional nAChRs mediating synaptic transmission between midbrain cholinergic neurons and mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons.

  3. Ca(2+)-sensitive inhibition by Pb(2+) of alpha7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Mike, A; Pereira, E F; Albuquerque, E X

    2000-08-04

    In the present study the patch-clamp technique was applied to cultured hippocampal neurons to determine the kinetics as well as the agonist concentration- and Ca(2+)-dependence of Pb(2+)-induced inhibition of alpha7 nicotinic receptors (nAChRs). Evidence is provided that more than two-thirds of the inhibition by Pb(2+) (3-30 microM) of alpha7 nAChR-mediated whole-cell currents (referred to as type IA currents) develops rapidly and is fully reversible upon washing. The estimated values for tau(onset) and tau(recovery) were 165 and 240 ms, respectively. The magnitude of the effect of Pb(2+) was the same regardless of whether acetylcholine or choline was the agonist. Pre-exposure of the neurons for 800 ms to Pb(2+) (30 microM) decreased the amplitude and accelerated the decay phase of currents evoked by moderate to high agonist concentrations. In contrast, only the amplitude of currents evoked by low agonist concentrations was reduced when the neurons were exposed simultaneously to Pb(2+) and the agonists. Taken together with the findings that Pb(2+) reduces the frequency of opening and the mean open time of alpha7 nAChR channels, these data suggest that Pb(2+) accelerates the rate of receptor desensitization. An additional reduction of type IA current amplitudes occurred after 2-min exposure of the neurons to Pb(2+). This effect was not reversible upon washing of the neurons and was most likely due to an intracellular action of Pb(2+). Pb(2+)-induced inhibition of alpha7 nAChRs, which was hindered by the enhancement of extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations, may contribute to the neurotoxicity of the heavy metal.

  4. Estradiol increases α7 nicotinic receptor in serotonergic dorsal raphe and noradrenergic locus coeruleus neurons of macaques

    PubMed Central

    Centeno, Maria Luisa; Henderson, Jessica A.; Pau, K.-Y. Francis; Bethea, Cynthia L.

    2008-01-01

    Acetylcholine, acting on presynaptic nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) modulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. The rat dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and the locus coeruleus (LC) receive cholinergic input and express the α7nAChR. In previous reports, we demonstrated that estradiol (E) administration stimulates DR serotonergic and LC noradrenergic function in the macaque. In addition, it has been reported that E induces the expression of the α7nAChR in rats. We questioned whether E increased the expression of the α7nAChR in the macaque DR and LC. We utilized double immunostaining to study the effect of a simulated preovulatory surge of E on the expression of the α7nAChR in the DR and the LC and to determine whether α7nAChR colocalizes with serotonin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in macaques. There was no difference in the number of α7nAChR-positive neurons between ovariectomized (OVX) controls and OVX animals treated with a silastic capsule containing E (Ecap). However, supplemental infusion of E for 5–30 h to Ecap animals (Ecap+inf) significantly increased the number of α7nAChR-positive neurons in DR and LC. In addition, supplemental E infusion significantly increased the number of neurons in which α7nAChR colocalized with serotonin and TH. These results constitute an important antecedent to the study of the effects of nicotine and ovarian steroid hormones in the physiological functions regulated by the DR and the LC in woman. PMID:16736471

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Direct action and modulating effect of (+)- and (-)-nicotine on ion channels expressed in trigeminal sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Schreiner, Benjamin S P; Lehmann, Ramona; Thiel, Ulrike; Ziemba, Paul M; Beltrán, Leopoldo R; Sherkheli, Muhammad A; Jeanbourquin, Philippe; Hugi, Alain; Werner, Markus; Gisselmann, Günter; Hatt, Hanns

    2014-04-05

    Nicotine sensory perception is generally thought to be mediated by nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors. However, recent data strongly support the idea that other receptors (e.g., transient receptor potential A1 channel, TRPA1) and other pathways contribute to the detection mechanisms underlying the olfactory and trigeminal cell response to nicotine flavor. This is in accordance with the reported ability of humans to discriminate between (+)- and (-)- nicotine enantiomers. To get a more detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular basis underlying the sensory perception of nicotine, we studied the activity of (+)- and (-)-nicotine on cultured murine trigeminal sensory neurons and on a range of heterologously expressed receptors. The human TRPA1 channel is activated by (-)-nicotine. In this work, we show that (+)-nicotine is also an activator of this channel. Pharmacological experiments using nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and transient receptor potential blockers revealed that trigeminal neurons express one or more unidentified receptors that are sensitive to (+)- and/or (-)-nicotine. Results also indicate that the presence of extracellular calcium ions is required to elicit trigeminal neuron responses to (+)- and (-)-nicotine. Results also show that both (+)-nicotine and (-)-nicotine can block 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor-mediated responses in recombinant expression systems and in cultured trigeminal neurons expressing 5-HT3 receptors. Our investigations broaden the spectra of receptors that are targets for nicotine enantiomers and give new insights into the physiological role of nicotine.

  7. Evidence of BrdU-positive retinal neurons after application of an Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist.

    PubMed

    Webster, Mark K; Cooley-Themm, Cynthia A; Barnett, Joseph D; Bach, Harrison B; Vainner, Jessica M; Webster, Sarah E; Linn, Cindy L

    2017-03-27

    Irreversible vision loss due to disease or age is responsible for a reduced quality of life. The experiments in this study test the hypothesis that the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, PNU-282987, leads to the generation of retinal neurons in an adult mammalian retina in the absence of retinal injury or exogenous growth factors. Using antibodies against BrdU, retinal ganglion cells, progenitor cells and Müller glia, the results of this study demonstrate that multiple types of retinal cells and neurons are generated after eye drop application of PNU-282987 in adult Long Evans rats in a dose-dependent manner. The results of this study provide evidence that progenitor cells, derived from Müller glia after treatment with PNU-282987, differentiate and migrate to the photoreceptor and retinal ganglion cell layers. If retinas were treated with the alpha7 nAChR antagonist, methyllycaconitine, before agonist treatment, BrdU-positive cells were significantly reduced. As adult mammalian neurons do not typically regenerate or proliferate, these results have implications for reversing vision loss due to neurodegenerative disease or the aging process to improve the quality of life for millions of patients. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Novel modulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by association with the endogenous prototoxin lynx1.

    PubMed

    Ibañez-Tallon, Inés; Miwa, Julie M; Wang, Hai Long; Adams, Niels C; Crabtree, Gregg W; Sine, Steven M; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2002-03-14

    We previously identified lynx1 as a neuronal membrane molecule related to snake alpha-neurotoxins able to modulate nAChRs. Here, we show that lynx1 colocalizes with nAChRs on CNS neurons and physically associates with nAChRs. Single-channel recordings show that lynx1 promotes the largest of three current amplitudes elicited by ACh through alpha(4)beta(2) nAChRs and that lynx1 enhances desensitization. Macroscopic recordings quantify the enhancement of desensitization onset by lynx1 and further show that it slows recovery from desensitization and increases the EC(50). These experiments establish that direct interaction of lynx1 with nAChRs can result in a novel type of functional modulation and suggest that prototoxins may play important roles in vivo by modulating functional properties of their cognate CNS receptors.

  9. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of Erythrina alkaloid analogues as neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Crestey, François; Jensen, Anders A; Borch, Morten; Andreasen, Jesper Tobias; Andersen, Jacob; Balle, Thomas; Kristensen, Jesper Langgaard

    2013-12-12

    The synthesis of a new series of Erythrina alkaloid analogues and their pharmacological characterization at various nicotine acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes are described. The compounds were designed to be simplified analogues of aromatic erythrinanes with the aim of obtaining subtype-selective antagonists for the nAChRs and thereby probe the potential of using these natural products as scaffolds for further ligand optimization. The most selective and potent nAChR ligand to come from the series, 6,7-dimethoxy-2-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (3c) (also a natural product by the name of O-methylcorypalline), displayed submicromolar binding affinity toward the α4β2 nAChR with more than 300-fold selectivity over α4β4, α3β4, and α7. Furthermore, this lead structure (which also has inhibitory activity at monoamine oxidases A and B and at the serotonin and norepinephrine transporters) showed antidepressant-like effect in the mouse forced swim test at 30 mg/kg.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Nanomolar concentrations of nicotine and cotinine alter the development of cultured hippocampal neurons via non-acetylcholine receptor-mediated mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Audesirk, T; Cabell, L

    1999-08-01

    We investigated the effects of nicotine and its metabolic byproduct cotinine on survival, differentiation and intracellular Ca2+ levels of cultured E18 rat hippocampal neurons. We used a range of concentrations from 1 nM to 10 microM, most of which are within the likely range of human fetal exposure from maternal smoking. Nicotine did not influence neuron survival or neurite production. However, at all concentrations tested, nicotine significantly increased branching of both axons and dendrites, an effect which was not reversed by co-culturing with alpha-bungarotoxin, which blocks the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that predominate in hippocampal cultures (Alkondon and Albuquerque, 1993; Barrantes et al., 1995b). Cotinine at 100 nM and 1 microM significantly reduced neuron survival and neurite production of surviving neurons, but did not significantly alter axon or dendrite branching. These membrane-permeable compounds may work synergistically in the developing embryo to impair the survival and differentiation of hippocampal neurons via intracellular mechanisms.

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

    PubMed

    Krivoshein, Arcadius V

    2016-03-16

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

  16. 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.

  17. Analgesic effects mediated by neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists: correlation with desensitization of α4β2* receptors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiahui; Xiao, Yun-De; Jordan, Kristen G; Hammond, Phil S; Van Dyke, Katherine M; Mazurov, Anatoly A; Speake, Jason D; Lippiello, Patrick M; James, John W; Letchworth, Sharon R; Bencherif, Merouane; Hauser, Terry A

    2012-12-18

    Nicotinic α4β2* agonists are known to be effective in a variety of preclinical pain models, but the underlying mechanisms of analgesic action are not well-understood. In the present study, we characterized activation and desensitization properties for a set of seventeen novel α4β2*-selective agonists that display druggable physical and pharmacokinetic attributes, and correlated the in vitro pharmacology results to efficacies observed in a mouse formalin model of analgesia. ABT-894 and Sazetidine-A, two compounds known to be effective in the formalin assay, were included for comparison. The set of compounds displayed a range of activities at human (α4β2)(2)β2 (HS-α4β2), (α4β2)(2)α5 (α4β2α5) and (α4β2)(2)α4 (LS-α4β2) receptors. We report the novel finding that desensitization of α4β2* receptors may drive part of the antinociceptive outcome. Our molecular modeling approaches revealed that when receptor desensitization rather than activation activitiesat α4β2* receptors are considered, there is a better correlation between analgesia scores and combined in vitro properties. Our results suggest that although all three α4β2 subtypes assessed are involved, it is desensitization of α4β2α5 receptors that plays a more prominent role in the antinociceptive action of nicotinic compounds. For modulation of Phase I responses, correlations are significantly improved from an r(2) value of 0.53 to 0.67 and 0.66 when HS- and LS-α4β2 DC(50) values are considered, respectively. More profoundly, considering the DC(50) at α4β2α5 takes the r(2) from 0.53 to 0.70. For Phase II analgesia scores, adding HS- or LS-α4β2 desensitization potencies did not improve the correlations significantly. Considering the α4β2α5 DC(50) value significantly increased the r(2) from 0.70 to 0.79 for Phase II, and strongly suggested a more prominent role for α4β2α5 nAChRs in the modulation of pain in the formalin assay. The present studies demonstrate that compounds

  18. Water-soluble LYNX1 residues important for interaction with muscle-type and/or neuronal nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N; Shulepko, Mikhail A; Buldakova, Svetlana L; Kasheverov, Igor E; Shenkarev, Zakhar O; Reshetnikov, Roman V; Filkin, Sergey Y; Kudryavtsev, Denis S; Ojomoko, Lucy O; Kryukova, Elena V; Dolgikh, Dmitry A; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P; Bregestovski, Piotr D; Tsetlin, Victor I

    2013-05-31

    Human LYNX1, belonging to the Ly6/neurotoxin family of three-finger proteins, is membrane-tethered with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor and modulates the activity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Recent preparation of LYNX1 as an individual protein in the form of water-soluble domain lacking glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor (ws-LYNX1; Lyukmanova, E. N., Shenkarev, Z. O., Shulepko, M. A., Mineev, K. S., D'Hoedt, D., Kasheverov, I. E., Filkin, S. Y., Krivolapova, A. P., Janickova, H., Dolezal, V., Dolgikh, D. A., Arseniev, A. S., Bertrand, D., Tsetlin, V. I., and Kirpichnikov, M. P. (2011) NMR structure and action on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of water-soluble domain of human LYNX1. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 10618-10627) revealed the attachment at the agonist-binding site in the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) and muscle nAChR but outside it, in the neuronal nAChRs. Here, we obtained a series of ws-LYNX1 mutants (T35A, P36A, T37A, R38A, K40A, Y54A, Y57A, K59A) and examined by radioligand analysis or patch clamp technique their interaction with the AChBP, Torpedo californica nAChR and chimeric receptor composed of the α7 nAChR extracellular ligand-binding domain and the transmembrane domain of α1 glycine receptor (α7-GlyR). Against AChBP, there was either no change in activity (T35A, T37A), slight decrease (K40A, K59A), and even enhancement for the rest mutants (most pronounced for P36A and R38A). With both receptors, many mutants lost inhibitory activity, but the increased inhibition was observed for P36A at α7-GlyR. Thus, there are subtype-specific and common ws-LYNX1 residues recognizing distinct targets. Because ws-LYNX1 was inactive against glycine receptor, its "non-classical" binding sites on α7 nAChR should be within the extracellular domain. Micromolar affinities and fast washout rates measured for ws-LYNX1 and its mutants are in contrast to nanomolar affinities and irreversibility of binding for α-bungarotoxin and similar

  19. Water-soluble LYNX1 Residues Important for Interaction with Muscle-type and/or Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Lyukmanova, Ekaterina N.; Shulepko, Mikhail A.; Buldakova, Svetlana L.; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Shenkarev, Zakhar O.; Reshetnikov, Roman V.; Filkin, Sergey Y.; Kudryavtsev, Denis S.; Ojomoko, Lucy O.; Kryukova, Elena V.; Dolgikh, Dmitry A.; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P.; Bregestovski, Piotr D.; Tsetlin, Victor I.

    2013-01-01

    Human LYNX1, belonging to the Ly6/neurotoxin family of three-finger proteins, is membrane-tethered with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor and modulates the activity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Recent preparation of LYNX1 as an individual protein in the form of water-soluble domain lacking glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor (ws-LYNX1; Lyukmanova, E. N., Shenkarev, Z. O., Shulepko, M. A., Mineev, K. S., D'Hoedt, D., Kasheverov, I. E., Filkin, S. Y., Krivolapova, A. P., Janickova, H., Dolezal, V., Dolgikh, D. A., Arseniev, A. S., Bertrand, D., Tsetlin, V. I., and Kirpichnikov, M. P. (2011) NMR structure and action on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of water-soluble domain of human LYNX1. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 10618–10627) revealed the attachment at the agonist-binding site in the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) and muscle nAChR but outside it, in the neuronal nAChRs. Here, we obtained a series of ws-LYNX1 mutants (T35A, P36A, T37A, R38A, K40A, Y54A, Y57A, K59A) and examined by radioligand analysis or patch clamp technique their interaction with the AChBP, Torpedo californica nAChR and chimeric receptor composed of the α7 nAChR extracellular ligand-binding domain and the transmembrane domain of α1 glycine receptor (α7-GlyR). Against AChBP, there was either no change in activity (T35A, T37A), slight decrease (K40A, K59A), and even enhancement for the rest mutants (most pronounced for P36A and R38A). With both receptors, many mutants lost inhibitory activity, but the increased inhibition was observed for P36A at α7-GlyR. Thus, there are subtype-specific and common ws-LYNX1 residues recognizing distinct targets. Because ws-LYNX1 was inactive against glycine receptor, its “non-classical” binding sites on α7 nAChR should be within the extracellular domain. Micromolar affinities and fast washout rates measured for ws-LYNX1 and its mutants are in contrast to nanomolar affinities and irreversibility of binding for α-bungarotoxin and

  20. The neuron-restrictive silencer element: A dual enhancer/silencer crucial for patterned expression of a nicotinic receptor gene in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Bessis, Alain; Champtiaux, Nicolas; Chatelin, Laurent; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    1997-01-01

    The neuron-restrictive silencer element (NRSE) has been identified in several neuronal genes and confers neuron specificity by silencing transcription in nonneuronal cells. NRSE is present in the promoter of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β2-subunit gene that determines its neuron-specific expression in the nervous system. Using transgenic mice, we show that NRSE may either silence or enhance transcription depending on the cellular context within the nervous system. In vitro in neuronal cells, NRSE activates transcription of synthetic promoters when located downstream in the 5′ untranslated region, or at less than 50 bp upstream from the TATA box, but switches to a silencer when located further upstream. In contrast, in nonneuronal cells NRSE always functions as a silencer. Antisense RNA inhibition shows that the NRSE-binding protein REST contributes to the activation of transcription in neuronal cells. PMID:9159173

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

    PubMed

    Christensen, Mark H; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2016-03-01

    The earlier an individual initiates cigarette smoking, the higher the likelihood of development of dependency to nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes. One possible mechanism underlying this higher addiction liability is an ontogenetically differential cellular response induced by nicotine in neurons mediating the reinforcing or euphoric effects of this drug, which could arise from age-related differences in the composition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits. In the current study, we examined whether the subunit composition of nAChRs differed between neurons within the laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT), a nucleus importantly involved in drug addiction associated behaviours, across two periods of ontogeny in which nicotine-mediated excitatory responses were shown to depend on age. To this end, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse brain slices from identified LDT neurons, in combination with nAChR subunit-specific receptor antagonists, were conducted. Comparison of the contribution of different nAChR subunits to acetylcholine (ACh)-induced inward currents indicated that the contributions of the β2 and/or β4 and α7 nAChR subunits alter across age. Taken together, we conclude that across a limited ontogenetic period, there is plasticity in the subunit composition of nAChRs in LDT neurons. In addition, our data indicate, for the first time, functional presence of α6 nAChR subunits in LDT neurons within the age ranges studied. Changes in subunit composition of nAChRs across ontogeny could contribute to the age-related differential excitability induced by nicotine. Differences in the subunit composition of nAChRs within the LDT would be expected to contribute to ontogenetic-dependent outflow from the LDT to target regions, which include reward-related circuitry. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  2. Enhanced Sensitivity of α3β4 Nicotinic Receptors in Enteric Neurons after Long-Term Morphine: Implication for Opioid-Induced Constipation

    PubMed Central

    Gade, Aravind R.; Kang, Minho; Khan, Fayez; Grider, John R.; Damaj, M. Imad; Dewey, William L.

    2016-01-01

    Opioid-induced constipation is a major side effect that persists with long-term opioid use. Previous studies demonstrated that nicotine-induced contractions are enhanced after long-term morphine exposure in guinea pig ileum. In the present study, we examined whether the increased sensitivity to nicotine could be observed in single enteric neurons after long-term morphine exposure, determined the subunits in mouse enteric neurons, and examined the effect of nicotine in reversing opioid-induced constipation. Nicotine (0.03–1 mM) dose-dependently induced inward currents from a holding potential of −60 mV in isolated single enteric neurons from the mouse ileum. The amplitude of the currents, but not the potency to nicotine, was significantly increased in neurons receiving long-term (16–24 h) but not short-term (10 min) exposure to morphine. Quantitative mRNA analysis showed that nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit expression in the mouse ileum was α3 ≥ β2 > β4 > α5 > α4 > β3 > α6. Nicotine-induced currents were obtained in neurons from α7, β2, α5, and α6 knockout mice. The currents were, however, inhibited by mecamylamine (10 μM) and the α3β4 blocker α-conotoxin AuIB (3 μM), suggesting that nicotine-induced currents were mediated by the α3β4 subtype of nAChRs on enteric neurons. Conversely, NS3861, a partial agonist at α3β4 nAChR, enhanced fecal pellet expulsion in a dose-dependent manner in mice that received long-term, but not short-term, morphine treatment. Overall, our findings suggest that the efficacy of nAChR agonists on enteric neurons is enhanced after long-term morphine exposure, and activation of the α3β4 subtype of nAChR reverses chronic, but not acute, morphine-induced constipation. PMID:27068812

  3. Differential Roles of α6β2* and α4β2* Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors in Nicotine- and Cocaine-Conditioned Reward in Mice

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Mesolimbic α6* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are thought to have an important role in nicotine behavioral effects. However, little is known about the role of the various α6*-nAChRs subtypes in the rewarding effects of nicotine. In this report, we investigated and compared the role of α6*-nAChRs subtypes and their neuro-anatomical locus in nicotine and cocaine reward-like effects in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm, using pharmacological antagonism of α6β2* nAChRs and genetic deletion of the α6 or α4 subunits in mice. We found that α6 KO mice exhibited a rightward shift in the nicotine dose–response curve compared with WT littermates but that α4 KO failed to show nicotine preference, suggesting that α6α4β2*-nAChRs are involved. Furthermore, α6β2* nAChRs in nucleus accumbens were found to have an important role in nicotine-conditioned reward as the intra-accumbal injection of the selective α6β2* α-conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked nicotine CPP. In contrast to nicotine, α6 KO failed to condition to cocaine, but cocaine CPP in the α4 KO was preserved. Intriguingly, α-conotoxin MII [H9A; L15A], blocked cocaine conditioning in α4 KO mice, implicating α6β2* nAChRs in cocaine reward. Importantly, these effects did not generalize as α6 KO showed both a conditioned place aversion to lithium chloride as well as CPP to palatable food. Finally, dopamine uptake was not different between the α6 KO or WT mice. These data illustrate that the subjective rewarding effects of both nicotine and cocaine may be mediated by mesolimbic α6β2* nAChRs and that antagonists of these receptor subtypes may exhibit therapeutic potential. PMID:25035086

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-16

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

  5. Nicotine Elicits Convulsive Seizures by Activating Amygdalar Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Iha, Higor A.; Kunisawa, Naofumi; Shimizu, Saki; Tokudome, Kentaro; Mukai, Takahiro; Kinboshi, Masato; Ikeda, Akio; Ito, Hidefumi; Serikawa, Tadao; Ohno, Yukihiro

    2017-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors are implicated in the pathogenesis of epileptic disorders; however, the mechanisms of nACh receptors in seizure generation remain unknown. Here, we performed behavioral and immunohistochemical studies in mice and rats to clarify the mechanisms underlying nicotine-induced seizures. Treatment of animals with nicotine (1–4 mg/kg, i.p.) produced motor excitement in a dose-dependent manner and elicited convulsive seizures at 3 and 4 mg/kg. The nicotine-induced seizures were abolished by a subtype non-selective nACh antagonist, mecamylamine (MEC). An α7 nACh antagonist, methyllycaconitine, also significantly inhibited nicotine-induced seizures whereas an α4β2 nACh antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine, affected only weakly. Topographical analysis of Fos protein expression, a biological marker of neural excitation, revealed that a convulsive dose (4 mg/kg) of nicotine region-specifically activated neurons in the piriform cortex, amygdala, medial habenula, paratenial thalamus, anterior hypothalamus and solitary nucleus among 48 brain regions examined, and this was also suppressed by MEC. In addition, electric lesioning of the amygdala, but not the piriform cortex, medial habenula and thalamus, specifically inhibited nicotine-induced seizures. Furthermore, microinjection of nicotine (100 and 300 μg/side) into the amygdala elicited convulsive seizures in a dose-related manner. The present results suggest that nicotine elicits convulsive seizures by activating amygdalar neurons mainly via α7 nACh receptors. PMID:28232801

  6. α6 subunit-containing nicotinic receptors mediate low-dose ethanol effects on ventral tegmental area neurons and ethanol reward.

    PubMed

    Steffensen, Scott C; Shin, Samuel I; Nelson, Ashley C; Pistorius, Stephanie S; Williams, Stephanie B; Woodward, Taylor J; Park, Hyun Jung; Friend, Lindsey; Gao, Ming; Gao, Fenfei; Taylor, Devin H; Foster Olive, M; Edwards, Jeffrey G; Sudweeks, Sterling N; Buhlman, Lori M; Michael McIntosh, J; Wu, Jie

    2017-09-13

    Dopamine (DA) neuron excitability is regulated by inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmission and modulated by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of α6 subunit-containing nAChRs (α6*-nAChRs) in acute ethanol effects on ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA and DA neurons. α6*-nAChRs were visualized on GABA terminals on VTA GABA neurons, and α6*-nAChR transcripts were expressed in most DA neurons, but only a minority of VTA GABA neurons from GAD67 GFP mice. Low concentrations of ethanol (1-10 mM) enhanced GABAA receptor (GABAA R)-mediated spontaneous and evoked inhibition with blockade by selective α6*-nAChR antagonist α-conotoxins (α-Ctxs) and lowered sensitivity in α6 knock-out (KO) mice. Ethanol suppression of VTA GABA neuron firing rate in wild-type mice in vivo was significantly reduced in α6 KO mice. Ethanol (5-100 mM) had no effect on optically evoked GABAA R-mediated inhibition of DA neurons, and ethanol enhancement of VTA DA neuron firing rate at high concentrations was not affected by α-Ctxs. Ethanol conditioned place preference was reduced in α6 KO mice compared with wild-type controls. Taken together, these studies indicate that relatively low concentrations of ethanol act through α6*-nAChRs on GABA terminals to enhance GABA release onto VTA GABA neurons, in turn to reduce GABA neuron firing, which may lead to VTA DA neuron disinhibition, suggesting a possible mechanism of action of alcohol and nicotine co-abuse. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  7. The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function in hippocampal neurons is regulated by the lipid composition of the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Colón-Sáez, José O; Yakel, Jerrel L

    2011-07-01

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in cellular events such as neurotransmitter release, second messenger cascades, cell survival and apoptosis. In addition, they are a therapeutic target for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, and drugs that potentiate α7 nAChRs through the regulation of desensitization are currently being developed. Recently, these channels were found to be localized into lipid rafts. Here we show that the disruption of lipid rafts in rat primary hippocampal neurons, through cholesterol-scavenging drugs (methyl-β-cyclodextrin) and the enzymatic breakdown of sphingomyelin (sphingomyelinase), results in significant changes in the desensitization kinetics of native and expressed α7 nAChRs. These effects can be prevented by cotreatment with cholesterol and sphingomyelin, and can be mimicked by treatment with cholesterol and sphingomyelin synthesis inhibitors (mevastatin and myriocin, respectively), suggesting that the effects on desensitization kinetics are indeed due to changes in the levels of cholesterol and sphingomyelin in the plasma membrane. These data provide new insights into themechanism of desensitization of α7 nAChRs by providing evidence that the lipid composition of the plasma membrane can modulate the activity of the α7 nAChRs.

  8. The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors alpha 4* and alpha 6* differentially modulate dopamine release in mouse striatal slices.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Erin L; Yoshikami, Doju; McIntosh, J Michael

    2008-06-01

    Striatal dopamine (DA) plays a major role in the regulation of motor coordination and in the processing of salient information. We used voltammetry to monitor DA-release evoked by electrical stimulation in striatal slices, where interneurons continuously release acetylcholine. Use of the alpha6-selective antagonist alpha-conotoxin MII[E11A] and alpha4 knockout mice enabled identification of two populations of DA-ergic fibers. The first population had a low action potential threshold, and action potential-evoked DA-release from these fibers was modulated by alpha6. The second population had a higher action potential threshold, and only alpha4(non-alpha6) modulated action potential-evoked DA-release. Striatal DA-ergic neurons fire in both tonic and phasic patterns. When stimuli were applied in a train to mimic phasic firing, more DA-release was observed in alpha4 knockout versus wild-type mice. Furthermore, block of alpha4(non-alpha6), but not of alpha6, increased DA release evoked by a train. These results indicate that there are different classes of striatal DA-ergic fibers that express different subtypes of nicotinic receptors.

  9. Negative regulatory elements upstream of a novel exon of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 2 subunit gene.

    PubMed Central

    Bessis, A; Savatier, N; Devillers-Thiéry, A; Bejanin, S; Changeux, J P

    1993-01-01

    The expression of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 2 subunit gene is highly restricted to the Spiriform lateralis nucleus of the Chick diencephalon. As a first step toward understanding the molecular mechanism underlying this regulation, we have investigated the structural and regulatory properties of the 5' sequence of this gene. A strategy based on the ligation of an oligonucleotide to the first strand of the cDNA (SLIC) followed by PCR amplification was used. A new exon was found approximately 3kb upstream from the first coding exon, and multiple transcription start sites of the gene were mapped. Analysis of the flanking region shows many consensus sequences for the binding of nuclear proteins, suggesting that the 1 kb flanking region contains at least a portion of the promoter of the gene. We have analysed the negative regulatory elements present within this region and found that a silencer region located between nucleotide -144 and +76 is active in fibroblasts as well as in neurons. This silencer is composed of six tandem repeat Oct-like motifs (CCCCATGCAAT), but does not bind any member of the Oct family. Moreover these motifs were found to act as a silencer only when they were tandemly repeated. When two, four or five motifs were deleted, the silencer activity of the motifs unexpectedly became an enhancer activity in all cells we have tested. Images PMID:8502560

  10. Bupropion-induced inhibition of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in heterologous cells and neurons from dorsal raphe nucleus and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Gómez, Elizabeth; Arias, Hugo R; Feuerbach, Dominik; Miranda-Morales, Marcela; Mihailescu, Stefan; Targowska-Duda, Katarzyna M; Jozwiak, Krzysztof; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2014-10-05

    The pharmacological activity of bupropion was compared between α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in heterologous cells and hippocampal and dorsal raphe nucleus neurons. The inhibitory activity of bupropion was studied on GH3-α7 cells by Ca2+ influx, as well as on neurons from the dorsal raphe nucleus and interneurons from the stratum radiatum of the hippocampal CA1 region by using a whole-cell voltage-clamp technique. In addition, the interaction of bupropion with the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor was determined by [3H]imipramine competition binding assays and molecular docking. The fast component of acetylcholine- and choline-induced currents from both brain regions was inhibited by methyllycaconitine, indicating the participation of α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Choline-induced currents in hippocampal interneurons were partially inhibited by 10 µM bupropion, a concentration that could be reached in the brain during clinical administration. Additionally, both agonist-induced currents were reversibly inhibited by bupropion at concentrations that coincide with its inhibitory potency (IC50=54 µM) and binding affinity (Ki=63 µM) for α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from heterologous cells. The [3H]imipramine competition binding and molecular docking results support a luminal location for the bupropion binding site(s). This study may help to understand the mechanisms of actions of bupropion at neuronal and molecular levels related with its therapeutic actions on depression and for smoking cessation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. CRF neurons in the ventral tegmental area control the aversive effects of nicotine withdrawal and promote escalation of nicotine intake

    PubMed Central

    Grieder, Taryn E.; Herman, Melissa A.; Contet, Candice; Tan, Laura A.; Vargas-Perez, Hector; Cohen, Ami; Chwalek, Michal; Maal-Bared, Geith; Freiling, John; Schlosburg, Joel E; Clarke, Laura; Crawford, Elena; Koebel, Pascale; Canonigo, Vez; Sanna, Pietro; Tapper, Andrew; Roberto, Marisa; Kieffer, Brigitte L.; Sawchenko, Paul E.; Koob, George F.; van der Kooy, Derek; George, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are well known for their role in mediating the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse. Here, we identify in rodents and humans a population of VTA dopamine neurons co-expressing corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). We provide further evidence in rodents that chronic nicotine exposure upregulates CRF mRNA in dopaminergic neurons of the posterior VTA, activates local CRF1 receptors, and blocks nicotine-induced activation of transient GABAergic input to dopaminergic neurons. Local downregulation of CRF mRNA and specific pharmacological blockade of CRF1 receptors in the VTA reversed the effect of nicotine on GABAergic input to dopaminergic neurons, prevented the aversive effects of nicotine withdrawal, and limited the escalation of nicotine intake. These results link the brain reward and stress systems within the same brain region in signaling the negative motivational effects of nicotine withdrawal. PMID:25402857

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Loop 2 of Ophiophagus hannah toxin b binds with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and enhances intracranial drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Changyou; Yan, Zhiqiang; Xie, Cao; Lu, Weiyue

    2010-12-06

    Three-finger snake neurotoxins have been widely investigated for their high binding affinities with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are widely expressed in the central nervous system including the blood-brain barrier and thus mediate intracranial drug delivery. The loop 2 segments of three-finger snake neurotoxins are considered as the binding domain with nAChRs, and thus, they may have the potential to enhance drug or drug delivery system intracranial transport. In the present work, binding of the synthetic peptides to the neuronal nAChRs was assessed by measuring their ability to inhibit the binding of (125)I-α-bungarotoxin to the receptor. The loop 2 segment of Ophiophagus hannah toxin b (KC2S) showed high binding affinity, and the competitive binding IC(50) value was 32.51 nM. Furthermore, the brain targeting efficiency of KC2S had been investigated in vitro and in vivo. The specific uptake by brain capillary endothelial cells (BCECs) demonstrated that KC2S could be endocytosized after binding with nAChRs. In vivo, the qualitative and quantitative biodistribution results of fluorescent dyes (DiR or coumarin-6) indicated that KC2S modified poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactic acid) micelles (KC2S-PEG-PLA micelles) could enhance intracranial drug delivery. Furthermore, intravenous treatment with paclitaxel-encapsulated KC2S-PEG-PLA micelles (KC2S-PEG-PLA-PTX micelles) afforded robust inhibition of intracranial glioblastoma. The median survival time of KC2S-PEG-PLA-PTX-micelle-treated mice (47.5 days) was significantly longer than that of mice treated by mPEG-PLA-PTX micelles (41.5 days), Taxol (38.5 days), or saline (34 days). Compared with the short peptide derived from rabies virus glycoprotein (RVG29) that has been previously reported as an excellent brain targeting ligand, KC2S has a similar binding affinity with neuronal nAChRs but fewer amino acid residues. Thus, we concluded that the loop 2 segment of Ophiophagus hannah toxin b could bind

  14. The therapeutic promise of positive allosteric modulation of nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Uteshev, Victor V.

    2014-01-01

    In the central nervous system, deficits in cholinergic neurotransmission correlate with decreased attention and cognitive impairment, while stimulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors improves attention, cognitive performance and neuronal resistance to injury as well as produces robust analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The rational basis for the therapeutic use of orthosteric agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of nicotinic receptors arises from the finding that functional nicotinic receptors are ubiquitously expressed in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues including brain regions highly vulnerable to traumatic and ischemic types of injury (e.g., cortex and hippocampus). Moreover, functional nicotinic receptors do not vanish in age-, disease- and trauma-related neuropathologies, but their expression and/or activation levels decline in a subunit- and brain region-specific manner. Therefore, augmenting the endogenous cholinergic tone by nicotinic agents is possible and may offset neurological impairments associated with cholinergic hypofunction. Importantly, because neuronal damage elevates extracellular levels of choline (a selective agonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) near the site of injury, α7-PAM-based treatments may augment pathology-activated α7-dependent auto-therapies where and when they are most needed (i.e., in the penumbra, post-injury). Thus, the nicotinic-PAM-based treatments are expected to be highly efficacious with fewer side effects as compared to a more indiscriminate action of exogenous orthosteric agonists. In this review, I will summarize the existing trends in therapeutic applications of nicotinic PAMs. PMID:24530419

  15. Role of the large cytoplasmic loop of the alpha 7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit in receptor expression and function.

    PubMed

    Valor, Luis M; Mulet, José; Sala, Francisco; Sala, Salvador; Ballesta, Juan J; Criado, Manuel

    2002-06-25

    The role of the large intracellular loop of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha7 subunit in the expression of functional channels was studied. For this purpose, systematic deletions and substitutions were made throughout the loop and the ability of the mutated alpha7 subunits to support expression of functional nAChRs at the Xenopus oocyte membrane was tested. Surface nAChR expression was abolished upon removal of sequences at two regions, a 29-amino acid segment close to the N-terminus of the loop (amino acids 297-325) and adjacent to the third transmembrane region and an 11-amino acid segment near the fourth transmembrane region. Some residues (amino acids 317-322) within the 29 amino acids N-terminal segment could be substituted by others but not deleted without loss of expression, suggesting that a certain structure, determined by the number of amino acids rather than by their identity, has to be maintained in this region. The contiguous sequence M323 K324 R325 did not tolerate deletions and substitutions. Removal of the rest of the cytoplasmic loop was not deleterious; even higher expression levels (2-4-fold) were obtained upon large deletions of the loop (Delta399-432 and Delta339-370). High expression levels were observed provided that a minimal sequence of three amino acids (E371, G372, and M373) was present. In addition, some electrophysiological properties of mutant nAChRs were modified. Substitution of the EGM sequence by other protein segments produced a variety of effects, but, in general, insertions were not well tolerated, suggesting the existence of tight structural restrictions in the large cytoplasmic region of the rat alpha7 subunit.

  16. Nicotine inhibits potassium currents in Aplysia bag cell neurons.

    PubMed

    White, Sean H; Sturgeon, Raymond M; Magoski, Neil S

    2016-06-01

    Acetylcholine and the archetypal cholinergic agonist, nicotine, are typically associated with the opening of ionotropic receptors. In the bag cell neurons, which govern the reproductive behavior of the marine snail, Aplysia californica, there are two cholinergic responses: a relatively large acetylcholine-induced current and a relatively small nicotine-induced current. Both currents are readily apparent at resting membrane potential and result from the opening of distinct ionotropic receptors. We now report a separate current response elicited by applying nicotine to cultured bag cell neurons under whole cell voltage-clamp. This current was ostensibly inward, best resolved at depolarized voltages, presented a noncooperative dose-response with a half-maximal concentration near 1.5 mM, and associated with a decrease in membrane conductance. The unique nicotine-evoked response was not altered by intracellular perfusion with the G protein blocker GDPβS or exposure to classical nicotinic antagonists but was occluded by replacing intracellular K(+) with Cs(+) Consistent with an underlying mechanism of direct inhibition of one or more K(+) channels, nicotine was found to rapidly reduce the fast-inactivating A-type K(+) current as well as both components of the delayed-rectifier K(+) current. Finally, nicotine increased bag cell neuron excitability, which manifested as reduction in spike threshold, greater action potential height and width, and markedly more spiking to continuous depolarizing current injection. In contrast to conventional transient activation of nicotinic ionotropic receptors, block of K(+) channels could represent a nonstandard means for nicotine to profoundly alter the electrical properties of neurons over prolonged periods of time.

  17. Nicotine Decreases Food Intake Through Activation of POMC Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mineur, Yann S.; Abizaid, Alfonso; Rao, Yan; Salas, Ramiro; DiLeone, Ralph J.; Gündisch, Daniela; Diano, Sabrina; De Biasi, Mariella; Horvath, Tamas L.; Gao, Xiao-Bing; Picciotto, Marina R.

    2011-01-01

    Smoking decreases appetite and smokers often report that they smoke to control their weight. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the anorexic effects of smoking would facilitate the development of novel treatments to help with smoking cessation and to prevent or treat obesity. Using a combination of pharmacological, molecular genetic, electrophysiological and feeding studies, we found that activation of hypothalamic α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) leads to activation of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. POMC neurons and subsequent activation of melanocortin 4 receptors were critical for nicotinic-induced decreases in food intake in mice. This study demonstrates that nicotine decreases food intake and bodyweight by influencing the hypothalamic melanocortin system and identifies critical molecular and synaptic mechanisms involved in nicotine-induced decreases in appetite. PMID:21659607

  18. Nicotinic activation of laterodorsal tegmental neurons: implications for addiction to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Leonard, Christopher S; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2009-11-01

    Identifying the neurological mechanisms underlying nicotine reinforcement is a healthcare imperative, if society is to effectively combat tobacco addiction. The majority of studies of the neurobiology of addiction have focused on dopamine (DA)-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). However, recent data suggest that neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental (LDT) nucleus, which sends cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic-containing projections to DA-containing neurons of the VTA, are critical to gating normal functioning of this nucleus. The actions of nicotine on LDT neurons are unknown. We addressed this issue by examining the effects of nicotine on identified cholinergic and non-cholinergic LDT neurons using whole-cell patch clamp and Ca(2+)-imaging methods in brain slices from mice (P12-P45). Nicotine applied by puffer pipette or bath superfusion elicited membrane depolarization that often induced firing and TTX-resistant inward currents. Nicotine also enhanced sensitivity to injected current; and, baseline changes in intracellular calcium were elicited in the dendrites of some cholinergic LDT cells. In addition, activity-dependent calcium transients were increased, suggesting that nicotine exposure sufficient to induce firing may lead to enhancement of levels of intracellular calcium. Nicotine also had strong actions on glutamate and GABA-releasing presynaptic terminals, as it greatly increased the frequency of miniature EPSCs and IPSCs to both cholinergic and non-cholinergic neurons. Utilization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) subunit antagonists revealed that presynaptic, inhibitory terminals on cholinergic neurons were activated by receptors containing alpha 7, beta2, and non-alpha 7 subunits, whereas, presynaptic glutamatergic terminals were activated by nAChRs that comprised non-alpha 7 subunits. We also found that direct nicotinic actions on cholinergic LDT neurons were mediated by receptors containing alpha 7, beta2, and non

  19. Nicotinic receptors, memory, and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Kutlu, Munir Gunes; Gould, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

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

  20. The cytisine derivatives, CC4 and CC26, reduce nicotine-induced conditioned place preference in zebrafish by acting on heteromeric neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Ponzoni, Luisa; Braida, Daniela; Pucci, Luca; Andrea, Donzelli; Fasoli, Francesca; Manfredi, Irene; Papke, Roger L; Stokes, Clare; Cannazza, Giuseppe; Clementi, Francesco; Gotti, Cecilia; Sala, Mariaelvina

    2014-12-01

    Cigarette smoking is one of the most serious health problems worldwide and people trying to stop smoking have high rates of relapse. Zebrafish (Danio rerio), by combining pharmacological and behavioral assays, is a promising animal model for rapidly screening new compounds to induce smoking cessation. This study aims to identify possible acetylcholine nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) involved in mediating nicotine (NIC)-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in zebrafish and investigate the effect of the CC4 and CC26 cytisine derivatives in reducing NIC-induced CPP. CPP was evaluated using a two-compartment chamber, and the zebrafish were given CC4 (0.001-5 mg/kg), CC26 (0.001-1 mg/kg), cytisine (0.1-2.5 mg/kg), and varenicline (1-10 mg/kg) alone or with NIC (0.001 mg/kg). Swimming activity was evaluated using a square observational chamber. The affinity of the nicotinic ligands for native zebrafish brain nAChRs was evaluated by binding studies using [(3)H]-Epibatidine (Epi) and [(125)I]-αBungarotoxin (αBgtx) radioligands, and their subtype specificity was determined by means of electrophysiological assay of oocyte-expressed α4β2 and α7 subtypes. CC4 and CC26 induced CPP with an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve similar to that of NIC. However, when co-administered with NIC, they blocked its reinforcing or slightly aversive effect. Binding and electrophysiological studies showed that this effect was due to binding to high-affinity heteromeric but not α7-containing receptors. We have further characterized CC4 and identified a new compound (CC26) that may be active in inducing smoking cessation. Zebrafish is a very useful model for screening new compounds that can affect the rewarding properties of NIC.

  1. α4α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation on ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons is sufficient to stimulate a depolarizing conductance and enhance surface AMPA receptor function.

    PubMed

    Engle, Staci E; Shih, Pei-Yu; McIntosh, J Michael; Drenan, Ryan M

    2013-09-01

    Tobacco addiction is a serious threat to public health in the United States and abroad, and development of new therapeutic approaches is a major priority. Nicotine activates and/or desensitizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) throughout the brain. nAChRs in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons are crucial for the rewarding and reinforcing properties of nicotine in rodents, suggesting that they may be key mediators of nicotine's action in humans. However, it is unknown which nAChR subtypes are sufficient to activate these neurons. To test the hypothesis that nAChRs containing α6 subunits are sufficient to activate VTA DA neurons, we studied mice expressing hypersensitive, gain-of-function α6 nAChRs (α6L9'S mice). In voltage-clamp recordings in brain slices from adult mice, 100 nM nicotine was sufficient to elicit inward currents in VTA DA neurons via α6β2* nAChRs. In addition, we found that low concentrations of nicotine could act selectively through α6β2* nAChRs to enhance the function of 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid (AMPA) receptors on the surface of these cells. In contrast, α6β2* activation did not enhance N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor function. Finally, AMPA receptor (AMPAR) function was not similarly enhanced in brain slices from α6L9'S mice lacking α4 nAChR subunits, suggesting that α4α6β2* nAChRs are important for enhancing AMPAR function in VTA DA neurons. Together, these data suggest that activation of α4α6β2* nAChRs in VTA DA neurons is sufficient to support the initiation of cellular changes that play a role in addiction to nicotine. α4α6β2* nAChRs may be a promising target for future smoking cessation pharmacotherapy.

  2. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies to Study the Structural Basis of the Function of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Electric Organ and Muscle and to Determine the Structure of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-09-30

    of chicken neurona .4receptor subunits. Sequences of al and a2 are from Net .Ot al. -l Sequences of a3 and a4 were determintl from clones described...Sucrose gradient analysis of neurona & nicotinic receptors was conducted as follows. Chicken ind rat brain receptors were extracted from crude

  3. α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated neuroprotection against dopaminergic neuron loss in an MPTP mouse model via inhibition of astrocyte activation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Hu, Jun; Wu, Jie; Zhu, Chenlei; Hui, Yujian; Han, Yaping; Huang, Zuhu; Ellsworth, Kevin; Fan, Weimin

    2012-05-24

    Although evidence suggests that the prevalence of Parkinson's disease (PD) is lower in smokers than in non-smokers, the mechanisms of nicotine-induced neuroprotection remain unclear. Stimulation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) seems to be a crucial mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory potential of cholinergic agonists in immune cells, including astrocytes, and inhibition of astrocyte activation has been proposed as a novel strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as PD. The objective of the present study was to determine whether nicotine-induced neuroprotection in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model occurs via α7-nAChR-mediated inhibition of astrocytes. Both in vivo (MPTP) and in vitro (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) models of PD were used to investigate the role(s) of and possible mechanism(s) by which α7-nAChRs protect against dopaminergic neuron loss. Multiple experimental approaches, including behavioral tests, immunochemistry, and stereology experiments, astrocyte cell cultures, reverse transcriptase PCR, laser scanning confocal microscopy, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α assays, and western blotting, were used to elucidate the mechanisms of the α7-nAChR-mediated neuroprotection. Systemic administration of nicotine alleviated MPTP-induced behavioral symptoms, improved motor coordination, and protected against dopaminergic neuron loss and the activation of astrocytes and microglia in the substantia nigra. The protective effects of nicotine were abolished by administration of the α7-nAChR-selective antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA). In primary cultured mouse astrocytes, pretreatment with nicotine suppressed MPP(+)-induced or LPS-induced astrocyte activation, as evidenced by both decreased production of TNF-α and inhibition of extracellular regulated kinase1/2 (Erk1/2) and p38 activation in astrocytes, and these effects were also

  4. The therapeutic promise of positive allosteric modulation of nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Uteshev, Victor V

    2014-03-15

    In the central nervous system, deficits in cholinergic neurotransmission correlate with decreased attention and cognitive impairment, while stimulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors improves attention, cognitive performance and neuronal resistance to injury as well as produces robust analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The rational basis for the therapeutic use of orthosteric agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of nicotinic receptors arises from the finding that functional nicotinic receptors are ubiquitously expressed in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues including brain regions highly vulnerable to traumatic and ischemic types of injury (e.g., cortex and hippocampus). Moreover, functional nicotinic receptors do not vanish in age-, disease- and trauma-related neuropathologies, but their expression and/or activation levels decline in a subunit- and brain region-specific manner. Therefore, augmenting the endogenous cholinergic tone by nicotinic agents is possible and may offset neurological impairments associated with cholinergic hypofunction. Importantly, because neuronal damage elevates extracellular levels of choline (a selective agonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) near the site of injury, α7-PAM-based treatments may augment pathology-activated α7-dependent auto-therapies where and when they are most needed (i.e., in the penumbra, post-injury). Thus, nicotinic-PAM-based treatments are expected to augment the endogenous cholinergic tone in a spatially and temporally restricted manner creating the potential for differential efficacy and improved safety as compared to exogenous orthosteric nicotinic agonists that activate nicotinic receptors indiscriminately. In this review, I will summarize the existing trends in therapeutic applications of nicotinic PAMs.

  5. [Effects of antagonist and agonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on injury of rat neurons induced by amyloid β-protein].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-gang; Qi, Ren-bin; Zhu, Li-hong; Lu, Da-xiang

    2013-03-19

    To explore the chronic effects of nicotinic antagonist and agonist on rat neurons injury induced by β-amyloid protein. The rat model of neuron injury was established by the exposure to Aβ25-35 and the intervention agent was either methyllycaconitine (MLA) or nicotine (Nic). And the experimental groups were control (distilled water), Aβ25-35, MLA (MLA and Aβ25-35) and Nic (Nic and Aβ25-35). Cellular viability was detected by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) chromatometry while apoptosis and necrosis were detected by flow cytometer. Compared with control, cellular viability decreased while the apoptotic and necrotic rates increased in Aβ25-35 group(P = 0.00). The values of cellular viability at (0.75 ± 0.02) and (0.75 ± 0.09) in Aβ25-35 and MLA groups respectively were significantly lower than that of Nic group (0.81 ± 0.02, P = 0.01) at Day 3 and 7. No significant differences existed in cellular viability between Aβ25-35 and MLA groups. At Day 14, the differences of cellular viability were not obvious in all groups. At Day 21, cell viability of MLA group (0.64 ± 0.10) was significantly higher than those of Aβ25-35 (0.57 ± 0.04, P = 0.019) and Nic groups (0.56 ± 0.04, P = 0.008). The apoptotic rate was lower than that of Aβ25-35 group (3.70% ± 0.20% vs 4.70% ± 0.46%, P = 0.008) while the necrotic rate lower than that of Aβ25-35 group (7.73% ± 0.86% vs 16.30% ± 1.05%, P = 0.00) and Nic group (16.03% ± 1.53%, P = 0.00). However, no significant differences existed in cellular viability or apoptotic and necrotic rate between Aβ25-35 and Nic groups. With chronic treatment, the protective effect of α7 nicotinic antagonist methyllycaconitine increases whereas that of nicotinic agonist nicotine decreases.

  6. Effects of fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibition on neuronal responses to nicotine, cocaine and morphine in the nucleus accumbens shell and ventral tegmental area: involvement of PPAR-alpha nuclear receptors.

    PubMed

    Luchicchi, Antonio; Lecca, Salvatore; Carta, Stefano; Pillolla, Giuliano; Muntoni, Anna L; Yasar, Sevil; Goldberg, Steven R; Pistis, Marco

    2010-07-01

    The endocannabinoid system regulates neurotransmission in brain regions relevant to neurobiological and behavioral actions of addicting drugs. We recently demonstrated that inhibition by URB597 of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the main enzyme that degrades the endogenous cannabinoid N-acylethanolamine (NAE) anandamide and the endogenous non-cannabinoid NAEs oleoylethanolamide and palmitoylethanolamide, blocks nicotine-induced excitation of ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons and DA release in the shell of the nucleus accumbens (ShNAc), as well as nicotine-induced drug self-administration, conditioned place preference and relapse in rats. Here, we studied whether effects of FAAH inhibition on nicotine-induced changes in activity of VTA DA neurons were specific for nicotine or extended to two drugs of abuse acting through different mechanisms, cocaine and morphine. We also evaluated whether FAAH inhibition affects nicotine-, cocaine- or morphine-induced actions in the ShNAc. Experiments involved single-unit electrophysiological recordings from DA neurons in the VTA and medium spiny neurons in the ShNAc in anesthetized rats. We found that URB597 blocked effects of nicotine and cocaine in the ShNAc through activation of both surface cannabinoid CB1-receptors and alpha-type peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor. URB597 did not alter the effects of either cocaine or morphine on VTA DA neurons. These results show that the blockade of nicotine-induced excitation of VTA DA neurons, which we previously described, is selective for nicotine and indicate novel mechanisms recruited to regulate the effects of addicting drugs within the ShNAc of the brain reward system.

  7. 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

  8. Galanthamine and non-competitive inhibitor binding to ACh-binding protein: evidence for a binding site on non α-subunit interfaces of heteromeric neuronal nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott B.; Taylor, Palmer

    2007-01-01

    Rapid neurotransmission is mediated through a superfamily of Cys-loop receptors, that includes the nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChR), γ-aminobutyric-acid (GABAA/C), serotonin (5-HT3) and glycine receptors. A class of ligands, including galanthamine, local anesthetics and certain toxins, interact with nAChRs non-competitively. Suggested modes of action include blockade of the ion-channel, modulation from as yet undefined extracellular sites, stabilization of desensitized states, and association with annular or boundary lipid. Alignment of mammalian Cys-loop receptors show aromatic residues, found in the acetylcholine or ligand binding pocket of nAChRs, are conserved in all subunit interfaces of neuronal nAChRs, including subunit interfaces that are not formed by α subunits on the principal side of the transmitter binding site. The amino terminal domain containing the ligand recognition site is homologous to the soluble acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) from mollusks, an established structural and functional surrogate. Herein we assess ligand specificity and employ X-ray crystallography with AChBP to demonstrate ligand interactions at subunit interfaces lacking vicinal cysteines (i.e., the non-α subunit interfaces in nAChRs). Non-competitive nicotinic ligands bind AChBP with high affinity (KD’s of 0.015 to 6 μM). We mutated the vicinal cysteines in loop C of AChBP to mimic the non-alpha subunit interfaces of neuronal nAChRs and other Cys loop receptors. Classical nicotinic agonists show a 10 to 40-fold reduction in binding affinity, whereas binding of ligands known to be non-competitive are not affected. X-ray structures of cocaine and galanthamine bound to AChBP (1.8 and 2.9 Å resolution respectively) reveal interactions deep within the subunit interface and the absence of a contact surface with the tip of loop C. Hence, in addition to channel blocking, non-competitive interactions with heteromeric neuronal nAChR appear to occur at the non-alpha subunit

  9. The Sensory Impact of Nicotine on Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Neurons of the Nicotine Reward - Addiction Neurocircuitry

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Jed E; Dehkordi, Ozra; Manaye, Kebreten F; Millis, Richard M; Cianaki, Salman Ameri; Jayam-Trouth, Annapurni

    2016-01-01

    The sensory experience of smoking is a key component of nicotine addiction known to result, in part, from stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at peripheral sensory nerve endings. Such stimulation of nAChRs is followed by activation of neurons at multiple sites in the mesocorticolimbic reward pathways. However, the neurochemical profiles of CNS cells that mediate the peripheral sensory impact of nicotine remain unknown. In the present study in mice, we first used c-Fos immunohistochemistry to identify CNS cells stimulated by nicotine (NIC, 40 μg/kg, IP) and by a peripherally-acting analog of nicotine, nicotine pyrrolidine methiodide (NIC-PM, 30 μg/kg, IP). Sequential double-labelling was then performed to determine whether noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons of the nicotine reward-addiction circuitry were primary targets of NIC and NIC-PM. Double-labelling of NIC and/or NIC-PM activated c-Fos immunoreactive cells with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) showed no apparent c-Fos expression by the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). With the exception of sparse numbers of TH immunoreactive D11 cells, dopamine-containing neurons in other areas of the reward-addiction circuitry, namely periaqueductal gray, and dorsal raphe, were also devoid of c-Fos immunoreactivity. Noradrenergic neurons of locus coeruleus (LC), known to innervate VTA, were activated by both NIC and NIC-PM. These results demonstrate that noradrenergic neurons of LC are among the first structures that are stimulated by single acute IP injection of NIC and NIC-PM. Dopaminergic neurons of VTA and other CNS sites, did not respond to acute IP administration of NIC or NIC-PM by induction of c-Fos. PMID:27347434

  10. The Sensory Impact of Nicotine on Noradrenergic and Dopaminergic Neurons of the Nicotine Reward - Addiction Neurocircuitry.

    PubMed

    Rose, Jed E; Dehkordi, Ozra; Manaye, Kebreten F; Millis, Richard M; Cianaki, Salman Ameri; Jayam-Trouth, Annapurni

    2016-04-01

    The sensory experience of smoking is a key component of nicotine addiction known to result, in part, from stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) at peripheral sensory nerve endings. Such stimulation of nAChRs is followed by activation of neurons at multiple sites in the mesocorticolimbic reward pathways. However, the neurochemical profiles of CNS cells that mediate the peripheral sensory impact of nicotine remain unknown. In the present study in mice, we first used c-Fos immunohistochemistry to identify CNS cells stimulated by nicotine (NIC, 40 μg/kg, IP) and by a peripherally-acting analog of nicotine, nicotine pyrrolidine methiodide (NIC-PM, 30 μg/kg, IP). Sequential double-labelling was then performed to determine whether noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons of the nicotine reward-addiction circuitry were primary targets of NIC and NIC-PM. Double-labelling of NIC and/or NIC-PM activated c-Fos immunoreactive cells with tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) showed no apparent c-Fos expression by the dopaminergic cells of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). With the exception of sparse numbers of TH immunoreactive D11 cells, dopamine-containing neurons in other areas of the reward-addiction circuitry, namely periaqueductal gray, and dorsal raphe, were also devoid of c-Fos immunoreactivity. Noradrenergic neurons of locus coeruleus (LC), known to innervate VTA, were activated by both NIC and NIC-PM. These results demonstrate that noradrenergic neurons of LC are among the first structures that are stimulated by single acute IP injection of NIC and NIC-PM. Dopaminergic neurons of VTA and other CNS sites, did not respond to acute IP administration of NIC or NIC-PM by induction of c-Fos.

  11. Nicotine and Nicotinic Receptor Drugs: Potential for Parkinson's Disease and Drug-Induced Movement Disorders.

    PubMed

    Quik, Maryka; Bordia, Tanuja; Zhang, Danhui; Perez, Xiomara A

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia, as well as nonmotor symptoms including autonomic impairments, olfactory dysfunction, sleep disturbances, depression, and dementia. Although the major neurological deficit is a loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, multiple neurotransmitters systems are compromised in Parkinson's disease. Consistent with this observation, dopamine replacement therapy dramatically improves Parkinson's disease motor symptoms. Additionally, drugs targeting the serotonergic, glutamatergic, adenosine, and other neurotransmitter systems may be beneficial. Recent evidence also indicates that nicotinic cholinergic drugs may be useful for the management of Parkinson's disease. This possibility initially arose from the results of epidemiological studies, which showed that smoking was associated with a decreased incidence of Parkinson's disease, an effect mediated in part by the nicotine in smoke. Further evidence for this idea stemmed from preclinical studies which showed that nicotine administration reduced nigrostriatal damage in parkinsonian rodents and monkeys. In addition to a potential neuroprotective role, emerging work indicates that nicotinic receptor drugs improve the abnormal involuntary movements or dyskinesias that arise as a side effect of l-dopa treatment, the gold standard therapy for Parkinson's disease. Both nicotine and nicotinic receptor drugs reduced l-dopa-induced dyskinesias by over 50% in parkinsonian rodent and monkey models. Notably, nicotine also attenuated the abnormal involuntary movements or tardive dyskinesias that arise with antipsychotic treatment. These observations, coupled with reports that nicotinic receptor drugs have procognitive and antidepressant effects, suggest that central nervous system (CNS) nicotinic receptors may represent useful targets for the treatment of movement disorders.

  12. Palmitoylation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, J. K.; Govind, A. P.; Drisdel, R. C.; Blanton, M. P.; Vallejo, Y.; Lam, T. T.

    2012-01-01

    It is well established that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) undergo a number of different post-translational modifications, such as disulfide bond formation, glycosylation, and phosphorylation. Recently, our laboratory has developed more sensitive assays of protein palmitoylation that have allowed us and others to detect the palmitoylation of relatively low abundant proteins such as ligand-gated ion channels. Here, we present evidence that palmitoylation is prevalent on many subunits of different nAChR subtypes, both muscle-type nAChRs and the neuronal “α4β2” and “α7” subtypes most abundant in brain. The loss of ligand binding sites that occurs when palmitoylation is blocked with the inhibitor bromopalmitate suggests that palmitoylation of α4β2 and α7 subtypes occurs during subunit assembly and regulates the formation of ligand binding sites. However, additional experiments are needed to test whether nAChR subunit palmitoylation is involved in other aspects of nAChR trafficking or whether palmitoylation regulates nAChR function. Further investigation would be aided by identifying the sites of palmitoylation on the subunits, and here we propose a mass spectrometry strategy for identification of these sites. PMID:19693711

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Binding of HIV-1 gp120 to the nicotinic receptor.

    PubMed

    Bracci, L; Lozzi, L; Rustici, M; Neri, P

    1992-10-19

    We previously described a significant sequence homology between HIV-1 gp120 and the functional sites responsible for the specific binding of snake curare-mimetic neurotoxins and rabies virus glycoprotein to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Here we report findings about the existence of a mechanism of functional molecular mimicry which could enable the binding of HIV-1 gp120 to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in muscle cells and neurons.

  15. Molecular Basis for Differential Sensitivity of α-Conotoxin RegIIA at Rat and Human Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Kompella, Shiva N; Cuny, Hartmut; Hung, Andrew; Adams, David J

    2015-12-01

    α-Conotoxins, as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonists, are powerful tools for dissecting biologic processes and guiding drug development. The α3β2 and α3β4 nAChR subtypes are expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems and play a critical role in various pathophysiological conditions ranging from nicotine addiction to the development and progression of lung cancer. Here we used the α4/7-conotoxin RegIIA, a disulfide-bonded peptide from the venom of Conus regius, and its analog [N11A,N12A]RegIIA to probe the specific pharmacological properties of rat and human nAChR subtypes. nAChR subtypes were heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes and two-electrode voltage clamp recordings used to investigate the effects of the peptides on nAChR activity. RegIIA potently inhibited currents evoked by acetylcholine (ACh) at rat α3β2 (IC50 = 10.7 nM), whereas a 70-fold lower potency was observed at human α3β2 nAChR (IC50 = 704.1 nM). Conversely, there were no species-specific differences in sensitivity to RegIIA at the α3β4 nAChR. Receptor mutagenesis and molecular dynamics studies revealed that this difference can be attributed primarily to a single amino acid change: Glu198 on the rat α3 subunit corresponding to a proline on the human subunit. These findings reveal a novel species- and subunit-specific receptor-antagonist interaction. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  16. Prostate stem cell antigen is an endogenous lynx1-like prototoxin that antagonizes alpha7 containing nicotinic receptors and prevents programmed cell death of parasympathetic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hruska, Martin; Keefe, Julie; Wert, David; Tekinay, Ayse Begum; Hulce, Jonathan J.; Ibanez-Tallon, Ines; Nishi, Rae

    2010-01-01

    Vertebrate α–bungarotoxin-like molecules of the Ly-6 super family have been implicated as balancers of activity and survival in the adult nervous system. To determine whether a member of this family could be involved in the development of the avian ciliary ganglion, we identified 6 Gallus genes by their homology in structure to mouse lynx1 and lynx2. One of these genes, an ortholog of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), is barely detectable at embryonic day 8, prior to neuronal cell loss in the ciliary ganglion, but increases over 100-fold as the number of neurons begins to decline between E9 and E14. PSCA is highly expressed in chicken and mouse telencephalon and peripheral ganglia and correlates with expression of α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs). Misexpressing PSCA prior to cell death in the ciliary ganglion blocks α7-nAChR activation by nicotine and rescues the choroid subpopulation from dying. Thus, PSCA, a molecule previously identified as a marker of prostate cancer, is a member of the Ly-6 neurotoxin-like family in the nervous system, and is likely to play a role as a modulator of α7 signaling induced cell death during development. PMID:19940180

  17. Prostate stem cell antigen is an endogenous lynx1-like prototoxin that antagonizes alpha7-containing nicotinic receptors and prevents programmed cell death of parasympathetic neurons.

    PubMed

    Hruska, Martin; Keefe, Julie; Wert, David; Tekinay, Ayse Begum; Hulce, Jonathan J; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines; Nishi, Rae

    2009-11-25

    Vertebrate alpha-bungarotoxin-like molecules of the Ly-6 superfamily have been implicated as balancers of activity and survival in the adult nervous system. To determine whether a member of this family could be involved in the development of the avian ciliary ganglion, we identified 6 Gallus genes by their homology in structure to mouse lynx1 and lynx2. One of these genes, an ortholog of prostate stem cell antigen (psca), is barely detectable at embryonic day (E) 8, before neuronal cell loss in the ciliary ganglion, but increases >100-fold as the number of neurons begins to decline between E9 and E14. PSCA is highly expressed in chicken and mouse telencephalon and peripheral ganglia and correlates with expression of alpha7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (alpha7-nAChRs). Misexpressing PSCA before cell death in the ciliary ganglion blocks alpha7-nAChR activation by nicotine and rescues the choroid subpopulation from dying. Thus, PSCA, a molecule previously identified as a marker of prostate cancer, is a member of the Ly-6 neurotoxin-like family in the nervous system, and is likely to play a role as a modulator of alpha7 signaling-induced cell death during development.

  18. Neuroanatomical and neuropharmacological approaches to postictal antinociception-related prosencephalic neurons: the role of muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic receptors

    PubMed Central

    de Freitas, Renato Leonardo; Bolognesi, Luana Iacovelo; Twardowschy, André; Corrêa, Fernando Morgan Aguiar; Sibson, Nicola R; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have suggested the involvement of the hippocampus in the elaboration of epilepsy. There is evidence that suggests the hippocampus plays an important role in the affective and motivational components of nociceptive perception. However, the exact nature of this involvement remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the role of muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the dorsal hippocampus (dH) in the organization of postictal analgesia. In a neuroanatomical study, afferent connections were found from the somatosensory cortex, the medial septal area, the lateral septal area, the diagonal band of Broca, and the dentate gyrus to the dH; all these areas have been suggested to modulate convulsive activity. Outputs to the dH were also identified from the linear raphe nucleus, the median raphe nucleus (MdRN), the dorsal raphe nucleus, and the locus coeruleus. All these structures comprise the endogenous pain modulatory system and may be involved either in postictal pronociception or antinociception that is commonly reported by epileptic patients. dH-pretreatment with cobalt chloride (1.0 mmol/L CoCl2/0.2 μL) to transiently inhibit local synapses decreased postictal analgesia 10 min after the end of seizures. Pretreatment of the dH with either atropine or mecamylamine (1.0 μg/0.2 μL) attenuated the postictal antinociception 30 min after seizures, while the higher dose (5.0 μg/0.2 μL) decreased postictal analgesia immediately after the end of seizures. These findings suggest that the dH exerts a critical role in the organization of postictal analgesia and that muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic receptor-mediated mechanisms in the dH are involved in the elaboration of antinociceptive processes induced by generalized tonic-clonic seizures. PMID:23785660

  19. Cannabinoid receptor stimulation increases motivation for nicotine and nicotine seeking.

    PubMed

    Gamaleddin, Islam; Wertheim, Carrie; Zhu, Andy Z X; Coen, Kathleen M; Vemuri, Kiran; Makryannis, Alex; Goldberg, Steven R; Le Foll, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The cannabinoid system appears to play a critical facilitative role in mediating the reinforcing effects of nicotine and relapse to nicotine-seeking behaviour in abstinent subjects based on the actions of cannabinoid (CB) receptor antagonists. However, the effects of CB receptor stimulation on nicotine self-administration and reinstatement have not been systematically studied. Here, we studied the effects of WIN 55,212-2, a CB1/2 agonist, on intravenous nicotine self-administration under fixed-ratio (FR) and progressive-ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcement in rats. The effects of WIN 55,212-2 on responding for food under similar schedules were also studied. In addition, the effects of WIN 55,212-2 on nicotine- and cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine seeking were also studied, as well as the effects of WIN 55,212-2 on nicotine discrimination. WIN 55,212-2 decreased nicotine self-administration under the FR schedule. However, co-administration of WIN 55,212-2 with nicotine decreased responding for food, which suggests that this effect was non-selective. In contrast, WIN 55,212-2 increased both nicotine self-administration and responding for food under the PR schedule, produced dose-dependent reinstatement of nicotine seeking, and enhanced the reinstatement effects of nicotine-associated cues. Some of these effects were reversed by the CB1 antagonist rimonabant, but not by the CB2 antagonist AM630. In the drug discrimination tests between saline and 0.4 mg/kg nicotine, WIN 55,212-2 produced no nicotine-like discriminative effects but significantly potentiated discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine at the low dose through a CB1-receptor-dependent mechanism. These findings indicate that cannabinoid CB1-receptor stimulation increases the reinforcing effects of nicotine and precipitates relapse to nicotine-seeking behaviour in abstinent subjects. Thus, modulating CB1-receptor signalling might have therapeutic value for treating nicotine dependence. © 2011 The

  20. Nicotine enhances alcohol intake and dopaminergic responses through β2* and β4* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Tolu, Stefania; Marti, Fabio; Morel, Carole; Perrier, Carole; Torquet, Nicolas; Pons, Stephanie; de Beaurepaire, Renaud; Faure, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are the most widely co-abused drugs. Both modify the activity of dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) and lead to an increase in DA release in the Nucleus Accumbens, thereby affecting the reward system. Evidences support the hypothesis that distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the molecular target of acetylcholine (ACh) and exogenous nicotine, are also in addition implicated in the response to alcohol. The precise molecular and neuronal substrates of this interaction are however not well understood. Here we used in vivo electrophysiology in the VTA to characterise acute and chronic interactions between nicotine and alcohol. Simultaneous injections of the two drugs enhanced their responses on VTA DA neuron firing and chronic exposure to nicotine increased alcohol-induced DA responses and alcohol intake. Then, we assessed the role of β4 * nAChRs, but not β2 * nAChRs, in mediating acute responses to alcohol using nAChR subtypes knockout mice (β2−/− and β4−/− mice). Finally, we showed that nicotine-induced modifications of alcohol responses were absent in β2−/− and β4−/− mice, suggesting that nicotine triggers β2* and β4 * nAChR-dependent neuroadaptations that subsequently modify the responses to alcohol and thus indicating these receptors as key mediators in the complex interactions between these two drugs. PMID:28332590

  1. Reexposure to nicotine during withdrawal increases the pacemaking activity of cholinergic habenular neurons

    PubMed Central

    Görlich, Andreas; Antolin-Fontes, Beatriz; Ables, Jessica L.; Frahm, Silke; Ślimak, Marta A.; Dougherty, Joseph D.; Ibañez-Tallon, Inés

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of genetic variants in the cholinergic receptor nicotinic CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster associated with heavy smoking and higher relapse risk has led to the identification of the midbrain habenula–interpeduncular axis as a critical relay circuit in the control of nicotine dependence. Although clear roles for α3, β4, and α5 receptors in nicotine aversion and withdrawal have been established, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that participate in signaling nicotine use and contribute to relapse have not been identified. Here, using translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) profiling, electrophysiology, and behavior, we demonstrate that cholinergic neurons, but not peptidergic neurons, of the medial habenula (MHb) display spontaneous tonic firing of 2–10 Hz generated by hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) pacemaker channels and that infusion of the HCN pacemaker antagonist ZD7288 in the habenula precipitates somatic and affective signs of withdrawal. Further, we show that a strong, α3β4-dependent increase in firing frequency is observed in these pacemaker neurons upon acute exposure to nicotine. No change in the basal or nicotine-induced firing was observed in cholinergic MHb neurons from mice chronically treated with nicotine. We observe, however, that, during withdrawal, reexposure to nicotine doubles the frequency of pacemaking activity in these neurons. These findings demonstrate that the pacemaking mechanism of cholinergic MHb neurons controls withdrawal, suggesting that the heightened nicotine sensitivity of these neurons during withdrawal may contribute to smoking relapse. PMID:24082085

  2. Molecular simulation study of the unbinding of α-conotoxin [ϒ4E]GID at the α7 and α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Suresh, Abishek; Hung, Andrew

    2016-11-01

    The α7 and α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptors belonging to the family of ligand-gated ion channels are most prevalent in the brain, and are implicated in various neurodegenerative disorders. α-conotoxin GID (and its analogue [ϒ4E]GID) specifically inhibits these subtypes, with more affinity towards the human α7 (hα7) subtype, and is valuable in understanding the physiological roles of these receptors. In this study, we use umbrella-sampling molecular dynamics simulations to understand the mechanism of interaction between [ϒ4E]GID and the agonist binding pockets of the α4β2 and the hα7 receptors, and to estimate their relative binding affinities (ΔGbind). The obtained ΔGbind values indicate stronger interaction with the hα7 receptor, in agreement with previous experimental studies. Simulations also revealed different unbinding pathways between the two receptor subtypes, enabling identification of a number of interactions at locations far from the orthosteric binding site which may explain the difference in [ϒ4E]GID potency. The pathways identified will help in the design of novel conotoxins with increased potency at α4β2, for which there is currently no known highly potent conotoxin inhibitor. Computational mutational free energy analyses also revealed a number of possible single-site mutations to GID which might enhance its selective binding to α4β2 over α7. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies to Study the Structure and Function of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Electric Organ and Muscle and to Determine the Structure of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-03-16

    observed when the sections were coincubated in 400 nrL cold mAb 270. Adjacent Nissl -stained sections were used to identify labeled structures...affinity reagent for the acetylcholine receptor binding site. J Biol Chem 259:11662-11665. 7. Whiting PJ, JM Lindstrom. 1986 . Purification and...characterization of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from chick brain. Biochemistry 2502082-2093. 8. Whiting PJ, JM Lindstrom. 1986 . Pharmacological

  4. Perinatal exposure to nicotine causes deficits associated with a loss of nicotinic receptor function

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Gary; Roux, Jean-Christophe; Grailhe, Régis; Malcolm, Girvan; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Lagercrantz, Hugo

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the role played by β2-containing neuronal nicotinic receptors [nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)] in mediating nicotine's side effects in the fetus and newborn. Pregnant WT and mutant mice lacking the β2 nAChR subunit were implanted with osmotic minipumps that delivered either water or a controlled dose of nicotine. Subsequently, we compared the development of the sympathoadrenal system and breathing and arousal reflexes of offspring shortly after birth, a period of increased vulnerability to nicotine exposure. Newborn WT pups exposed to nicotine exhibited all of the deficits associated with maternal tobacco and nicotine use, and linked to poor neonatal outcome: growth restriction, unstable breathing, and impaired arousal and catecholamine biosynthesis. Remarkably similar deficits were detected in pups lacking β2-containing nAChRs. Loss-of-function of these nAChRs consequently reproduces with astonishing fidelity many of the abnormalities caused by perinatal nicotine exposure. We propose that the underlying mechanisms of nicotine's detrimental side effects on a range of crucial defensive reflexes involve loss of function of nAChR subtypes, possibly via activity-dependent desensitization. PMID:15738419

  5. Pharmacological and kinetic properties of alpha 4 beta 2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Charnet, P; Labarca, C; Cohen, B N; Davidson, N; Lester, H A; Pilar, G

    1992-01-01

    1. Co-injection of RNA synthesized from cloned neuronal acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits (alpha 4 and beta 2) in Xenopus oocytes produced functional receptors. In macroscopic voltage-clamp experiments, the agonist-induced current exhibited a strong inward rectification. 2. Voltage jumps from +50 mV to more negative potentials produced relaxations of the agonist-induced current with a single exponential time course. The relaxation rate constant was only weakly voltage dependent. 3. At the single-channel level, three conductances were recorded of 12, 22 and 34 pS. Their burst durations were similar and varied only weakly with voltage (e-fold for 120 to 370 mV), consistent with the poorly voltage-dependent relaxation rate constants. However, the burst durations were less than 10 ms, or less than 1/5 the value expected from voltage-jump relaxations. 4. Hexamethonium (Hex, 0.5 to 8 microM) inhibited the agonist-induced current and produced voltage-jump relaxations characterized by a rapid conductance increase and a slower conductance decrease. Analysis of these relaxations suggested that the Hex-receptor interaction is open-channel blockade characterized by a forward binding rate of 1 x 10(7) M-1 s-1 and a dissociation rate constant of about 25 s-1. 5. For the relaxations produced by QX222, the slowest phase was a conductance increase, suggesting that the dissociation rate constant for QX222 is 10-30-fold greater than for Hex. 6. Hex but not QX222 produced an additional use-dependent blockade that was manifest during repetitive hyperpolarizing pulses. 7. With mouse muscle ACh receptors expressed in oocytes, the blockade by Hex did not depend strongly on voltage. Neither Hex nor QX222 produced appreciable use-dependent block on muscle ACh receptors. 8. Of the four conditions studied (neuronal and muscle receptors, Hex and QX222), only the blockade of the neuronal AChR by Hex is characterized by a residence time longer than the normal open time. 9. It is concluded

  6. Single amino acid substitutions in alpha-conotoxin PnIA shift selectivity for subtypes of the mammalian neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Hogg, R C; Miranda, L P; Craik, D J; Lewis, R J; Alewood, P F; Adams, D J

    1999-12-17

    The alpha-conotoxins, a class of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonists, are emerging as important probes of the role played by different nAChR subtypes in cell function and communication. In this study, the native alpha-conotoxins PnIA and PnIB were found to cause concentration-dependent inhibition of the ACh-induced current in all rat parasympathetic neurons examined, with IC(50) values of 14 and 33 nM, and a maximal reduction in current amplitude of 87% and 71%, respectively. The modified alpha-conotoxin [N11S]PnIA reduced the ACh-induced current with an IC(50) value of 375 nM and a maximally effective concentration caused 91% block. [A10L]PnIA was the most potent inhibitor, reducing the ACh-induced current in approximately 80% of neurons, with an IC(50) value of 1.4 nM and 46% maximal block of the total current. The residual current was not inhibited further by alpha-bungarotoxin, but was further reduced by the alpha-conotoxins PnIA or PnIB, and by mecamylamine. (1)H NMR studies indicate that PnIA, PnIB, and the analogues, [A10L]PnIA and [N11S]PnIA, have identical backbone structures. We propose that positions 10 and 11 of PnIA and PnIB influence potency and determine selectivity among alpha7 and other nAChR subtypes, including alpha3beta2 and alpha3beta4. Four distinct components of the nicotinic ACh-induced current in mammalian parasympathetic neurons have been dissected with these conopeptides.

  7. α4/7-conotoxin Lp1.1 is a novel antagonist of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Can; Han, Yuhong; Sanders, Tanya; Chew, Geoffrey; Liu, Jing; Hawrot, Edward; Chi, Chengwu; Wang, Chunguang

    2016-01-01

    Cone snails comprise approximately 500 species of venomous molluscs which have evolved the ability to generate multiple toxins with varied and exquisite selectivity. α-Conotoxin is a powerful tool for defining the composition and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors which play a crucial role in excitatory neurotransmission and are important targets for drugs and insecticides. An α4/7 conotoxin, Lp1.1, originally identified by cDNA and genomic DNA cloning from Conus leopardus, was found devoid of the highly conserved Pro residue in the first intercysteine loop. To further study this toxin, α-Lp1.1 was chemically synthesized and refolded into its globular disulfide isomer. The synthetic Lp1.1 induced seizure and paralysis on freshwater goldfish and selectively reversibly inhibited ACh-evoked currents in Xenopus oocytes expressing rat α3β2 and α6α3β2 nAChRs. Comparing the distinct primary structure with other functionally related α-conotoxins could indicate structural features in Lp1.1 that may be associated with its unique receptor recognition profile. PMID:18588930

  8. Differential roles for disulfide bonds in the structural integrity and biological activity of kappa-Bungarotoxin, a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist.

    PubMed

    Grant, G A; Luetje, C W; Summers, R; Xu, X L

    1998-09-01

    kappa-Bungarotoxin, a kappa-neurotoxin derived from the venom of the banded Krait, Bungarus multicinctus, is a homodimeric protein composed of subunits of 66 amino acid residues containing five disulfide bonds. kappa-Bungarotoxin is a potent, selective, and slowly reversible antagonist of alpha3 beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. kappa-Bungarotoxin is structurally related to the alpha-neurotoxins, such as alpha-bungarotoxin derived from the same snake, which are monomeric in solution and which effectively antagonize muscle type receptors (alpha1 beta1 gamma delta) and the homopentameric neuronal type receptors (alpha7, alpha8, and alpha9). Like the kappa-neurotoxins, the long alpha-neurotoxins contain the same five conserved disulfide bonds, while the short alpha-neurotoxins only contain four of the five. Systematic removal of single disulfide bonds in kappa-bungarotoxin by site-specific mutagenesis reveals a differential role for each of the disulfide bonds. Removal of either of the two disulfides connecting elements of the carboxy terminal loop of this toxin (Cys 46-Cys 58 and Cys 59-Cys 64) interferes with the ability of the toxin to fold. In contrast, removal of each of the other three disulfides does not interfere with the general folding of the toxin and yields molecules with biological activity. In fact, when either C3-C21 or C14-C42 are removed individually, no loss in biological activity is seen. However, removing both produces a polypeptide chain which fails to fold properly. Removal of the C27-C31 disulfide only reduces the activity of the toxin 46.6-fold. This disulfide may play a role in specific interaction of the toxin with specific neuronal receptors.

  9. Evidence that nicotinic alpha(7) receptors are not involved in the hyperlocomotor and rewarding effects of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Grottick, A J; Trube, G; Corrigall, W A; Huwyler, J; Malherbe, P; Wyler, R; Higgins, G A

    2000-09-01

    Neuronal nicotinic receptors are comprised of combinations of alpha(2-9) and beta(2-4) subunits arranged to form a pentameric receptor. Currently, the principal central nervous system (CNS) subtypes are believed to be alpha(4)beta(2) and a homomeric alpha(7) receptor, although other combinations almost certainly exist. The identity of the nicotinic receptor subtype(s) involved in the rewarding effects of nicotine are unknown. In the present study, using some recently described subtype selective nicotinic agonists and antagonists, we investigated the role of the alpha(7) nicotinic receptor in the mediation of nicotine-induced hyperactivity and self-administration in rats. The alpha(7) receptor agonists AR-R 17779 and DMAC failed to stimulate locomotor activity in both nicotine-nontolerant and -sensitized rats. In contrast, nicotine and the putative alpha(4)beta(2) subtype selective agonist SIB1765F increased activity in both experimental conditions. In nicotine-sensitized rats, the high affinity (including the alpha(4)beta(2) subtype) nicotinic antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE), but not the selective alpha(7) antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA), antagonized a nicotine-induced hyperactivity. Similarly, DHbetaE, but not MLA, pretreatment reduced nicotine self-administration. Electrophysiology experiments using Xenopus oocytes expressing the human alpha(7) receptor confirmed AR-R 17779 and DMAC to be potent agonists at this site, and further studies demonstrated the ability of systemically administered AR-R 17779 to penetrate into the CNS. Taken together, these results indicate a negligible role of alpha(7) receptors in nicotine-induced hyperlocomotion and reward in the rat, and support the view for an involvement of a member from the high-affinity nicotinic receptor subclass, possibly alpha(4)beta(2). Issues such as drug potency, CNS penetration, and desensitization of the alpha(7) receptor are discussed.

  10. Nitrosamines as nicotinic receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Schuller, Hildegard M

    2007-05-30

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

  11. Nitrosamines as nicotinic receptor ligands

    PubMed Central

    Schuller, Hildegard M.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. An alpha3beta4 subunit combination acts as a major functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in male rat pelvic ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyu-Sang; Cha, Seung-Kyu; Kim, Min-Jeong; Kim, Dae-Ran; Jeong, Seong-Woo; Lee, Joong-Woo; Kong, In Deok

    2006-09-01

    We identified major subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) involved in excitatory postsynaptic potential and intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]i) increase in the major pelvic ganglion (MPG) neurons of the male rat. ACh elicited fast inward currents in both sympathetic and parasympathetic MPG neurons. Mecamylamine, a selective antagonist for alpha3beta4 nAChR, potently inhibited the ACh-induced currents in sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons (IC(50); 0.53 and 0.22 microM, respectively). Furthermore, alpha-conotoxin AuIB (10 microM), a new selective antagonist for alpha3beta4 nAChR, blocked more than 80% of the ACh-induced currents in MPG neurons. Conversely, alpha-bungarotoxin, alpha-methyllycaconitine, and dihydro-beta-erythroidine, known as blockers of the alpha7 or alpha4beta2, did not show selective blocking effects on MPG neurons. ACh transiently increased [Ca(2+)]i which was subsequently abolished in the extracellular Ca(2+)-free environment. Simultaneous recording of [Ca(2+)]i and ionic currents revealed that ACh increased [Ca(2+)]i under the conditions of the voltage-clamped (at -80 mV) state, and this resulted from the influx through nAChR itself. ACh-induced [Ca(2+)]i increase was blocked by mecamylamine (10 microM), but was not affected by atropine (1 microM). RT-PCR analysis showed that, among subunits of nAChR, alpha3 and beta4 were predominantly expressed in MPG. We suggest that activation of alpha3 and beta4 nAChR subunits in MPG neurons induce fast inward currents and [Ca(2+)]i increase, possibly mediating a major role in pelvic autonomic synaptic transmission.

  13. Nicotinic alpha5 subunit deletion locally reduces high-affinity agonist activation without altering nicotinic receptor numbers.

    PubMed

    Brown, Robert W B; Collins, Allan C; Lindstrom, Jon M; Whiteaker, Paul

    2007-10-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha5 mRNA is widely expressed in the CNS. An alpha5 gene polymorphism has been implicated in behavioral differences between mouse strains, and alpha5-null mutation induces profound changes in mouse acute responses to nicotine. In this study, we have examined the distribution and prevalence of alpha5* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in mouse brain, and quantified the effects of alpha5-null mutation on pre-synaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function (measured using synaptosomal (86)Rb(+) efflux) and overall [(125)I]epibatidine binding site expression. alpha5* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression was found in nine of fifteen regions examined, although < 20% of the total nicotinic acetylcholine receptor population in any region contained alpha5. Deletion of the alpha5 subunit gene resulted in localized loss of function (thalamus, striatum), which was itself confined to the DHbetaE-sensitive receptor population. No changes in receptor expression were seen. Consequently, functional changes must occur as a result of altered function per unit of receptor. The selective depletion of high agonist activation affinity sites results in overall nicotinic function being reduced, and increases the overall agonist activation affinity. Together, these results describe the receptor-level changes underlying altered behavioral responses to nicotine in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha5 subunit-null mutants.

  14. Choline induces opposite changes in pyramidal neuron excitability and synaptic transmission through a nicotinic receptor-independent process in hippocampal slices.

    PubMed

    Albiñana, E; Luengo, J G; Baraibar, A M; Muñoz, M D; Gandía, L; Solís, J M; Hernández-Guijo, J M

    2017-06-01

    Choline is present at cholinergic synapses as a product of acetylcholine degradation. In addition, it is considered a selective agonist for α5 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In this study, we determined how choline affects action potentials and excitatory synaptic transmission using extracellular and intracellular recording techniques in CA1 area of hippocampal slices obtained from both mice and rats. Choline caused a reversible depression of evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in a concentration-dependent manner that was not affected by α7 nAChR antagonists. Moreover, this choline-induced effect was not mimicked by either selective agonists or allosteric modulators of α7 nAChRs. Additionally, this choline-mediated effect was not prevented by either selective antagonists of GABA receptors or hemicholinium, a choline uptake inhibitor. The paired pulse facilitation paradigm, which detects whether a substance affects presynaptic release of glutamate, was not modified by choline. On the other hand, choline induced a robust increase of population spike evoked by orthodromic stimulation but did not modify that evoked by antidromic stimulation. We also found that choline impaired recurrent inhibition recorded in the pyramidal cell layer through a mechanism independent of α7 nAChR activation. These choline-mediated effects on fEPSP and population spike observed in rat slices were completely reproduced in slices obtained from α7 nAChR knockout mice, which reinforces our conclusion that choline modulates synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability by a mechanism independent of nicotinic receptor activation.

  15. Expression and function of two nicotinic subunits in insect neurons.

    PubMed

    Vermehren, A; Trimmer, B A

    2005-02-15

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in insects are neuron-specific oligomeric proteins essential for the central transmission of sensory information. Little is known about their subunit composition because it is difficult to express functional insect nAChRs in heterologous systems. As an alternative approach we have examined the native expression of two subunits in neurons of the nicotinic-resistant, tobacco-feeding insect Manduca sexta. Both the alpha-subunit MARA1 and the beta-subunit MARB can be detected by in situ hybridization in the majority of cultured neurons with an overlapping, but not identical, distribution. Changes in intracellular Ca(2+) evoked by nicotinic stimulation are more strongly correlated to the expression of MARA1 than MARB and are independent of cell size. Unlike the previously reported critical role of MARA1 in mediating nicotinic Ca(2+) responses, down-regulation of MARB by RNA interference (RNAi) did not reduce the number of responding neurons or the size of evoked responses, suggesting that additional subunits remain to be identified in Manduca.

  16. Hippocampal GABAergic interneurons coexpressing alpha7-nicotinic receptors and connexin-36 are able to improve neuronal viability under oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    PubMed

    Voytenko, L P; Lushnikova, I V; Savotchenko, A V; Isaeva, E V; Skok, M V; Lykhmus, O Yu; Patseva, M A; Skibo, G G

    2015-08-07

    The hippocampal interneurons are very diverse by chemical profiles and rather inconsistent by sensitivity to CI. Some hippocampal GABAergic interneurons survive certain time after ischemia while ischemia-sensitive interneurons and pyramidal neurons are damaged. GABAergic signaling, nicotinic receptors expressing α7-subunit (α7nAChRs(+)) and connexin-36 (Cx36(+), electrotonic gapjunctions protein) contradictory modulate post-ischemic environment. We hypothesized that hippocampal ischemia-resistant GABAergic interneurons coexpressing glutamate decarboxylase-67 isoform (GAD67(+)), α7nAChRs(+), Cx36(+) are able to enhance neuronal viability. To check this hypothesis the histochemical and electrophysiological investigations have been performed using rat hippocampal organotypic culture in the condition of 30-min oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Post-OGD reoxygenation (4h) revealed in CA1 pyramidal layer numerous damaged cells, decreased population spike amplitude and increased pair-pulse depression. In these conditions GAD67(+) interneurons displayed the OGD-resistance and significant increase of GABA synthesis/metabolism (GAD67-immunofluorescence, mitochondrial activity). The α7nAChRs(+) and Cx36(+) co-localizations were revealed in resistant GAD67(+) interneurons. Under OGD: GABAA-receptors (GABAARs) blockade increased cell damage and exacerbated the pair-pulse depression in CA1 pyramidal layer; α7nAChRs and Cx36-channels separate blockades sufficiently decreased cell damage while interneuronal GAD67-immunofluorescence and mitochondrial activity were similar to the control. Thus, hippocampal GABAergic interneurons co-expressing α7nAChRs and Cx36 remained resistant certain time after OGD and were able to modulate CA1 neuron survival through GABAARs, α7nAChRs and Cx36-channels activity. The enhancements of the neuronal viability together with GABA synthesis/metabolism normalization suggest cooperative neuroprotective mechanism that could be used for increase in

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-06-15

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

  18. Assessment of the Protection of Dopaminergic Neurons by an α7 Nicotinic Receptor Agonist, PHA 543613 Using [(18)F]LBT-999 in a Parkinson's Disease Rat Model.

    PubMed

    Sérrière, Sophie; Doméné, Aurélie; Vercouillie, Johnny; Mothes, Céline; Bodard, Sylvie; Rodrigues, Nuno; Guilloteau, Denis; Routier, Sylvain; Page, Guylène; Chalon, Sylvie

    2015-01-01

    The inverse association between nicotine intake and Parkinson's disease (PD) is well established and suggests that this molecule could be neuroprotective through anti-inflammatory action mediated by nicotinic receptors, including the α7-subtype (α7R). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of an agonist of α7R, PHA 543613, on striatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in a rat model of PD induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion. Adult male Wistar rats were lesioned in the right striatum and assigned to either the PHA group (n = 7) or the Sham group (n = 5). PHA 543613 hydrochloride at the concentration of 6 mg/kg (PHA group) or vehicle (Sham group) was intra-peritoneally injected 2 h before 6-OHDA lesioning and then at days 2, 4, and 6 post-lesion. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was performed at 7 days post-lesion using [(18)F]LBT-999 to quantify the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT). After PET imaging, neuroinflammation was evaluated in same animals in vitro through the measurement of the microglial activation marker 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) by quantitative autoradiography with [(3)H]PK-11195. The DAT density reflecting the integrity of dopaminergic neurons was significantly decreased while the intensity of neuroinflammation measured by TSPO density was significantly increased in the lesioned compared to intact striatum in both groups. However, these both modifications were partially reversed in the PHA group compared to Sham. In addition, a significant positive correlation between the degree of lesion and the intensity of neuroinflammation was evidenced. These findings indicate that PHA 543613 exerts neuroprotective effects on the striatal dopaminergic neurons associated with a reduction in microglial activation in this model of PD. This reinforces the hypothesis that an α7R agonist could provide beneficial effects for the treatment of PD.

  19. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Signaling in Tumor Growth and Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sandeep; Pillai, Smitha; Chellappan, Srikumar

    2011-01-01

    Cigarette smoking is highly correlated with the onset of a variety of human cancers, and continued smoking is known to abrogate the beneficial effects of cancer therapy. While tobacco smoke contains hundreds of molecules that are known carcinogens, nicotine, the main addictive component of tobacco smoke, is not carcinogenic. At the same time, nicotine has been shown to promote cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, leading to enhanced tumor growth and metastasis. These effects of nicotine are mediated through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that are expressed on a variety of neuronal and nonneuronal cells. Specific signal transduction cascades that emanate from different nAChR subunits or subunit combinations facilitate the proliferative and prosurvival functions of nicotine. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors appear to stimulate many downstream signaling cascades induced by growth factors and mitogens. It has been suggested that antagonists of nAChR signaling might have antitumor effects and might open new avenues for combating tobacco-related cancer. This paper examines the historical data connecting nicotine tumor progression and the recent efforts to target the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors to combat cancer. PMID:21541211

  20. Non-additive interaction between nicotinic cholinergic and P2X purine receptors in guinea-pig enteric neurons in culture

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiaoping; Galligan, James J

    1998-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh)-activated currents and their interaction with ATP-activated currents were studied in primary cultures of myenteric neurons from guinea-pig small intestine using patch clamp techniques. Peak currents caused by co-application of ACh (1 mm) and ATP (300 μm) were 78 ± 2 % of the sum of currents activated by each agonist alone (P < 0.05, n = 29). Reversal potentials measured during co-application of ACh and ATP did not differ from those measured during application of ACh or ATP alone. Addition of BAPTA (10 mm) to the pipette solution or replacement of extracellular Ca2+ with Na+ did not prevent occlusion. Responses caused by co-application of 5-HT (300 μm), acting at 5-HT3 receptors, and ACh (3 mm) or ATP (1 mm) were additive (94 ± 3 or 96 ± 4 %, respectively, of the sum of currents activated by 5-HT and ACh or ATP alone; P > 0.05). Currents caused by GABA (1 mm), acting at GABAA receptors, and ACh (3 mm) or ATP (1 mm) were also additive (105 ± 4 or 100 ± 3 %, respectively, of the sum of currents activated by GABA and ACh or GABA and ATP applied separately; P > 0.05). Single channel currents caused by ACh and ATP in the same outside-out patches were less than additive (85 ± 10 % of the predicted sum, P < 0.05). P2X receptors and nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) are linked in a mutually inhibitory manner in guinea-pig myenteric neurons. The functional interaction does not involve ligand binding sites, Ca2+-dependent mechanisms, a change in the driving force for Na+ or cytoplasmic signalling mechanisms. PMID:9824710

  1. Hydrophobic residues at position 10 of α-conotoxin PnIA influence subtype selectivity between α7 and α3β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Hopping, Gene; Wang, C-I Anderson; Hogg, Ron C; Nevin, Simon T; Lewis, Richard J; Adams, David J; Alewood, Paul F

    2014-10-15

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a diverse class of ligand-gated ion channels involved in neurological conditions such as neuropathic pain and Alzheimer's disease. α-Conotoxin [A10L]PnIA is a potent and selective antagonist of the mammalian α7 nAChR with a key binding interaction at position 10. We now describe a molecular analysis of the receptor-ligand interactions that determine the role of position 10 in determining potency and selectivity for the α7 and α3β2 nAChR subtypes. Using electrophysiological and radioligand binding methods on a suite of [A10L]PnIA analogs we observed that hydrophobic residues in position 10 maintained potency at both subtypes whereas charged or polar residues abolished α7 binding. Molecular docking revealed dominant hydrophobic interactions with several α7 and α3β2 receptor residues via a hydrophobic funnel. Incorporation of norleucine (Nle) caused the largest (8-fold) increase in affinity for the α7 subtype (Ki=44nM) though selectivity reverted to α3β2 (IC50=0.7nM). It appears that the placement of a single methyl group determines selectivity between α7 and α3β2 nAChRs via different molecular determinants. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The E Loop of the Transmitter Binding Site Is a Key Determinant of the Modulatory Effects of Physostigmine on Neuronal Nicotinic α4β2 Receptors.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaochun; McCollum, Megan M; Germann, Allison L; Akk, Gustav; Steinbach, Joe Henry

    2017-02-01

    Physostigmine is a well known inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, which can also activate, potentiate, and inhibit acetylcholine receptors, including neuronal nicotinic receptors comprising α4 and β2 subunits. We have found that the two stoichiometric forms of this receptor differ in the effects of physostigmine. The form containing three copies of α4 and two of β2 was potentiated at low concentrations of acetylcholine chloride (ACh) and physostigmine, whereas the form containing two copies of α4 and three of β2 was inhibited. Chimeric constructs of subunits indicated that the presence of inhibition or potentiation depended on the source of the extracellular ligand binding domain of the subunit. Further sets of chimeric constructs demonstrated that a portion of the ACh binding domain, the E loop, is a key determinant. Transferring the E loop from the β2 subunit to the α4 subunit resulted in strong inhibition, whereas the reciprocal transfer reduced inhibition. To control the number and position of the incorporated chimeric subunits, we expressed chimeric constructs with subunit dimers. Surprisingly, incorporation of a subunit with an altered E loop had similar effects whether it contributed either to an intersubunit interface containing a canonical ACh binding site or to an alternative interface. The observation that the α4 E loop is involved suggests that physostigmine interacts with regions of subunits that contribute to the ACh binding site, whereas the lack of interface specificity indicates that interaction with a particular ACh binding site is not the critical factor.

  3. 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.

  4. Nicotine addiction and nicotinic receptors: lessons from genetically modified mice.

    PubMed

    Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2010-06-01

    The past decades have seen a revolution in our understanding of brain diseases and in particular of drug addiction. This has been largely due to the identification of neurotransmitter receptors and the development of animal models, which together have enabled the investigation of brain functions from the molecular to the cognitive level. Tobacco smoking, the principal - yet avoidable - cause of lung cancer is associated with nicotine addiction. Recent studies in mice involving deletion and replacement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits have begun to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying nicotine addiction and might offer new therapeutic strategies to treat this addiction.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-06

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

  6. Blocking actions of alkylene-tethered bis-neonicotinoids on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed by terminal abdominal ganglion neurons of Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Ihara, Makoto; Hirata, Koichi; Ishida, Chiharu; Kagabu, Shinzo; Matsuda, Kazuhiko

    2007-10-02

    Neonicotinoid insecticides target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which, in both vertebrates and invertebrates, mediate fast-acting synaptic neurotransmission in the nervous system. Recently, Kagabu et al. synthesized bis-neonicotinoids. The neural activities of bis-neonicotinoids have been evaluated on the central nerve cord of American cockroaches. However, the action of bis-neonicotinoids on nAChRs expressed by dissociated insect neurons has not yet been studied. Thus, the actions of several alkylene-tethered bis-neonicotinoids on the terminal abdominal ganglion neurons of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, were investigated using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology. All of the ligands tested did not induce membrane currents, but reduced the responses to ACh when bath applied prior to co-application with ACh. Of the compounds tested, HK-13, which possesses two imidacloprid units linked with a hexamethylene bridge, had the highest antagonist potency. The antagonist action was reduced, not only by elongating, but also by shortening the linker.

  7. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: from basic science to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Raymond; Rollema, Hans; Bertrand, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Substantial progress in the identification of genes encoding for a large number of proteins responsible for various aspects of neurotransmitter release, postsynaptic detection and downstream signaling, has advanced our understanding of the mechanisms by which neurons communicate and interact. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors represent a large and well-characterized family of ligand-gated ion channels that is expressed broadly throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, and in non-neuronal cells. With 16 mammalian genes identified that encode for nicotinic receptors and the ability of the subunits to form heteromeric or homomeric receptors, the repertoire of conceivable receptor subtype combinations is enormous and offers unique possibilities for the design and development of new therapeutics that target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The aim of this review is to provide the reader with recent insights in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from genes, structure and function to diseases, and with the latest findings on the pharmacology of these receptors. Although so far only a few nicotinic drugs have been marketed or are in late stage development, much progress has been made in the design of novel chemical entities that are being explored for the treatment of various diseases, including addiction, depression, ADHD, cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, pain and inflammation. A pharmacological analysis of these compounds, including those that were discontinued, can improve our understanding of the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic requirements for nicotinic 'drug-like' molecules and will reveal if hypotheses on therapies based on targeting specific nicotinic receptor subtypes have been adequately tested in the clinic.

  8. Chronic intermittent nicotine treatment dose-dependently alters serotonergic neurons response to citalopram in the rat.

    PubMed

    Touiki, Khalid; Rat, Pascal; Arib, Ouafa; Molimard, Robert; Chait, Abderrahman; de Beaurepaire, Renaud

    2008-05-01

    Acetylcholine nicotinic systems and serotonergic systems are known to interact. In rodents, acute and chronic nicotine treatments have consequences on several aspects of the activity of dorsal raphe serotonin (DRN 5-HT) neurons. One hypothesis is that states of functioning of DRN 5-HT neurons (firing rate and sensitivity) vary as a function of nicotine dose and mode of administration during chronic nicotine treatment. In the present study, the firing rate and sensitivity of DRN 5-HT neurons were investigated using single (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) or multiple (3 injections of 0.7 mg/kg) daily injections of nicotine over 10 days. The sensitivity of neurons was tested by the cumulative dose of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram necessary to inhibit their firing. The activity of neurons was tested during treatment, and then 24 and 48 h after nicotine withdrawal. The results show that, on day 10, DRN 5-HT neurons were desensitized (reduced response to citalopram) after chronic single daily injection treatments with the high dose of nicotine (1 mg/kg), while their sensitivity remained unaltered after single daily injections with the low dose (0.5 mg/kg), and after the multiple daily injection paradigm. None of the treatments altered the firing rate of DRN 5-HT neurons. The dose-dependent and time-dependent alterations of serotonergic neurons sensitivity after chronic nicotine treatments are likely the consequences of long-term adaptations of nicotinic receptors. The desensitization of DRN 5-HT neurons after chronic single daily injections of 1 mg/kg of nicotine suggests an antidepressant-like effect of chronic nicotine.

  9. Altered fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibre characteristics in female mice with a (S248F) knock-in mutation of the brain neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Cannata, David J; Finkelstein, David I; Gantois, Ilse; Teper, Yaroslav; Drago, John; West, Jan M

    2009-01-01

    We generated a mouse line with a missense mutation (S248F) in the gene (CHRNA4) encoding the alpha4 subunit of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Mutant mice demonstrate brief nicotine induced dystonia that resembles the clinical events seen in patients with the same mutation. Drug-induced dystonia is more pronounced in female mice, thus our aim was to determine if the S248F mutation changed the properties of fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibres from female mutant mice. Reverse transcriptase-PCR confirmed CHRNA4 gene expression in the brain but not skeletal muscles in normal and mutant mice. Ca(2+) and Sr(2+) force activation curves were obtained using skinned muscle fibres prepared from slow-twitch (soleus) and fast-twitch (EDL) muscles. Two significant results were found: (1) the (pCa(50) - pSr(50)) value from EDL fibres was smaller in mutant mice than in wild type (1.01 vs. 1.30), (2) the percentage force produced at pSr 5.5 was larger in mutants than in wild type (5.76 vs. 0.24%). Both results indicate a shift to slow-twitch characteristics in the mutant. This conclusion is supported by the identification of the myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms. Mutant EDL fibres expressed MHC I (usually only found in slow-twitch fibres) as well as MHC IIa. Despite the lack of spontaneous dystonic events, our findings suggest that mutant mice may be having subclinical events or the mutation results in a chronic alteration to muscle neural input.

  10. 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.

  11. Decrease in neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit and PSD-93 transcript levels in the male mouse MPG after cavernous nerve injury or explant culture.

    PubMed

    Girard, Beatrice M; Merriam, Laura A; Tompkins, John D; Vizzard, Margaret A; Parsons, Rodney L

    2013-11-15

    Quantitative real-time PCR was used to test whether cavernous nerve injury leads to a decrease in major pelvic ganglia (MPG) neuronal nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) subunit and postsynaptic density (PSD)-93 transcript levels. Subunits α3, β4, and α7, commonly expressed in the MPG, were selected for analysis. After 72 h in explant culture, MPG transcript levels for α3, β4, α7, and PSD-93 were significantly depressed. Three days after cavernous nerve axotomy or crush in vivo, transcript levels for α3, β4, and PSD-93, but not for α7, were significantly depressed. Three days after dissection of the cavernous nerve free of underlying tissue and application of a 5-mm lateral stretch (manipulation), transcript levels for α3 and PSD-93 were also significantly decreased. Seven days after all three surgical procedures, α3 transcript levels remained depressed, but PSD-93 transcript levels were still decreased only after axotomy or nerve crush. At 30 days postsurgery, transcript levels for the nAChR subunits and PSD-93 had recovered. ACh-induced currents were significantly smaller in MPG neurons dissociated from 3-day explant cultured ganglia than from those recorded in neurons dissociated from acutely isolated ganglia; this observation provides direct evidence showing that a decrease in nAChR function was coincident with a decrease in nAChR subunit transcript levels. We conclude that a downregulation of nAChR subunit and PSD-93 expression after cavernous nerve injury, or even manipulation, could interrupt synaptic transmission within the MPG and thus contribute to the loss of neural control of urogenital organs after pelvic surgeries.

  12. Decrease in neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit and PSD-93 transcript levels in the male mouse MPG after cavernous nerve injury or explant culture

    PubMed Central

    Girard, Beatrice M.; Merriam, Laura A.; Tompkins, John D.; Vizzard, Margaret A.

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative real-time PCR was used to test whether cavernous nerve injury leads to a decrease in major pelvic ganglia (MPG) neuronal nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) subunit and postsynaptic density (PSD)-93 transcript levels. Subunits α3, β4, and α7, commonly expressed in the MPG, were selected for analysis. After 72 h in explant culture, MPG transcript levels for α3, β4, α7, and PSD-93 were significantly depressed. Three days after cavernous nerve axotomy or crush in vivo, transcript levels for α3, β4, and PSD-93, but not for α7, were significantly depressed. Three days after dissection of the cavernous nerve free of underlying tissue and application of a 5-mm lateral stretch (manipulation), transcript levels for α3 and PSD-93 were also significantly decreased. Seven days after all three surgical procedures, α3 transcript levels remained depressed, but PSD-93 transcript levels were still decreased only after axotomy or nerve crush. At 30 days postsurgery, transcript levels for the nAChR subunits and PSD-93 had recovered. ACh-induced currents were significantly smaller in MPG neurons dissociated from 3-day explant cultured ganglia than from those recorded in neurons dissociated from acutely isolated ganglia; this observation provides direct evidence showing that a decrease in nAChR function was coincident with a decrease in nAChR subunit transcript levels. We conclude that a downregulation of nAChR subunit and PSD-93 expression after cavernous nerve injury, or even manipulation, could interrupt synaptic transmission within the MPG and thus contribute to the loss of neural control of urogenital organs after pelvic surgeries. PMID:24049141

  13. A potentially novel nicotinic receptor in Aplysia neuroendocrine cells.

    PubMed

    White, Sean H; Carter, Christopher J; Magoski, Neil S

    2014-07-15

    Nicotinic receptors form a diverse group of ligand-gated ionotropic receptors with roles in both synaptic transmission and the control of excitability. In the bag cell neurons of Aplysia, acetylcholine activates an ionotropic receptor, which passes inward current to produce a long-lasting afterdischarge and hormone release, leading to reproduction. While testing the agonist profile of the cholinergic response, we observed a second current that appeared to be gated only by nicotine and not acetylcholine. The peak nicotine-evoked current was markedly smaller in magnitude than the acetylcholine-induced current, cooperative (Hill value of 2.7), had an EC50 near 500 μM, readily recovered from desensitization, showed Ca(2+) permeability, and was blocked by mecamylamine, dihydro-β-erythroidine, or strychnine, but not by α-conotoxin ImI, methyllycaconitine, or hexamethonium. Aplysia transcriptome analysis followed by PCR yielded 20 full-length potential nicotinic receptor subunits. Sixteen of these were predicted to be cation selective, and real-time PCR suggested that 15 of the 16 subunits were expressed to varying degrees in the bag cell neurons. The acetylcholine-induced current, but not the nicotine current, was reduced by double-strand RNA treatment targeted to both subunits ApAChR-C and -E. Conversely, the nicotine-evoked current, but not the acetylcholine current, was lessened by targeting both subunits ApAChR-H and -P. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report suggesting that a nicotinic receptor is not gated by acetylcholine. Separate receptors may serve as a means to differentially trigger plasticity or safeguard propagation by assuring that only acetylcholine, the endogenous agonist, initiates large enough responses to trigger reproduction.

  14. Rapid Sensitization of Physiological, Neuronal, and Locomotor Effects of Nicotine: Critical Role of Peripheral Drug Actions

    PubMed Central

    Lenoir, Magalie; Tang, Jeremy S.; Woods, Amina S.

    2013-01-01

    Repeated exposure to nicotine and other psychostimulant drugs produces persistent increases in their psychomotor and physiological effects (sensitization), a phenomenon related to the drugs' reinforcing properties and abuse potential. Here we examined the role of peripheral actions of nicotine in nicotine-induced sensitization of centrally mediated physiological parameters (brain, muscle, and skin temperatures), cortical and VTA EEG, neck EMG activity, and locomotion in freely moving rats. Repeated injections of intravenous nicotine (30 μg/kg) induced sensitization of the drug's effects on all these measures. In contrast, repeated injections of the peripherally acting analog of nicotine, nicotine pyrrolidine methiodide (nicotinePM, 30 μg/kg, i.v.) resulted in habituation (tolerance) of the same physiological, neuronal, and behavioral measures. However, after repeated nicotine exposure, acute nicotinePM injections induced nicotine-like physiological responses: powerful cortical and VTA EEG desynchronization, EMG activation, a large brain temperature increase, but weaker hyperlocomotion. Additionally, both the acute locomotor response to nicotine and nicotine-induced locomotor sensitization were attenuated by blockade of peripheral nicotinic receptors by hexamethonium (3 mg/kg, i.v.). These data suggest that the peripheral actions of nicotine, which precede its direct central actions, serve as a conditioned interoceptive cue capable of eliciting nicotine-like physiological and neural responses after repeated nicotine exposure. Thus, by providing a neural signal to the CNS that is repeatedly paired with the direct central effects of nicotine, the drug's peripheral actions play a critical role in the development of nicotine-induced physiological, neural, and behavioral sensitization. PMID:23761889

  15. QSAR modeling of mono- and bis-quaternary ammonium salts that act as antagonists at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediating dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Fang; Bayram, Ersin; Sumithran, Sangeetha P; Ayers, Joshua T; Zhan, Chang-Guo; Schmitt, Jeffrey D; Dwoskin, Linda P; Crooks, Peter A

    2006-05-01

    Back-propagation artificial neural networks (ANNs) were trained on a dataset of 42 molecules with quantitative IC50 values to model structure-activity relationships of mono- and bis-quaternary ammonium salts as antagonists at neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) mediating nicotine-evoked dopamine release. The ANN QSAR models produced a reasonable level of correlation between experimental and calculated log(1/IC50) (r2=0.76, r(cv)2=0.64). An external test for the models was performed on a dataset of 18 molecules with IC50 values >1 microM. Fourteen of these were correctly classified. Classification ability of various models, including self-organizing maps (SOM), for all 60 molecules was also evaluated. A detailed analysis of the modeling results revealed the following relative contributions of the used descriptors to the trained ANN QSAR model: approximately 44.0% from the length of the N-alkyl chain attached to the quaternary ammonium head group, approximately 20.0% from Moriguchi octanol-water partition coefficient of the molecule, approximately 13.0% from molecular surface area, approximately 12.6% from the first component shape directional WHIM index/unweighted, approximately 7.8% from Ghose-Crippen molar refractivity, and 2.6% from the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy. The ANN QSAR models were also evaluated using a set of 13 newly synthesized compounds (11 biologically active antagonists and two biologically inactive compounds) whose structures had not been previously utilized in the training set. Twelve among 13 compounds were predicted to be active which further supports the robustness of the trained models. Other insights from modeling include a structural modification in the bis-quinolinium series that involved replacing the 5 and/or 8 as well as the 5' and/or 8' carbon atoms with nitrogen atoms, predicting inactive compounds. Such data can be effectively used to reduce synthetic and in vitro screening activities by eliminating

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-12

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

  17. The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-selective antagonist, methyllycaconitine, partially protects against beta-amyloid1-42 toxicity in primary neuron-enriched cultures.

    PubMed

    Martin, Shelley E; de Fiebre, Nancy Ellen C; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2004-10-01

    Studies have suggested that the neuroprotective actions of alpha7 nicotinic agonists arise from activation of receptors and not from the extensive desensitization which rapidly follows activation. Here, we report that the alpha7-selective nicotinic antagonist, methyllycaconitine (MLA), protects against beta-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity; whereas the alpha4beta2-selective antagonist, dihydro-beta-erythroidine, does not. These findings suggest that neuroprotective actions of alpha7-acting agents arise from receptor inhibition/desensitization and that alpha7 antagonists may be useful neuroprotective agents.

  18. Modulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by strychnine

    PubMed Central

    García-Colunga, Jesús; Miledi, Ricardo

    1999-01-01

    Strychnine, a potent and selective antagonist at glycine receptors, was found to inhibit muscle (α1β1γδ, α1β1γ, and α1β1δ) and neuronal (α2β2 and α2β4) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AcChoRs) expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Strychnine alone (up to 500 μM) did not elicit membrane currents in oocytes expressing AcChoRs, but, when applied before, concomitantly, or during superfusion of acetylcholine (AcCho), it rapidly and reversibly inhibited the current elicited by AcCho (AcCho-current). Although in the three cases the AcCho-current was reduced to the same level, its recovery was slower when the oocytes were preincubated with strychnine. The amount of AcCho-current inhibition depended on the receptor subtype, and the order of blocking potency by strychnine was α1β1γδ > α2β4 > α2β2. With the three forms of drug application, the Hill coefficient was close to one, suggesting a single site for the receptor interaction with strychnine, and this interaction appears to be noncompetitive. The inhibitory effects on muscle AcChoRs were voltage-independent, and the apparent dissociation constant for AcCho was not appreciably changed by strychnine. In contrast, the inhibitory effects on neuronal AcChoRs were voltage-dependent, with an electrical distance of ≈0.35. We conclude that strychnine regulates reversibly and noncompetitively the embryonic type of muscle AcChoR and some forms of neuronal AcChoRs. In the former case, strychnine presumably inhibits allosterically the receptor by binding at an external domain whereas, in the latter case, it blocks the open receptor-channel complex. PMID:10097172

  19. In vitro metabolism of α7 neuronal nicotinic receptor agonist AZD0328 and enzyme identification for its N-oxide metabolite.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Diansong; Zhang, Minli; Ye, Xiaomei; Gu, Chungang; Piser, Timothy M; Lanoue, Bernard A; Schock, Sara A; Cheng, Yi-Fang; Grimm, Scott W

    2011-03-01

    1. AZD0328 was pharmacologically characterized as a α7 neuronal nicotinic receptor agonist intended for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In vitro AZD0328 cross species metabolite profile and enzyme identification for its N-oxide metabolite were evaluated in this study. 2. AZD0328 was very stable in the human hepatocyte incubation, whereas extensively metabolized in rat, dog and guinea pig hepatocyte incubations. The N-oxidation metabolite (M6) was the only metabolite detected in human hepatocyte incubations, and it also appeared to be the major in vitro metabolic pathway in a number of preclinical species. In addition, N-glucuronide metabolite of AZD0328 was observed in human liver microsomes. 3. Other metabolic pathways in the preclinical species include hydroxylation in azabicyclo octane or furopyridine part of the molecule. Pyridine N-methylation of AZD0328 (M2) was identified as a dog specific metabolite, not observed in human or other preclinical species. 4. Multiple enzymes including CYP2D6, CYP3A4/5, FMO1 and FMO3 catalyzed AZD0328 metabolism. The potential for AZD0328 to be inhibited clinically by co-administered drugs or genetic polymorphism is relative low.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  1. Ric-3 chaperone-mediated stable cell-surface expression of the neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Vallés, Ana Sofía; Roccamo, Ana M; Barrantes, Francisco J

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Studies of the α7-type neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR), one of the receptor forms involved in many physiologically relevant processes in the central nervous system, have been hampered by the inability of this homomeric protein to assemble in most heterologous expression systems. In a recent study, it was shown that the chaperone Ric-3 is necessary for the maturation and functional expression of α7-type AChRs1. The current work aims at obtaining and characterizing a cell line with high functional expression of the human α7 AChR. Methods: Ric-3 cDNA was incorporated into SHE-P1-hα7 cells expressing the α7-type AChR. Functional studies were undertaken using single-channel patch-clamp recordings. Equilibrium and kinetic [125I]α-bungarotoxin binding assays, as well as fluorescence microscopy using fluorescent α-bungarotoxin, anti-α7 antibody, and GFP-α7 were performed on the new clone. Results: The human α7-type AChR was stably expressed in a new cell line, which we coined SHE-P1-hα7-Ric-3, by co-expression of the chaperone Ric-3. Cell-surface AChRs exhibited [125I]αBTX saturable binding with an apparent KD of about 55 nmol/L. Fluorescence microscopy revealed dispersed and micro-clustered AChR aggregates at the surface of SHE-P1-hα7-Ric-3 cells. Larger micron-sized clusters were observed in the absence of receptor-clustering proteins or upon aggregation with anti-α7 antibodies. In contrast, chaperone-less SHE-P1-hα7 cells expressed only intracellular α7 AChRs and failed to produce detectable single-channel currents. Conclusion: The production of a stable and functional cell line of neuroepithelial lineage with robust cell-surface expression of neuronal α7-type AChR, as reported here, constitutes an important advance in the study of homomeric receptors in mammalian cells. PMID:19498422

  2. Neuroprotection of midbrain dopamine neurons by nicotine is gated by cytoplasmic Ca2+.

    PubMed

    Toulorge, Damien; Guerreiro, Serge; Hild, Audrey; Maskos, Uwe; Hirsch, Etienne C; Michel, Patrick P

    2011-08-01

    Epidemiological and experimental evidence indicates that nicotine is protective for Parkinson disease vulnerable dopamine neurons, but the underlying mechanism of this effect remains only partly characterized. To address this question, we established rat midbrain cultures maintained in experimental conditions that favor the selective and spontaneous loss of dopamine neurons. We report here that nicotine afforded neuroprotection to dopamine neurons (EC(50)=0.32 μM) but only in a situation where cytosolic Ca(2+) (Ca(2+)(cyt)) was slightly and chronically elevated above control levels by concurrent depolarizing treatments. By a pharmacological approach, we demonstrated that the rise in Ca(2+)(cyt) was necessary to sensitize dopamine neurons to the action of nicotine through a mechanism involving α-bungarotoxin-sensitive (presumably α7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and secondarily T-type voltage-gated calcium channels. Confirming the role played by α7 nAChRs in this effect, nicotine had no protective action in midbrain cultures prepared from genetically engineered mice lacking this receptor subtype. Signaling studies revealed that Ca(2+)(cyt) elevations evoked by nicotine and concomitant depolarizing treatments served to activate a survival pathway involving the calcium effector protein calmodulin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Collectively, our data support the idea that the protective action of nicotine for dopamine neurons is activity-dependent and gated by Ca(2+)(cyt).

  3. Prenatal nicotine increases pulmonary α7 nicotinic receptor expression and alters fetal lung development in monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Sekhon, Harmanjatinder S.; Jia, Yibing; Raab, Renee; Kuryatov, Alexander; Pankow, James F.; Whitsett, Jeffrey A.; Lindstrom, Jon; Spindel, Eliot R.

    1999-01-01

    It is well established that maternal smoking during pregnancy is a leading preventable cause of low birth weight and prematurity. Less appreciated is that maternal smoking during pregnancy is also associated with alterations in pulmonary function at birth and greater incidence of respiratory illnesses after birth. To determine if this is the direct result of nicotine interacting with nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) during lung development, rhesus monkeys were treated with 1 mg/kg/day of nicotine from days 26 to 134 of pregnancy. Nicotine administration caused lung hypoplasia and reduced surface complexity of developing alveoli. Immunohistochemistry and in situ α-bungarotoxin (αBGT) binding showed that α7 nAChRs are present in the developing lung in airway epithelial cells, cells surrounding large airways and blood vessels, alveolar type II cells, free alveolar macrophages, and pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNEC). As detected both by immunohistochemistry and by αBGT binding, nicotine administration markedly increased α7 receptor subunit expression and binding in the fetal lung. Correlating with areas of increased α7 expression, collagen expression surrounding large airways and vessels was significantly increased. Nicotine also significantly increased numbers of type II cells and neuroendocrine cells in neuroepithelial bodies. These findings demonstrate that nicotine can alter fetal monkey lung development by crossing the placenta to interact directly with nicotinic receptors on non-neuronal cells in the developing lung, and that similar effects likely occur in human infants whose mothers smoke during pregnancy. J. Clin. Invest. 103:637–647 (1999) PMID:10074480

  4. Actions of octocoral and tobacco cembranoids on nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Ferchmin, P A; Pagán, Oné R; Ulrich, Henning; Szeto, Ada C; Hann, Richard M; Eterović, Vesna A

    2009-12-15

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) are pentameric proteins that form agonist-gated cation channels through the plasma membrane. AChR agonists and antagonists are potential candidates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Cembranoids are naturally occurring diterpenoids that contain a 14-carbon ring. These diterpenoids interact with AChRs in complex ways: as irreversible inhibitors at the agonist sites, as noncompetitive inhibitors, or as positive modulators, but no cembranoid was ever shown to have agonistic activity on AChRs. The cembranoid eupalmerin acetate displays positive modulation of agonist-induced currents in the muscle-type AChR and in the related gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor. Moreover, cembranoids display important biological effects, many of them mediated by nicotinic receptors. Cembranoids from tobacco are neuroprotective through a nicotinic anti-apoptotic mechanism preventing excitotoxic neuronal death which in part could result from anti-inflammatory properties of cembranoids. Moreover, tobacco cembranoids also have anti-inflammatory properties which could enhance their neuroprotective properties. Cembranoids from tobacco affect nicotine-related behavior: they increase the transient initial ataxia caused by first nicotine injection into naive rats and inhibit the expression of locomotor sensitization to repeated injections of nicotine. In addition, cembranoids are known to act as anti-tumor compounds. In conclusion, cembranoids provide a promising source of lead drugs for many clinical areas, including neuroprotection, smoking-cessation, and anti-cancer therapies.

  5. Potentiation of Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors by 17β-Estradiol: Roles of the Carboxy-Terminal and the Amino-Terminal Extracellular Domains

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Xiaochun; Steinbach, Joe Henry

    2015-01-01

    The endogenous steroid 17β-estradiol (βEST) potentiates activation of neuronal nicotinic receptors containing α4 subunits. Previous work has shown that the final 4 residues of the α4 subunit are required for potentiation. However, receptors containing the α2 subunit are not potentiated although it has these 4 residues, and only one amino acid difference in the C-terminal tail (FLAGMI vs. WLAGMI). Previous work had indicated that the tryptophan residue was involved in binding an analog of βEST, but not in potentiation by βEST. To determine the structural basis for the loss of potentiation we analyzed data from chimeric subunits, which indicated that the major factor underlying the difference between α2 and α4 is the tryptophan/phenylalanine difference, while the N-terminal extracellular domain is a less significant factor. When the tryptophan in α4 was mutated, both phenylalanine and tyrosine conferred lower potentiation while lysine and leucine did not. The reduction reflected a reduced maximal magnitude of potentiation, indicating that the tryptophan is involved in transduction of steroid effects. The regions of the α4 N-terminal extracellular domain involved in potentiation lie near the agonist-binding pocket, rather than close to the membrane or the C-terminal tail, and appear to be involved in transduction rather than binding. These observations indicate that the C-terminal region is involved in both steroid binding (AGMI residues) and transduction (W). The role of the N-terminus appears to be independent of the C-terminal tryptophan and likely reflects an influence on conformational changes caused during channel activation by agonist and potentiation by estradiol. PMID:26684647

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

    PubMed

    Taillebois, Emiliane; Thany, Steeve H

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Nicotine binding to brain receptors requires a strong cation-pi interaction.

    PubMed

    Xiu, Xinan; Puskar, Nyssa L; Shanata, Jai A P; Lester, Henry A; Dougherty, Dennis A

    2009-03-26

    Nicotine addiction begins with high-affinity binding of nicotine to acetylcholine (ACh) receptors in the brain. The end result is over 4,000,000 smoking-related deaths annually worldwide and the largest source of preventable mortality in developed countries. Stress reduction, pleasure, improved cognition and other central nervous system effects are strongly associated with smoking. However, if nicotine activated ACh receptors found in muscle as potently as it does brain ACh receptors, smoking would cause intolerable and perhaps fatal muscle contractions. Despite extensive pharmacological, functional and structural studies of ACh receptors, the basis for the differential action of nicotine on brain compared with muscle ACh receptors has not been determined. Here we show that at the alpha4beta2 brain receptors thought to underlie nicotine addiction, the high affinity for nicotine is the result of a strong cation-pi interaction to a specific aromatic amino acid of the receptor, TrpB. In contrast, the low affinity for nicotine at the muscle-type ACh receptor is largely due to the fact that this key interaction is absent, even though the immediate binding site residues, including the key amino acid TrpB, are identical in the brain and muscle receptors. At the same time a hydrogen bond from nicotine to the backbone carbonyl of TrpB is enhanced in the neuronal receptor relative to the muscle type. A point mutation near TrpB that differentiates alpha4beta2 and muscle-type receptors seems to influence the shape of the binding site, allowing nicotine to interact more strongly with TrpB in the neuronal receptor. ACh receptors are established therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, smoking cessation, pain, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, autism and depression. Along with solving a chemical mystery in nicotine addiction, our results provide guidance for efforts to develop drugs that target specific types of nicotinic

  8. Nicotine Enhances Excitability of Medial Habenular Neurons via Facilitation of Neurokinin Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Dao, Dang Q.; Perez, Erika E.; Teng, Yanfen; Dani, John A.

    2014-01-01

    The medial habenula (MHb) densely expresses nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and participates in nicotine-related behaviors such as nicotine withdrawal and regulating nicotine intake. Although specific nAChR subunits are identified as being involved in withdrawal behavior, the cellular mechanisms through which nicotine acts to cause this aversive experience is unclear. Here, we demonstrate an interaction between the nicotinic and neurokinin signaling systems that may form the basis for some symptoms experienced during nicotine withdrawal. Using patch-clamp electrophysiology in mouse brain slices, we show that nicotine (1 μm) increases intrinsic excitability in MHb neurons. This nicotine-induced phenomenon requires α5-containing nAChRs and depends on intact neurokinin signaling. The effect is blocked by preincubation with neurokinin 1 (NK1; L-732138, 10 μm) and NK3 (SB222200, 2 μm) antagonists and mimicked by NK1 (substance P, 100 nm) and NK3 (neurokinin B [NKB], 100 nm) agonists. Microinjections (1 μl) of L-732138 (50 nm) and SB222200 (100 nm) into the MHb induces withdrawal behavior in chronic nicotine-treated (8.4 mg/kg/d, 2 weeks) mice. Conversely, withdrawal behavior is absent with analogous microinjections into the lateral habenula of nicotine-treated mice or in mice chronically treated with a vehicle solution. Further, chronic nicotine reduces nicotine's acute modulation of intrinsic excitability while sparing modulation by NKB. Our work elucidates the interplay between two neuromodulatory signaling systems in the brain through which nicotine acts to influence intrinsic excitability. More importantly, we document a neuroadaptation of this mechanism to chronic nicotine exposure and implicate these mechanisms collectively in the emergence of nicotine withdrawal behavior. PMID:24647947

  9. Ryanodine receptor-2 upregulation and nicotine-mediated plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ziviani, Elena; Lippi, Giordano; Bano, Daniele; Munarriz, Eliana; Guiducci, Stefania; Zoli, Michele; Young, Kenneth W; Nicotera, Pierluigi

    2011-01-05

    Nicotine, the major psychoactive component of cigarette smoke, modulates neuronal activity to produce Ca2+-dependent changes in gene transcription. However, the downstream targets that underlie the long-term effects of nicotine on neuronal function, and hence behaviour, remain to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that nicotine administration to mice upregulates levels of the type 2 ryanodine receptor (RyR2), a Ca2+-release channel present on the endoplasmic reticulum, in a number of brain areas associated with cognition and addiction, notably the cortex and ventral midbrain. Nicotine-mediated RyR2 upregulation was driven by CREB, and caused a long-lasting reinforcement of Ca2+ signalling via the process of Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release. RyR2 upregulation was itself required for long-term phosphorylation of CREB in a positive-feedback signalling loop. We further demonstrate that inhibition of RyR-activation in vivo abolishes sensitization to nicotine-induced habituated locomotion, a well-characterised model for onset of drug dependence. Our findings, therefore, indicate that gene-dependent reprogramming of Ca2+ signalling is involved in nicotine-induced behavioural changes.

  10. The reducing agent dithiothreitol (DTT) does not abolish the inhibitory nicotinic response recorded from rat dorsolateral septal neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sorenson, E. M.; Gallagher, J. P.

    1993-01-01

    Previous intracellular recordings have demonstrated that dorsolateral septal nucleus (DLSN) neurons express a novel nicotinic receptor which produces a direct membrane hyperpolarization when activated by nicotinic agonists. Activation of the classical excitatory nicotinic receptors has been shown to require a disulfide bond involving the cysteines at positions 192 and 193 of the alpha subunits of the receptor. Reduction of this cystine bond with dithiothreitol (DTT) abolishes agonist activation of excitatory nicotinic receptors. We have now examined whether DTT treatment of the inhibitory nicotinic receptor on DLSN neurons also abolishes the inhibitory nicotinic response. We find that the inhibitory response persists after treatment of the neurons with 1 mM DTT, even if the reduction is followed by alkylation of the receptor with bromoacetylcholine to prevent possible reformation of disulfide bonds. This result suggests that the agonist binding site on the inhibitory nicotinic receptor does not require an intact disulfide bond, similar to the bond on the alpha subunit of the excitatory nicotinic receptor, for agonist activation of the receptor. Some of these results have been previously reported in abstract form.

  11. Identification of regions involved in the binding of alpha-bungarotoxin to the human alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor using synthetic peptides.

    PubMed Central

    Marinou, Martha; Tzartos, Socrates J

    2003-01-01

    The neuronal alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) binds the neurotoxin alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-Bgt). Fine mapping of the alpha-Bgt-binding site on the human alpha7 AChR was performed using synthetic peptides covering the entire extracellular domain of the human alpha7 subunit (residues 1-206). Screening of these peptides for (125)I-alpha-Bgt binding resulted in the identification of at least two toxin-binding sites, one at residues 186-197, which exhibited the best (125)I-alpha-Bgt binding, and one at residues 159-165, with weak toxin-binding capacity; these correspond, respectively, to loops C and IV of the agonist-binding site. Toxin binding to the alpha7(186-197) peptide was almost completely inhibited by unlabelled alpha-Bgt or d -tubocurarine. Alanine substitutions within the sequence 186-198 revealed a predominant contribution of aromatic and negatively charged residues to the binding site. This sequence is homologous to the alpha-Bgt binding site of the alpha1 subunit (residues 188-200 in Torpedo AChR). In competition experiments, the soluble peptides alpha7(186-197) and Torpedo alpha1(184-200) inhibited the binding of (125)I-alpha-Bgt to the immobilized alpha7(186-197) peptide, to native Torpedo AChR, and to the extracellular domain of the human alpha1 subunit. These results suggest that the toxin-binding sites of the neuronal alpha7 and muscle-type AChRs bind to identical or overlapping sites on the alpha-Bgt molecule. In support of this, when synthetic alpha-Bgt peptides were tested for binding to the recombinant extracellular domains of the human alpha7 and alpha1 subunits, and to native Torpedo and alpha7 AChR, the results indicated that alpha-Bgt interacts with both neuronal and muscle-type AChRs through its central loop II and C-terminal tail. PMID:12614199

  12. Central nicotinic receptors: structure, function, ligands, and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Romanelli, M Novella; Gratteri, Paola; Guandalini, Luca; Martini, Elisabetta; Bonaccini, Claudia; Gualtieri, Fulvio

    2007-06-01

    The growing interest in nicotinic receptors, because of their wide expression in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues and their involvement in several important CNS pathologies, has stimulated the synthesis of a high number of ligands able to modulate their function. These membrane proteins appear to be highly heterogeneous, and still only incomplete information is available on their structure, subunit composition, and stoichiometry. This is due to the lack of selective ligands to study the role of nAChR under physiological or pathological conditions; so far, only compounds showing selectivity between alpha4beta2 and alpha7 receptors have been obtained. The nicotinic receptor ligands have been designed starting from lead compounds from natural sources such as nicotine, cytisine, or epibatidine, and, more recently, through the high-throughput screening of chemical libraries. This review focuses on the structure of the new agonists, antagonists, and allosteric ligands of nicotinic receptors, it highlights the current knowledge on the binding site models as a molecular modeling approach to design new compounds, and it discusses the nAChR modulators which have entered clinical trials.

  13. Adolescent nicotine exposure transiently increases high-affinity nicotinic receptors and modulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in rat medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Counotte, Danielle S.; Goriounova, Natalia A.; Moretti, Milena; Smoluch, Marek T.; Irth, Hubertus; Clementi, Francesco; Schoffelmeer, Anton N. M.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.; Smit, August B.; Gotti, Cecilia; Spijker, Sabine

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is a critical developmental period during which most adult smokers initiate their habit. Adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to nicotine’s long-term effects on addictive and cognitive behavior. We investigated whether adolescent nicotine exposure in rats modifies expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the short and/or long term, and whether this has functional consequences. Using receptor binding studies followed by immunoprecipitation of nAChR subunits, we showed that adolescent nicotine exposure, as compared with saline, caused an increase in mPFC nAChRs containing α4 or β2 subunits (24 and 18%, respectively) 24 h after the last injection. Nicotine exposure in adulthood had no such effect. This increase was transient and was not observed 5 wk following either adolescent or adult nicotine exposure. In line with increased nAChRs expression 1 d after adolescent nicotine exposure, we observed a 34% increase in amplitude of nicotine-induced spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in layer II/III mPFC pyramidal neurons. These effects were transient and specific, and observed only acutely after adolescent nicotine exposure, but not after 5 wk, and no changes were observed in adult-exposed animals. The acute nicotine-induced increase in α4β2-containing receptors in adolescents interferes with the normal developmental decrease (37%) of these receptors from early adolescence (postnatal day 34) to adulthood (postnatal day 104) in the mPFC. Together, this suggests that these receptors play a role in mediating the acute rewarding effects of nicotine and may underlie the increased sensitivity of adolescents to nicotine. PMID:22308197

  14. Drug discrimination analysis of NMDA receptor channel blockers as nicotinic receptor antagonists in rats.

    PubMed

    Zakharova, E S; Danysz, W; Bespalov, A Y

    2005-04-01

    Antagonists acting at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptors inhibit various phenomena associated with exposures to nicotine (e.g., tolerance, sensitization, dependence, and intravenous self-administration). These effects are often discussed in terms of nicotine-induced glutamate release with subsequent glutamate-dependent stimulation of dopamine metabolism and neuronal plasticity in brain areas critically involved in drug-addiction mechanisms. However, it is also well established that certain types of NMDA receptor antagonists (channel blockers) potently bind to nicotinic receptors and may act as nicotinic receptor antagonists. The present study aimed to evaluate the discriminative-stimulus effects of the NMDA receptor channel blockers (+)MK-801, dextromethorphan, and memantine in rats trained to discriminate nicotine from its vehicle. Adult male Wistar rats were trained to discriminate 0.6 mg/kg nicotine from saline under a two-lever, fixed-ratio 10 schedule of food reinforcement. During test sessions, injections of (+)MK-801 (0.03--0.3 mg/kg, i.p.), dextromethorphan (30 mg/kg, s.c.), or memantine (1--10 mg/kg, i.p.) were co-administered with s.c. nicotine (0.075--0.6 mg/kg; interaction tests) or saline (generalization tests). Additional interaction and generalization tests were conducted with the selective nicotinic receptor antagonists mecamylamine (0.1--3 mg/kg, s.c.) and MRZ 2/621 (0.3--10 mg/kg, i.p.), and the mGlu5 receptor antagonist MPEP (3--10 mg/kg, i.p.). In generalization tests, none of the compounds produced any appreciable levels of substitution for nicotine. The nicotine discriminative-stimulus control was dose dependently attenuated by mecamylamine (ED(50)=0.67 mg/kg) and MRZ 2/621 (ED(50)=9.7 mg/kg). Both agents produced a marked downward shift in the nicotine dose-response curve. Memantine and MPEP slightly attenuated nicotine discriminative-stimulus effects, while (+)MK-801 and dextromethorphan did not affect the

  15. Desensitization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in central nervous system neurons of the stick insect (Carausius morosus) by imidacloprid and sulfoximine insecticides.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Eugênio E; Schleicher, Sabine; Büschges, Ansgar; Schmidt, Joachim; Kloppenburg, Peter; Salgado, Vincent L

    2011-11-01

    Imidacloprid, sulfoxaflor and two experimental sulfoximine insecticides caused generally depressive symptoms in stick insects, characterized by stillness and weakness, while also variably inducing postural changes such as persistent ovipositor opening, leg flexion or extension and abdomen bending that could indicate excitation of certain neural circuits. We examined the same compounds on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in stick insect neurons, which have previously been shown to desensitize in the presence of ACh. Brief U-tube application of 10(-4) M solutions of insecticides for 1 s evoked currents that were much smaller than ACh-evoked currents, and depressed subsequent ACh-evoked currents for several minutes, indicating that the compounds are low-efficacy partial agonists that potently desensitize the receptors. Much lower concentrations of insecticides applied in the bath for longer periods did not activate currents, but inhibited ACh-evoked currents via desensitization of the receptors. Previously described fast- and slowly-desensitizing nACh currents, I(ACh1) and I(ACh2) respectively, were each found to consist of two components with differing sensitivities to the insecticides. Imidacloprid applied in the bath desensitized high-sensitivity components, I(ACh1H) and I(ACh2H) with IC(50)s of 0.18 and 0.13 pM, respectively. It desensitized the low-sensitivity slowly desensitizing component, I(ACh2L), with an IC(50) of 2.6 nM, while a component of the fast-desensitizing current, I(ACh1L), was least sensitive, with an IC(50) of 81 nM I(ACh1L) appeared to be insensitive to the three sulfoximines tested, whereas all three sulfoximines potently desensitized I(ACh1H) and both slowly desensitizing components, with IC(50)s between 2 and 7 nM. We conclude that selective desensitization of certain nAChR subtypes can account for the insecticidal actions of imidacloprid and sulfoximines in stick insects. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. The nicotinic alpha subunit MARA1 is necessary for cholinergic evoked calcium transients in Manduca neurons.

    PubMed

    Vermehren, A; Qazi, S; Trimmer, B A

    2001-11-09

    The functional contribution of cloned subunits to insect nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors has been difficult to determine using heterologous expression. Instead, in this study we explore the subunit composition of naturally expressed functional receptors in an insect using RNA interference. The nicotinic alpha subunit, Manduca ACh Receptor Alpha 1 (MARA1) can be detected in neuronal cultures isolated from the ventral nerve cord of fifth instar larvae of Manduca sexta by in situ hybridization. It's presence correlates with large ACh induced, nicotinic Ca2+ responses. The expression of MARA1 is downregulated by treatment with dsRNA which significantly reduced both the number of responding cells and the amplitude of remaining Ca2+ responses. These results suggest that MARA1 is part of a nicotinic receptor functionally coupled to Ca2+ entry.

  18. Serotonin receptors as potential targets for modulation of nicotine use and dependence.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Paul J; Lê, Anh Dzung; Higgins, Guy A

    2008-01-01

    Nicotine use carries considerable health risks and plays a major role in a variety of diseases. Current pharmacological treatments to aid in smoking cessation include nicotine-replacement therapy and non-nicotinic strategies such as bupropion and varenicline. While these treatments benefit some individuals there is still a need for better and more effective treatment strategies. Nicotine is the major psychoactive substance in tobacco. Some behavioural effects of nicotine, including its reinforcing efficacy result in part from activation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. Modulation of dopamine function is one potential treatment strategy that could treat nicotine dependence. Serotonergic neurons modulate the functioning of dopamine neurons in a complex fashion. Much of this complexity arises from the fact that serotonin (5-HT) exerts its effects through multiple receptor subtypes, some of which even act in apparent functional opposition to each other. This article reviews evidence, primarily from animal experiments, using behavioural procedures relevant to nicotine use on the potential for 5-HT receptors as targets for treating nicotine dependence. The 5-HT(1A, 2A, 2C, 3, 4, 6) receptor subtypes have received most experimental attention, with the 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2C) receptors being the best studied. Several studies have now shown that 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonists alleviate some of the behavioural signs induced by nicotine withdrawal. Electrophysiological and neurochemical studies show that stimulation of 5-HT(2C) receptors reduces the function of the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists block the stimulatory action of nicotine on midbrain dopamine function. They also reduce several behavioural effects of nicotine including its discriminative stimulus properties and reinforcing effects. Although more work remains to be done, 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists perhaps hold the most promise as potential therapies for smoking cessation.

  19. Nicotinic activation of mesolimbic neurons assessed by rubidium efflux in rat accumbens and ventral tegmentum.

    PubMed

    Rowell, Peter P; Volk, Kelly A

    2004-01-01

    Dopaminergic mesolimbic neurons, with cell bodies in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), have been shown to be involved in the development of drug dependence. The application of nicotine to either the VTA or NAc produces an increase in dopamine release; however, the positive reinforcement produced by the systemic injection of nicotine is primarily due to stimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the VTA. Because the brain levels of nicotine would likely be the same in both brain areas, the nAChRs in the NAc may be less sensitive than those in the VTA. This study was undertaken to make a direct comparison of the native nAChRs in intact slices of NAc and VTA by measuring nicotine-stimulated efflux of (86)Rb(+) in a superfusion assay. The potency of nicotine and several other agonists was similar in both brain areas, but nicotine was somewhat more efficacious in the NAc. The effects of treatment duration, calcium and nicotinic antagonists were also determined. The results suggest that the predominant effect of nicotine in the VTA following systemic administration is due to differences in neuronal circuitry or firing patterns rather than inherent differences in the two nAChR populations. Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

  20. Smoking-Relevant Nicotine Concentration Attenuates the Unfolded Protein Response in Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Rahul; Henley, Beverley M.; Henderson, Brandon J.; Indersmitten, Tim; Cohen, Bruce N.; Kim, Charlene H.; McKinney, Sheri; Deshpande, Purnima; Xiao, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Retrospective epidemiological studies show an inverse correlation between susceptibility to Parkinson's disease and a person's history of tobacco use. Animal model studies suggest nicotine as a neuroprotective agent and nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) as targets for neuroprotection, but the underlying neuroprotective mechanism(s) are unknown. We cultured mouse ventral midbrain neurons for 3 weeks. Ten to 20% of neurons were dopaminergic (DA), revealed by tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity. We evoked mild endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress with tunicamycin (Tu), producing modest increases in the level of nuclear ATF6, phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α, nuclear XBP1, and the downstream proapoptotic effector nuclear C/EBP homologous protein. We incubated cultures for 2 weeks with 200 nm nicotine, the approximate steady-state concentration between cigarette smoking or vaping, or during nicotine patch use. Nicotine incubation suppressed Tu-induced ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Study of mice with fluorescent nAChR subunits showed that the cultured TH+ neurons displayed α4, α6, and β3 nAChR subunit expression and ACh-evoked currents. Gene expression profile in cultures from TH-eGFP mice showed that the TH+ neurons also express several other genes associated with DA release. Nicotine also upregulated ACh-induced currents in DA neurons by ∼2.5-fold. Thus, nicotine, at a concentration too low to activate an appreciable fraction of plasma membrane nAChRs, induces two sequelae of pharmacological chaperoning in the ER: UPR suppression and nAChR upregulation. Therefore, one mechanism of neuroprotection by nicotine is pharmacological chaperoning, leading to UPR suppression. Measuring this pathway may help in assessing neuroprotection. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Parkinson's disease (PD) cannot yet be cured or prevented. However, many retrospective epidemiological studies reveal that PD is diagnosed less frequently in

  1. Basic and clinical aspects of non-neuronal acetylcholine: biological and clinical significance of non-canonical ligands of epithelial nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Grando, Sergei A

    2008-02-01

    Mucocutaneous keratinocytes and bronchial epithelial cells express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Emerging evidence indicates that nAChRs can be stimulated also by the tobacco-derived nitrosamines 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) that can induce tumors in laboratory animals. Nitrosamines may disturb the delicate balance between cell proliferation, growth arrest, and apoptosis. A novel paradigm of cell regulation via nAChR has been discovered in studies of SLURP (secreted mammalian Ly-6/urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-related protein)-1 and -2. Experimental results suggest that SLURP-1 and -2 regulate keratinocyte proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Most importantly, SLURPs and professional nicotinic antagonists can abolish, in part, the abilities of NNK and NNN to cause tumorigenic transformation of immortalized keratinocytes. Learning the pharmacology of the nitrosamine vs. SLURP action on epithelial cells may help develop an effective anti-cancer treatment and prevention programs wherein hazardous effects of tobacco products are anticipated, or even abolished, by a pharmacologic ligand of the specific nicotinic receptor acting as an antidote.

  2. Nicotinic Receptor Fourth Transmembrane Domain

    PubMed Central

    Bouzat, Cecilia; Barrantes, Francisco; Sine, Steven

    2000-01-01

    The fourth transmembrane domain (M4) of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) contributes to the kinetics of activation, yet its close association with the lipid bilayer makes it the outermost of the transmembrane domains. To investigate mechanistic and structural contributions of M4 to AChR activation, we systematically mutated αT422, a conserved residue that has been labeled by hydrophobic probes, and evaluated changes in rate constants underlying ACh binding and channel gating steps. Aromatic and nonpolar mutations of αT422 selectively affect the channel gating step, slowing the rate of opening two- to sevenfold, and speeding the rate of closing four- to ninefold. Additionally, kinetic modeling shows a second doubly liganded open state for aromatic and nonpolar mutations. In contrast, serine and asparagine mutations of αT422 largely preserve the kinetics of the wild-type AChR. Thus, rapid and efficient gating of the AChR channel depends on a hydrogen bond involving the side chain at position 422 of the M4 transmembrane domain. PMID:10779322

  3. Binding interactions with the complementary subunit of nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Blum, Angela P; Van Arnam, Ethan B; German, Laurel A; Lester, Henry A; Dougherty, Dennis A

    2013-03-08

    The agonist-binding site of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) spans an interface between two subunits of the pentameric receptor. The principal component of this binding site is contributed by an α subunit, and it binds the cationic moiety of the nicotinic pharmacophore. The other part of the pharmacophore, a hydrogen bond acceptor, has recently been shown to bind to the complementary non-α subunit via the backbone NH of a conserved Leu. This interaction was predicted by studies of ACh-binding proteins and confirmed by functional studies of the neuronal (CNS) nAChR, α4β2. The ACh-binding protein structures further suggested that the hydrogen bond to the backbone NH is mediated by a water molecule and that a second hydrogen bonding interaction occurs between the water molecule and the backbone CO of a conserved Asn, also on the non-α subunit. Here, we provide new insights into the nature of the interactions between the hydrogen bond acceptor of nicotinic agonists and the complementary subunit backbone. We studied both the nAChR of the neuromuscular junction (muscle-type) and a neuronal subtype, (α4)2(β4)3. In the muscle-type receptor, both ACh and nicotine showed a strong interaction with the Leu NH, but the potent nicotine analog epibatidine did not. This interaction was much attenuated in the α4β4 receptor. Surprisingly, we found no evidence for a functionally significant interaction with the backbone carbonyl of the relevant Asn in either receptor with an array of agonists.

  4. Brain α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Assembly Requires NACHO.

    PubMed

    Gu, Shenyan; Matta, Jose A; Lord, Brian; Harrington, Anthony W; Sutton, Steven W; Davini, Weston B; Bredt, David S

    2016-03-02

    Nicotine exerts its behavioral and additive actions through a family of brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Enhancing α7-type nAChR signaling improves symptoms in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. The pharmaceutical study of α7 receptors is hampered because these receptors do not form their functional pentameric structure in cell lines, and mechanisms that underlie α7 receptor assembly in neurons are not understood. Here, a genomic screening strategy solves this long-standing puzzle and identifies NACHO, a transmembrane protein of neuronal endoplasmic reticulum that mediates assembly of α7 receptors. NACHO promotes α7 protein folding, maturation through the Golgi complex, and expression at the cell surface. Knockdown of NACHO in cultured hippocampal neurons or knockout of NACHO in mice selectively and completely disrupts α7 receptor assembly and abolishes α7 channel function. This work identifies NACHO as an essential, client-specific chaperone for nAChRs and has implications for physiology and disease associated with these widely distributed neurotransmitter receptors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-24

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

  6. Phasic D1 and tonic D2 dopamine receptor signaling double dissociate the motivational effects of acute nicotine and chronic nicotine withdrawal

    PubMed Central

    Grieder, Taryn E.; George, Olivier; Tan, Huibing; George, Susan R.; Le Foll, Bernard; Laviolette, Steven R.; van der Kooy, Derek

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine, the main psychoactive ingredient of tobacco smoke, induces negative motivational symptoms during withdrawal that contribute to relapse in dependent individuals. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying how the brain signals nicotine withdrawal remain poorly understood. Using electrophysiological, genetic, pharmacological, and behavioral methods, we demonstrate that tonic but not phasic activity is reduced during nicotine withdrawal in ventral tegmental area dopamine (DA) neurons, and that this pattern of signaling acts through DA D2 and adenosine A2A, but not DA D1, receptors. Selective blockade of phasic DA activity prevents the expression of conditioned place aversions to a single injection of nicotine in nondependent mice, but not to withdrawal from chronic nicotine in dependent mice, suggesting a shift from phasic to tonic dopaminergic mediation of the conditioned motivational response in nicotine dependent and withdrawn animals. Either increasing or decreasing activity at D2 or A2A receptors prevents the aversive motivational response to withdrawal from chronic nicotine, but not to acute nicotine. Modification of D1 receptor activity prevents the aversive response to acute nicotine, but not to nicotine withdrawal. This double dissociation demonstrates that the specific pattern of tonic DA activity at D2 receptors is a key mechanism in signaling the motivational effects experienced during nicotine withdrawal, and may represent a unique target for therapeutic treatments for nicotine addiction. PMID:22308372

  7. r-bPiDI, an α6β2* Nicotinic Receptor Antagonist, Decreases Nicotine-Evoked Dopamine Release and Nicotine Reinforcement

    PubMed Central

    Beckmann, Joshua S.; Meyer, Andrew C.; Pivavarchyk, M.; Horton, David B.; Zheng, Guangrong; Smith, Andrew M.; Wooters, Thomas E.; McIntosh, J. Michael; Crooks, Peter A.; Bardo, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nACh Rs) expressed by dopaminergic neurons mediate nicotine-evoked dopamine (DA) release and nicotine reinforcement. α6β2* antagonists inhibit these effects of nicotine, such that α6β2* receptors serve as therapeutic targets for nicotine addiction. The present research assessed the neuropharmacology of 1,10-bis(3-methyl-5,6-dihydropyridin-1(2H)-yl)decane (r-bPiDI), a novel small-molecule, tertiary amino analog of its parent compound, N,N-decane-1,10-diyl-bis-3-picolinium diiodide (bPiDI). bPiDI was previously shown to inhibit both nicotine-evoked DA release and the reinforcing effects of nicotine. In the current study, r-bPiDI inhibition of [3H]nicotine and [3H]methyllyca-conitine binding sites was evaluated to assess interaction with the recognition binding sites on α4β2* and α7* nAChRs, respectively. Further, r-bPiDI inhibition of nicotine-evoked DA release in vitro in the absence and presence of α-conotoxin MII and following chronic in vivo nicotine administration were determined. The ability of r-bPiDI to decrease nicotine self-administration and food-maintained responding was also assessed. Results show that r-bPiDI did not inhibit [3H]nicotine or [3H]methylly-caconitine binding, but potently (IC50 = 37.5 nM) inhibited nicotine-evoked DA release from superfused striatal slices obtained from either drug naïve rats or from those repeatedly treated with nicotine. r-bPiDI inhibition of nicotine-evoked DA release was not different in the absence or presence of α-conotoxin MII, indicating that r-bPiDI acts as a potent, selective α6β2* nAChR antagonist. Acute systemic administration of r-bPiDI specifically decreased nicotine self-administration by 75 %, and did not alter food-maintained responding, demonstrating greater specificity relative to bPiDI and bPiDDB, as well as the tertiary amino analog r-bPiDDB. The current work describes the discovery of r-bPiDI, a tertiary amino, α-conotoxin MII-like small molecule

  8. Nicotine consumption is regulated by a human polymorphism in dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Morel, C; Fattore, L; Pons, S; Hay, Y A; Marti, F; Lambolez, B; De Biasi, M; Lathrop, M; Fratta, W; Maskos, U; Faure, P

    2014-08-01

    Smoking is the most important preventable cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Recent genome-wide association studies highlighted a human haplotype on chromosome 15 underlying the risk for tobacco dependence and lung cancer. Several polymorphisms in the CHRNA3-CHRNA5-CHRNB4 cluster coding for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α3, α5 and β4 subunits were implicated. In mouse models, we define a key role in the control of sensitivity to nicotine for the α5 subunit in dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We first investigated the reinforcing effects of nicotine in drug-naive α5(-/-) mice using an acute intravenous nicotine self-administration task and ex vivo and in vivo electrophysiological recordings of nicotine-elicited DA cell activation. We designed lentiviral re-expression vectors to achieve targeted re-expression of wild-type or mutant α5 in the VTA, in general, or in DA neurons exclusively. Our results establish a crucial role for α5*-nAChRs in DAergic neurons. These receptors are key regulators that determine the minimum nicotine dose necessary for DA cell activation and thus nicotine reinforcement. Finally, we demonstrate that a single-nucleotide polymorphism, the non-synonymous α5 variant rs16969968, frequent in many human populations, exhibits a partial loss of function of the protein in vivo. This leads to increased nicotine consumption in the self-administration paradigm. We thus define a critical link between a human predisposition marker, its expression in DA neurons and nicotine intake.

  9. Co-activation of VTA DA and GABA neurons mediates nicotine reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Tolu, S; Eddine, R; Marti, F; David, V; Graupner, M; Pons, S; Baudonnat, M; Husson, M; Besson, M; Reperant, C; Zemdegs, J; Pagès, C; Hay, Y A H; Lambolez, B; Caboche, J; Gutkin, B; Gardier, A M; Changeux, J-P; Faure, P; Maskos, U

    2013-03-01

    Smoking is the most important preventable cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. This nicotine addiction is mediated through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), expressed on most neurons, and also many other organs in the body. Even within the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the key brain area responsible for the reinforcing properties of all drugs of abuse, nicotine acts on several different cell types and afferents. Identifying the precise action of nicotine on this microcircuit, in vivo, is important to understand reinforcement, and finally to develop efficient smoking cessation treatments. We used a novel lentiviral system to re-express exclusively high-affinity nAChRs on either dopaminergic (DAergic) or γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing (GABAergic) neurons, or both, in the VTA. Using in vivo electrophysiology, we show that, contrary to widely accepted models, the activation of GABA neurons in the VTA plays a crucial role in the control of nicotine-elicited DAergic activity. Our results demonstrate that both positive and negative motivational values are transmitted through the dopamine (DA) neuron, but that the concerted activity of DA and GABA systems is necessary for the reinforcing actions of nicotine through burst firing of DA neurons. This work identifies the GABAergic interneuron as a potential target for smoking cessation drug development.

  10. Differential use of the nicotinic receptor by rabies virus based upon substrate origin.

    PubMed

    Castañeda-Castellanos, David R; Castellanos, Jaime E; Hurtado, Hernán

    2002-04-01

    To determine the role that the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor plays in the adsorption process of rabies virus (RV), adult dorsal root ganglion dissociated cultures were exposed to nicotinic agonists before being inoculated. The fixed strain of RV Challenge Virus Standard-11 (CVS-11) was used after being passaged in two different ways, in baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells and in adult mouse brain (MB). Carbachol and nicotine reduced the percentage of CVS-MB infected neurons, yet none of the agonists tested changed the proportion of CVS-BHK infected neurons. This result suggests that the RV phenotype changes depending on its replication environment and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are preferentially used for infection by RV strains adapted to adult mouse brain but not to fibroblasts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Acetylcholine nicotinic receptor subtypes in chromaffin cells.

    PubMed

    Criado, Manuel

    2017-08-08

    In the adrenal gland, acetylcholine released on stimulation of the sympathetic splanchnic nerve activates neuronal-type nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) in chromaffin cells and triggers catecholamine secretion. At least two subtypes of nAChRs have been described in bovine chromaffin cells. The main subtype, a heteromeric assembly of α3, β4 and perhaps α5 subunits, is involved in the activation step of the catecholamine secretion process and is not blocked by the snake toxin α-bungarotoxin. The other is α-bungarotoxin-sensitive, and its functional role has not yet been well defined. The α7 subunit conforms the homomeric structure of this subtype. All nAChR subunits share the same molecular organization and structural data at atomic resolution level are now available for some homomeric and heteromeric ensembles. The α3, β4 and α5 subunits are clustered in genomes of different species, with the transcription factor Sp1 playing a co-ordinating role in the transcriptional regulation of these three subunits. The transcription factor Egr-1 controls the differential expression of α7 nAChR in adrenergic chromaffin cells, as happens with the enzyme phenylethanolamine N-methyl transferase. For unknown reasons, whole cell currents observed in bovine chromaffin cells clearly differ of the ones observed when different combinations of subunit RNAs are injected in oocytes. In addition to the typical nicotinic ligands, a variety of unrelated substances with clinical relevance can target nAChRs in chromaffin cells and, therefore, affect catecholamine secretion. They can act as agonists, antagonists or allosteric modulators.

  13. Increased nicotine response in iPSC-derived human neurons carrying the CHRNA5 N398 allele

    PubMed Central

    Oni, Eileen N.; Halikere, Apoorva; Li, Guohui; Toro-Ramos, Alana J.; Swerdel, Mavis R.; Verpeut, Jessica L.; Moore, Jennifer C.; Bello, Nicholas T.; Bierut, Laura J.; Goate, Alison; Tischfield, Jay A.; Pang, Zhiping P.; Hart, Ronald P.

    2016-01-01

    Genetic variation in nicotinic receptor alpha 5 (CHRNA5) has been associated with increased risk of addiction-associated phenotypes in humans yet little is known the underlying neural basis. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were derived from donors homozygous for either the major (D398) or the minor (N398) allele of the nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs16969968, in CHRNA5. To understand the impact of these nicotinic receptor variants in humans, we differentiated these iPSCs to dopamine (DA) or glutamatergic neurons and then tested their functional properties and response to nicotine. Results show that N398 variant human DA neurons differentially express genes associated with ligand receptor interaction and synaptic function. While both variants exhibited physiological properties consistent with mature neuronal function, the N398 neuronal population responded more actively with an increased excitatory postsynaptic current response upon the application of nicotine in both DA and glutamatergic neurons. Glutamatergic N398 neurons responded to lower nicotine doses (0.1 μM) with greater frequency and amplitude but they also exhibited rapid desensitization, consistent with previous analyses of N398-associated nicotinic receptor function. This study offers a proof-of-principle for utilizing human neurons to study gene variants contribution to addiction. PMID:27698409

  14. Replicated Risk Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptor Genes for Nicotine Dependence.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Lingjun; Garcia-Milian, Rolando; Guo, Xiaoyun; Zhong, Chunlong; Tan, Yunlong; Wang, Zhiren; Wang, Jijun; Wang, Xiaoping; Kang, Longli; Lu, Lu; Chen, Xiangning; Li, Chiang-Shan R; Luo, Xingguang

    2016-11-07

    It has been hypothesized that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play important roles in nicotine dependence (ND) and influence the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in smokers. We compiled the associations between nicotinic cholinergic receptor genes (CHRNs) and ND/CPD that were replicated across different studies, reviewed the expression of these risk genes in human/mouse brains, and verified their expression using independent samples of both human and mouse brains. The potential functions of the replicated risk variants were examined using cis-eQTL analysis or predicted using a series of bioinformatics analyses. We found replicated and significant associations for ND/CPD at 19 SNPs in six genes in three genomic regions (CHRNB3-A6, CHRNA5-A3-B4 and CHRNA4). These six risk genes are expressed in at least 18 distinct areas of the human/mouse brain, with verification in our independent human and mouse brain samples. The risk variants might influence the transcription, expression and splicing of the risk genes, alter RNA secondary or protein structure. We conclude that the replicated associations between CHRNB3-A6, CHRNA5-A3-B4,CHRNA4 and ND/CPD are very robust. More research is needed to examine how these genetic variants contribute to the risk for ND/CPD.

  15. Replicated Risk Nicotinic Cholinergic Receptor Genes for Nicotine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Lingjun; Garcia-Milian, Rolando; Guo, Xiaoyun; Zhong, Chunlong; Tan, Yunlong; Wang, Zhiren; Wang, Jijun; Wang, Xiaoping; Kang, Longli; Lu, Lu; Chen, Xiangning; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Luo, Xingguang

    2016-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play important roles in nicotine dependence (ND) and influence the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in smokers. We compiled the associations between nicotinic cholinergic receptor genes (CHRNs) and ND/CPD that were replicated across different studies, reviewed the expression of these risk genes in human/mouse brains, and verified their expression using independent samples of both human and mouse brains. The potential functions of the replicated risk variants were examined using cis-eQTL analysis or predicted using a series of bioinformatics analyses. We found replicated and significant associations for ND/CPD at 19 SNPs in six genes in three genomic regions (CHRNB3-A6, CHRNA5-A3-B4 and CHRNA4). These six risk genes are expressed in at least 18 distinct areas of the human/mouse brain, with verification in our independent human and mouse brain samples. The risk variants might influence the transcription, expression and splicing of the risk genes, alter RNA secondary or protein structure. We conclude that the replicated associations between CHRNB3-A6, CHRNA5-A3-B4, CHRNA4 and ND/CPD are very robust. More research is needed to examine how these genetic variants contribute to the risk for ND/CPD. PMID:27827986

  16. Contribution of position alpha4S336 on functional expression and up-regulation of alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    López-Hernández, Gretchen Y; Biaggi-Labiosa, Nilza M; Torres-Cintrón, Alexis; Ortiz-Acevedo, Alejandro; Lasalde-Dominicci, José A

    2009-02-01

    Phosphorylation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is believed to play a critical role in its nicotine-induced desensitization and up-regulation. We examined the contribution of a consensus PKC site in the alpha4 M3/M4 intracellular loop (alpha4S336) on the desensitization and up-regulation of alpha4beta2 nAChRs expressed in oocytes. Position alpha4S336 was replaced with either alanine to abolish potential phosphorylation at this site or with aspartic acid to mimic phosphorylation at this same site. Mutations alpha4S336A and alpha4S336D displayed a threefold increase in the ACh-induced response and an increase in ACh EC(50). Epibatidine binding revealed a three and sevenfold increase in surface expression for the alpha4S336A and alpha4S336D mutations, respectively, relative to wild-type, therefore, both mutations enhanced expression of the alpha4beta2 nAChR. Interestingly, the EC(50)'s and peak currents for nicotine activation remained unaffected in both mutants. Both mutations abolished the nicotine-induced up-regulation that is normally observed in the wild-type. The present data suggest that adding or removing a negative charge at this phosphorylation site cannot be explained by a simple straightforward on-and-off mechanism; rather a more complex mechanism(s) may govern the functional expression of the alpha4beta2 nAChR. Along the same line, our data support the idea that phosphorylation at multiple consensus sites in the alpha4 subunit could play a remarkable role on the regulation of the functional expression of the alpha4beta2 nAChR.

  17. Neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention

    PubMed Central

    Smucny, Jason; Olincy, Ann; Eichman, Lindsay C.; Tregellas, Jason R.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Although the attention-enhancing effects of nicotine have been behaviorally and neurophysiologically well-documented, its localized functional effects during selective attention are poorly understood. Objectives In this study, we examined the neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention in healthy human nonsmokers. We hypothesized to observe significant effects of nicotine in attention-associated brain areas, driven by nicotine-induced increases in activity as a function of increasing task demands. Methods A single-blind, prospective, randomized crossover design was used to examine neuronal response associated with a go/no-go task after 7 mg nicotine or placebo patch administration in 20 individuals who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T. The task design included two levels of difficulty (Ordered vs. Random stimuli) and two levels of auditory distraction (Silence vs. Noise). Results Significant treatment × difficulty × distraction interaction effects on neuronal response were observed in the hippocampus, ventral parietal cortex and anterior cingulate. In contrast to our hypothesis, U and inverted U-shaped dependencies were observed between the effects of nicotine on response and task demands, depending on the brain area. Conclusions These results suggest that nicotine may differentially affect neuronal response depending on task conditions. These results have important theoretical implications for understanding how cholinergic tone may influence the neurobiology of selective attention. PMID:25491929

  18. Identification of a Negative Allosteric Site on Human α4β2 and α3β4 Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Pavlovicz, Ryan E.; Henderson, Brandon J.; Bonnell, Andrew B.; Boyd, R. Thomas; McKay, Dennis B.; Li, Chenglong

    2011-01-01

    Acetylcholine-based neurotransmission is regulated by cationic, ligand-gated ion channels called nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). These receptors have been linked to numerous neurological diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and nicotine addiction. Recently, a class of compounds has been discovered that antagonize nAChR function in an allosteric fashion. Models of human α4β2 and α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) extracellular domains have been developed to computationally explore the binding of these compounds, including the dynamics and free energy changes associated with ligand binding. Through a blind docking study to multiple receptor conformations, the models were used to determine a putative binding mode for the negative allosteric modulators. This mode, in close proximity to the agonist binding site, is presented in addition to a hypothetical mode of antagonism that involves obstruction of C loop closure. Molecular dynamics simulations and MM-PBSA free energy of binding calculations were used as computational validation of the predicted binding mode, while functional assays on wild-type and mutated receptors provided experimental support. Based on the proposed binding mode, two residues on the β2 subunit were independently mutated to the corresponding residues found on the β4 subunit. The T58K mutation resulted in an eight-fold decrease in the potency of KAB-18, a compound that exhibits preferential antagonism for human α4β2 over α3β4 nAChRs, while the F118L mutation resulted in a loss of inhibitory activity for KAB-18 at concentrations up to 100 µM. These results demonstrate the selectivity of KAB-18 for human α4β2 nAChRs and validate the methods used for identifying the nAChR modulator binding site. Exploitation of this site may lead to the development of more potent and subtype-selective nAChR antagonists which may be used in the treatment of a number of neurological diseases and

  19. Mechanisms involved in systemic nicotine-induced glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Ming; Jin, Yu; Yang, Kechun; Zhang, Die; Lukas, Ronald J.; Wu, Jie

    2010-01-01

    Systemic exposure to nicotine induces glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we report that single, systemic exposure in rats to nicotine (0.17 mg/kg free base) increases the ratio of DA neuronal currents mediated by AMPA relative to NMDA receptors (AMPA/NMDA ratio) assessed 24 hr later, based on slice patch recording. The AMPA/NMDA ratio increase is evident within 1 hr and lasts for at least 72 hr after nicotine exposure (and up to 8 days after repeated nicotine administration). This effect cannot be prevented by systemic injection of either α7-nAChR-selective (methyllycaconitine, MLA) or β2*-nAChR-selective (mecamylamine, MEC) antagonists but is prevented by co-injection of MLA and MEC. In either nAChR α7 or β2 subunit knock-out mice, systemic exposure to nicotine still increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio. Pre-injection in rats of a NMDA receptor antagonist (MK801), but neither DA receptor antagonists (SCH23390 plus haloperidol) nor a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine), prevents the nicotine-induced increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio. After systemic exposure to nicotine, glutamatergic (but not GABAergic) transmission onto rat VTA DA neuronal inputs is enhanced. Correspondingly, DA neuronal firing measured 24 hr after nicotine exposure using extracellular single unit recording in vivo is significantly faster, and there is conversion of silent to active DA neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that systemic nicotine acting via either α7- or β2*-nAChRs increases pre- and post-synaptic glutamatergic function, and consequently initiates glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, which may be an important, early neuronal adaptation in nicotine reward and reinforcement. PMID:20943922

  20. Nicotinic Receptor Polymorphism in Lung Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-01

    bronchial cells to the tobacco nitrosamine -induced carcinogenic transformation of human bronchial cells [1-2]. 15. SUBJECT TERMS nicotinic receptor...cells to the tobacco nitrosamine -induced carcinogenic transformation of human bronchial cells [1-2]. Body According to the Statement of Works

  1. 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…

  2. Vulnerability to nicotine self-administration in adolescent mice correlates with age-specific expression of α4* nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Renda, Anthony; Penty, Nora; Komal, Pragya; Nashmi, Raad

    2016-09-01

    The majority of smokers begin during adolescence, a developmental period with a high susceptibility to substance abuse. Adolescents are affected differently by nicotine compared to adults, with adolescents being more vulnerable to nicotine's rewarding properties. It is unknown if the age-dependent molecular composition of a younger brain contributes to a heightened susceptibility to nicotine addiction. Nicotine, the principle pharmacological component of tobacco, binds and activates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain. The most prevalent is the widely expressed α4-containing (α4*) subtype which mediates reward and is strongly implicated in nicotine dependence. Exposing different age groups of mice, postnatal day (P) 44-86 days old, to a two bottle-choice oral nicotine self-administration paradigm for five days yielded age-specific consumption levels. Nicotine self-administration was elevated in the P44 group, peaked at P54-60 and was drastically lower in the P66 through P86 groups. We also quantified α4* nAChR expression via spectral confocal imaging of brain slices from α4YFP knock-in mice, in which the α4 nAChR subunit is tagged with a yellow fluorescent protein. Quantitative fluorescence revealed age-specific α4* nAChR expression in dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area. Receptor expression showed a strong positive correlation with daily nicotine dose, suggesting that α4* nAChR expression levels are age-specific and may contribute to the propensity to self-administer nicotine. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Nicotinic acid receptor subtypes and their ligands.

    PubMed

    Soudijn, Willem; van Wijngaarden, Ineke; Ijzerman, Adriaan P

    2007-05-01

    Half a century ago, nicotinic acid (niacin) was introduced into the clinic as the first orally available drug to treat high cholesterol levels and to improve the balance between (V)low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). Remarkably, its putative mechanism of action has only been recently elucidated, particularly because of the cloning of a G protein-coupled receptor (HM74A or GPR109A). This receptor responds to both nicotinic acid and the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate, the latter thought to be the more probable endogenous ligand for HM74A. In this review, we will discuss the pharmacology and medicinal chemistry of this receptor subtype and a related one (HM74 or GPR109B). Although still in its infancy, the ligand repertoire is developing, and a number of compound classes have now been described, among which are both full and partial agonists. Antagonists, however, are still lacking, thus compromising thorough pharmacological studies. Mutagenesis experiments have provided clues regarding the ligand binding site; in particular, an arginine residue in transmembrane domain 3 of the receptor seems to recognize the acidic moiety present in nicotinic acid and related substances. HM74A has also been linked to one of the major side effects of nicotinic acid, that is, flushing, since this receptor subtype also occurs in skin immune cells. It is not known yet whether HM74 is also present on these cells. Since nicotinic acid is one of the few available medicines that raise HDL ("good cholesterol") levels, HM74A and HM74 appear promising targets for future pharmacotherapy. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. 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

  5. Expression of cloned α6* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jingyi; Kuryatov, Alexander; Lindstrom, Jon

    2015-09-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) are ACh-gated ion channels formed from five homologous subunits in subtypes defined by their subunit composition and stoichiometry. Some subtypes readily produce functional AChRs in Xenopus oocytes and transfected cell lines. α6β2β3* AChRs (subtypes formed from these subunits and perhaps others) are not easily expressed. This may be because the types of neurons in which they are expressed (typically dopaminergic neurons) have unique chaperones for assembling α6β2β3* AChRs, especially in the presence of the other AChR subtypes. Because these relatively minor brain AChR subtypes are of major importance in addiction to nicotine, it is important for drug development as well as investigation of their functional properties to be able to efficiently express human α6β2β3* AChRs. We review the issues and progress in expressing α6* AChRs. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'.

  6. Nicotinic ACh Receptors as Therapeutic Targets in CNS Disorders

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) can regulate neuronal excitability by acting on the cys-loop cation-conducting ligand-gated nicotinic ACh receptor channels (nAChRs). These receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system, 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 the mammalian brain, and their role as targets in neurodegenerative diseases (in particular Alzheimer’s disease), neurodevelopmental disorders (in particular autism and schizophrenia), and neuropathic pain. PMID:25639674

  7. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Recurrent exposure to nicotine differentiates human bronchial epithelial cells via epidermal growth factor receptor activation

    SciTech Connect

    Martinez-Garcia, Eva; Irigoyen, Marta; Anso, Elena; Martinez-Irujo, Juan Jose; Rouzaut, Ana

    2008-05-01

    Cigarette smoking is the major preventable cause of lung cancer in developed countries. Nicotine (3-(1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)-pyridine) is one of the major alkaloids present in tobacco. Besides its addictive properties, its effects have been described in panoply of cell types. In fact, recent studies have shown that nicotine behaves as a tumor promoter in transformed epithelial cells. This research focuses on the effects of acute repetitive nicotine exposure on normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE cells). Here we show that treatment of NHBE cells with recurrent doses of nicotine up to 500 {mu}M triggered cell differentiation towards a neuronal-like phenotype: cells emitted filopodia and expressed neuronal markers such as neuronal cell adhesion molecule, neurofilament-M and the transcription factors neuronal N and Pax-3. We also demonstrate that nicotine treatment induced NF-kB translocation to the nucleus, phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and accumulation of heparin binding-EGF in the extracellular medium. Moreover, addition of AG1478, an inhibitor of EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation, or cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody that precludes ligand binding to the same receptor, prevented cell differentiation by nicotine. Lastly, we show that differentiated cells increased their adhesion to the extracellular matrix and their protease activity. Given that several lung pathologies are strongly related to tobacco consumption, these results may help to better understand the damaging consequences of nicotine exposure.

  9. Recurrent exposure to nicotine differentiates human bronchial epithelial cells via epidermal growth factor receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Martínez-García, Eva; Irigoyen, Marta; Ansó, Elena; Martínez-Irujo, Juan José; Rouzaut, Ana

    2008-05-01

    Cigarette smoking is the major preventable cause of lung cancer in developed countries. Nicotine (3-(1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinyl)-pyridine) is one of the major alkaloids present in tobacco. Besides its addictive properties, its effects have been described in panoply of cell types. In fact, recent studies have shown that nicotine behaves as a tumor promoter in transformed epithelial cells. This research focuses on the effects of acute repetitive nicotine exposure on normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE cells). Here we show that treatment of NHBE cells with recurrent doses of nicotine up to 500 muM triggered cell differentiation towards a neuronal-like phenotype: cells emitted filopodia and expressed neuronal markers such as neuronal cell adhesion molecule, neurofilament-M and the transcription factors neuronal N and Pax-3. We also demonstrate that nicotine treatment induced NF-kB translocation to the nucleus, phosphorylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and accumulation of heparin binding-EGF in the extracellular medium. Moreover, addition of AG1478, an inhibitor of EGFR tyrosine phosphorylation, or cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody that precludes ligand binding to the same receptor, prevented cell differentiation by nicotine. Lastly, we show that differentiated cells increased their adhesion to the extracellular matrix and their protease activity. Given that several lung pathologies are strongly related to tobacco consumption, these results may help to better understand the damaging consequences of nicotine exposure.

  10. SAR of α7 nicotinic receptor agonists derived from tilorone: exploration of a novel nicotinic pharmacophore.

    PubMed

    Schrimpf, Michael R; Sippy, Kevin B; Briggs, Clark A; Anderson, David J; Li, Tao; Ji, Jianguo; Frost, Jennifer M; Surowy, Carol S; Bunnelle, William H; Gopalakrishnan, Murali; Meyer, Michael D

    2012-02-15

    The well-known interferon-inducer tilorone was found to possess potent affinity for the agonist site of the α7 neuronal nicotinic receptor (K(i)=56 nM). SAR investigations determined that both basic sidechains are essential for potent activity, however active monosubstituted derivatives can also be prepared if the flexible sidechains are replaced with conformationally rigidified cyclic amines. Analogs in which the fluorenone core is replaced with either dibenzothiophene-5,5-dioxide or xanthenone also retain potent activity.

  11. C3-halogenation of cytisine generates potent and efficacious nicotinic receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Abin-Carriquiry, J Andrés; Voutilainen, Merja H; Barik, Jacques; Cassels, Bruce K; Iturriaga-Vásquez, Patricio; Bermudez, Isabel; Durand, Claudia; Dajas, Federico; Wonnacott, Susan

    2006-04-24

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors subserve predominantly modulatory roles in the brain, making them attractive therapeutic targets. Natural products provide key leads in the quest for nicotinic receptor subtype-selective compounds. Cytisine, found in Leguminosae spp., binds with high affinity to alpha4beta2* nicotinic receptors. We have compared the effect of C3 and C5 halogenation of cytisine and methylcytisine (MCy) on their interaction with native rat nicotinic receptors. 3-Bromocytisine (3-BrCy) and 3-iodocytisine (3-ICy) exhibited increased binding affinity (especially at alpha7 nicotinic receptors; Ki approximately 0.1 microM) and functional potency, whereas C5-halogenation was detrimental. 3-BrCy and 3-ICy were more potent than cytisine at evoking [3H]dopamine release from striatal slices (EC50 approximately 11 nM), [3H]noradrenaline release from hippocampal slices (EC50 approximately 250 nM), increases in intracellular Ca2+ in PC12 cells and inward currents in Xenopus oocytes expressing human alpha3beta4 nicotinic receptor (EC50 approximately 2 microM). These compounds were also more efficacious than cytisine. C3-halogenation of cytisine is proposed to stabilize the open conformation of the nicotinic receptor but does not enhance subtype selectivity.

  12. A randomized pilot study of the efficacy and safety of ABT-089, a novel α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptor agonist, in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Bain, Earle E; Apostol, George; Sangal, R Bart; Robieson, Weining Z; McNeill, Dawnelle L; Abi-Saab, Walid M; Saltarelli, Mario D

    2012-06-01

    ABT-089, an α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptor partial agonist (generic name pozanicline), has demonstrated efficacy in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at doses of 40 mg once daily and 40 mg twice daily. The purpose of this exploratory pilot study was to obtain initial safety, tolerability, and efficacy data for an ABT-089 80-mg once-daily regimen to inform a decision of whether to include an 80-mg once-daily dose regimen in subsequent, definitive (phase 3) efficacy studies. This phase 2, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted at 12 sites from March to August 2008. A screening/washout period of up to 4 weeks was followed by an 8-week double-blind treatment period. Eligible subjects met DSM-IV-TR criteria for ADHD and were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to ABT-089 40 mg once daily, ABT-089 80 mg once daily, or placebo. The primary efficacy variable was reduction from baseline to the final evaluation in the investigator-rated Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale for each active treatment group versus placebo. Safety assessments and pharmacokinetic sampling were also conducted. A total of 160 subjects were randomized, with 137 (86%) completing the trial. No statistically significant treatment effects were observed with either ABT-089 dose for any efficacy measures. The most commonly reported adverse events in the active treatment groups were nasopharyngitis (6.6%), upper respiratory tract infection (6.6%), and somnolence (5.7%). The incidence of adverse events did not differ significantly between active groups and placebo. There were no clinically significant laboratory, electrocardiogram, or physical examination findings. ABT-089 was generally well tolerated at doses up to 80 mg. Because ABT-089 is a weak partial neuronal nicotinic receptor agonist, the results may not predict the potential efficacy for other, more potent neuronal nicotinic receptor agonists. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT

  13. Modulators of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as analgesics.

    PubMed

    Jain, Kewal K

    2004-01-01

    The analgesic properties of nicotine have prompted attempts to develop compounds that specifically target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the nervous system, with the beneficial effects of nicotine but without its side effects. Thus far, only nAChR agonists have been reported as being in development for pain, although nAChR antagonists could also have a potentially analgesic action. Various problems associated with the use of nAChR agonists as analgesics have been identified and measures suggested to overcome some of them. This review describes the nAChR agonists A-85380, tebanicline, ABT-366833, ABT-202, ABT-894, epibatidine analogs and SIB-1663, of which ABT-366833, ABT-202 and ABT-894 are currently undergoing development as pain therapeutics. In vivo studies of the pathomechanism of neuropathic pain indicate that targeting alpha3beta4 does not have a specific action on neuropathic pain, and that alpha3beta4 ligands cause side effects. On the other hand, alpha4beta2 receptors are specific for neuropathic pain, and ligands that bind preferentially to these receptors both effectively relieve pain and do not cause many adverse effects. This is the basis of the difference between the action of tebanicline, which binds with greater specificity to alpha3beta4 receptors, and ABT-366833, which binds more specifically to alpha4beta2 receptors.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-06-23

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

  15. Prenatal nicotine exposure enhances the trigeminocardiac reflex via serotonin receptor facilitation in brainstem pathways.

    PubMed

    Gorini, C; Jameson, H; Woerman, A L; Perry, D C; Mendelowitz, D

    2013-08-15

    In this study we used a rat model for prenatal nicotine exposure to test whether clinically relevant concentrations of brain nicotine and cotinine are passed from dams exposed to nicotine to her pups, whether this changes the trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR), and whether serotonergic function in the TCR brainstem circuitry is altered. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams were exposed to 6 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) of nicotine via osmotic minipumps for the duration of pregnancy. Following birth dams and pups were killed, blood was collected, and brain nicotine and cotinine levels were measured. A separate group of prenatal nicotine-exposed pups was used for electrophysiological recordings. A horizontal brainstem slice was obtained by carefully preserving the trigeminal nerve with fluorescent identification of cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the nucleus ambiguus. Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve evoked excitatory postsynaptic current in CVNs. Our data demonstrate that prenatal nicotine exposure significantly exaggerates both the TCR-evoked changes in heart rate in conscious unrestrained pups, and the excitatory neurotransmission to CVNs upon trigeminal afferent nerve stimulation within this brainstem reflex circuit. Application of the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY 100635 (100 μM) and 5-HT2A/C receptor antagonist ketanserin (10 μM)significantly decreased neurotransmission, indicating an increased facilitation of 5-HT function in prenatal nicotine-exposed animals. Prenatal nicotine exposure enhances activation of 5-HT receptors and exaggerates the trigeminocardiac reflex.

  16. Prenatal nicotine exposure enhances the trigeminocardiac reflex via serotonin receptor facilitation in brainstem pathways

    PubMed Central

    Gorini, C.; Jameson, H.; Woerman, A. L.; Perry, D. C.

    2013-01-01

    In this study we used a rat model for prenatal nicotine exposure to test whether clinically relevant concentrations of brain nicotine and cotinine are passed from dams exposed to nicotine to her pups, whether this changes the trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR), and whether serotonergic function in the TCR brainstem circuitry is altered. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams were exposed to 6 mg·kg−1·day−1 of nicotine via osmotic minipumps for the duration of pregnancy. Following birth dams and pups were killed, blood was collected, and brain nicotine and cotinine levels were measured. A separate group of prenatal nicotine-exposed pups was used for electrophysiological recordings. A horizontal brainstem slice was obtained by carefully preserving the trigeminal nerve with fluorescent identification of cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the nucleus ambiguus. Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve evoked excitatory postsynaptic current in CVNs. Our data demonstrate that prenatal nicotine exposure significantly exaggerates both the TCR-evoked changes in heart rate in conscious unrestrained pups, and the excitatory neurotransmission to CVNs upon trigeminal afferent nerve stimulation within this brainstem reflex circuit. Application of the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY 100635 (100 μM) and 5-HT2A/C receptor antagonist ketanserin (10 μM)significantly decreased neurotransmission, indicating an increased facilitation of 5-HT function in prenatal nicotine-exposed animals. Prenatal nicotine exposure enhances activation of 5-HT receptors and exaggerates the trigeminocardiac reflex. PMID:23766497

  17. Epigenomic and metabolic responses of hypothalamic POMC neurons to gestational nicotine exposure in adult offspring.

    PubMed

    Silva, Jose P; Lambert, Guerline; van Booven, Derek; Wahlestedt, Claes

    2016-09-08

    Epidemiological and animal studies have reported that prenatal nicotine exposure (PNE) leads to obesity and type-2 diabetes in offspring. Central leptin-melanocortin signaling via hypothalamic arcuate proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons is crucial for the regulation of energy and glucose balance. Furthermore, hypothalamic POMC neurons were recently found to mediate the anorectic effects of nicotine through activation of acetylcholine receptors. Here, we hypothesized that PNE impairs leptin-melanocortinergic regulation of energy balance in first-generation offspring by altering expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) putatively regulating development and/or function of hypothalamic POMC neurons. C57BL/6J females were exposed ad libitum to nicotine through drinking water and crossed with C57BL/6J males. Nicotine exposure was sustained during pregnancy and discontinued at parturition. Offspring development was monitored from birth into adulthood. From the age of 8 weeks, central leptin-melanocortin signaling, diabetes, and obesity susceptibility were assessed in male offspring fed a low-fat or high-fat diet for 16 weeks. Nicotine-exposed and non-exposed C57BL/6J females were also crossed with C57BL/6J males expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein specifically in POMC neurons. Transgenic male offspring were subjected to laser microdissections and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of POMC neurons for determination of nicotine-induced gene expression changes and regulatory lncRNA/protein-coding gene interactions. Contrary to expectation based on previous studies, PNE did not impair but rather enhanced leptin-melanocortinergic regulation of energy and glucose balance via POMC neurons in offspring. RNA-seq of laser microdissected POMC neurons revealed only one consistent change, upregulation of Gm15851, a lncRNA of yet unidentified function, in nicotine-exposed offspring. RNA-seq further suggested 82 cis-regulatory lncRNA/protein-coding gene interactions

  18. Functional alpha7 nicotinic receptors are expressed on immature granule cells of the postnatal dentate gyrus

    PubMed Central

    John, Danielle; Shelukhina, Irina; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Deuchars, Jim; Henderson, Zaineb

    2015-01-01

    Neurogenesis occurs throughout life in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus, and postnatal-born granule cells migrate into the granule cell layer and extend axons to their target areas. The α7⁎nicotinic receptor has been implicated in neuronal maturation during development of the brain and is abundant in interneurons of the hippocampal formation of the adult brain. Signalling through these same receptors is believed also to promote maturation and integration of adult-born granule cells in the hippocampal formation. We therefore aimed to determine whether functional α7⁎nicotinic receptors are expressed in developing granule cells of the postnatal dentate gyrus. For these experiments we used 2–3 week-old Wistar rats, and 2–9 week old transgenic mice in which GABAergic interneurons were marked by expression of green fluorescent protein. Immunohistochemistry indicated the presence of α7⁎nicotinic receptor subunits around granule cells close around the subgranular zone which correlated with the distribution of developmental markers for immature granule cells. Whole-cell patch clamp recording showed that a proportion of granule cells responded to puffed ACh in the presence of atropine, and that these cells possessed electrophysiological properties found in immature granule cells. The nicotinic responses were potentiated by an allosteric α7⁎nicotinic receptor modulator, which were blocked by a specific α7⁎nicotinic receptor antagonist and were not affected by ionotropic glutamate or GABA receptor antagonists. These results suggest the presence of functional somato-dendritic α7⁎nicotinic receptors on immature granule cells of the postnatal dentate gyrus, consistent with studies implicating α7⁎nicotinic receptors in dendritic maturation of dentate gyrus neurons in adult brain. PMID:25553616

  19. Functional alpha7 nicotinic receptors are expressed on immature granule cells of the postnatal dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    John, Danielle; Shelukhina, Irina; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Deuchars, Jim; Henderson, Zaineb

    2015-03-19

    Neurogenesis occurs throughout life in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus, and postnatal-born granule cells migrate into the granule cell layer and extend axons to their target areas. The α7*nicotinic receptor has been implicated in neuronal maturation during development of the brain and is abundant in interneurons of the hippocampal formation of the adult brain. Signalling through these same receptors is believed also to promote maturation and integration of adult-born granule cells in the hippocampal formation. We therefore aimed to determine whether functional α7*nicotinic receptors are expressed in developing granule cells of the postnatal dentate gyrus. For these experiments we used 2-3 week-old Wistar rats, and 2-9 week old transgenic mice in which GABAergic interneurons were marked by expression of green fluorescent protein. Immunohistochemistry indicated the presence of α7*nicotinic receptor subunits around granule cells close around the subgranular zone which correlated with the distribution of developmental markers for immature granule cells. Whole-cell patch clamp recording showed that a proportion of granule cells responded to puffed ACh in the presence of atropine, and that these cells possessed electrophysiological properties found in immature granule cells. The nicotinic responses were potentiated by an allosteric α7*nicotinic receptor modulator, which were blocked by a specific α7*nicotinic receptor antagonist and were not affected by ionotropic glutamate or GABA receptor antagonists. These results suggest the presence of functional somato-dendritic α7*nicotinic receptors on immature granule cells of the postnatal dentate gyrus, consistent with studies implicating α7*nicotinic receptors in dendritic maturation of dentate gyrus neurons in adult brain.

  20. Genome-Wide Expression Analysis Reveals Diverse Effects of Acute Nicotine Exposure on Neuronal Function-Related Genes and Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ju; Cui, Wenyan; Wei, Jinxue; Sun, Dongxiao; Gutala, Ramana; Gu, Jun; Li, Ming D.

    2011-01-01

    Previous human and animal studies demonstrate that acute nicotine exposure has complicated influences on the function of the nervous system, which may lead to long-lasting effects on the behavior and physiology of the subject. To determine the genes and pathways that might account for long-term changes after acute nicotine exposure, a pathway-focused oligoarray specifically designed for drug addiction research was used to assess acute nicotine effect on gene expression in the neuron-like SH-SY5Y cells. Our results showed that 295 genes involved in various biological functions were differentially regulated by 1 h of nicotine treatment. Among these genes, the expression changes of 221 were blocked by mecamylamine, indicating that the majority of nicotine-modulated genes were altered through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)-mediated signaling process. We further identified 14 biochemical pathways enriched among the nicotine-modulated genes, among which were those involved in neural development/synaptic plasticity, neuronal survival/death, immune response, or cellular metabolism. In the genes significantly regulated by nicotine but blocked by mecamylamine, 13 enriched pathways were detected. Nine of these pathways were shared with those enriched in the genes regulated by nicotine, including neuronal function-related pathways such as glucocorticoid receptor signaling, p38 MAPK signaling, PI3K/AKT signaling, and PTEN signaling, implying that nAChRs play important roles in the regulation of these biological processes. Together, our results not only provide insights into the mechanism underlying the acute response of neuronal cells to nicotine but also provide clues to how acute nicotine exposure exerts long-term effects on the nervous system. PMID:21556275

  1. Drug-dependent behaviors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressions in Caenorhabditis elegans following chronic nicotine exposure.

    PubMed

    Polli, Joseph R; Dobbins, Dorothy L; Kobet, Robert A; Farwell, Mary A; Zhang, Baohong; Lee, Myon-Hee; Pan, Xiaoping

    2015-03-01

    Nicotine, the major psychoactive compound in tobacco, targets nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and results in drug dependence. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans' (C. elegans) genome encodes conserved and extensive nicotinic receptor subunits, representing a useful system to investigate nicotine-induced nAChR expressions in the context of drug dependence. However, the in vivo expression pattern of nAChR genes under chronic nicotine exposure has not been fully investigated. To define the role of nAChR genes involved in nicotine-induced locomotion changes and the development of tolerance to these effects, we characterized the locomotion behavior combining the use of two systems: the Worm Tracker hardware and the WormLab software. Our results indicate that the combined system is an advantageous alternative to define drug-dependent locomotion behavior in C. elegans. Chronic (24-h dosing) nicotine exposure at 6.17 and 61.7μM induced nicotine-dependent behaviors, including drug stimulation, tolerance/adaption, and withdrawal responses. Specifically, the movement speed of naïve worms on nicotine-containing environments was significantly higher than on nicotine-free environments, suggesting locomotion stimulation by nicotine. In contrast, the 24-h 6.17μM nicotine-treated worms exhibited significantly higher speeds on nicotine-free plates than on nicotine-containing plates. Furthermore significantly increased locomotion behavior during nicotine cessation was observed in worms treated with a higher nicotine concentration of 61.7μM. The relatively low locomotion speed of nicotine-treated worms on nicotine-containing environments also indicates adaption/tolerance of worms to nicotine following chronic nicotine exposure. In addition, this study provides useful information regarding the comprehensive in vivo expression profile of the 28 "core" nAChRs following different dosages of chronic nicotine treatments. Eleven genes (lev-1, acr-6, acr-7, acr-11, lev-8, acr

  2. 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.

  3. Activation of α7-containing nicotinic receptors on astrocytes triggers AMPA receptor recruitment to glutamateric synapses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xulong; Lippi, Giordano; Carlson, David M.; Berg, Darwin K.

    2014-01-01

    Astrocytes, an abundant form of glia, are known to promote and modulate synaptic signaling between neurons. They also express α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs), but the functional relevance of these receptors is unknown. We show here that stimulation of α7-nAChRs on astrocytes releases components that induce hippocampal neurons to acquire more a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors post-synaptically at glutamatergic synapses. The increase is specific in that no change is seen in synaptic NMDA receptor clusters or other markers for glutamatergic synapses, or in markers for GABAergic synapses. Moreover, the increases in AMPA receptors on the neuron surface are accompanied by increases in the frequency of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents mediated by the receptors and increases in the ratio of evoked synaptic currents mediated by AMPA versus NMDA receptors. This suggests that stimulating α7-nAChRs on astrocytes can convert ‘silent’ glutamatergic synapses to functional status. Astrocyte-derived thrombospondin is necessary but not sufficient for the effect, while tumor necrosis factor-α is sufficient but not necessary. The results identify astrocyte α7-nAChRs as a novel pathway through which nicotinic cholinergic signaling can promote the development of glutamatergic networks, recruiting AMPA receptors to post-synaptic sites and rendering the synapses more functional. PMID:24032433

  4. Effects of the α subunit on imidacloprid sensitivity of recombinant nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Matsuda, K; Buckingham, S D; Freeman, J C; Squire, M D; Baylis, H A; Sattelle, D B

    1998-01-01

    Imidacloprid is a new insecticide with selective toxicity for insects over vertebrates. Recombinant (α4β2) chicken neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) and a hybrid nicotinic AChR formed by co-expression of a Drosophila melanogaster neuronal α subunit (SAD) with the chicken β2 subunit were heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes by nuclear injection of cDNAs. The agonist actions of imidacloprid and other nicotinic AChR ligands ((+)-epibatidine, (−)-nicotine and acetylcholine) were compared on both recombinant nicotinic AChRs by use of two-electrode, voltage-clamp electrophysiology. Imidacloprid alone of the 4 agonists behaved as a partial agonist on the α4β2 receptor; (+)-epibatidine, (−)-nicotine and acetylcholine were all full, or near full, agonists. Imidacloprid was also a partial agonist of the hybrid Drosophila SAD chicken β2 receptor, as was (−)-nicotine, whereas (+)-epibatidine and acetylcholine were full agonists. The EC50 of imidacloprid was decreased by replacing the chicken α4 subunit with the Drosophila SAD α subunit. This α subunit substitution also resulted in an increase in the EC50 for (+)-epibatidine, (−)-nicotine and acetylcholine. Thus, the Drosophila (SAD) α subunit contributes to the greater apparent affinity of imidacloprid for recombinant insect/vertebrate nicotinic AChRs. Imidacloprid acted as a weak antagonist of ACh-mediated responses mediated by SADβ2 hybrid receptors and as a weak potentiator of ACh responses mediated by α4β2 receptors. This suggests that imidacloprid has complex effects upon these recombinant receptors, determined at least in part by the α subunit. PMID:9504393

  5. In vivo pharmacological characterization of a novel selective alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist ABT-107: preclinical considerations in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Bitner, R Scott; Bunnelle, William H; Decker, Michael W; Drescher, Karla U; Kohlhaas, Kathy L; Markosyan, Stella; Marsh, Kennan C; Nikkel, Arthur L; Browman, Kaitlin; Radek, Rich; Anderson, David J; Buccafusco, Jerry; Gopalakrishnan, Murali

    2010-09-01

    We previously reported that alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonism produces efficacy in preclinical cognition models correlating with activation of cognitive and neuroprotective signaling pathways associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. In the present studies, the selective and potent alpha7 nAChR agonist 5-(6-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yloxy] pyridazin-3-yl)-1H-indole (ABT-107) was evaluated in behavioral assays representing distinct cognitive domains. Studies were also conducted to address potential issues that may be associated with the clinical development of an alpha7 nAChR agonist. Specifically, ABT-107 improved cognition in monkey delayed matching to sample, rat social recognition, and mouse two-trial inhibitory avoidance, and continued to improve cognitive performance at injection times when exposure levels continued to decline. Rats concurrently infused with ABT-107 and donepezil at steady-state levels consistent with clinical exposure showed improved short-term recognition memory. Compared with nicotine, ABT-107 did not produce behavioral sensitization in rats or exhibit psychomotor stimulant activity in mice. Repeated (3 days) daily dosing of ABT-107 increased extracellular cortical acetylcholine in rats, whereas acute administration increased cortical extracellular signal-regulated kinase and cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation in mice, neurochemical and biochemical events germane to cognitive function. ABT-107 increased cortical phosphorylation of the inhibitory residue (Ser9) of glycogen synthase kinase-3, a primary tau kinase associated with AD pathology. In addition, continuous infusion of ABT-107 in tau/amyloid precursor protein transgenic AD mice reduced spinal tau hyperphosphorylation. These findings show that targeting alpha7 nAChRs may have potential utility for symptomatic alleviation and slowing of disease progression in the treatment AD, and expand the understanding of the potential

  6. Nicotine regulates activity of lateral habenula neurons via presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Wanhong; Xiao, Cheng; Gao, Ming; Hopf, F. Woodward; Krnjević, Krešimir; McIntosh, J. Michael; Fu, Rao; Wu, Jie; Bekker, Alex; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2016-01-01

    There is much interest in brain regions that drive nicotine intake in smokers. Interestingly, both the rewarding and aversive effects of nicotine are probably critical for sustaining nicotine addiction. The medial and lateral habenular (LHb) nuclei play important roles in processing aversion, and recent work has focused on the critical involvement of the LHb in encoding and responding to aversive stimuli. Several neurotransmitter systems are implicated in nicotine’s actions, but very little is known about how nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) regulate LHb activity. Here we report in brain slices that activation of nAChRs depolarizes LHb cells and robustly increases firing, and also potentiates glutamate release in LHb. These effects were blocked by selective antagonists of α6-containing (α6*) nAChRs, and were absent in α6*-nAChR knockout mice. In addition, nicotine activates GABAergic inputs to LHb via α4β2-nAChRs, at lower concentrations but with more rapid desensitization relative to α6*-nAChRs. These results demonstrate the existence of diverse functional nAChR subtypes at presynaptic and postsynaptic sites in LHb, through which nicotine could facilitate or inhibit LHb neuronal activity and thus contribute to nicotine aversion or reward. PMID:27596561

  7. NACHO Mediates Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Function throughout the Brain.

    PubMed

    Matta, Jose A; Gu, Shenyan; Davini, Weston B; Lord, Brian; Siuda, Edward R; Harrington, Anthony W; Bredt, David S

    2017-04-25

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) participate in diverse aspects of brain function and mediate behavioral and addictive properties of nicotine. Neuronal nAChRs derive from combinations of α and β subunits, whose assembly is tightly regulated. NACHO was recently identified as a chaperone for α7-type nAChRs. Here, we find NACHO mediates assembly of all major classes of presynaptic and postsynaptic nAChR tested. NACHO acts at early intracellular stages of nAChR subunit assembly and then synergizes with RIC-3 for receptor surface expression. NACHO knockout mice show profound deficits in binding sites for α-bungarotoxin, epibatidine, and conotoxin MII, illustrating essential roles for NACHO in proper assembly of α7-, α4β2-, and α6-containing nAChRs, respectively. By contrast, GABAA receptors are unaffected consistent with NACHO specifically modulating nAChRs. NACHO knockout mice show abnormalities in locomotor and cognitive behaviors compatible with nAChR deficiency and underscore the importance of this chaperone for physiology and disease associated with nAChRs. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Flupyrimin: A Novel Insecticide Acting at the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Onozaki, Yasumichi; Horikoshi, Ryo; Ohno, Ikuya; Kitsuda, Shigeki; Durkin, Kathleen A; Suzuki, Tomonori; Asahara, Chiaki; Hiroki, Natsuko; Komabashiri, Rena; Shimizu, Rikako; Furutani, Shogo; Ihara, Makoto; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Mitomi, Masaaki; Kagabu, Shinzo; Uomoto, Katsuhito; Tomizawa, Motohiro

    2017-09-13

    A novel chemotype insecticide flupyrimin (FLP) [N-[(E)-1-(6-chloro-3-pyridinylmethyl)pyridin-2(1H)-ylidene]-2,2,2-trifluoroacetamide], discovered by Meiji Seika Pharma, has unique biological properties, including outstanding potency to imidacloprid (IMI)-resistant rice pests together with superior safety toward pollinators. Intriguingly, FLP acts as a nicotinic antagonist in American cockroach neurons, and [(3)H]FLP binds to the multiple high-affinity binding components in house fly nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor (nAChR) preparation. One of the [(3)H]FLP receptors is identical to the IMI receptor, and the alternative is IMI-insensitive subtype. Furthermore, FLP is favorably safe to rats as predicted by the very low affinity to the rat α4β2 nAChR. Structure-activity relationships of FLP analogues in terms of receptor potency, featuring the pyridinylidene and trifluoroacetyl pharmacophores, were examined, thereby establishing the FLP molecular recognition at the Aplysia californica ACh-binding protein, a suitable structural surrogate of the insect nAChR. These FLP pharmacophores account for the excellent receptor affinity, accordingly revealing differences in its binding mechanism from IMI.

  9. Alpha4* nicotinic receptors in preBotzinger complex mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of respiratory rhythm.

    PubMed

    Shao, Xuesi M; Tan, Wenbin; Xiu, Joanne; Puskar, Nyssa; Fonck, Carlos; Lester, Henry A; Feldman, Jack L

    2008-01-09

    Acetylcholine and nicotine can modulate respiratory patterns by acting on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC). To further explore the molecular composition of these nAChRs, we studied a knock-in mouse strain with a leucine-to-alanine mutation in the M2 pore-lining region (L9'A) of the nAChR alpha4 subunit; this mutation renders alpha4-containing receptors hypersensitive to agonists. We recorded respiratory-related rhythmic motor activity from hypoglossal nerve (XIIn) and patch-clamped preBötC inspiratory neurons in an in vitro medullary slice preparation from neonatal mice. Nicotine affected respiratory rhythm at concentrations approximately 100-fold lower in the homozygous L9'A knock-in mice compared with wild-type mice. Bath application of 5 nm nicotine increased the excitability of preBötC inspiratory neurons, increased respiratory frequency, and induced tonic/seizure-like activities in XIIn in L9'A mice, effects similar to those induced by 1 microM nicotine in wild-type mice. In L9'A mice, microinjection of low nanomolar concentrations of nicotine into the preBötC increased respiratory frequency, whereas injection into the ipsilateral hypoglossal (XII) nucleus induced tonic/seizure-like activity. The alpha4*-selective nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine produced opposite effects and blocked the nicotinic responses. These data, showing that nAChRs in the preBötC and XII nucleus in L9'A mice are hypersensitive to nicotine and endogenous ACh, suggest that functional alpha4* nAChRs are present in the preBötC. They mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of the excitability of preBötC inspiratory neurons and of respiratory rhythm. Furthermore, functional alpha4* nAChRs are present in XII nucleus and mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of tonic activity in XIIn.

  10. Nicotine trapping causes the persistent desensitization of alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors expressed in oocytes.

    PubMed

    Jia, Li; Flotildes, Karen; Li, Maureen; Cohen, Bruce N

    2003-02-01

    To determine whether prolonged nicotine exposure persistently inactivates rat alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes, we measured the voltage-clamped alpha4beta2 response to acetylcholine (ACh) before and 24 h after, 1-h or 12-h incubations in 10 microm nicotine. A 12-h incubation in 10 microm nicotine depressed the alpha4beta2 ACh response for 24 h without affecting total or surface alpha4beta2 expression. To determine whether oocyte-mediated nicotine release caused this depression, we co-incubated an alpha4beta2-expressing oocyte with an un-injected one (pre-incubated in 10 microm nicotine for 12 h) for 24 h and measured the change in the alpha4beta2 ACh response. The response decreased by the same factor after the co-incubation as it did after a 12-h incubation in 10 microm nicotine and a 24-h incubation in nicotine-free media. Thus, oocyte-mediated nicotine release caused the persistent desensitization we observed after a 12-h incubation in 10 microm nicotine. Consistent with this result, measurements of [3H]nicotine release show that oocytes release enough nicotine into the wash media to desensitize alpha4beta2 receptors and that prolonged incubation in 300 microm ACh (which cannot readily cross the membrane or accumulate in acidic vesicles) did not persistently depress the alpha4beta2 response.

  11. Binding of quinolizidine alkaloids to nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Schmeller, T; Sauerwein, M; Sporer, F; Wink, M; Müller, W E

    1994-09-01

    Fourteen quinolizidine alkaloids, isolated from Lupinus albus, L. mutabilis, and Anagyris foetida, were analyzed for their affinity for nicotinic and/or muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Of the compounds tested, the alpha-pyridones, N-methylcytisine and cytisine, showed the highest affinities at the nicotinic receptor, while several quinolizidine alkaloid types were especially active at the muscarinic receptor.

  12. Unique pharmacology of heteromeric α7β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes.

    PubMed

    Zwart, Ruud; Strotton, Merrick; Ching, Jennifer; Astles, Peter C; Sher, Emanuele

    2014-03-05

    α7β2 is a novel type of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor shown to be uniquely expressed in cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain and in hippocampal interneurons. We have compared the pharmacological properties of recombinant homomeric α7 and heteromeric α7β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in order to reveal the pharmacological consequences of β2 subunit incorporation into the pentamer. The non-selective agonist epibatidine did not distinguish α7β2 from α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but three other non-selective agonists (nicotine, cytisine and varenicline) were less efficacious on α7β2 than on α7. A more dramatic change in efficacy was seen with eight different selective α7 agonists. Because of their very low intrinsic efficacy, some compounds became very efficacious functional antagonists at α7β2 receptors. Three α4β2 nicotinic receptor selective agonists that were not active on α7, were also inactive on α7β2, and dihydro-β-erythroidine, an α4β2 receptor-preferring antagonist, inhibited α7 and α7β2 in a similar manner. These results reveal significant effects of β2 incorporation in determining the relative efficacy of several non-selective and α7 selective agonists, and also show that incorporation of β2 subunits does not cause a shift to a more “β2-like” pharmacology of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Characterization of a series of anabaseine-derived compounds reveals that the 3-(4)-dimethylaminocinnamylidine derivative is a selective agonist at neuronal nicotinic alpha 7/125I-alpha-bungarotoxin receptor subtypes.

    PubMed

    de Fiebre, C M; Meyer, E M; Henry, J C; Muraskin, S I; Kem, W R; Papke, R L

    1995-01-01

    Investigation of the naturally occurring, nicotinic agonist anabaseine and novel derivatives has shown that these compounds have cytoprotective and memory-enhancing effects. The hypothesis that these arise at least in part through actions on brain nicotinic receptors was evaluated by examining the ability of these compounds to displace the binding of nicotinic ligands and to affect the function of the alpha 4 beta 2 and alpha 7 receptor subtypes expressed in Xenopus oocytes. The derivative 3-(4)-dimethylaminocinnamylidine anabaseine (DMAC) was found to be a selective alpha 7 receptor agonist; it was more potent than nicotine, acetylcholine, anabaseine, and other derivatives at activating the alpha 7 receptor subtype, while displaying little agonist activity at alpha 4 beta 2 and other receptor subtypes. Compared with anabaseine and the other derivatives, DMAC was the most potent at displacing 125I-alpha-bungarotoxin binding (putative alpha 7) and the least potent at displacing [3H]cytisine binding (putative alpha 4 beta 2) to brain membranes. Independently of agonist activities, all of the novel compounds displayed secondary inhibitory activity at both receptor subtypes. At the alpha 4 beta 2 receptor subtype, inhibition by the 3-(2,4)-dimethoxybenzylidene derivative was enhanced by coapplication of acetylcholine, suggesting a noncompetitive form of inhibition. Anabaseine and nicotine prolonged the time course of activation of alpha 4 beta 2 receptors, compared with acetylcholine, suggesting sequential channel-blocking activity. As selective agonists, anabaseine derivatives such as DMAC may be useful for elucidating the function of alpha 7 nicotinic receptors, including their potential role(s) in the cytoprotective and memory-enhancing effects of nicotinic agents.

  16. Assessment of the Protection of Dopaminergic Neurons by an α7 Nicotinic Receptor Agonist, PHA 543613 Using [18F]LBT-999 in a Parkinson’s Disease Rat Model

    PubMed Central

    Sérrière, Sophie; Doméné, Aurélie; Vercouillie, Johnny; Mothes, Céline; Bodard, Sylvie; Rodrigues, Nuno; Guilloteau, Denis; Routier, Sylvain; Page, Guylène; Chalon, Sylvie

    2015-01-01

    The inverse association between nicotine intake and Parkinson’s disease (PD) is well established and suggests that this molecule could be neuroprotective through anti-inflammatory action mediated by nicotinic receptors, including the α7-subtype (α7R). The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of an agonist of α7R, PHA 543613, on striatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in a rat model of PD induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion. Adult male Wistar rats were lesioned in the right striatum and assigned to either the PHA group (n = 7) or the Sham group (n = 5). PHA 543613 hydrochloride at the concentration of 6 mg/kg (PHA group) or vehicle (Sham group) was intra-peritoneally injected 2 h before 6-OHDA lesioning and then at days 2, 4, and 6 post-lesion. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was performed at 7 days post-lesion using [18F]LBT-999 to quantify the striatal dopamine transporter (DAT). After PET imaging, neuroinflammation was evaluated in same animals in vitro through the measurement of the microglial activation marker 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) by quantitative autoradiography with [3H]PK-11195. The DAT density reflecting the integrity of dopaminergic neurons was significantly decreased while the intensity of neuroinflammation measured by TSPO density was significantly increased in the lesioned compared to intact striatum in both groups. However, these both modifications were partially reversed in the PHA group compared to Sham. In addition, a significant positive correlation between the degree of lesion and the intensity of neuroinflammation was evidenced. These findings indicate that PHA 543613 exerts neuroprotective effects on the striatal dopaminergic neurons associated with a reduction in microglial activation in this model of PD. This reinforces the hypothesis that an α7R agonist could provide beneficial effects for the treatment of PD. PMID:26389120

  17. Prenatal nicotine exposure selectively affects nicotinic receptor expression in primary and associative visual cortices of the fetal baboon.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Jhodie R; Garland, Marianne; Stark, Raymond I; Myers, Michael M; Fifer, William P; Mokler, David J; Kinney, Hannah C

    2015-03-01

    Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy via maternal cigarette smoking is associated with visual deficits in children. This is possibly due to the activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the occipital cortex, which are important in the development of visual mapping. Using a baboon model, we explored the effects of prenatal nicotine on parameters in the primary and associated visual cortices. Pregnant baboons were infused with nicotine (0.5 mg/h, intravenous) or saline from 86 days gestation. At 161 days gestation, fetal brains were collected (n = 5 per group) and the occipital lobe assessed for nAChRs and markers of the serotonergic and catecholaminergic systems using tissue autoradiography and/or high-performance liquid chromatography. Neuronal nAChRs and serotonergic markers were expressed in a region- and subunit-dependent manner. Prenatal nicotine exposure was associated with increased binding for (3) H-epibatidine sensitive nAChRs in the primary visual cortex [Brodmann areas (BA) 17] and BA 18, but not BA 19, of the associative visual cortex (P < 0.05). Markers of the serotonergic or catecholaminergic systems were not significantly altered. Thus, prenatal nicotine exposure is associated with alterations in the cholinergic system in the occipital lobe, which may aid in the explanation of the appearance of visual deficits in children from mothers who smoke during pregnancy.

  18. 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

  19. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from chick optic lobe.

    PubMed Central

    Norman, R I; Mehraban, F; Barnard, E A; Dolly, J O

    1982-01-01

    An alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive nicotinic cholinergic receptor from chick optic lobe has been completely purified. Its standard sedimentation coefficient is 9.1 S. The value near 12 S reported for the related component from other brain regions can be reproduced when the initial extraction is by Triton X-100 (rather than Lubrol PX), but other protein is then complexed with it. A single subunit of apparent molecular weight 54,000 is detected, and this subunit is specifically labeled by bromo-[3H]acetylcholine, but only after disulfide reduction. The same size subunit likewise is labeled in the protein (purified similarly) from the rest of the chick brain which can also bind alpha-bungarotoxin and nicotinic ligands. Immunological crossreactivity is demonstrated between both of these proteins with an antiserum to pure acetylcholine receptor from skeletal muscle. The acetylcholine receptor from chick optic lobe and the alpha-bungarotoxin-binding protein from the rest of the brain appear similar or identical by a series of criteria and are related to (but with differences from) peripheral acetylcholine receptors. Images PMID:6175967

  20. Design of novel 3,6-diazabicyclo[3.1.1]heptane derivatives with potent and selective affinities for α4β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Deligia, Francesco; Deiana, Valeria; Gotti, Cecilia; Lazzari, Paolo; Bottazzi, Mirko E H; Pucci, Luca; Fasoli, Francesca; Ragusa, Giulio; Pinna, Gerard A; Murineddu, Gabriele

    2015-10-20

    New analogues (3a-l) of the previously described α4β2 selective ligand 3-(6-halopyridin-3-yl)-3,6-diazabicyclo[3.1.1]heptanes (2a,b) have been synthesized and their binding activity for neuronal acetylcholine receptor subtypes α4β2 and α7 were assayed. Six of these compounds (3a,b,c,j,k and l) showed high affinity and selectivity for α4β2 receptors. The phenylpyridyl-diazabicycloheptane 3c displayed Ki value of 11.17 pM for α4β2, in line with that of the halogenated homologues 3a,b, although it was characterized by an improved selectivity (Ki = 17 μM for α7 receptors). The influence of substitutions on the phenylpyridyl moiety on binding at both α4β2 and α7 receptors has been examined through the Topliss decision tree analysis. Substitution with electron-donating groups (as CH3 and OCH3) resulted in a good affinity for α4β2 receptors and substantially no affinity for α7. Amongst all the tested phenyl-substituted compounds, the p-NO2-phenyl substituted analogue 3j exhibited the highest α4β2 affinity, with Ki value comparable to that of 3c. Intrinsic α4β2 receptor mediated activity in [(3)H]-DA release assay was showed by compound 3a as well as by the reference analogue 2a, whereas phenyl substituted derivative 3c exhibited α4β2 antagonist activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors as Targets for Tobacco Cessation Therapeutics: Cutting-Edge Methodologies to Understand Receptor Assembly and Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Fox-Loe, Ashley M; Dwoskin, Linda P; Richards, Christopher I

    2016-01-01

    Tobacco dependence is a chronic relapsing disorder and nicotine, the primary alkaloid in tobacco, acts at nicotinic receptors to stimulate dopamine release in brain, which is responsible for the reinforcing properties of nicotine, leading to addiction. Although the majority of tobacco users express the desire to quit, only a small percentage of those attempting to quit are successful using the currently available pharmacotherapies. Nicotine upregulates the number of specific nicotinic receptors on the neuronal cell surface. An increase in receptor trafficking or preferential stoichiometric assembly of receptor subunits involves changes in assembly, endoplasmic reticulum export, vesicle transport, decreased degradation, desensitization, enhanced maturation of functional pentamers, and pharmacological chaperoning. Understanding these changes on a mechanistic level is important to the development of nicotinic receptors as drug targets. For this reason, cutting-edge methodologies are being developed and employed to pinpoint distinct changes in localization, assembly, export, vesicle trafficking, and stoichiometry in order to further understand the physiology of these receptors and to evaluate the action of novel therapeutics for smoking cessation.

  2. Cell-surface translational dynamics of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Barrantes, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Mechanisms involved in systemic nicotine-induced glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ming; Jin, Yu; Yang, Kechun; Zhang, Die; Lukas, Ronald J; Wu, Jie

    2010-10-13

    Systemic exposure to nicotine induces glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we report that single, systemic exposure in rats to nicotine (0.17 mg/kg free base) increases the ratio of DA neuronal currents mediated by AMPA relative to NMDA receptors (AMPA/NMDA ratio) assessed 24 h later, based on slice-patch recording. The AMPA/NMDA ratio increase is evident within 1 h and lasts for at least 72 h after nicotine exposure (and up to 8 d after repeated nicotine administration). This effect cannot be prevented by systemic injection of either α7-nAChR (nicotinic ACh receptor)-selective [methyllycaconitine (MLA)] or β2*-nAChR-selective [mecamylamine (MEC)] antagonists but is prevented by coinjection of MLA and MEC. In either nAChR α7 or β2 subunit knock-out mice, systemic exposure to nicotine still increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio. Preinjection in rats of a NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801((+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate), but neither DA receptor antagonists [SCH-23390 (R-(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine) plus haloperidol] nor a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine), prevents the nicotine-induced increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio. After systemic exposure to nicotine, glutamatergic (but not GABAergic) transmission onto rat VTA DA neuronal inputs is enhanced. Correspondingly, DA neuronal firing measured 24 h after nicotine exposure using extracellular single-unit recording in vivo is significantly faster, and there is conversion of silent to active DA neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that systemic nicotine acting via either α7- or β2*-nAChRs increases presynaptic and postsynaptic glutamatergic function, and consequently initiates glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, which may be an important, early neuronal adaptation in nicotine reward and reinforcement.

  4. 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

  5. Distinct roles of bulbar muscarinic and nicotinic receptors in olfactory discrimination learning.

    PubMed

    Devore, Sasha; de Almeida, Licurgo; Linster, Christiane

    2014-08-20

    The olfactory bulb (OB) and piriform cortex receive dense cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain. Cholinergic modulation within the piriform cortex has long been proposed to serve important functions in olfactory learning and memory. We here investigate how olfactory discrimination learning is regulated by cholinergic modulation of the OB inputs to the piriform cortex. We examined rats' performance on a two-alternative choice odor discrimination task following local, bilateral blockade of cholinergic nicotinic and/or muscarinic receptors in the OB. Results demonstrate that acquisition, but not recall, of novel discrimination problems is impaired following blockade of OB cholinergic receptors, although the relative contribution of muscarinic and nicotinic receptors depends on task difficulty. Blocking muscarinic receptors impairs learning for nearly all odor sets, whereas blocking nicotinic receptors only affects performance for perceptually similar odors. This pattern of behavioral effects is consistent with predictions from a model of cholinergic modulation in the OB and piriform cortex (de Almeida et al., 2013). Model simulations suggest that muscarinic and nicotinic receptors may serve complementary roles in regulating coherence and sparseness of the OB network output, which in turn differentially regulate the strength and overlap in cortical odor representations. Overall, our results suggest that muscarinic receptor blockade results in a bona fide learning impairment that may arise because cortical neurons are activated less often. Behavioral impairment following nicotinic receptor blockade may not be due to the inability of the cortex to learn, but rather arises because the cortex is unable to resolve highly overlapping input patterns.

  6. Neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Smucny, Jason; Olincy, Ann; Rojas, Donald C; Tregellas, Jason R

    2016-01-01

    Although nicotine has been shown to improve attention deficits in schizophrenia, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. We hypothesized that nicotine would modulate attention-associated neuronal response in schizophrenia patients in the ventral parietal cortex (VPC), hippocampus, and anterior cingulate based on previous findings in control subjects. To test this hypothesis, the present study examined response in these regions in a cohort of nonsmoking patients and healthy control subjects using an auditory selective attention task with environmental noise distractors during placebo and nicotine administration. In agreement with our hypothesis, significant diagnosis (Control vs. Patient) X drug (Placebo vs. Nicotine) interactions were observed in the VPC and hippocampus. The interaction was driven by task-associated hyperactivity in patients (relative to healthy controls) during placebo administration, and decreased hyperactivity in patients after nicotine administration (relative to placebo). No significant interaction was observed in the anterior cingulate. Task-associated hyperactivity of the VPC predicted poor task performance in patients during placebo. Poor task performance also predicted symptoms in patients as measured by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. These results are the first to suggest that nicotine may modulate brain activity in a selective attention-dependent manner in schizophrenia.

  7. [Desensitization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor].

    PubMed

    Quiñonez, M; Rojas, L

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies to Study the Structural Basis of the Function of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Electric Organ and Muscle and to Determine the Structure of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors on Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-03-16

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF THIS PAGE Form Approved REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE OMB No. 0704-0188 la. REPORT SECURITY CLASSIFICATION lb. RESTRICTIVE MARKINGS...ORGANIZATION 6b. OFFICE SYMBOL 7a. NAME OF MONITORING ORGANIZATION The Salk Institute (If applicable) Receptor Biology Laboratory I 6c. ADDRESS (City...State, and ZIP Code) 7b. ADDRESS (City, State, and ZIP Code) San Diego, California 92138-9216 8a. NAME OF FUNDING/SPONSORING 8b. OFFICE SYMBOL 9

  9. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions.

  10. Nicotine Uses Neuron-Glia Communication to Enhance Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission and Long-term Memory

    PubMed Central

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A.; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions. PMID:23185511

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-15

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

  12. Alpha-conotoxin MII-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell regulate progressive ratio responding maintained by nicotine.

    PubMed

    Brunzell, Darlene H; Boschen, Karen E; Hendrick, Elizabeth S; Beardsley, Patrick M; McIntosh, J Michael

    2010-02-01

    Beta2 subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (beta2(*)nAChRs; asterisk ((*)) denotes assembly with other subunits) are critical for nicotine self-administration and nicotine-associated dopamine (DA) release that supports nicotine reinforcement. The alpha6 subunit assembles with beta2 on DA neurons where alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs regulate nicotine-stimulated DA release at neuron terminals. Using local infusion of alpha-conotoxin MII (alpha-CTX MII), an antagonist with selectivity for alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs, the purpose of these experiments was to determine if alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell are required for motivation to self-administer nicotine. Long-Evans rats lever-pressed for 0.03 mg/kg, i.v., nicotine accompanied by light+tone cues (NIC) or for light+tone cues unaccompanied by nicotine (CUEonly). Following extensive training, animals were tested under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule that required an increasing number of lever presses for each nicotine infusion and/or cue delivery. Immediately before each PR session, rats received microinfusions of alpha-CTX MII (0, 1, 5, or 10 pmol per side) into the NAc shell or the overlying anterior cingulate cortex. alpha-CTX MII dose dependently decreased break points and number of infusions earned by NIC rats following infusion into the NAc shell but not the anterior cingulate cortex. Concentrations of alpha-CTX MII that were capable of attenuating nicotine self-administration did not disrupt locomotor activity. There was no effect of infusion on lever pressing in CUEonly animals and NAc infusion alpha-CTX MII did not affect locomotor activity in an open field. These data suggest that alpha6beta2(*)nAChRs in the NAc shell regulate motivational aspects of nicotine reinforcement but not nicotine-associated locomotor activation.

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

    PubMed

    Jürgensen, Sofia; Ferreira, Sergio T

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Acetylcholine receptor extracellular domain determines sensitivity to nicotine-induced inactivation.

    PubMed

    Kuryatov, A; Olale, F A; Choi, C; Lindstrom, J

    2000-03-30

    We have shown previously that chronic exposure to submicromolar concentrations of nicotine permanently inactivates alpha4beta2 and alpha7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors while alpha3beta2 acetylcholine receptors are resistant to inactivation. Phosphorylation of the large cytoplasmic domain has been proposed to mediate functional inactivation. Chimeric subunits consisting of human alpha4 sequence from their N-terminus to either the beginning of the first transmembrane domain or the large cytoplasmic domain and alpha3 sequences thereafter formed acetylcholine receptors with beta2 subunits which were as susceptible to nicotine-induced inactivation as wild-type alpha4 acetylcholine receptors. The converse chimeras, containing the N-terminal parts of the alpha3 subunit and the C-terminal parts of the alpha4 subunit, formed acetylcholine receptors with beta2 subunits which were as resistant to nicotine-induced inactivation as wild-type alpha3beta2 acetylcholine receptors. Thus, inactivation of acetylcholine receptors produced by chronic exposure to nicotine results primarily from effects of the agonist on the extracellular and transmembrane domains of the alpha subunit.

  15. Selective lesions of the cholinergic neurons within the posterior pedunculopontine do not alter operant learning or nicotine sensitization.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, Duncan A A; Wilson, David I G; Winn, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Cholinergic neurons within the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus have been implicated in a range of functions, including behavioral state control, attention, and modulation of midbrain and basal ganglia systems. Previous experiments with excitotoxic lesions have found persistent learning impairment and altered response to nicotine following lesion of the posterior component of the PPTg (pPPTg). These effects have been attributed to disrupted input to midbrain dopamine systems, particularly the ventral tegmental area. The pPPTg contains a dense collection of cholinergic neurons and also large numbers of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Because these interdigitated populations of neurons are all susceptible to excitotoxins, the effects of such lesions cannot be attributed to one neuronal population. We wished to assess whether the learning impairments and altered responses to nicotine in excitotoxic PPTg-lesioned rats were due to loss of cholinergic neurons within the pPPTg. Selective depletion of cholinergic pPPTg neurons is achievable with the fusion toxin Dtx-UII, which targets UII receptors expressed only by cholinergic neurons in this region. Rats bearing bilateral lesions of cholinergic pPPTg neurons (>90% ChAT+ neuronal loss) displayed no deficits in the learning or performance of fixed and variable ratio schedules of reinforcement for pellet reward. Separate rats with the same lesions had a normal locomotor response to nicotine and furthermore sensitized to repeated administration of nicotine at the same rate as sham controls. Previously seen changes in these behaviors following excitotoxic pPPTg lesions cannot be attributed solely to loss of cholinergic neurons. These findings indicate that non-cholinergic neurons within the pPPTg are responsible for the learning deficits and altered responses to nicotine seen after excitotoxic lesions. The functions of cholinergic neurons may be related to behavioral state control and attention rather than learning.

  16. Intermittent nicotine exposure upregulates nAChRs in VTA dopamine neurons and sensitizes locomotor responding to the drug

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Lorinda K; Mao, Danyan; Chi, Henry; Govind, Anitha P; Vallejo, Yolanda F; Iacoviello, Michael; Herrera, Stacy; Cortright, James J; Green, William N; McGehee, Daniel S; Vezina, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) mediate the behavioral and motivational effects of many drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Repeated intermittent administration of these drugs, a pattern often associated with initial drug exposure, sensitizes the reactivity of dopamine (DA) neurons in this pathway, enhances the locomotor behaviors the drugs emit, and promotes their pursuit and self-administration. Here we show that activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the VTA, but not the NAcc, is essential for the induction of locomotor sensitization by nicotine. Repeated intermittent nicotine exposure (4 × 0.4 mg/kg, base, i.p., administered over 7 days), a regimen leading to long-lasting locomotor sensitization, also produced upregulation of nAChRs in the VTA, but not the NAcc, in the hours following the last exposure injection. Functional nAChR upregulation was observed selectively in DA but not GABA neurons in the VTA. These effects were followed by long-term potentiation of excitatory inputs to these cells and increased nicotine-evoked DA overflow in the NAcc. Withdrawal symptoms were not observed following this exposure regimen. Thus, intermittent activation and upregulation by nicotine of nAChRs in DA neurons in the VTA may contribute to the development of behavioral sensitization and increased liability for nicotine addiction. PMID:23331514

  17. Nicotine enhancement and reinforcer devaluation: Interaction with opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Kirshenbaum, Ari P; Suhaka, Jesse A; Phillips, Jessie L; Voltolini de Souza Pinto, Maiary

    In rats, nicotine enhances responding maintained by non-pharmacological reinforcers, and discontinuation of nicotine devalues those same reinforcers. The goal of this study was to assess the interaction of nicotine and opioid receptors and to evaluate the degree to which nicotine enhancement and nicotine-induced devaluation are related to opioid activation. Nicotine (0.4mg/kg), or nicotine plus naloxone (0.3 or 3.0mg/kg), was delivered to rats prior to progressive ratio (PR) schedule sessions in which sucrose was used as a reinforcer. PR-schedule responding was assessed during ten daily sessions of drug delivery, and for three post-dosing days/sessions. Control groups for this investigation included a saline-only condition, and naloxone-only (0.3 or 3.0mg/kg) conditions. When administered in conjunction with nicotine, both naloxone doses attenuated nicotine enhancement of the sucrose reinforcer, and the combination of the larger dose of naloxone (3.0mg/kg) with nicotine produced significant impairments in sucrose reinforced responding. When administered alone, neither dose of naloxone (0.3 & 3.0mg/kg) significantly altered responding in comparison to saline. Furthermore, when dosing was discontinued after ten once-daily doses, all nicotine groups (nicotine-only and nicotine+naloxone combination) demonstrated significant decreases in sucrose reinforcement compared to the saline group. Although opioid antagonism attenuated reinforcement enhancement by nicotine, it did not prevent reinforcer devaluation upon discontinuation of nicotine dosing, and the higher dose of naloxone (3.0mg/kg) produced decrements upon discontinuation on its own in the absence of nicotine. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Deletion of α5 nicotine receptor subunits abolishes nicotinic aversive motivational effects in a manner that phenocopies dopamine receptor antagonism.

    PubMed

    Grieder, Taryn E; George, Olivier; Yee, Mandy; Bergamini, Michael A; Chwalek, Michal; Maal-Bared, Geith; Vargas-Perez, Hector; van der Kooy, Derek

    2017-07-01

    Nicotine addiction is a worldwide epidemic that claims millions of lives each year. Genetic deletion of α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits has been associated with increased nicotine intake, however, it remains unclear whether acute nicotine is less aversive or more rewarding, and whether mice lacking the α5 nAChR subunit can experience withdrawal from chronic nicotine. We used place conditioning and conditioned taste avoidance paradigms to examine the effect of α5 subunit-containing nAChR deletion (α5 -/-) on conditioned approach and avoidance behaviour in nondependent and nicotine-dependent and -withdrawn mice, and compared these motivational effects with those elicited after dopamine receptor antagonism. We show that nondependent α5 -/- mice find low, non-motivational doses of nicotine rewarding, and do not show an aversive conditioned response or taste avoidance to higher aversive doses of nicotine. Furthermore, nicotine-dependent α5 -/- mice do not show a conditioned aversive motivational response to withdrawal from chronic nicotine, although they continue to exhibit a somatic withdrawal syndrome. These effects phenocopy those observed after dopamine receptor antagonism, but are not additive, suggesting that α5 nAChR subunits act in the same pathway as dopamine and are critical for the experience of nicotine's aversive, but not rewarding motivational effects in both a nondependent and nicotine-dependent and -withdrawn motivational state. Genetic deletion of α5 nAChR subunits leads to a behavioural phenotype that exactly matches that observed after antagonizing dopamine receptors, thus we suggest that modulation of nicotinic receptors containing α5 subunits may modify dopaminergic signalling, suggesting novel therapeutic treatments for smoking cessation. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

    This study indicates the impact of nicotine and pesticides (organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides used in agriculture) on neuronal α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in brainstem regions receiving cholinergic projections in human perinatal life. An in-depth anatomopathological examination of the autonomic nervous system and immunohistochemistry to analyze the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in the brainstem from 44 fetuses and newborns were performed. In addition, the presence of selected agricultural pesticides in cerebral cortex samples of the victims was determined by specific analytical procedures. Hypodevelopment of brainstem structures checking the vital functions, frequently associated with α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor immunopositivity and smoke absorption in pregnancy, was observed in high percentages of victims of sudden unexpected perinatal death. In nearly 30% of cases however the mothers never smoked, but lived in rural areas. The search for pesticides highlighted in many of these cases traces of both organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides. We detain that exposition to pesticides in pregnancy produces homologous actions to those of nicotine on neuronal α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, allowing to developmental alterations of brainstem vital centers in victims of sudden unexplained death. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Nicotinic receptor agonists as neuroprotective/neurotrophic drugs. Progress in molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Mudo, G; Belluardo, N; Fuxe, K

    2007-01-01

    In the present work we reviewed recent advances concerning neuroprotective/neurotrophic effects of acute or chronic nicotine exposure, and the signalling pathways mediating these effects, including mechanisms implicated in nicotine addiction and nAChR desensitization. Experimental and clinical data largely indicate long-lasting effects of nicotine and nicotinic agonists that imply a neuroprotective/neurotrophic role of nAChR activation, involving mainly alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nAChR subtypes, as evidenced using selective nAChR agonists. Compounds interacting with neuronal nAChRs have the potential to be neuroprotective and treatment with nAChR agonists elicits long-lasting neurotrophic effects, e.g. improvement of cognitive performance in a variety of behavioural tests in rats, monkeys and humans. Nicotine addiction, which is mediated by interaction with nACh receptors, is believed to involve the modification of signalling cascades that modulate synaptic plasticity and gene expression. Desensitization, in addition to protecting cells from uncontrolled excitation, is recently considered as a form of signal plasticity. nAChR can generate these longe-lasting effects by elaboration of complex intracellular signals that mediate medium to long-term events crucial for neuronal maintenance, survival and regeneration. Although a comprehensive survey of the gene-based molecular mechanisms that underlie nicotine effects has yet not been performed a growing amount of data is beginning to improve our understanding of signalling mechanisms that lead to neurotrophic/neuroprotective responses. Evidence for an involvement of the fibroblast growth factor-2 gene in nAChR mechanisms mediating neuronal survival, trophism and plasticity has been obtained. However, more work is needed to establish the mechanisms involved in the effects of nicotinic receptor subtype activation from cognition-enhancing and neurotrophic effects to smoking behaviour and to determine more precisely the

  2. Differential modulation of alpha 3 beta 2 and alpha 3 beta 4 neuronal nicotinic receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes by flufenamic acid and niflumic acid.

    PubMed

    Zwart, R; Oortgiesen, M; Vijverberg, H P

    1995-03-01

    Effects of flufenamic acid (FFA) and niflumic acid (NFA), which are often used to block Ca(2+)-activated Cl- current, have been investigated in voltage-clamped Xenopus oocytes expressing alpha 3 beta 2 and alpha 3 beta 4 nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs). NFA and FFA inhibit alpha 3 beta 2 nAChR-mediated inward currents and potentiate alpha 3 beta 4 nAChR-mediated inward currents in normal, Cl(-)-free and Ca(2+)-free solutions to a similar extent. The concentration-dependence of the inhibition of alpha 3 beta 2 nAChR-mediated ion current yields IC50 values of 90 microM for FFA and of 260 microM for NFA. The potentiation of alpha 3 beta 4 nAChR-mediated ion current by NFA yields an EC50 value of 30 microM, whereas the effect of FFA does not saturate for concentrations of up to 1 mM. At 100 microM, FFA reduces the maximum of the concentration-effect curve of ACh for alpha 3 beta 2 nAChRs, but leaves the EC50 of ACh unaffected. The same concentration of FFA potentiates alpha 3 beta 4 nAChR-mediated ion currents for all ACh concentrations and causes a small shift of the concentration-effect curve of ACh to lower agonist concentrations. The potentiation, like the inhibition, is most likely due to a noncompetitive effect of FFA. Increasing ACh-induced inward current either by raising the agonist concentration from 10 microM to 200 microM or by coapplication of 10 microM ACh and 200 microM FFA causes a similar enhancement of block of the alpha 3 beta 4 nAChR-mediated ion current by Mg2+. This suggests that the effects of FFA and of an increased agonist concentration result in a similar functional modification of the alpha 3 beta 4 nAChR-operated ion channel. It is concluded that alpha 3 beta 4 and alpha 3 beta 2 nAChRs are oppositely modulated by FFA and NFA through a direct beta-subunit-dependent effect.

  3. GABAA receptor inhibition triggers a nicotinic neuroprotective mechanism

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Alpha-conotoxin GIC from Conus geographus, a novel peptide antagonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, J Michael; Dowell, Cheryl; Watkins, Maren; Garrett, James E; Yoshikami, Doju; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2002-09-13

    Many venomous organisms produce toxins that disrupt neuromuscular communication to paralyze their prey. One common class of such toxins comprises nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists (nAChRs). Thus, most toxins that act on nAChRs are targeted to the neuromuscular subtype. The toxin characterized in this report, alpha-conotoxin GIC, is a most striking exception. The 16-amino acid peptide was identified from a genomic DNA clone from Conus geographus. The predicted mature toxin was synthesized, and synthetic toxin was used in all studies described. alpha-Conotoxin GIC shows no paralytic activity in fish or mice. Furthermore, even at concentrations up to 100 microm, the peptide has no detectable effect on the human muscle nicotinic receptor subtype heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. In contrast, the toxin has high affinity (IC(50) approximately 1.1 nm) for the human alpha3beta2 subunit combination, making it the most neuronally selective nicotinic antagonist characterized thus far. Although alpha-conotoxin GIC shares some sequence similarity with alpha-conotoxin MII, which is also a potent alpha3beta2 nicotinic antagonist, it is much less hydrophobic, and the kinetics of channel block are substantially different. It is noteworthy that the nicotinic ligands in C. geographus venom fit an emerging pattern in venomous predators, with one nicotinic antagonist targeted to the muscle subtype (thereby causing paralysis) and a second nicotinic antagonist targeted to the alpha3beta2 nAChR subtype (possibly inhibiting the fight-or-flight response).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Activation of nicotinic receptors on GABAergic amacrine cells in the rabbit retina indirectly stimulates dopamine release.

    PubMed

    Neal, M J; Cunningham, J R; Matthews, K L

    2001-01-01

    The retina possesses subpopulations of amacrine cells, which utilize different transmitters, including acetylcholine (ACh), GABA, and dopamine. We have examined interactions between these neurones by studying the effects of nicotinic agonists on GABA and dopamine release. Isolated rabbit retinas were incubated with [3H]dopamine and then superfused. Fractions of the superfusate (2 min) were collected and the [3H]dopamine in each sample was measured. Endogenous GABA release was examined by incubating retinas in a small chamber. At 5-min intervals, the medium was changed and the GABA measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Exposure of the retina to nicotine, epibatidine, and other nicotinic agonists increased the release of both GABA and dopamine. The effects of nicotine and epibatidine were blocked by mecamylamine, confirming an action on nicotinic receptors. The action of epibatidine on dopamine release was unaffected by glutamate antagonists but was blocked by picrotoxin and gabazine. These results suggested that nicotine might increase dopamine release indirectly by stimulating the release of GABA, which in turn inhibited the release of an inhibitory transmitter acting tonically on the dopaminergic amacrines. Exposure of the retina to GABA caused a small increase in dopamine release. This hypothetical inhibitory transmitter was not GABA, an opioid, adenosine, glycine, nociceptin, a cannabinoid, or nitric oxide because appropriate antagonists did not affect the resting release of dopamine. However, metergoline, a 5HT1/5HT2 receptor antagonist, and ketanserin, a 5HT2A receptor antagonist, but not the 5HT1A antagonist WAY100635, increased the resting release of dopamine and blocked the effects of nicotine. The 5HT1A/5HT7 agonist 8-hydroxy DPAT inhibited both the nicotine and GABA-evoked release of dopamine. We conclude that nicotinic agonists directly stimulate the release of GABA, but the evoked release of dopamine is indirect, and arises from GABA

  7. Cholinergic Axons Modulate GABAergic Signaling among Hippocampal Interneurons via Postsynaptic α7 Nicotinic Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Wanaverbecq, Nicolas; Semyanov, Alexey; Pavlov, Ivan; Walker, Matthew C.; Kullmann, Dimitri M.

    2010-01-01

    Homopentameric α7 nicotinic receptors have a high affinity for acetylcholine (ACh), are permeable to Ca2+ ions, and are abundant in hippocampal interneurons. Although nicotinic agonists evoke inward currents and Ca2+ transients in stratum radiatum interneurons, the role of endogenous ACh in modulating synaptic integration by interneurons is incompletely understood. Many cholinergic axonal varicosities do not have postsynaptic specializations, but α7 receptors frequently occur close to synaptic GABAA receptors. These observations raise the possibility that α7 nicotinic receptors activated by ACh released from cholinergic axons modulate GABAergic transmission in interneurons. We show that agonists of α7 receptors profoundly depress GABAergic IPSCs recorded in stratum radiatum interneurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. This depression is accompanied by a small increase in GABA release. α7 nicotinic receptor agonists also depress GABA- or muscimol-evoked currents in interneurons, indicating that the major effect is a postsynaptic modulation of GABAA receptors. The depression of GABA-evoked currents is abolished by chelating Ca2+ in the recorded interneuron and attenuated by inhibitors of PKC. We also show that stimuli designed to release endogenous ACh from cholinergic axons evoke an α7 receptor-dependent heterosynaptic depression of GABAergic IPSCs in interneurons. This heterosynaptic modulation is amplified by blocking cholinesterases. These results reveal a novel mechanism by which cholinergic neurons modulate information processing in the hippocampus. PMID:17522313

  8. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster: Dual role in nicotine addiction and lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Improgo, Ma. Reina D.; Scofield, Michael D.; Tapper, Andrew R.; Gardner, Paul D.

    2010-01-01

    More than 1 billion people around the world smoke, with 10 million cigarettes sold every minute. Cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemicals including the psychoactive compound, nicotine. Nicotine addiction is initiated by the binding of nicotine to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, ligand-gated cation channels activated by the endogenous neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. These receptors serve as prototypes for all ligand-gated ion channels and have been extensively studied in an attempt to elucidate their role in nicotine addiction. Many of these studies have focused on heteromeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing α4 and β2 subunits and homomeric nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the α7 subunit, two of the most abundant subtypes expressed in the brain. Recently however, a series of linkage analyses, candidate-gene analyses and genome-wide association studies have brought attention to three other members of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor family: the α5, α3 and β4 subunits. The genes encoding these subunits lie in a genomic cluster that contains variants associated with increased risk for several diseases including nicotine dependence and lung cancer. The underlying mechanisms for these associations have not yet been elucidated but decades of research on the nicotinic receptor gene family as well as emerging data provide insight on how these receptors may function in pathological states. Here, we review this body of work, focusing on the clustered nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes and evaluating their role in nicotine addiction and lung cancer. PMID:20685379

  9. 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

  10. Impulsive behavior and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. PACAP/PAC1R signaling modulates acetylcholine release at neuronal nicotinic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Pugh, Phyllis C.; Jayakar, Selwyn S.; Margiotta, Joseph F.

    2009-01-01

    Neuropeptides collaborate with conventional neurotransmitters to regulate synaptic output. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) co-localizes with acetylcholine in presynaptic nerve terminals, is released by stimulation, and enhances nicotinic acetylcholine receptor- (nAChR-) mediated responses. Such findings implicate PACAP in modulating nicotinic neurotransmission, but relevant synaptic mechanisms have not been explored. We show here that PACAP acts via selective high-affinity G-protein coupled receptors (PAC1Rs) to enhance transmission at nicotinic synapses on parasympathetic ciliary ganglion (CG) neurons by rapidly and persistently increasing the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous, impulse-dependent nicotinic excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). Of the canonical adenylate cyclase (AC) and phospholipase-C (PLC) transduction cascades stimulated by PACAP/PAC1R signaling, only AC-generated signals are critical for synaptic modulation since the increases in sEPSC frequency and amplitude were mimicked by 8-Bromo-cAMP, blocked by inhibiting AC or cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), and unaffected by inhibiting PLC. Despite its ability to increase agonist-induced nAChR currents, PACAP failed to influence nAChR-mediated impulse-independent miniature EPSC amplitudes (quantal size). Instead, evoked transmission assays reveal that PACAP/PAC1R signaling increased quantal content, indicating it modulates synaptic function by increasing vesicular ACh release from presynaptic terminals. Lastly, signals generated by the retrograde messenger, nitric oxide- (NO-) are critical for the synaptic modulation since the PACAP-induced increases in spontaneous EPSC frequency, amplitude and quantal content were mimicked by NO donor and absent after inhibiting NO synthase (NOS). These results indicate that PACAP/PAC1R activation recruits AC-dependent signaling that stimulates NOS to increase NO production and control presynaptic transmitter output at neuronal

  12. Nicotine promotes cell migration through alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in gastric cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Lien, Yung-Chang; Wang, Weu; Kuo, Li-Jen; Liu, Jun-Jen; Wei, Po-Li; Ho, Yuan-Soon; Ting, Wen-Chien; Wu, Chih-Hsiung; Chang, Yu-Jia

    2011-09-01

    The objective was to study the mechanism of nicotine-enhanced migration of gastric cancer cells. Long-term cigarette smoking increases the risk of gastric cancer mortality. Tobacco-specific mitogen, nicotine, was reported to correlate with cancer progression on gastric cancer. Since metastasis is the major cause of cancer death, the influence of nicotine on the migration of gastric cancer cells remains to be determined. The influence of nicotine on migration of gastric cancer cells was evaluated by transwell assay and wound-healing migration assay. Receptor-mediated migration was studied by both inhibitor and small interfering RNA. Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, alpha7-nAChR, was identified in gastric cancer cell lines, AGS cells. Nicotine enhanced AGS cell migration in transwell assay and wound-healing migration assay in a dose-dependent manner. We used inhibitor and siRNA to demonstrate that alpha7-nAChR mediated nicotine-enhanced gastric cancer cell migration through downregulation E-cadherin and upregulation ZEB-1 and snail. Tobacco-specific mitogen, nicotine, enhanced gastric cancer metastasis through alpha7-nAChR and suppression of E-cadherin level-one of the hallmarks of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Therefore, patients with gastric cancer should avoid smoking.

  13. Chronic nicotine and withdrawal affect glutamatergic but not nicotinic receptor expression in the mesocorticolimbic pathway in a region-specific manner.

    PubMed

    Pistillo, Francesco; Fasoli, Francesca; Moretti, Milena; McClure-Begley, Tristan; Zoli, Michele; Marks, Michael J; Gotti, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Tobacco addiction is a complex form of dependence process that leads high relapse rates in people seeking to stop smoking. Nicotine elicits its primary effects on neuronal nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs), alters brain reward systems, and induces long-term changes during chronic nicotine use and withdrawal. We analysed the effects of chronic nicotine treatment and withdrawal on the mesocorticolimbic pathway (a brain reward circuit in which addictive drugs induce widespread adaptations) by analysing the expression of nAChRs in the midbrain, striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of mice receiving intravenous infusions of nicotine (4mg/kg/h) or saline (control) for 14 days and mice sacrified two hours, and one, four and 14 days after treatment withdrawal. We biochemically fractionated whole tissue homogenates in order to obtain crude synaptosomal membranes. Western blotting analyses of these membrane fractions, ligand binding and immunoprecipitation studies, showed that chronic nicotine up-regulates heteromeric β2* nAChRs in all three mesocorticolimbic areas, and that these receptors are rapidly removed from synapses upon the cessation of nicotine treatment. The extent of nicotine-induced nAChR up-regulation, and the time course of its reversal were comparable in all three areas. We also analysed the expression of glutamate receptor subunits (GluRs) and scaffold proteins, and found that it was altered in an area-specific manner during nicotine exposure and withdrawal. As the functional properties of GluRs are determined by their subunit composition, the observed changes in subunit expression may indicate alterations in the excitability of mesocorticolimbic circuitry, and this may underlie the long-term biochemical and behavioural effects of nicotine dependence.

  14. Cellular nicotinic receptor desensitization correlates with nicotine-induced acute behavioral tolerance in rats.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Susan E; Vann, Robert E; Britton, Angela F; O'Connell, Mary M; James, John R; Rosecrans, John A

    2007-05-01

    Individuals vary in their susceptibility to nicotine addiction. However, there is little evidence that behavioral sensitivity to nicotine is dependent upon the functional state of nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs). This study aims to determine the relationship between in vivo behavioral desensitization and in vitro desensitization of nAChR function. Male Sprague-Dawley rats trained to discriminate nicotine were tested for development of acute behavioral tolerance. The rats were injected with nicotine (0.4 mg/kg free base, s.c.), tested for nicotine discrimination for 2 min, then injected with the same dose of nicotine 90, 180, and 270 min after the first injection and tested for nicotine discrimination after each injection. Susceptibility of nAChRs of individual rats to desensitization was assessed by use of the (86)Rb(+) efflux assay using synaptosomes prepared from the "thalamus," which included the hypothalamus and midbrain as well as the thalamic nuclei. To desensitize nAChRs, synaptsosomes were superfused with low concentrations of nicotine (5, 10, 20, and 30 nM) before stimulation of (86)Rb(+) efflux with nicotine (10 muM). The slopes of the behavioral desensitization were plotted as a function of the decline of nicotine-stimulated (86)Rb(+) efflux after in vitro desensitization. A significant correlation was observed between the in vitro desensitization of thalamic (86)Rb(+) efflux and the extent of behavioral desensitization of individual rats. These findings are consistent with the idea that production of acute behavioral tolerance by nicotine is related to its ability to induce nAChR desensitization at the cellular level.

  15. Flattening plasma corticosterone levels increases the prevalence of serotonergic dorsal raphe neurons inhibitory responses to nicotine in adrenalectomised rats.

    PubMed

    Frías-Domínguez, Carmen; Garduño, Julieta; Hernández, Salvador; Drucker-Colin, René; Mihailescu, Stefan

    2013-09-01

    Major depression is characterized by a diminished activity of the brain serotonergic system as well as by the flattening of plasma cortisol levels. Nicotine improves mood in patients with major depression and in experimentally depressed animals by increasing brain serotonin (5-HT), noradrenaline and dopamine levels. The present study was directed to determine if flattening plasma glucocorticoid levels changes nicotine's stimulatory effects upon 5-HT DRN neurons. The experiments were performed in brain slices obtained from rats previously (14 days) adrenalectomised and implanted subcutaneously with one pellet containing 75mg of corticosterone (Adx+CSR rats). Whole cell voltage and current clamp techniques were used to study the activity of immunocitochemically identified 5-HT DRN neurons. Administration of nicotine (1μM) in sham-operated animals produced stimulatory effects in all 5-HT DRN neurons studied. In Adx+CSR rats however, nicotine inhibited 75% of 5-HT DRN neurons and increased the potassium-dependent inward rectifying current. The inhibitory effect of nicotine upon 5-HT DRN neurons was dependent on serotonin release inside the DRN, since it was converted into a stimulatory response by the selective antagonist of 5-HT1A receptors N-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-N-(2-pyridyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide (WAY100635, 25nM). Adx+CSR rats also presented an increased function of 5-HT1A autoreceptors, since, in these rats, serotonin (1-10μM) produced a higher increase in the potassium dependent inward rectifying current in comparison with sham-operated animals. Serotonin release inside DRN was mediated by α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors since the selective antagonist of these receptors dihydro-β-erytroidine hydrobromide (DHβE, 100nM) blocked the inhibitory effects of nicotine 5-HT DRN neurons. These data indicate that, in the experimental model of adrenalectomised rats implanted with corticosterone pellets, nicotine increases the function of

  16. Mixed nicotinic-muscarinic properties of the alpha9 nicotinic cholinergic receptor.

    PubMed

    Verbitsky, M; Rothlin, C V; Katz, E; Elgoyhen, A B

    2000-10-01

    The rat alpha9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) was expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and tested for its sensitivity to a wide variety of cholinergic compounds. Acetylcholine (ACh), carbachol, choline and methylcarbachol elicited agonist-evoked currents, giving maximal or near maximal responses. Both the nicotinic agonist suberyldicholine as well as the muscarinic agonists McN-A-343 and methylfurtrethonium behaved as weak partial agonists of the receptor. Most classical cholinergic compounds tested, being either nicotinic (nicotine, epibatidine, cytisine, methyllycaconitine, mecamylamine, dihydro-beta-erythroidine), or muscarinic (muscarine, atropine, gallamine, pilocarpine, bethanechol) agonists and antagonists, blocked the recombinant alpha9 receptor. Block by nicotine, epibatidine, cytisine, methyllycaconitine and atropine was overcome at high ACh concentrations, suggesting a competitive type of block. The present results indicate that alpha9 displays mixed nicotinic-muscarinic features that resemble the ones described for the cholinergic receptor of cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs). We suggest that alpha9 contains the structural determinants responsible for the pharmacological properties of the native receptor.

  17. 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

  18. Null mutation of the β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit attenuates nicotine withdrawal-induced anhedonia in mice.

    PubMed

    Stoker, Astrid K; Marks, Michael J; Markou, Athina

    2015-04-15

    The anhedonic signs of nicotine withdrawal are predictive of smoking relapse rates in humans. Identification of the neurobiological substrates that mediate anhedonia will provide insights into the genetic variations that underlie individual responses to smoking cessation and relapse. The present study assessed the role of β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nACh receptor) subunits in nicotine withdrawal-induced anhedonia using β2 nACh receptor subunit knockout (β2(-/-)) and wildtype (β2(+/+)) mice. Anhedonia was assessed with brain reward thresholds, defined as the current intensity that supports operant behavior in the discrete-trial current-intensity intracranial self-stimulation procedure. Nicotine was delivered chronically through osmotic minipumps for 28 days (40 mg/kg/day, base), and withdrawal was induced by either administering the broad-spectrum nicotinic receptor antagonist mecamylamine (i.e., antagonist-precipitated withdrawal) in mice chronically treated with nicotine or terminating chronic nicotine administration (i.e., spontaneous withdrawal). Mecamylamine (6 mg/kg, salt) significantly elevated brain reward thresholds in nicotine-treated β2(+/+) mice compared with saline-treated β2(+/+) mice and nicotine-treated β2(-/-) mice. Spontaneous nicotine withdrawal similarly resulted in significant elevations in thresholds in nicotine-withdrawing β2(+/+) mice compared with saline-treated β2(+/+) and nicotine-treated β2(-/-) mice, which remained at baseline levels. These results showed that precipitated and spontaneous nicotine withdrawal-induced anhedonia was attenuated in β2(-/-) mice. The reduced expression of anhedonic signs during nicotine withdrawal in β2(-/-) mice may have resulted from the lack of neuroadaptations in β2 nACh receptor subunit expression and function that may have occurred during either nicotine exposure or nicotine withdrawal in wildtype mice. In conclusion, individuals with genetic variations that result in diminished

  19. Neurotransmitter GABA activates muscle but not α7 nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Dionisio, Leonardo; Bergé, Ignacio; Bravo, Matías; Esandi, María Del Carmen; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    Cys-loop receptors are neurotransmitter-activated ion channels involved in synaptic and extrasynaptic transmission in the brain and are also present in non-neuronal cells. As GABAA and nicotinic receptors (nAChR) belong to this family, we explored by macroscopic and single-channel recordings whether the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA has the ability to activate excitatory nAChRs. GABA differentially activates nAChR subtypes. It activates muscle nAChRs, with maximal peak currents of about 10% of those elicited by acetylcholine (ACh) and 15-fold higher EC50 with respect to ACh. At the single-channel level, the weak agonism is revealed by the requirement of 20-fold higher concentration of GABA for detectable channel openings, a major population of brief openings, and absence of clusters of openings when compared with ACh. Mutations at key residues of the principal binding-site face of muscle nAChRs (αY190 and αG153) affect GABA activation similarly as ACh activation, whereas a mutation at the complementary face (εG57) shows a selective effect for GABA. Studies with subunit-lacking receptors show that GABA can activate muscle nAChRs through the α/δ interface. Interestingly, single-channel activity elicited by GABA is similar to that elicited by ACh in gain-of-function nAChR mutants associated to congenital myasthenic syndromes, which could be important in the progression of the disorders due to steady exposure to serum GABA. In contrast, GABA cannot elicit single-channel or macroscopic currents of α7 or the chimeric α7-serotonin-type 3 receptor, a feature important for preserving an adequate excitatory/inhibitory balance in the brain as well as for avoiding activation of non-neuronal receptors by serum GABA. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

  20. Allosteric sensitization of nicotinic receptors by galantamine, a new treatment strategy for Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Maelicke, A; Samochocki, M; Jostock, R; Fehrenbacher, A; Ludwig, J; Albuquerque, E X; Zerlin, M

    2001-02-01

    Cholinesterase inhibitors are the only approved drug treatment for patients with mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. Interestingly, the clinical potency of these drugs does not correlate well with their activity as cholinesterase inhibitors, nor is their action as short lived as would be expected from purely symptomatic treatment. A few cholinesterase inhibitors, including galantamine, produce beneficial effects even after drug treatment has been terminated. These effects assume modes of action other than mere esterase inhibition and are capable of inducing systemic changes. We have recently discovered a mechanism that could account, at least in part, for the above-mentioned unexpected properties of some cholinesterase inhibitors. We have found that a subgroup of cholinesterase inhibitors, including galantamine but excluding tacrine, directly interacts with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These compounds, named allosterically potentiating ligands, sensitize nicotinic receptors by increasing the probability of channel opening induced by acetylcholine and nicotinic agonists and by slowing down receptor desensitization. The allosterically potentiating ligand action, which is not necessarily associated with cholinesterase inhibition, has been demonstrated by whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to occur in natural murine and human neurons and in murine and human cell lines expressing various subtypes of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

  1. Blockade of nicotine reward and reinstatement by activation of alpha-type peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors

    PubMed Central

    Mascia, Paola; Pistis, Marco; Justinova, Zuzana; Panlilio, Leigh V.; Luchicchi, Antonio; Lecca, Salvatore; Scherma, Maria; Fratta, Walter; Fadda, Paola; Barnes, Chanel; Redhi, Godfrey H.; Yasar, Sevil; Le Foll, Bernard; Tanda, Gianluigi; Piomelli, Daniele; Goldberg, Steven R.

    2010-01-01

    Background Recent findings indicate that inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) counteract the rewarding effects of nicotine in rats. FAAH inhibition increases levels of several endogenous substances in the brain, including the endocannabinoid anandamide and the non-cannabinoid fatty-acid ethanolamides oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), which are ligands for alpha-type peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptors (PPAR-α). Here, we evaluated whether directly-acting PPAR-α agonists can modulate reward-related effects of nicotine. Methods We combined behavioral, neurochemical and electrophysiological approaches to evaluate effects of the PPAR-α agonists WY14643 and methOEA (a long-lasting form of OEA) on: (1) nicotine self-administration in rats and squirrel monkeys; (2) reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior in rats and monkeys; (3) nicotine discrimination in rats; (4) nicotine-induced electrophysiological activity of VTA dopamine neurons in anesthetized rats; and (5) nicotine-induced elevation of dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens shell of freely-moving rats. Results PPAR-α agonists dose-dependently decreased nicotine self-administration and nicotine-induced reinstatement in rats and monkeys, but did not alter food- or cocaine-reinforced operant behavior or the interoceptive effects of nicotine. PPAR-α agonists also dose-dependently decreased nicotine-induced excitation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nicotine-induced elevations of dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens shell of rats. The ability of WY14643 and methOEA to counteract the behavioral, electrophysiological, and neurochemical effects of nicotine was reversed by the PPAR-α antagonist MK886. Conclusions These findings indicate that PPAR-α might provide a valuable new target for anti-smoking medications. PMID:20801430

  2. Schizophrenia and the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Martin, Laura F; Freedman, Robert

    2007-01-01

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

  3. [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.

  4. Neonicotinoid insecticides differently modulate acetycholine-induced currents on mammalian α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Cartereau, Alison; Martin, Carine; Thany, Steeve H

    2017-08-29

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are described as poor agonists of mammalian nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In this paper, we provide evidence that they diffenrently act on mammalian nicotinic receptors. Two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology was used to characterized the pharmacology of neonicotinoid insecticides on α7 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Single and combined application of clothianidin, acetamiprid and thiamethoxam were tested. The neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin and acetamiprid were partial agonists of mammalian neuronal α7 nicotinic receptors and thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid insecticide, which is converted to clothianidin in insect and plant tissues had no effect. Pretreatment of 10 μM clothianidin and acetamiprid with 100 μM acetylcholine, significantly enhanced the subsequent acetylcholine-evoked currents whereas, 10 μM thiamethoxam reduced acetylcholine-induced current amplitudes. Moreover, the combinations of the three neonicotinoids decreased the ACh evoked currents. The present findings suggest that neonicotinoid insecticides differently affect α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and can modulate acetylcholine-induced current. In final, the data indicate a previous unknown modulation of mammalian α7 receptors by combined application of clothianidin, acetamiprid and thiamethoxam. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  5. Allosteric modulation of alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by HEPES.

    PubMed

    Weltzin, Maegan M; Huang, Yanzhou; Schulte, Marvin K

    2014-06-05

    A number of new positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) have been reported that enhance responses of neuronal alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes to orthosteric ligands. PAMs represent promising new leads for the development of therapeutic agents for disorders involving alterations in nicotinic neurotransmission including Autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. During our recent studies of alpha4beta2 PAMs, we identified a novel effect of 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES). The effects of HEPES were evaluated in a phosphate buffered recording solution using two-electrode voltage clamp techniques and alpha4beta2 and alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Acetylcholine induced responses of high-sensitivity alpha4beta2 receptors were potentiated 190% by co-exposure to HEPES. Responses were inhibited at higher concentrations (bell-shaped concentration/response curve). Coincidentally, at concentrations of HEPES typically used in oocyte recording (5-10mM), the potentiating effects of HEPES are matched by its inhibitory effects, thus producing no net effect. Mutagenesis results suggest HEPES potentiates the high-sensitivity stoichiometry of the alpha4beta2 receptors through action at the beta2+/beta2- interface and is dependent on residue beta2D218. HEPES did not potentiate low-sensitivity alpha4beta2 receptors and did not produce any observable effect on acetylcholine induced responses on alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

  6. Developmental nicotine exposure enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in motor neurons and interneurons critical for normal breathing

    PubMed Central

    Jaiswal, Stuti J.; Wollman, Lila Buls; Harrison, Caitlyn M.; Pilarski, Jason Q.; Fregosi, Ralph F.

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine exposure in utero negatively affects neuronal growth, differentiation and synaptogenesis. We used rhythmic brainstems slices and immunohistochemistry to determine how developmental nicotine exposure (DNE) alters inhibitory neurotransmission in two regions essential to normal breathing, the hypoglossal motor nucleus (XIIn) and preBötzinger complex (preBötC). We microinjected glycine or muscimol (GABAA agonist) into the XIIn or preBötC of rhythmic brainstem slices from neonatal rats while recording from XII nerve roots to obtain XII motoneuron population activity. Injection of glycine or muscimol into the XIIn reduced XII nerve burst amplitude, while injection into the preBötC altered nerve burst frequency. These responses were exaggerated in preparations from DNE animals. Quantitative immunohistochemistry revealed a significantly higher GABAA receptor density on XII motoneurons from DNE pups. There were no differences in GABAA receptor density in the preBötC, and there were no differences in glycine receptor expression in either region. Nicotine, in the absence of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, alters normal development of brainstem circuits that are critical for normal breathing. PMID:26097160

  7. CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Mediate Cognitive Deficits and Structural Plasticity Changes During Nicotine Withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Saravia, Rocio; Flores, África; Plaza-Zabala, Ainhoa; Busquets-Garcia, Arnau; Pastor, Antoni; de la Torre, Rafael; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Marsicano, Giovanni; Ozaita, Andrés; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando

    2017-04-01

    Tobacco withdrawal is associated with deficits in cognitive function, including attention, working memory, and episodic memory. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms involved in these effects is crucial because cognitive deficits during nicotine withdrawal may predict relapse in humans. We investigated in mice the role of CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) in memory impairment and spine density changes induced by nicotine withdrawal precipitated by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine. Drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system and genetically modified mice were used. Memory impairment during nicotine withdrawal was blocked by the CB1R antagonist rimonabant or the genetic deletion of CB1R in forebrain gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) neurons (GABA-CB1R). An increase of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but not anandamide, was observed during nicotine withdrawal. The selective inhibitor of 2-AG biosynthesis O7460 abolished cognitive deficits of nicotine abstinence, whereas the inhibitor of 2-AG enzymatic degradation JZL184 did not produce any effect in cognitive impairment. Moreover, memory impairment was prevented by the selective mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor temsirolimus and the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin. Mature dendritic spines on CA1 pyramidal hippocampal neurons decreased 4 days after the precipitation of nicotine withdrawal, when the cognitive deficits were still present. Indeed, a correlation between memory performance and mature spine density was found. Interestingly, these structural plasticity alterations were normalized in GABA-CB1R conditional knockout mice and after subchronic treatment with rimonabant. These findings underline the interest of CB1R as a target to improve cognitive performance during early nicotine withdrawal. Cognitive deficits in early abstinence are associated with increased relapse risk. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Subtype-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists enhance the responsiveness to citalopram and reboxetine in the mouse forced swim test.

    PubMed

    Andreasen, Jesper T; Nielsen, Elsebet Ø; Christensen, Jeppe K; Olsen, Gunnar M; Peters, Dan; Mirza, Naheed R; Redrobe, John P

    2011-10-01

    Nicotine increases serotonergic and noradrenergic neuronal activity and facilitates serotonin and noradrenaline release. Accordingly, nicotine enhances antidepressant-like actions of reuptake inhibitors selective for serotonin or noradrenaline in the mouse forced swim test and the mouse tail suspension test. Both high-affinity α4β2 and low-affinity α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes are implicated in nicotine-mediated release of serotonin and noradrenaline. The present study therefore investigated whether selective agonism of α4β2 or α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors would affect the mouse forced swim test activity of two antidepressants with distinct mechanisms of action, namely the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram and the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor reboxetine. Subthreshold and threshold doses of citalopram (3 and 10 mg/kg) or reboxetine (10 and 20 mg/kg) were tested alone and in combination with the novel α4β2-selective partial nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, NS3956 (0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg) or the α7-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, PNU-282987 (10 and 30 mg/kg). Alone, NS3956 and PNU-282987 were devoid of activity in the mouse forced swim test, but both 1.0 mg/kg NS3956 and 30 mg/kg PNU-282987 enhanced the effect of citalopram and also reboxetine. The data suggest that the activity of citalopram and reboxetine in the mouse forced swim test can be enhanced by agonists at either α4β2 or α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, suggesting that both nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes may be involved in the nicotine-enhanced action of antidepressants.

  9. Diversity of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits.

    PubMed

    Jones, Andrew K; Sattelle, David B

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor α5 Subunit Plays a Key Role in Attention Circuitry and Accuracy

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Craig D. C.; De Biasi, Mariella; Fletcher, Paul J.; Lambe, Evelyn K.

    2010-01-01

    Stimulation of the prefrontal cortex by acetylcholine is critical for attention; however, the cellular mechanisms underlying its influence on attention pathways within the brain are not well understood. Pyramidal neurons in layer VI of the prefrontal cortex are believed to play an important role in this process because they are excited by acetylcholine and provide a major source of feedback projections to the thalamus. Here, we show using whole-cell electrophysiology that the relatively rare α5 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor powerfully enhances nicotinic currents in layer VI pyramidal neurons in prefrontal cortical brain slices from adult mice. In addition, behavioral experiments using the five-choice serial reaction time test show that the presence of the nicotinic receptor α5 subunit also increases the accuracy of adult mice on this visual attention task under highly demanding conditions. Together, these findings demonstrate a novel and important role for the nicotinic receptor α5 subunit in adult brain circuitry required for attentional performance. PMID:20610759

  12. Baclofen-induced antinociception and nicotinic receptor mechanism(s).

    PubMed

    Sabetkasai, M; Ahang, S; Shafaghi, B; Zarrindast, M R

    1999-11-01

    In this study, the influences of nicotinic receptor agents on baclofen-induced antinociception in the tail-flick test have been studied. Intraperitoneal administration of baclofen (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg) to mice induced a dose-dependent antinociception in the tail-flick test. Subcutaneous injection of nicotine (0.5-2.5 mg/kg) also caused a dose-dependent antinociceptive response. Intracerebral (10 and 20 microg/mouse) but not intraperitoneal administration of hexamethonium (5 and 10 mg/kg) to mice decreased the response of both nicotine and baclofen. However, administration of the GABA(B) antagonist CGP 35348 (100 and 200 mg/kg) decreased the response induced by baclofen but not by nicotine. It is concluded that at least part of the baclofen-induced antinociception may be mediated through a nicotinic mechanism.

  13. Nicotine-morphine interactions at α4β2, α7 and α3(⁎) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Talka, Reeta; Salminen, Outi; Whiteaker, Paul; Lukas, Ronald J; Tuominen, Raimo K

    2013-02-15

    Nicotine and opioids share several behavioral and rewarding properties. Although both opioids and nicotine have their own specific mechanism of action, there is empirical and experimental evidence of interactions between these drugs. We studied receptor-level interactions of nicotine and morphine at α4β2, α7 and α3(⁎) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. [(3)H]epibatidine displacement was used to determine if morphine binds competitively to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Functional interactions of morphine and nicotine were studied with calcium fluorometry and (86)Rb(+) efflux assays. Morphine displaced [(3)H]epibatidine from nicotinic agonist binding sites in all cell lines studied. The Ki values for morphine were 13.2μM in SH-EP1-hα4β2 cells, 0.16μM and 126μM in SH-SY5Y cells and 43.7μM in SH-EP1-hα7 cells. In SH-EP1-hα4β2 cells expressing α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, morphine acted as a partial agonist of (86)Rb(+) efflux comparable to cytisine (with EC50 values of 53.3μM for morphine and 5.38μM for cytisine). The effect of morphine was attenuated concentration-dependently by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine. In the SH-SY5Y cell line expressing several subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors morphine had an inhibitory effect on nicotine induced (86)Rb(+) ion efflux mediated by α3(⁎) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These results suggest that morphine acts as a partial agonist at α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and as a weak antagonist at α3(⁎) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

  14. Nicotine increases eclampsia-like seizure threshold and attenuates microglial activity in rat hippocampus through the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaolan; Han, Xinjia; Bao, Junjie; Liu, Yuanyuan; Ye, Aihua; Thakur, Mukesh; Liu, Huishu

    2016-07-01

    A considerable number of studies have demonstrated that nicotine, a α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) agonist, can dampen immune response through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Evidence suggests that inflammation plays a critical role in eclampsia, which contributes to maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. In the present study, possible anti-inflammation and neuro-protective effects of nicotine via α7-nAChRs have been investigated after inducing eclampsia-like seizures in rats. Rat eclampsia-like models were established by administering lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plus pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) in pregnant rats. Rats were given nicotine from gestation day (GD) 14-19. Then, clinical symptoms were detected. Seizure severity was recorded by behavioral tests, serum levels of inflammatory cytokines were measured by Luminex assays, microglia and astrocyte expressions were detected by immunofluorescence, and changes in neuronal number in the hippocampal CA1 region among different groups were detected by Nissl staining. Our results revealed that nicotine effectively improved fetal outcomes. Furthermore, it significantly decreased systolic blood pressure, and maternal serum levels of Th1 cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-12P70) and an IL-17 cytokine (IL-17A), and dramatically increased eclampsia-like seizure threshold. Moreover, this attenuated neuronal loss and decreased the expression of microglial activation markers of the hippocampal CA1 region in the eclampsia-like group. Additionally, pretreatment with α-bungarotoxin, a selective α7-nAChR antagonist could prevent the protective effects of nicotine in eclampsia-like model rats. Our findings indicate that the administration of nicotine may attenuate microglial activity and increase eclampsia-like seizure threshold in rat hippocampus through the α7 nicotinic receptor. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Efficacy and safety of the novel α₄β₂ neuronal nicotinic receptor partial agonist ABT-089 in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study.

    PubMed

    Apostol, George; Abi-Saab, Walid; Kratochvil, Christopher J; Adler, Lenard A; Robieson, Weining Z; Gault, Laura M; Pritchett, Yili L; Feifel, David; Collins, Michelle A; Saltarelli, Mario D

    2012-02-01

    α(4)β(2) Neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study examined the efficacy and safety of the α(4)β(2) NNR partial agonist ABT-089 versus placebo in adults with ADHD. In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, subjects received placebo followed by ABT-089 (2 mg once daily [QD], 5 mg QD, 15 mg QD, 40 mg QD, or 40 mg twice daily [BID]), or vice versa, in a 2 × 2 crossover design. Each treatment period was 4 weeks, separated by a 2-week washout period. The primary efficacy endpoint was the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale-Investigator Rated (CAARS:Inv) total score at the end of each treatment period. Secondary outcomes based on clinician- and self-rated efficacy scales were evaluated. Of the 221 subjects enrolled, 171 met criteria for inclusion in the completers dataset for efficacy analyses. ABT-089 was superior to placebo on the CAARS:Inv total score at 40 mg QD and 40 mg BID (model-based least square mean difference from placebo: -4.33, P = 0.02; -3.02, P = 0.03, respectively). ABT-089 also demonstrated significant improvements on several secondary measures of efficacy. ABT-089 was generally safe and well tolerated. The most commonly reported adverse events (≥5%) for total ABT-089-treated subjects at rates higher than placebo were headache, upper respiratory tract infection, irritability, insomnia, and nasopharyngitis. In this phase 2 crossover study, the NNR partial agonist ABT-089, at doses of 40 mg QD and 40 mg BID, was efficacious and generally well tolerated in treatment of adults with ADHD.

  16. Human recombinant interleukin-1 beta inhibits nicotinic transmission in neurons of guinea pig pelvic plexus ganglia.

    PubMed

    Lin, J; Krier, J

    1995-12-01

    The actions of human recombinant interleukin-1 beta (hrIL-1 beta) were tested on guinea pig pelvic plexus ganglion neurons using intracellular electrophysiological methods in vitro. hrIL-1 beta caused membrane depolarization associated with a decreased input resistance or inward currents in 54% of neurons tested. hrIL-1 beta caused a hyperpolarization associated with an increase in input resistance or outward currents in 30% of neurons tested. hrIL-1 beta-evoked responses were not altered by hexamethonium (100 microM), atropine (0.5 microM), yohimbine (0.3 microM), or naloxone (1 microM), indicating that cholinergic, alpha 2-adrenergic, or opioid receptors were not involved. Drugs that inhibit Na+, Ca2+, or K+ channels did not change hrIL-1 beta-evoked responses. Stimulation of synaptic inputs to pelvic ganglion neurons evoked nicotinic cholinergic fast excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs). hrIL-1 beta inhibited fEPSPs in 44% of neurons tested but had no effect on acetylcholine-induced depolarizations. An IL-1 beta receptor antagonist blocked all actions of hrIL-1 beta. In summary, hrIL-1 beta has excitatory and inhibitory actions on pelvic ganglion neurons. Inhibition of fEPSPs by hrIL-1 beta may be due to presynaptic inhibition of acetylcholine release.

  17. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: smoking and Alzheimer's disease revisited.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Mona; Adem, Abdu; Kahlon, Maninder S; Sabbagh, Marwan N

    2012-01-01

    Epidemiological studies regarding Alzheimer's disease (AD) in smokers currently suggest inconsistent results. The clinicopathological findings also vary as to how AD pathology is affected by smoking behavior. Even though clinicopathological, functional, and epidemiological studies in humans do not present a consistent picture, much of the in vitro data implies that nicotine has neuroprotective effects when used in neurodegenerative disorder models. Current studies of the effects of nicotine and nicotinic agonists on cognitive function in both the non-demented and those with AD are not convincing. More data is needed to determine whether repetitive activation of nAChR with intermittent or acute exposure to nicotine, acute activation of nAChR, or long-lasting inactivation of nAChR secondary to chronic nicotine exposure will have a therapeutic effect and/or explain the beneficial effects of those types of drugs. Other studies show multifaceted connections between nicotine, nicotinic agonists, smoking, and nAChRs implicated in AD etiology. Although many controversies still exist, ongoing studies are revealing how nicotinic receptor changes and functions may be significant to the neurochemical, pathological, and clinical changes that appear in AD.

  18. New quinoline derivatives as nicotinic receptor modulators.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-03

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

  19. The phenolic monoterpenoid carvacrol inhibits the binding of nicotine to the housefly nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Tong, Fan; Gross, Aaron D; Dolan, Marc C; Coats, Joel R

    2013-07-01

    The phenolic monoterpenoid carvacrol, which is found in many plant essential oils (thyme, oregano and Alaska yellow cedar), is highly active against pest arthropods, but its mechanisms of action are not fully understood. Here, carvacrol is shown to bind in a membrane preparation containing insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). [(14) C]-Nicotine binding assays with Musca domestica (housefly) nAChRs were used in this study to demonstrate carvacrol's binding to nAChRs, thereby acting as a modulator of the receptors. Carvacrol showed a concentration-dependent inhibition of [(14) C]-nicotine binding in a membrane preparation of housefly heads containing nAChRs, with IC50 = 1.4 μM, in a non-competitive pattern. Binding studies with neonicotinoid insecticides revealed that imidacloprid and thiamethoxam did not inhibit the binding of [(14) C]-nicotine, while dinotefuran, from the guanidine subclass of neonicotinoids, inhibited nicotine binding like carvacrol. Carvacrol binds to housefly nAChRs at a binding site distinct from nicotine and acetylcholine, and the nAChRs are a possible target of carvacrol for its insecticidal activity. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

  20. Caffeine and nicotine decrease acetylcholine receptor clustering in C2C12 myotube culture.

    PubMed

    Kordosky-Herrera, Kaia; Grow, Wade A

    2009-02-01

    As motor neurons approach skeletal muscle during development, agrin is released and induces acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering. Our laboratory investigates the effect of environmental agents on skeletal muscle development by using C2C12 cell culture. For the current project, we investigated both short-term and long-term exposure to caffeine, nicotine, or both, at physiologically relevant concentrations. Short-term exposure was limited to the last 48 h of myotube formation, whereas a long-term exposure of 2 weeks allowed for several generations of myoblast proliferation followed by myotube formation. Both agrin-induced and spontaneous AChR clustering frequencies were assessed. For agrin-induced AChR clustering, agrin was added for the last 16 h of myotube formation. Caffeine, nicotine, or both significantly decreased agrin-induced AChR clustering during short-term and long-term exposure. Furthermore, caffeine, nicotine, or both significantly decreased spontaneous AChR clustering during long-term, but not short-term exposure. Surprisingly, caffeine and nicotine in combination did not decrease AChR clustering beyond the effect of either treatment alone. We conclude that physiologically relevant concentrations of caffeine or nicotine decrease AChR clustering. Moreover, we predict that fetuses exposed to caffeine or nicotine may be less likely to form appropriate neuromuscular synapses.

  1. Selective and regulated trapping of nicotinic receptor weak base ligands and relevance to smoking cessation

    PubMed Central

    Govind, Anitha P; Vallejo, Yolanda F; Stolz, Jacob R; Yan, Jing-Zhi; Swanson, Geoffrey T; Green, William N

    2017-01-01

    To better understand smoking cessation, we examined the actions of varenicline (Chantix) during long-term nicotine exposure. Varenicline reduced nicotine upregulation of α4β2-type nicotinic receptors (α4β2Rs) in live cells and neurons, but not for membrane preparations. Effects on upregulation depended on intracellular pH homeostasis and were not observed if acidic pH in intracellular compartments was neutralized. Varenicline was trapped as a weak base in acidic compartments and slowly released, blocking 125I-epibatidine binding and desensitizing α4β2Rs. Epibatidine itself was trapped; 125I-epibatidine slow release from acidic vesicles was directly measured and required the presence of α4β2Rs. Nicotine exposure increased epibatidine trapping by increasing the numbers of acidic vesicles containing α4β2Rs. We conclude that varenicline as a smoking cessation agent differs from nicotine through trapping in α4β2R-containing acidic vesicles that is selective and nicotine-regulated. Our results provide a new paradigm for how smoking cessation occurs and suggest how more effective smoking cessation reagents can be designed. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25651.001 PMID:28718768

  2. Selective and regulated trapping of nicotinic receptor weak base ligands and relevance to smoking cessation.

    PubMed

    Govind, Anitha P; Vallejo, Yolanda F; Stolz, Jacob R; Yan, Jing-Zhi; Swanson, Geoffrey T; Green, William N

    2017-07-18

    To better understand smoking cessation, we examined the actions of varenicline (Chantix) during long-term nicotine exposure. Varenicline reduced nicotine upregulation of α4β2-type nicotinic receptors (α4β2Rs) in live cells and neurons, but not for membrane preparations. Effects on upregulation depended on intracellular pH homeostasis and were not observed if acidic pH in intracellular compartments was neutralized. Varenicline was trapped as a weak base in acidic compartments and slowly released, blocking (125)I-epibatidine binding and desensitizing α4β2Rs. Epibatidine itself was trapped; (125)I-epibatidine slow release from acidic vesicles was directly measured and required the presence of α4β2Rs. Nicotine exposure increased epibatidine trapping by increasing the numbers of acidic vesicles containing α4β2Rs. We conclude that varenicline as a smoking cessation agent differs from nicotine through trapping in α4β2R-containing acidic vesicles that is selective and nicotine-regulated. Our results provide a new paradigm for how smoking cessation occurs and suggest how more effective smoking cessation reagents can be designed.

  3. An in vitro study of the sub-cellular distribution of nicotinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Devillers-Thiéry, A; Bourgeois, J P; Pons, S; Le Sourd, A; Pucci, B; Changeux, J P

    2003-09-01

    Nicotinic and serotoninergic 5HT3 receptors share important sequence identities except for their cytoplasmic loop. Both ends of this loop display conserved 3D helical structures with distinct primary sequences. We decided to check whether these two helices named F and G play a role in the sub-cellular distribution of different nicotinic receptors. We systematically exchanged each helix with the equivalent sequence of neuronal nicotinic and alpha4, beta2 and alpha7 subunits in the functional chimeric alpha7-5HT3 receptor used as a model system. The new chimeras were expressed in vitro in polarized epithelial cells from pig kidney. We quantified synthesis and export of the receptors to the cell surface by measuring alpha-bungarotoxin binding sites. Immunogold labelling was used, at the electron microscope level, to determine the amount of each chimera present at either domain, apical and/or basolateral, of these cells. We noticed that in epithelial cells the majority of alpha-bungarotoxin binding sites remained sequestered in the cytoplasm as already observed in neurons in vivo. The majority of the pentamers present at the cell surface were located at the apical domain. Our results suggest that helix F and G differently regulate assembly and export to the cell surface of alpha-bungarotoxin binding receptors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. A Role for Hypocretin/Orexin Receptor-1 in Cue-Induced Reinstatement of Nicotine-Seeking Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Plaza-Zabala, Ainhoa; Flores, África; Martín-García, Elena; Saravia, Rocío; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Hypocretin/orexin signaling is critically involved in relapse to drug-seeking behaviors. In this study, we investigated the involvement of the hypocretin system in the reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior induced by nicotine-associated cues. Pretreatment with the hypocretin receptor-1 antagonist SB334867, but not with the hypocretin receptor-2 antagonist TCSOX229, attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of nicotine-seeking, which was associated with an activation of hypocretin neurons of the lateral and perifornical hypothalamic areas. In addition, relapse to nicotine-seeking increased the phosphorylation levels of GluR2-Ser880, NR1-Ser890, and p38 MAPK in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), but not in the prefrontal cortex. Notably, phosphorylation levels of NR1-Ser890 and p38 MAPK, but not GluR2-Ser880, were dependent on hypocretin receptor-1 activation. The intra-accumbens infusion of the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor NPC-15437 reduced nicotine-seeking behavior elicited by drug-paired cues consistent with the PKC-dependent phosphorylations of GluR2-Ser880 and NR1-Ser890. SB334867 failed to modify cue-induced reinstatement of food-seeking, which did not produce any biochemical changes in the NAc. These data identify hypocretin receptor-1 and PKC signaling as potential targets for the treatment of relapse to nicotine-seeking induced by nicotine-associated cues. PMID:23518606

  6. Lack of CB1 cannabinoid receptors modifies nicotine behavioural responses, but not nicotine abstinence.

    PubMed

    Castañé, A; Valjent, E; Ledent, C; Parmentier, M; Maldonado, R; Valverde, O

    2002-10-01

    Cannabis is the most widely consumed illicit drug and its consumption is currently associated with tobacco, which contains another psychoactive compound, namely nicotine. Interactions between cannabinoids and other drugs of abuse, such as opioids, have been previously reported. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible role of CB1 cannabinoid receptor in responses induced by acute and repeated nicotine administration by using knockout mice lacking the CB1 cannabinoid receptor and their wild-type littermates. Acute nicotine (0.5, 1, 3 and 6 mg/kg, sc) administration decreased locomotor activity and induced antinociceptive responses in the tail-immersion and the hot-plate test, in wild-type animals. The antinociceptive effects in the tail-immersion test were significantly enhanced in CB1 knockout mice. In wild-type mice nicotine (0.5 mg/kg, sc) produced a significant rewarding effect, as measured by a conditioned place preference paradigm. This response was absent in CB1 knockout mice. Finally, a model of mecamylamine-induced abstinence in chronic nicotine-treated mice (10 mg/kg/day, sc) was developed. Mecamylamine (1 and 2 mg/kg, sc) precipitated several somatic signs of nicotine withdrawal in wild-type dependent mice. However, no difference in the severity of nicotine withdrawal was observed in CB1 knockout mice. These results demonstrate that some acute effects and motivational responses elicited by nicotine can be modulated by the endogenous cannabinoid system and support the existence of a physiological interaction between these two systems.

  7. 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

  8. Smoke Extracts and Nicotine, but not Tobacco Extracts, Potentiate Firing and Burst Activity of Ventral Tegmental Area Dopaminergic Neurons in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Marti, Fabio; Arib, Ouafa; Morel, Carole; Dufresne, Virginie; Maskos, Uwe; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; de Beaurepaire, Renaud; Faure, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Nicotine prominently mediates the behavioral effects of tobacco consumption, either through smoking or when taking tobacco by snuff or chew. However, many studies question the exclusive role of nicotine in these effects. The use of preparations containing all the components of tobacco, such as tobacco and smoke extracts, may be more suitable than nicotine alone to investigate the behavioral effects of smoking and tobacco intake. In the present study, the electrophysiological effects of tobacco and smoke on ventral tegmental area dopaminergic (DA) neurons were examined in vivo in anesthetized wild-type (WT), β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) knockout (β2−/−), α4−/−, and α6−/− mice and compared with those of nicotine alone. In WT mice, smoke and nicotine had similar potentiating effects on DA cell activity, but the action of tobacco on neuronal firing was weak and often inhibitory. In particular, nicotine triggered strong bursting activity, whereas no bursting activity was observed after tobacco extract (ToE) administration. In β2−/− mice, nicotine or extract elicited no modification of the firing patterns of DA cells, indicating that extract acts predominantly through nAChRs. The differences between DA cell activation profiles induced by tobacco and nicotine alone observed in WT persisted in α6−/− mice but not in α4−/− mice. These results would suggest that tobacco has lower addiction-generating properties compared with either nicotine alone or smoke. The weak activation and prominent inhibition obtained with ToEs suggest that tobacco contains compounds that counteract some of the activating effects of nicotine and promote inhibition on DA cell acting through α4β2*-nAChRs. The nature of these compounds remains to be elucidated. It nevertheless confirms that nicotine is the main substance involved in the tobacco addiction-related activation of mesolimbic DA neurons. PMID:21716264

  9. Binding of tropane alkaloids to nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Schmeller, T; Sporer, F; Sauerwein, M; Wink, M

    1995-07-01

    Fourteen tropane and related alkaloids were analyzed for their affinity for nicotinic and/or muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. The biogenetic intermediates littorine, 6 beta-hydroxyhyoscyamine, 7 beta-hydroxyhyoscyamine exhibit similar affinities at the muscarinic receptor as scopolamine and atropine. The quarternary derivatives N-methylatropine and N-methylscopolamine show the highest binding with IC50 values of less than 100 pM and 300 pM, respectively. The tropane alkaloids (including cocaine) also bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, albeit with much lower affinities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Nicotinic receptor activation contrasts pathophysiological bursting and neurodegeneration evoked by glutamate uptake block on rat hypoglossal motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Corsini, Silvia; Tortora, Maria; Nistri, Andrea

    2016-11-15

    Impaired uptake of glutamate builds up the extracellular level of this excitatory transmitter to trigger rhythmic neuronal bursting and delayed cell death in the brainstem motor nucleus hypoglossus. This process is the expression of the excitotoxicity that underlies motoneuron degeneration in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affecting bulbar motoneurons. In a model of motoneuron excitotoxicity produced by pharmacological block of glutamate uptake in vitro, rhythmic bursting is suppressed by activation of neuronal nicotinic receptors with their conventional agonist nicotine. Emergence of bursting is facilitated by nicotinic receptor antagonists. Following excitotoxicity, nicotinic receptor activity decreases mitochondrial energy dysfunction, endoplasmic reticulum stress and production of toxic radicals. Globally, these phenomena synergize to provide motoneuron protection. Nicotinic receptors may represent a novel target to contrast pathological overactivity of brainstem motoneurons and therefore to prevent their metabolic distress and death. Excitotoxicity is thought to be one of the early processes in the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) because high levels of glutamate have been detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of such patients due to dysfunctional uptake of this transmitter that gradually damages brainstem and spinal motoneurons. To explore potential mechanisms to arrest ALS onset, we used an established in vitro model of rat brainstem slice preparation in which excitotoxicity is induced by the glutamate uptake blocker dl-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate (TBOA). Because certain brain neurons may be neuroprotected via activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) by nicotine, we investigated if nicotine could arrest excitotoxic damage to highly ALS-vulnerable hypoglossal motoneurons (HMs). On 50% of patch-clamped HMs, TBOA induced intense network bursts that were inhibited by 1-10 μm nicotine, whereas nAChR antagonists

  12. Activation and desensitization of nicotinic alpha7-type acetylcholine receptors by benzylidene anabaseines and nicotine.

    PubMed

    Papke, Roger L; Kem, William R; Soti, Ferenc; López-Hernández, Gretchen Y; Horenstein, Nicole A

    2009-05-01

    Nicotinic receptor activation is inextricably linked to desensitization. This duality affects our ability to develop useful therapeutics targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Nicotine and some alpha7-selective experimental partial agonists produce a transient activation of alpha7 receptors followed by a period of prolonged residual inhibition or desensitization (RID). The object of the present study was to determine whether RID was primarily due to prolonged desensitization or due to channel block. To make this determination, we used agents that varied significantly in their production of RID and two alpha7-selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs): 5-hydroxyindole (5HI), a type 1 PAM that does not prevent desensitization; and 1-(5-chloro-2,4-dimethoxy-phenyl)-3-(5-methyl-isoxanol-3-yl)-urea (PNU-120596), a type 2 PAM that reactivates desensitized receptors. The RID-producing compounds nicotine and 3-(2,4-dimethoxybenzylidene)anabaseine (diMeOBA) could obscure the potentiating effects of 5HI. However, through the use of nicotine, diMeOBA, and the RID-negative compound 3-(2,4-dihydroxybenzylidene)anabaseine (diOHBA) in combination with PNU-120596, we confirmed that diMeOBA produces short-lived channel block of alpha7 but that RID is because of the induction of a desensitized state that is stable in the absence of PNU-120596 and activated in the presence of PNU-120596. In contrast, diOHBA produced channel block but only readily reversible desensitization, whereas nicotine produced desensitization that could be converted into activation by PNU-120596 but no demonstrable channel block. Steady-state currents through receptors that would otherwise be desensitized could also be produced by the application of PNU-120596 in the presence of a physiologically relevant concentration of choline (60 microM), which may be significant for the therapeutic development of type 2 PAMs.

  13. Regulation of the distribution and function of [(125)I]epibatidine binding sites by chronic nicotine in mouse embryonic neuronal cultures.

    PubMed

    Zambrano, Cristian A; Salamander, Rakel M; Collins, Allan C; Grady, Sharon R; Marks, Michael J

    2012-08-01

    Chronic nicotine produces up-regulation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) (* denotes that an additional subunit may be part of the receptor). However, the extent of up-regulation to persistent ligand exposure varies across brain regions. The aim of this work was to study the cellular distribution and function of nAChRs after chronic nicotine treatment in primary cultures of mouse brain neurons. Initially, high-affinity [(125)I]epibatidine binding to cell membrane homogenates from primary neuronal cultures obtained from diencephalon and hippocampus of C57BL/6J mouse embryos (embryonic days 16-18) was measured. An increase in α4β2*-nAChR binding sites was observed in hippocampus, but not in diencephalon, after 24 h of treatment with 1 μM nicotine. However, a nicotine dose-dependent up-regulation of approximately 3.5- and 0.4-fold in hippocampus and diencephalon, respectively, was found after 96 h of nicotine treatment. A significant fraction of total [(125)I]epibatidine binding sites in both hippocampus (45%) and diencephalon (65%) was located on the cell surface. Chronic nicotine (96 h) up-regulated both intracellular and surface binding in both brain regions without changing the proportion of those binding sites compared with control neurons. The increase in surface binding was not accompanied by an increase in nicotine-stimulated Ca(2+) influx, suggesting persistent desensitization or inactivation of receptors at the plasma membrane occurred. Given the differences observed between hippocampus and diencephalon neurons exposed to nicotine, multiple mechanisms may play a role in the regulation of nAChR expression and function.

  14. Varenicline attenuates nicotine-enhanced brain-stimulation reward by activation of α4β2 nicotinic receptors in rats

    PubMed Central

    Spiller, Krista; Xi, Zheng-Xiong; Li, Xia; Ashby, Charles R.; Callahan, Patrick M.; Tehim, Ashok; Gardner, Eliot L.

    2009-01-01

    Varenicline, a partial α4β2 and full α7 nicotinic receptor agonist, has been shown to inhibit nicotine self-administration and nicotine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. In the present study, we investigated whether varenicline inhibits nicotine-enhanced electrical brain-stimulation reward (BSR), and if so, which receptor subtypes are involved. Systemic administration of nicotine (0.25–1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) or varenicline (0.03–3 mg/kg, i.p.) produced biphasic effects, with low doses producing enhancement (e.g., decreased BSR threshold), and high doses inhibiting BSR. Pretreatment with low dose (0.03–1.0 mg/kg) varenicline dose-dependently attenuated nicotine (0.25 or 0.5 mg/kg)-enhanced BSR. The BSR-enhancing effect produced by varenicline was blocked by mecamylamine (a high affinity nicotinic receptor antagonist) or dihydro-β-erythroidine (a relatively selective nicotinic α4-containing receptor antagonist), but not methyllycaconitine (a selective α7 receptor antagonist), suggesting an effect mediated by activation of α4β2 receptors. This suggestion is supported by findings that the α4β2 receptor agonist SIB-1765F produced a dose-dependent enhancement of BSR, while pretreatment with SIB-1765F attenuated nicotine (0.5 mg/kg)-enhanced BSR. In contrast, the selective α7 receptor agonist ARR-17779, altered neither BSR itself nor nicotine-enhanced BSR, at any dose tested. These findings suggest that: 1) varenicline inhibits nicotine-enhanced BSR, supporting its use as a smoking cessation aid; and 2) varenicline-enhanced BSR by itself and varenicline's anti-nicotine effects are mediated by activation of α4β2, but not α7, receptors. PMID:19393252

  15. α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Freedman, Robert

    2014-01-01

    α7-Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have emerged as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of neurocognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia that are often resistant to existing antipsychotic drugs. Molecular evidence for involvement in schizophrenia of CHRNA7, the gene for the receptor subunit, in the neurobiology of deficits in attention is a critical rationale for the clinical study of α7-nicotinic receptor agonists to improve neurocognition. Initial clinical trials show enhancement of inhibitory neuron function related to sensory gating and increased attention and working memory, as well as improvement in negative symptoms such as anhedonia and alogia. Further development of this therapeutic strategy requires assessment of interactions with patients' heavy cigarette smoking and the relationship of this mechanism to the therapeutic effects of clozapine and olanzapine, both highly effective therapeutics with significant side effects.

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

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Qing

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Recent advances in understanding nicotinic receptor signaling mechanisms that regulate drug self-administration behavior

    PubMed Central

    Tuesta, Luis; Fowler, Christie D.; Kenny, Paul J.

    2011-01-01

    Tobacco smoking is one of the leading causes of disease and premature death in the United States. Nicotine is considered the major reinforcing component in tobacco smoke responsible for tobacco addiction. Nicotine acts in the brain through the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The predominant nAChR subtypes in mammalian brain are those containing α4 and β2 subunits. The α4β2 nAChRs, particularly those located in the mesoaccumbens dopamine pathway, play a key role in regulating the reinforcing properties of nicotine. Considering that twelve mammalian nAChR subunits have been cloned, it is likely that nAChRs containing subunits in addition to, or other than, α4 and β2 also play a role in the tobacco smoking habit. Consistent with this possibility, human genome-wide association studies have shown that genetic variation in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3–CHRNB4 gene cluster located in chromosome region 15q25, which encode the α5, α3 and β4 nAChR subunits, respectively, increases vulnerability to tobacco addiction and smoking-related diseases. Most recently, α5-containing nAChRs located in the habenulo-interpeduncular tract were shown to limit intravenous nicotine self-administration behavior in rats and mice, suggesting that deficits in α5-containing nAChR signaling in the habenulo-interpeduncular tract increases vulnerability to the motivational properties of nicotine. Finally, evidence suggests that nAChRs may also play a prominent role in controlling consumption of addictive drugs other than nicotine, including cocaine, alcohol, opiates and cannabinoids. The aim of the present review is to discuss recent preclinical findings concerning the identity of the nAChR subtypes that regulate self-administration of nicotine and other drugs of abuse. PMID:21740894

  18. MEMRI is a biomarker defining nicotine-specific neuronal responses in subregions of the rodent brain

    PubMed Central

    Bade, Aditya N; Gendelman, Howard E; Boska, Michael D; Liu, Yutong

    2017-01-01

    Nicotine dependence is defined by dopaminergic neuronal activation within the nucleus accumbens (ACB) and by affected neural projections from nicotine-stimulated neurons. Control of any subsequent neural activities would underpin any smoking cessation strategy. While extensive efforts have been made to study the pathophysiology of nicotine addiction, more limited works were developed to find imaging biomarkers. If such biomarkers are made available, addictive behaviors could be monitored noninvasively. To such ends, we employed manganese (Mn2+)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) to determine whether it could be used to monitor neuronal activities after acute and chronic nicotine exposure in rats. The following were observed. Mn2+ infusion identified ACB and hippocampal (HIP) neuronal activities following acute nicotine administration. Chronic exposure was achieved by week long subcutaneously implanted nicotine mini-pump. Here nicotine was shown to activate neurons in the ACB, HIP, and the prefrontal and insular cortex. These are all central nervous system reward regions linked to drug addiction. In conclusion, MEMRI is demonstrated to be a powerful imaging tool to study brain subregion specific neuronal activities affected by nicotine. Thus, we posit that MEMRI could be used to assess smoking-associated tolerance, withdrawal and as such serve as a pre-clinical screening tool for addiction cessation strategies in humans. PMID:28337287

  19. Antipsychotic clozapine inhibits the function of alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Singhal, Sachin K; Zhang, Li; Morales, Marisela; Oz, Murat

    2007-02-01

    The effects of the antipsychotic clozapine on the function of the cloned alpha(7) subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes was investigated by using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. Clozapine reversibly inhibited nicotine (10 microM)-induced currents in a concentration-dependent manner (300 nM to 90 microM), with an IC(50) value of 3.2+/-0.4 microM. The effect of clozapine was not dependent on the membrane potential. Clozapine did not affect the activity of endogenous Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels since the inhibition by clozapine was unaltered by the intracellularly injected Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA and perfusion with Ca(2+)-free bathing solution containing 2mM Ba(2+). Clozapine decreased the maximal nicotine-induced responses without significantly affecting its potency, indicating that it acts as a noncompetitive antagonist on alpha(7)-nACh receptors. In hippocampal slices, the whole-cell recordings from CA1 pyramidal neurons indicated that the increases in the frequency and amplitudes of the GABA-mediated spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents induced by bath application of 2 mM choline, a specific agonist for alpha(7)-nACh receptors, were abolished after 10 min application of 5 microM clozapine. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that clozapine inhibits the function of alpha(7)-nACh receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes and in hippocampal neurons.

  20. Cellular approaches to the interaction between cannabinoid receptor ligands and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Al Kury, Lina; Keun-Hang, Susan Yang; Mahgoub, Mohamed; Galadari, Sehamuddin

    2014-05-15

    Cannabinoids are among the earliest known drugs to humanity. Cannabis plant contains various phytochemicals that bind to cannabinoid receptors. In addition, synthetic and endogenously produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) constitute other classes of cannabinoid receptor ligands. Although many pharmacological effects of these cannabinoids are mediated by the activation of cannabinoid receptors, recent studies indicate that cannabinoids also modulate the functions of various integral membrane proteins including ion channels, receptors, neurotransmitter transporters, and enzymes by mechanism(s) not involving the activation of known cannabinoid receptors. Currently, the mechanisms of these effects were not fully understood. However, it is likely that direct actions of cannabinoids are closely linked to their lipophilic structures. This report will focus on the actions of cannabinoids on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and will examine the results of recent studies in this field. In addition some mechanistic approaches will be provided. The results discussed in this review indicate that, besides cannabinoid receptors, further molecular targets for cannabinoids exist and that these targets may represent important novel sites to alter neuronal excitability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Phylogenetic differences in calcium permeability of the auditory hair cell cholinergic nicotinic receptor

    PubMed Central

    Lipovsek, Marcela; Im, Gi Jung; Franchini, Lucía F.; Pisciottano, Francisco; Katz, Eleonora; Fuchs, Paul Albert; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2012-01-01

    The α9 and α10 cholinergic nicotinic receptor subunits assemble to form the receptor that mediates efferent inhibition of hair cell function within the auditory sensory organ, a mechanism thought to modulate the dynamic range of hearing. In contrast to all nicotinic receptors, which serve excitatory neurotransmission, the activation of α9α10 produces hyperpolarization of hair cells. An evolutionary analysis has shown that the α10 subunit exhibits signatures of positive selection only along the mammalian lineage, strongly suggesting the acquisition of a unique function. To establish whether mammalian α9α10 receptors have acquired distinct functional properties as a consequence of this evolutionary pressure, we compared the properties of rat and chicken recombinant and native α9α10 receptors. Our main finding in the present work is that, in contrast to the high (pCa2+/pMonovalents ∼10) Ca2+ permeability reported for rat α9α10 receptors, recombinant and native chicken α9α10 receptors have a much lower permeability (∼2) to this cation, comparable to that of neuronal α4β2 receptors. Moreover, we show that, in contrast to α10, α7 as well as α4 and β2 nicotinic subunits are under purifying selection in vertebrates, consistent with the conserved Ca2+ permeability reported across species. These results have important consequences for the activation of signaling cascades that lead to hyperpolarization of hair cells after α9α10 gating at the cholinergic–hair cell synapse. In addition, they suggest that high Ca2+ permeability of the α9α10 cholinergic nicotinic receptor might have evolved together with other features that have given the mammalian ear an expanded high-frequency sensitivity. PMID:22371598

  2. Nicotine Accelerates Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice by Activating α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor on Mast Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Chen, Han; Zhu, Wei; Xu, Yinchuan; Liu, Mingfei; Zhu, Lianlian; Yang, Fan; Zhang, Ling; Liu, Xianbao; Zhong, Zhiwei; Zhao, Jing; Jiang, Jun; Xiang, Meixiang; Yu, Hong; Hu, Xinyang; Lu, Hong; Wang, Jian'an

    2017-01-01

    Cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Nicotine, the addictive component of cigarettes, induces mast cell (MC) release and contributes to atherogenesis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether nicotine accelerates atherosclerosis through MC-mediated mechanisms and whether MC stabilizer prevents this pathological process. Nicotine administration increased the size of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe(-/-)) mice fed a fat-enriched diet. This was accompanied by enhanced intraplaque macrophage content and lipid deposition but reduced collagen and smooth muscle cell contents. MC deficiency in Apoe(-/-) mice (Apoe(-/-)Kit(W-sh/W-sh)) diminished nicotine-induced atherosclerosis. Nicotine activated bone marrow-derived MCs in vitro, which was inhibited by a MC stabilizer disodium cromoglycate or a nonselective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor blocker mecamylamine. Further investigation revealed that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor was a target for nicotine activation in MCs. Nicotine did not change atherosclerotic lesion size of Apoe(-/-)Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice reconstituted with MCs from Apoe(-/-)α7nAChR(-/-) animals. Activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on MCs is a mechanism by which nicotine enhances atherosclerosis. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  3. Modal gating of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vij, Ridhima

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

  4. Multiple cholinergic nicotinic receptor genes affect nicotine dependence risk in African and European Americans

    PubMed Central

    Saccone, Nancy L.; Schwantes-An, Tae-Hwi; Wang, Jen C.; Grucza, Richard A.; Breslau, Naomi; Hatsukami, Dorothy; Johnson, Eric O.; Rice, John P.; Goate, Alison M.; Bierut, Laura J.

    2010-01-01

    Several independent studies show that the chromosome 15q25.1 region, which contains the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster, harbors variants strongly associated with nicotine dependence, other smoking behaviors, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We investigated whether variants in other cholinergic nicotinic receptor subunit (CHRN) genes affect risk for nicotine dependence in a new sample of African-Americans (N = 710). We also analyzed this African-American sample together with a European-American sample (N=2062, 1608 of which have been previously studied), allowing for differing effects in the two populations. Cases are current nicotine-dependent smokers and controls are non-dependent smokers. Variants in or near CHRND-CHRNG, CHRNA7, and CHRNA10 show modest association with nicotine dependence risk in the African-American sample. In addition, CHRNA4, CHRNB3-CHRNA6, and CHRNB1 show association in at least one population. CHRNG and CHRNA4 harbor SNPs that have opposite directions of effect in the two populations. In each of the population samples, these loci substantially increase the trait variation explained, although no loci meet Bonferroni-corrected significance in the African-American sample alone. The trait variation explained by three key associated SNPs in CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 is 1.9% in European-Americans and also 1.9% in African-Americans; this increases to 4.5% in EAs and 7.3% in AAs when we add six variants representing associations at other CHRN genes. Multiple nicotinic receptor subunit genes outside of chromosome 15q25 are likely to be important in the biological processes and development of nicotine dependence, and some of these risks may be shared across diverse populations. PMID:20584212

  5. Nicotine attenuates activation of tissue resident macrophages in the mouse stomach through the β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Nemethova, Andrea; Michel, Klaus; Gomez-Pinilla, Pedro J; Boeckxstaens, Guy E; Schemann, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway is an endogenous mechanism by which the autonomic nervous system attenuates macrophage activation via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). This concept has however not been demonstrated at a cellular level in intact tissue. To this end, we have studied the effect of nicotine on the activation of resident macrophages in a mouse stomach preparation by means of calcium imaging. Calcium transients ([Ca(2+)]i) in resident macrophages were recorded in a mouse stomach preparation containing myenteric plexus and muscle layers by Fluo-4. Activation of macrophages was achieved by focal puff administration of ATP. The effects of nicotine on activation of macrophages were evaluated and the nAChR involved was pharmacologically characterized. The proximity of cholinergic nerves to macrophages was quantified by confocal microscopy. Expression of β2 and α7 nAChR was evaluated by β2 immunohistochemistry and fluorophore-tagged α-bungarotoxin. In 83% of macrophages cholinergic varicose nerve fibers were detected at distances <900 nm. The ATP induced [Ca(2+)]i increase was significantly inhibited in 65% or 55% of macrophages by 100 µM or 10 µM nicotine, respectively. This inhibitory effect was reversed by the β2 nAChR preferring antagonist dihydro-β-eryhtroidine but not by hexamethonium (non-selective nAChR-antagonist), mecamylamine (α3β4 nAChR-preferring antagonist), α-bungarotoxin or methyllycaconitine (both α7 nAChR-preferring antagonist). Macrophages in the stomach express β2 but not α7 nAChR at protein level, while those in the intestine express both receptor subunits. This study is the first in situ demonstration of an inhibition of macrophage activation by nicotine suggesting functional signaling between cholinergic neurons and macrophages in the stomach. The data suggest that the β2 subunit of the nAChR is critically involved in the nicotine-induced inhibition of these resident macrophages.

  6. Nicotine Attenuates Activation of Tissue Resident Macrophages in the Mouse Stomach through the β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Nemethova, Andrea; Michel, Klaus; Gomez-Pinilla, Pedro J.; Boeckxstaens, Guy E.; Schemann, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Background The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway is an endogenous mechanism by which the autonomic nervous system attenuates macrophage activation via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). This concept has however not been demonstrated at a cellular level in intact tissue. To this end, we have studied the effect of nicotine on the activation of resident macrophages in a mouse stomach preparation by means of calcium imaging. Methods Calcium transients ([Ca2+]i) in resident macrophages were recorded in a mouse stomach preparation containing myenteric plexus and muscle layers by Fluo-4. Activation of macrophages was achieved by focal puff administration of ATP. The effects of nicotine on activation of macrophages were evaluated and the nAChR involved was pharmacologically characterized. The proximity of cholinergic nerves to macrophages was quantified by confocal microscopy. Expression of β2 and α7 nAChR was evaluated by β2 immunohistochemistry and fluorophore-tagged α-bungarotoxin. Results In 83% of macrophages cholinergic varicose nerve fibers were detected at distances <900nm. The ATP induced [Ca2+]i increase was significantly inhibited in 65% or 55% of macrophages by 100µM or 10µM nicotine, respectively. This inhibitory effect was reversed by the β2 nAChR preferring antagonist dihydro-β-eryhtroidine but not by hexamethonium (non-selective nAChR-antagonist), mecamylamine (α3β4 nAChR-preferring antagonist), α-bungarotoxin or methyllycaconitine (both α7 nAChR-preferring antagonist). Macrophages in the stomach express β2 but not α7 nAChR at protein level, while those in the intestine express both receptor subunits. Conclusion This study is the first in situ demonstration of an inhibition of macrophage activation by nicotine suggesting functional signaling between cholinergic neurons and macrophages in the stomach. The data suggest that the β2 subunit of the nAChR is critically involved in the nicotine-induced inhibition of these resident

  7. Role of Central Amygdala Neuronal Ensembles in Incubation of Nicotine Craving

    PubMed Central

    Coen, Kathleen; Tamadon, Sahar; Hope, Bruce T.; Shaham, Yavin; Lê, A.D.

    2016-01-01

    The craving response to smoking-associated cues in humans or to intravenous nicotine-associated cues in adult rats progressively increases or incubates after withdrawal. Here, we further characterized incubation of nicotine craving in the rat model by determining whether this incubation is observed after adolescent-onset nicotine self-administration. We also used the neuronal activity marker Fos and the Daun02 chemogenetic inactivation procedure to identify cue-activated neuronal ensembles that mediate incubation of nicotine craving. We trained adolescent and adult male rats to self-administer nicotine (2 h/d for 12 d) and assessed cue-induced nicotine seeking in extinction tests (1 h) after 1, 7, 14, or 28 withdrawal days. In both adult and adolescent rats, nicotine seeking in the relapse tests followed an inverted U-shaped curve, with maximal responding on withdrawal day 14. Independent of the withdrawal day, nicotine seeking in the relapse tests was higher in adult than in adolescent rats. Analysis of Fos expression in different brain areas of adolescent and adult rats on withdrawal days 1 and 14 showed time-dependent increases in the number of Fos-positive neurons in central and basolateral amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, ventral and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens core and shell. In adult Fos–lacZ transgenic rats, selective inactivation of nicotine-cue-activated Fos neurons in central amygdala, but not orbitofrontal cortex, decreased “incubated” nicotine seeking on withdrawal day 14. Our results demonstrate that incubation of nicotine craving occurs after adolescent-onset nicotine self-administration and that neuronal ensembles in central amygdala play a critical role in this incubation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The craving response to smoking-associated cues in humans or to intravenous nicotine-associated cues in adult rats progressively increases or incubates after withdrawal. It is currently unknown whether incubation of craving

  8. Role of Central Amygdala Neuronal Ensembles in Incubation of Nicotine Craving.

    PubMed

    Funk, Douglas; Coen, Kathleen; Tamadon, Sahar; Hope, Bruce T; Shaham, Yavin; Lê, A D

    2016-08-17

    The craving response to smoking-associated cues in humans or to intravenous nicotine-associated cues in adult rats progressively increases or incubates after withdrawal. Here, we further characterized incubation of nicotine craving in the rat model by determining whether this incubation is observed after adolescent-onset nicotine self-administration. We also used the neuronal activity marker Fos and the Daun02 chemogenetic inactivation procedure to identify cue-activated neuronal ensembles that mediate incubation of nicotine craving. We trained adolescent and adult male rats to self-administer nicotine (2 h/d for 12 d) and assessed cue-induced nicotine seeking in extinction tests (1 h) after 1, 7, 14, or 28 withdrawal days. In both adult and adolescent rats, nicotine seeking in the relapse tests followed an inverted U-shaped curve, with maximal responding on withdrawal day 14. Independent of the withdrawal day, nicotine seeking in the relapse tests was higher in adult than in adolescent rats. Analysis of Fos expression in different brain areas of adolescent and adult rats on withdrawal days 1 and 14 showed time-dependent increases in the number of Fos-positive neurons in central and basolateral amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, ventral and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens core and shell. In adult Fos-lacZ transgenic rats, selective inactivation of nicotine-cue-activated Fos neurons in central amygdala, but not orbitofrontal cortex, decreased "incubated" nicotine seeking on withdrawal day 14. Our results demonstrate that incubation of nicotine craving occurs after adolescent-onset nicotine self-administration and that neuronal ensembles in central amygdala play a critical role in this incubation. The craving response to smoking-associated cues in humans or to intravenous nicotine-associated cues in adult rats progressively increases or incubates after withdrawal. It is currently unknown whether incubation of craving also occurs after adolescent

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Nicotinic Receptor Alpha7 Expression during Mouse Adrenal Gland Development

    PubMed Central

    Gahring, Lorise C.; Myers, Elizabeth; Palumbos, Sierra; Rogers, Scott W.

    2014-01-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 7 (α7) is a ligand-activated ion channel that contributes to a diversity of cellular processes involved in development, neurotransmission and inflammation. In this report the expression of α7 was examined in the mouse developing and adult adrenal gland that expresses a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter as a bi-cistronic extension of the endogenous α7 transcript (α7G). At embryonic day 12.5 (E12.5) α7G expression was associated with the suprarenal ganglion and precursor cells of the adrenal gland. The α7G cells are catecholaminergic chromaffin cells as reflected by their progressive increase in the co-expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) that is complete by E18.5. In the adult, α7G expression is limited to a subset of chromaffin cells in the adrenal medulla that cluster near the border with the adrenal cortex. These chromaffin cells co-express α7G, TH and DBH, but they lack phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) consistent with only norepinephrine (NE) synthesis. These cell groups appear to be preferentially innervated by pre-ganglionic afferents identified by the neurotrophin receptor p75. No afferents identified by beta-III tubulin, neurofilament proteins or p75 co-expressed α7G. Occasional α7G cells in the pre-E14.5 embryos express neuronal markers consistent with intrinsic ganglion cells and in the adult some α7G cells co-express glutamic acid decarboxylase. The transient expression of α7 during adrenal gland development and its prominent co-expression by a subset of NE chromaffin cells in the adult suggests that the α7 receptor contributes to multiple aspects of adrenal gland development and function that persist into adulthood. PMID:25093893

  11. Brain Imaging of Nicotinic Receptors in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jin; Ishikawa, Masatomo; Zhang, Jichun; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a family of ligand-gated ion channels which are widely distributed in the human brain. Several lines of evidence suggest that two major subtypes (α4β2 and α7) of nAChRs play an important role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Postmortem studies demonstrated alterations in the density of these subtypes of nAChRs in the brain of patients with AD. Currently, nAChRs are one of the most attractive therapeutic targets for AD. Therefore, several researchers have made an effort to develop novel radioligands that can be used to study quantitatively the distribution of these two subtypes in the human brain with positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In this paper, we discuss the current topics on in vivo imaging of two subtypes of nAChRs in the brain of patients with AD. PMID:21253523

  12. 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

  13. Looking below the surface of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) from diverse species can be compared across extracellular, transmembrane, and intracellular domains. The intracellular domains are most divergent among subtypes, yet relatively consistent among species. The diversity indicates that each nAChR subtype possesses a unique language for communication with its host cell. The conservation across species also suggests that the intracellular domains may play defining functional roles for each subtype. Secondary structure prediction indicates two relatively conserved alpha helices withi