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Sample records for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

  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. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Primary Structure of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-08-01

    quantities of starting material (for reviews of receptor, see Popot and Changeux, 1984; Stroud and Finer-Moore, 1985). This work led to the...Cloning of the Acetylcholine Receptor. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. on Quant. Biol. XLVIH: 71-78. 15. Popot , J-L. and Changeux, J-P. (1984) The

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Structural model of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor isotypes bound to acetylcholine and nicotine

    PubMed Central

    Schapira, Matthieu; Abagyan, Ruben; Totrov, Maxim

    2002-01-01

    Background Nicotine is a psychoactive drug presenting a diverse array of biological activities, some positive, such as enhancement of cognitive performances, others negative, such as addiction liability. Ligands that discriminate between the different isotypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) could present improved pharmacology and toxicity profile. Results Based on the recent crystal structure of a soluble acetylcholine binding protein from snails, we have built atomic models of acetylcholine and nicotine bound to the pocket of four different human nAChR subtypes. The structures of the docked ligands correlate with available biochemical data, and reveal that the determinants for isotype selectivity are relying essentially on four residues, providing diversity of the ligand binding pocket both in terms of Van der Waals boundary, and electrostatic potential. We used our models to screen in silico a large compound database and identify a new ligand candidate that could display subtype selectivity. Conclusion The nAChR-agonist models should be useful for the design of nAChR agonists with diverse specificity profiles. PMID:11860617

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The conformation of acetylcholine at its target site in the membrane-embedded nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, P. T. F.; Verhoeven, A.; Miller, K. W.; Meier, B. H.; Watts, A.

    2007-01-01

    The conformation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine bound to the fully functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptor embedded in its native membrane environment has been characterized by using frequency-selective recoupling solid-state NMR. Six dipolar couplings among five resolved 13C-labeled atoms of acetylcholine were measured. Bound acetylcholine adopts a bent conformation characterized with a quaternary ammonium-to-carbonyl distance of 5.1 Å. In this conformation, and with its orientation constrained to that previously determined by us, the acetylcholine could be docked satisfactorily in the agonist pocket of the agonist-bound, but not the agonist-free, crystal structure of a soluble acetylcholine-binding protein from Lymnaea stagnali. The quaternary ammonium group of the acetylcholine was determined to be within 3.9 Å of five aromatic residues and its acetyl group close to residues C187/188 of the principle and residue L112 of the complementary subunit. The observed >CO chemical shift is consistent with H bonding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor residues γY116 and δT119 that are homologous to L112 in the soluble acetylcholine-binding protein. PMID:17989232

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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'.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Trypanosoma evansi: pharmacological evidence of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Portillo, R; Bruges, G; Delgado, D; Betancourt, M; Mijares, A

    2010-06-01

    The role of calcium and its relevance have been deeply revised with respect to trypanosomatids, as the mechanism by which calcium enters trypanosomes was, until now, not well understood. There is evidence supporting the presence of a nAChR in another member of the trypanosomatidae family, Trypanosoma cruzi, these receptors being one entry path to calcium ions. The aims of this work were to determine if there was a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in Trypanosoma evansi, and to subsequently perform a partial pharmacological characterization of this receptor. After being loaded with FURA-2AM, individual cells of T. evansi, were exposed to cholinergic compounds, and the cells displayed a dose-dependent response to carbachol. This observation indicated that a cholinergic receptor may be present in T. evansi. Although a dose-dependent response to muscarine could not be demonstrated, nicotine could promote an incremental dose-dependent response. The relative potency of this specific agonist of nAChR is in agreement with previous reports. The estimated affinity values were a Kd1 value of 29.6+/-5.72 nM and a Kd2 value of 315.9+/-26.6 nM, which is similar to the Kd value reported for the alpha4 nicotinic receptor. The Hill coefficients were determined to be an n1 of 1.2+/-0.3 and an n2 of 4.2+/-1.3. Finally, our calculations indicated that there are about 1020 receptors in each T. evansi parasite, which is approximately 15-fold lower than the number reported in Torpedo californica electric cells. These results suggest the presence of a nAChR in T. evansi, which is able to bind nicotinic ligands and induce calcium signals. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors control acetylcholine and noradrenaline release in the rodent habenulo-interpeduncular complex

    PubMed Central

    Beiranvand, F; Zlabinger, C; Orr-Urtreger, A; Ristl, R; Huck, S; Scholze, P

    2014-01-01

    Background and purpose Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nACh receptors) play a central role in the habenulo-interpeduncular system. We studied nicotine-induced release of NA and ACh in the habenula and interpeduncular nucleus (IPN). Experimental approach The habenula and IPN were loaded with [3H]-choline or [3H]-NA and placed in superfusion chambers. [3H]-ACh release was also stimulated using nicotinic agonists, electrical pulses and elevated [KCl]o in hippocampal and cortical slices from rats, wild-type mice and mice lacking α5, α7, β2, or β4 nACh receptor subunits. Finally, we analysed nACh receptor subtypes in the IPN using immunoprecipitation. Key results Nicotine induced release of [3H]-ACh in the IPN of rats and mice. This release was calcium-dependent but not blocked by tetrodotoxin (TTX); moreover, [3H]-ACh release was abolished in β4-knockout mice but was unaffected in β2- and α5-knockout mice. In contrast, nicotine-induced release of [3H]-NA in the IPN and habenula was blocked by TTX and reduced in both β2-knockout and β4-knockout mice, and dose–response curves were right-shifted in α5-knockout mice. Although electrical stimuli triggered the release of both transmitters, [3H]-ACh release required more pulses delivered at a higher frequency. Conclusions and implications Our results confirm previous findings that β4-containing nACh receptors are critical for [3H]-ACh release in the mouse IPN. Experiments using α5-knockout mice also revealed that unlike in the hippocampus, nicotine-induced [3H]-NA release in the habenulo-interpeduncular system is altered in this knockout model. As α5-containing nACh receptors play a key role in nicotine intake, our results add NA to the list of transmitters involved in this mechanism. PMID:25041479

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Widespread Decrease of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ichise, Masanori; Zoghbi, Sami S; Liow, Jeih-San; Ghose, Subroto; Vines, Douglass C; Sangare, Janet; Lu, Jian-Qiang; Cropley, Vanessa L; Iida, Hidehiro; Kim, Kyeong Min; Cohen, Robert M; Bara-Jimenez, William; Ravina, Bernard; Innis, Robert B

    2005-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have close interactions with the dopaminergic system and play critical roles in cognitive function. nAChRs were imaged in 10 non-demented Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 15 age-matched healthy subjects using a single photon emission computed tomography ligand [123I]5-iodo-3-[2(S)-2-azetidinylmethoxy]pyridine. Using an arterial input function, we measured the total distribution volume (V; specific plus non-displaceable) as well as the delivery (K1). PD showed a widespread significant decrease (∼10%) of V in both cortical and subcortical regions without a significant change in K1. These results indicate the importance of extending the study to demented patients. PMID:16374823

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gergalova, G L; Skok, M V

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluating the suitability of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antibodies for standard immunodetection procedures.

    PubMed

    Moser, N; Mechawar, N; Jones, I; Gochberg-Sarver, A; Orr-Urtreger, A; Plomann, M; Salas, R; Molles, B; Marubio, L; Roth, U; Maskos, U; Winzer-Serhan, U; Bourgeois, J-P; Le Sourd, A-M; De Biasi, M; Schröder, H; Lindstrom, J; Maelicke, A; Changeux, J-P; Wevers, A

    2007-07-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors play important roles in numerous cognitive processes as well as in several debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In order to fully elucidate the diverse roles of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in CNS function and dysfunction, a detailed knowledge of their cellular and subcellular localizations is essential. To date, methods to precisely localize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the CNS have predominantly relied on the use of anti-receptor subunit antibodies. Although data obtained by immunohistology and immunoblotting are generally in accordance with ligand binding studies, some discrepancies remain, in particular with electrophysiological findings. In this context, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit-deficient mice should be ideal tools for testing the specificity of subunit-directed antibodies. Here, we used standard protocols for immunohistochemistry and western blotting to examine the antibodies raised against the alpha3-, alpha4-, alpha7-, beta2-, and beta4-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits on brain tissues of the respective knock-out mice. Unexpectedly, for each of the antibodies tested, immunoreactivity was the same in wild-type and knock-out mice. These data imply that, under commonly used conditions, these antibodies are not suited for immunolocalization. Thus, particular caution should be exerted with regards to the experimental approach used to visualize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Anesthetics Target Interfacial Transmembrane Sites in Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Forman, Stuart A.; Chiara, David C.; Miller, Keith W.

    2014-01-01

    General anesthetics are a heterogeneous group of small amphiphilic ligands that interact weakly at multiple allosteric sites on many pentameric ligand gated ion channels (pLGICs), resulting in either inhibition, potentiation of channel activity, or both. Allosteric principles imply that modulator sites must change configuration and ligand affinity during receptor state transitions. Thus, general anesthetics and related compounds are useful both as state-dependent probes of receptor structure and as potentially selective modulators of pLGIC functions. This review focuses on general anesthetic sites in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which were among the first anesthetic-sensitive pLGIC experimental models studied, with particular focus on sites formed by transmembrane domain elements. Structural models place many of these sites at interfaces between two or more pLGIC transmembrane helices both within subunits and between adjacent subunits, and between transmembrane helices and either lipids (the lipid-protein interface) or water (i.e. the ion channel). A single general anesthetic may bind at multiple allosteric sites in pLGICs, producing a net effect of either inhibition (e.g. blocking the ion channel) or enhanced channel gating (e.g. inter-subunit sites). Other general anesthetic sites identified by photolabeling or crystallography are tentatively linked to functional effects, including intra-subunit helix bundle sites and the lipid-protein interface. PMID:25316107

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Mechanics of Channel Gating of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xinli; Xu, Yechun; Li, Honglin; Wang, Xicheng; Jiang, Hualiang; Barrantes, Francisco J

    2008-01-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a key molecule involved in the propagation of signals in the central nervous system and peripheral synapses. Although numerous computational and experimental studies have been performed on this receptor, the structural dynamics of the receptor underlying the gating mechanism is still unclear. To address the mechanical fundamentals of nAChR gating, both conventional molecular dynamics (CMD) and steered rotation molecular dynamics (SRMD) simulations have been conducted on the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of nAChR embedded in a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer and water molecules. A 30-ns CMD simulation revealed a collective motion amongst C-loops, M1, and M2 helices. The inward movement of C-loops accompanying the shrinking of acetylcholine (ACh) binding pockets induced an inward and upward motion of the outer β-sheet composed of β9 and β10 strands, which in turn causes M1 and M2 to undergo anticlockwise motions around the pore axis. Rotational motion of the entire receptor around the pore axis and twisting motions among extracellular (EC), transmembrane (TM), and intracellular MA domains were also detected by the CMD simulation. Moreover, M2 helices undergo a local twisting motion synthesized by their bending vibration and rotation. The hinge of either twisting motion or bending vibration is located at the middle of M2, possibly the gate of the receptor. A complementary twisting-to-open motion throughout the receptor was detected by a normal mode analysis (NMA). To mimic the pulsive action of ACh binding, nonequilibrium MD simulations were performed by using the SRMD method developed in one of our laboratories. The result confirmed all the motions derived from the CMD simulation and NMA. In addition, the SRMD simulation indicated that the channel may undergo an open-close (O ↔ C) motion. The present MD simulations explore the structural dynamics of the receptor under its gating process

  15. 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.

  16. Alpha9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the treatment of pain

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Chronic pain is a vexing worldwide problem that causes substantial disability and consumes significant medical resources. Although there are numerous analgesic medications, these work through a small set of molecular mechanisms. Even when these medications are used in combination, substantial amounts of pain often remain. It is therefore highly desirable to develop treatments that work through distinct mechanisms of action. While agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been intensively studied, new data suggest a role for selective antagonists of nAChRs. α-Conotoxins are small peptides used offensively by carnivorous marine snails known as Conus. A subset of these peptides known as α-conotoxins RgIA and Vc1.1 produces both acute and long lasting analgesia. In addition, these peptides appear to accelerate the recovery of function after nerve injury, possibly through immune mediated mechanisms. Pharmacological analysis indicates that RgIA and Vc1.1 are selective antagonists of α9α10 nAChRs. A recent study also reported that these α9α10 antagonists are also potent GABA-B agonists. In the current study, we were unable to detect RgIA or Vc1.1 binding to or action on cloned GABA-B receptors expressed in HEK cells or Xenopus oocytes. We review the background, findings and implications of use of compounds that act on α9* nAChRs. PMID:19477168

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Circulating antibodies against nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in chagasic patients

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Alpha-conotoxins as pharmacological probes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Azam, Layla; McIntosh, J Michael

    2009-01-01

    Cysteine-rich peptides from the venom of cone snails (Conus) target a wide variety of different ion channels. One family of conopeptides, the α-conotoxins, specifically target different isoforms of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) found both in the neuromuscular junction and central nervous system. This family is further divided into subfamilies based on the number of amino acids between cysteine residues. The exquisite subtype selectivity of certain α-conotoxins has been key to the characterization of native nAChR isoforms involved in modulation of neurotransmitter release, the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease and nociception. Structure/function characterization of α-conotoxins has led to the development of analogs with improved potency and/or subtype selectivity. Cyclization of the backbone structure and addition of lipophilic moieties has led to improved stability and bioavailability of α-conotoxins, thus paving the way for orally available therapeutics. The recent advances in phylogeny, exogenomics and molecular modeling promises the discovery of an even greater number of α-conotoxins and analogs with improved selectivity for specific subtypes of nAChRs. PMID:19448650

  1. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: a review.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-19

    Plants produce a wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis, or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. However, in some cases these secondary metabolites found in poisonous plants perturb biological systems. Ingestion of toxins from poisonous plants by grazing livestock often results in large economic losses to the livestock industry. The chemical structures of these compounds are diverse and range from simple, low molecular weight toxins such as oxalate in halogeton to the highly complex norditerpene alkaloids in larkspurs. While the negative effects of plant toxins on people and the impact of plant toxins on livestock producers have been widely publicized, the diversity of these toxins and their potential as new pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of diseases in people and animals has also received widespread interest. Scientists are actively screening plants from all regions of the world for bioactivity and potential pharmaceuticals for the treatment or prevention of many diseases. In this review, we focus the discussion to those plant toxins extensively studied at the USDA Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory that affect the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors including species of Delphinium (Larkspurs), Lupinus (Lupines), Conium (poison hemlock), and Nicotiana (tobaccos).

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist attenuates ILC2-dependent airway hyperreactivity

    PubMed Central

    Galle-Treger, Lauriane; Suzuki, Yuzo; Patel, Nisheel; Sankaranarayanan, Ishwarya; Aron, Jennifer L.; Maazi, Hadi; Chen, Lin; Akbari, Omid

    2016-01-01

    Allergic asthma is a complex and chronic inflammatory disorder that is associated with airway hyperreactivity (AHR) and driven by Th2 cytokine secretion. Type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) produce large amounts of Th2 cytokines and contribute to the development of AHR. Here, we show that ILC2s express the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), which is thought to have an anti-inflammatory role in several inflammatory diseases. We show that engagement of a specific agonist with α7nAChR on ILC2s reduces ILC2 effector function and represses ILC2-dependent AHR, while decreasing expression of ILC2 key transcription factor GATA-3 and critical inflammatory modulator NF-κB, and reducing phosphorylation of upstream kinase IKKα/β. Additionally, the specific α7nAChR agonist reduces cytokine production and AHR in a humanized ILC2 mouse model. Collectively, our data suggest that α7nAChR expressed by ILC2s is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of ILC2-mediated asthma. PMID:27752043

  3. Looking below the surface of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Regulation of hippocampal inhibitory circuits by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Griguoli, Marilena; Cherubini, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    The hippocampal network comprises a large variety of locally connected GABAergic interneurons exerting a powerful control on network excitability and which are responsible for the oscillatory behaviour crucial for information processing. GABAergic interneurons receive an important cholinergic innervation from the medial septum-diagonal band complex of the basal forebrain and are endowed with a variety of muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs and nAChRs) that regulate their activity. Deficits in the cholinergic system lead to the impairment of high cognitive functions, which are particularly relevant in neurodegenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as in schizophrenia. Here, we highlight some recent advances in the mechanisms by which cholinergic signalling via nAChRs regulates local inhibitory circuits in the hippocampus, early in postnatal life and in adulthood. We also discuss recent findings concerning the functional role of nAChRs in controlling short- and long-term modifications of synaptic efficacy. Insights into these processes may provide new targets for the therapeutic control of pathological conditions associated with cholinergic dysfunctions. PMID:22124144

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. a2* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Influence Hippocampus-Dependent Learning and Memory in Adolescent Mice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lotfipour, Shahrdad; Mojica, Celina; Nakauchi, Sakura; Lipovsek, Marcela; Silverstein, Sarah; Cushman, Jesse; Tirtorahardjo, James; Poulos, Andrew; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Sumikawa, Katumi; Fanselow, Michael S.; Boulter, Jim

    2017-01-01

    The absence of a2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in oriens lacunosum moleculare (OLM) GABAergic interneurons ablate the facilitation of nicotine-induced hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation and impair memory. The current study delineated whether genetic mutations of a2* nAChRs ("Chrna2"[superscript L9'S/L9'S] and…

  8. 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.

  9. Mutational analysis of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit assembly

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    The structural elements required for normal maturation and assembly of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha subunit were investigated by expression of mutated subunits in transfected fibroblasts. Normally, the wild-type alpha subunit acquires high affinity alpha bungarotoxin binding in a time-dependent manner; however, mutation of the 128 and/or 142 cysteines to either serine or alanine, as well as deletion of the entire 14 amino acids in this region abolished all detectable high affinity binding. Nonglycosylated subunits that had a serine to glycine mutation in the consensus sequence also did not efficiently attain high affinity binding to toxin. In contrast, mutation of the proline at position 136 to glycine or alanine, or a double mutation of the cysteines at position 192 and 193 to serines had no effect on the acquisition of high affinity toxin binding. These data suggest that a disulfide bridge between cysteines 128 and 142 and oligosaccharide addition at asparagine 141 are required for the normal maturation of alpha subunit as assayed by high affinity toxin binding. The unassembled wild-type alpha subunit expressed in fibroblasts is normally degraded with a t1/2 of 2 h; upon assembly with the delta subunit, the degradation rate slows significantly (t1/2 greater than 13 h). All mutated alpha subunits retained the capacity to assemble with a delta subunit coexpressed in fibroblasts; however, mutated alpha subunits that were not glycosylated or did not acquire high affinity toxin binding were rapidly degraded (t1/2 = 20 min to 2 h) regardless of whether or not they assembled with the delta subunit. Assembly and rapid degradation of nonglycosylated acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunits and subunit complexes were also observed in tunicamycin- treated BC3H-1 cells, a mouse musclelike cell line that normally expresses functional AChR. Hence, rapid degradation may be one form of regulation assuring that only correctly processed and assembled subunits

  10. 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

  11. Pathogenesis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: Role of Nicotine and Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zong-Zhuang; Dai, Qiu-Yan

    2012-01-01

    Inflammation, proteolysis, smooth muscle cell apoptosis, and angiogenesis have been implicated in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), although the well-defined initiating mechanism is not fully understood. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) such as MMP-2 and -9 and other proteinases degrading elastin and extracellular matrix are the critical pathogenesis of AAAs. Among the risk factors of AAAs, cigarette smoking is an irrefutable one. Cigarette smoke is practically involved in various aspects of the AAA pathogenesis. Nicotine, a major alkaloid in tobacco leaves and a primary component in cigarette smoke, can stimulate the MMPs expression by vascular SMCs, endothelial cells, and inflammatory cells in vascular wall and induce angiogenesis in the aneurysmal tissues. However, for the inflammatory and apoptotic processes in the pathogenesis of AAAs, nicotine seems to be moving in just the opposite direction. Additionally, the effects of nicotine are probably dose dependent or associated with the exposure duration and may be partly exerted by its receptors—nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). In this paper, we will mainly discuss the pathogenesis of AAAs involving inflammation, proteolysis, smooth muscle cell apoptosis and angiogenesis, and the roles of nicotine and nAChRs. PMID:22529515

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Acetylcholine promotes binding of α-conotoxin MII at α3 β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Sambasivarao, Somisetti V; Roberts, Jessica; Bharadwaj, Vivek S; Slingsby, Jason G; Rohleder, Conrad; Mallory, Chris; Groome, James R; McDougal, Owen M; Maupin, C Mark

    2014-02-10

    α-Conotoxin MII (α-CTxMII) is a 16-residue peptide with the sequence GCCSNPVCHLEHSNLC, containing Cys2-Cys8 and Cys3-Cys16 disulfide bonds. This peptide, isolated from the venom of the marine cone snail Conus magus, is a potent and selective antagonist of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To evaluate the impact of channel-ligand interactions on ligand-binding affinity, homology models of the heteropentameric α3β2-nAChR were constructed. The models were created in MODELLER with the aid of experimentally characterized structures of the Torpedo marmorata-nAChR (Tm-nAChR, PDB ID: 2BG9) and the Aplysia californica-acetylcholine binding protein (Ac-AChBP, PDB ID: 2BR8) as templates for the α3- and β2-subunit isoforms derived from rat neuronal nAChR primary amino acid sequences. Molecular docking calculations were performed with AutoDock to evaluate interactions of the heteropentameric nAChR homology models with the ligands acetylcholine (ACh) and α-CTxMII. The nAChR homology models described here bind ACh with binding energies commensurate with those of previously reported systems, and identify critical interactions that facilitate both ACh and α-CTxMII ligand binding. The docking calculations revealed an increased binding affinity of the α3β2-nAChR for α-CTxMII with ACh bound to the receptor, and this was confirmed through two-electrode voltage clamp experiments on oocytes from Xenopus laevis. These findings provide insights into the inhibition and mechanism of electrostatically driven antagonist properties of the α-CTxMIIs on nAChRs. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Galantamine, an Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor and Positive Allosteric Modulator of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors, Attenuates Nicotine Taking and Seeking in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Thomas J; Rupprecht, Laura E; Hayes, Matthew R; Blendy, Julie A; Schmidt, Heath D

    2012-01-01

    Current smoking cessation pharmacotherapies have limited efficacy in preventing relapse and maintaining abstinence during withdrawal. Galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that also acts as a positive allosteric modulator of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Galantamine has recently been shown to reverse nicotine withdrawal-induced cognitive impairments in mice, which suggests that galantamine may function to prevent relapse in human smokers. However, there are no studies examining whether galantamine administration modulates nicotine self-administration and/or reinstatement of nicotine seeking in rodents. The present experiments were designed to determine the effects of galantamine administration on nicotine taking and reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior, an animal model of relapse. Moreover, the effects of galantamine on sucrose-maintained responding and sucrose seeking were also examined to determine whether galantamine's effects generalized to other reinforced behaviors. An inverted U-shaped dose-response curve was obtained when animals self-administered different unit doses of nicotine with the highest responding for 0.03 mg/kg per infusion of nicotine. Acute galantamine administration (5.0 mg/kg, i.p.) attenuated nicotine self-administration when animals were maintained on either a fixed-ratio 5 (FR5) or progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement. Galantamine administration also attenuated the reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior. No significant effects of galantamine on sucrose self-administration or sucrose reinstatement were noted. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have also been shown to produce nausea and vomiting in humans. However, at doses required to attenuate nicotine self-administration, no effects of galantamine on nausea/malaise as measured by pica were noted. These results indicate that increased extracellular acetylcholine levels and/or nicotinic acetylcholine receptor stimulation is sufficient to attenuate

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-18

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

  5. Ligand binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor investigated by surface plasmon resonance.

    PubMed

    Kröger, D; Hucho, F; Vogel, H

    1999-08-01

    Ligand binding to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is studied by surface plasmon resonance. Biotinylated bungarotoxin, immobilized on a streptavidin-coated gold film, binds nicotinic acetylcholine receptor both in detergent-solubilized and in lipid vesicle-reconstituted form with high specificity. In the latter case, nonspecific binding to the sensor surface is significantly reduced by reconstituting the receptor into poly(ethylene glycol)-lipid-containing sterically stabilized vesicles. By preincubation of a bulk nicotinic acetylcholine receptor sample with the competing ligands carbamoylcholine and decamethonium bromide, the subsequent specific binding of the receptor to the surface-immobilized bungarotoxin is reduced, depending on the concentration of competing ligand. This competition assay allows the determination of the dissociation constants of the acetylcholine receptor-carbamoylcholine complex. A K(D) = 3.5 × 10(-)(6) M for the detergent-solubilized receptor and a K(D) = 1.4 × 10(-)(5) M for the lipid vesicle-reconstituted receptor are obtained. For decamethonium bromide, a K(D) = 4.5 × 10(-)(5) M is determined for the detergent-solubilized receptor. This approach is of general importance for investigating ligand-receptor interactions in case of small ligand molecules by mass-sensitive techniques.

  6. The alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as a pharmacological target for inflammation

    PubMed Central

    de Jonge, W J; Ulloa, L

    2007-01-01

    The physiological regulation of the immune system encompasses comprehensive anti-inflammatory mechanisms that can be harnessed for the treatment of infectious and inflammatory disorders. Recent studies indicate that the vagal nerve, involved in control of heart rate, hormone secretion and gastrointestinal motility, is also an immunomodulator. In experimental models of inflammatory diseases, vagal nerve stimulation attenuates the production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibits the inflammatory process. Acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter of the vagal nerve, controls immune cell functions via the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (alpha7nAChR). From a pharmacological perspective, nicotinic agonists are more efficient than acetylcholine at inhibiting the inflammatory signaling and the production of proinflammatory cytokines. This ‘nicotinic anti-inflammatory pathway' may have clinical implications as treatment with nicotinic agonists can modulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines from immune cells. Nicotine has been tested in clinical trials as a treatment for inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, but the therapeutic potential of this mechanism is limited by the collateral toxicity of nicotine. Here, we review the recent advances that support the design of more specific receptor-selective nicotinic agonists that have anti-inflammatory effects while eluding its collateral toxicity. PMID:17502850

  7. The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: The Founding Father of the Pentameric Ligand-gated Ion Channel Superfamily*

    PubMed Central

    Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2012-01-01

    A critical event in the history of biological chemistry was the chemical identification of the first neurotransmitter receptor, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Disciplines as diverse as electrophysiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry joined together in a unified and rational manner with the common goal of successfully identifying the molecular device that converts a chemical signal into an electrical one in the nervous system. The nicotinic receptor has become the founding father of a broad family of pentameric membrane receptors, paving the way for their identification, including that of the GABAA receptors. PMID:23038257

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Variation in the Alpha 5 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunit Gene Predicts Cigarette Smoking Intensity as a Function of Nicotine Content

    PubMed Central

    MacQueen, David A.; Heckman, Bryan W.; Blank, Melissa D.; Van Rensburg, Kate Janse; Park, Jong Y.; Drobes, David J.; Evans, David E.

    2013-01-01

    A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit gene, rs16969968, has been repeatedly associated with both smoking and respiratory health phenotypes. However, there remains considerable debate as to whether associations with lung cancer are mediated through effects on smoking behavior. Preclinical studies suggest that α5 receptor subunit expression and function may play a direct role in nicotine titration during self-administration. The present study investigated the association of CHRNA5 polymorphisms and smoking topography in 66 smokers asked to smoke 4 nicotine containing (nicotine yield = .60 mg) and 4 placebo (nicotine yield < .05 mg) cigarettes, during separate experimental sessions. Genotype at rs16969968 predicted nicotine titration, with homozygotes for the major allele (G:G) displaying significantly reduced puff volume in response to nicotine, while minor allele carriers (A:G or AA) produced equivalent puff volumes for placebo and nicotine cigarettes. The present results suggest that puff volume may be a more powerful objective phenotype of smoking behavior than self-reported cigarettes per day and nicotine dependence. Further, these results suggest that the association between rs16969968 and lung cancer may be mediated by the quantity of smoke inhaled. PMID:23358500

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors at the single-channel level.

    PubMed

    Bouzat, Cecilia; Sine, Steven M

    2017-03-05

    Over the past four decades, the patch clamp technique and nicotinic ACh (nACh) receptors have established an enduring partnership. Like all good partnerships, each partner has proven significant in its own right, while their union has spurred innumerable advances in life science research. A member and prototype of the superfamily of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels, the nACh receptor is a chemo-electric transducer, binding ACh released from nerves and rapidly opening its channel to cation flow to elicit cellular excitation. A subject of a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the patch clamp technique provides unprecedented resolution of currents through single ion channels in their native cellular environments. Here, focusing on muscle and α7 nACh receptors, we describe the extraordinary contribution of the patch clamp technique towards understanding how they activate in response to neurotransmitter, how subtle structural and mechanistic differences among nACh receptor subtypes translate into significant physiological differences, and how nACh receptors are being exploited as therapeutic drug targets. © 2017 The British Pharmacological Society.

  3. Role of beta2-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in auditory event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Rudnick, Noam D; Koehler, Christine; Picciotto, Marina R; Siegel, Steven J

    2009-03-01

    Nicotine improves sensory processing in schizophrenic individuals, as measured by changes in auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). Nicotine administration also alters ERPs in mice by increasing the amplitude and gating of the P20 ERP component while decreasing the amplitude of the N40 ERP component. Less is known about the role of specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes. In this study, we examined whether nAChRs containing the beta2 subunit contribute to nicotine's effects on auditory ERPs. We tested the effect of nicotine in wild-type mice and mice lacking the beta2 nAChR subunit. Mice underwent stereotaxic implantation of stainless steel electrodes located in the CA3 region of the hippocampus, and 50 paired click stimuli were delivered during each drug condition. There was no significant difference in P20 or N40 amplitude or gating between genotypes during the control condition, suggesting that beta2-containing receptors are not essential for the baseline auditory ERP response. Nicotine increased P20 amplitude and enhanced gating in wild-type and beta2 knockout mice, but only decreased N40 amplitude in wild-type mice. There was no effect of nicotine on N40 gating in either genotype. beta2-containing receptors are necessary for nicotine's effects on the N40 component of the mouse auditory ERP. These results suggest that beta2-containing nAChRs modulate sensory processing and may serve as a therapeutic target in schizophrenic individuals.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Enhancement effects of nicotine on neurogenic relaxation responses in the corpus cavernosum in rabbits: the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes.

    PubMed

    Ozturk Fincan, Gokce Sevim; Vural, Ismail Mert; Ercan, Zeynep Sevim; Sarioglu, Yusuf

    2010-02-10

    Nicotine acts as an agonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which belong to a superfamily of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels. We previously demonstrated that nicotine increases the electrical field stimulation (EFS)-evoked nitrergic relaxation responses via activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The aim of the present study is to investigate the subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rabbit corpus cavernosum. EFS-evoked relaxation responses were recorded from corpus cavernosum strips obtained from rabbits with an isometric force displacement transducers. Effects of nicotine on EFS-evoked relaxations were examined in pre-contracted tissues. Then the effect of nicotine on the EFS-evoked relaxations was examined in the presence of hexamethonium, dihydro-beta-erythroidine, mecamylamine or alpha-bungarotoxin. In our study, nicotine (3 x 10(-5), 10(-4)) transiently increased nitrergic relaxations induced by EFS in the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum. While hexamethonium and mecamylamine near totally inhibited or abolished the neurorelaxation response to nicotine (3 x 10(-5)) on EFS, dihydro-beta-erythroidine and alpha-bungarotoxin partially inhibited these responses. These findings demonstrated that the alpha3-beta4, alpha4-beta2 and alpha7 subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors play role on the nicotine-induced augmentation in EFS-evoked relaxation responses in rabbit corpus cavernosum. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-07-16

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

  11. A new family of Conus peptides targeted to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, C; Grilley, M; Miller, C; Shon, K J; Cruz, L J; Gray, W R; Dykert, J; Rivier, J; Yoshikami, D; Olivera, B M

    1995-09-22

    In this work, a new family of Conus peptides, the alpha A-conotoxins, which target the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, is defined. The first members of this family have been characterized from the eastern Pacific species, Conus purpurascens (the purple cone); three peptides that cause paralysis in fish were purified and characterized from milked venom. The sequence and disulfide bonding pattern of one of these, alpha A-conotoxin PIVA, is as follows: [formula: see text] where O represents trans-4-hydroxyproline. The two other peptides purified from C. purpurascens venom are the under-hydroxylated derivatives, [Pro13]alpha A-conotoxin PIVA and [Pro7,13]alpha A-conotoxin PIVA. The peptides have been chemically synthesized in a biologically active form. Both electrophysiological experiments and competition binding with alpha-bungarotoxin demonstrate that alpha A-PIVA acts as an antagonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at the postsynaptic membrane.

  12. Inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, a novel facet in the pleiotropic activities of snake venom phospholipases A2.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Pharmacological profile of zacopride and new quaternarized fluorobenzamide analogues on mammalian α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Bourdin, Céline M; Lebreton, Jacques; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Thany, Steeve H

    2015-08-15

    From quaternarization of quinuclidine enantiomers of 2-fluoro benzamide LMA10203 in dichloromethane, the corresponding N-chloromethyl derivatives LMA10227 and LMA10228 were obtained. Here, we compared the agonist action of known zacopride and its 2-fluoro benzamide analogues, LMA10203, LMA10227 and LMA10228 against mammalian homomeric α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We found that LMA10203 was a partial agonist of α7 receptor with a pEC50 value of 4.25 ± 0.06 μM whereas LMA10227 and LMA10228 were poorly active on α7 homomeric nicotinic receptor. LMA10227 and LMA10228 were identified as antagonists of acetylcholine-induced currents with IC50 values of 28.4 μM and 39.3 μM whereas LMA10203 and zacopride possessed IC50 values of 8.07 μM and 7.04 μM, respectively. Moreover, despite their IC50 values, LMA10227 was the most potent inhibitor of nicotine-induced current amplitudes (65.7 ± 2.1% inhibition). LMA10203 and LMA10228 had the same inhibitory effects (26.5 ± 7.5% and 33.2 ± 4.1%, respectively), whereas zacopride had no significant inhibitory effect (4.37 ± 4%) on nicotine-induced responses. Our results revealed different pharmacological properties between the four compounds on acetylcholine and nicotine currents. The mode of action of benzamide compounds may need to be reinterpreted with respect to the potential role of α7 receptor.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. Evidence of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Maneu, Victoria; Gerona, Guillermo; Fernández, Laura; Cuenca, Nicolás; Lax, Pedro

    2010-11-01

    Some evidence suggests that retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) can express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) as described for other epithelial cells, where nAChRs have been involved in processes such as cell development, cell death, cell migration, and angiogenesis. This study is designed to determine the expression and activity of α7 nAChRs in RPE cells. Reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR was performed to test the expression of nicotinic α7 subunit in bovine RPE cells. Protein expression was determined by Western blot and by immunocytochemistry. Expression of nicotinic α7 subunits was also analyzed in cryostat sections of albino rat retina. Changes in protein expression were tested under hypoxic conditions. Functional nAChRs were studied by examining the Ca2+ transients elicited by nicotine and acetylcholine stimulation in fura-2-loaded cells. Expression of endogenous modulators of nAChRs was analyzed by RT-PCR and Western blot in retina and RPE. Cultured bovine RPE cells expressed nicotinic receptors containing α7 subunit. RT-PCR amplified the expected specific α7 fragment. Western blotting showed expression at the protein level, with a specific band being found at 57 kDa in both cultured and freshly isolated RPE cells. Expression of nAChRs was confirmed for cultured cells by immunofluorescence. Immunohistochemistry confirmed α7 receptor expression in rat RPE retina. α7 receptor expression was down-regulated by long-term hypoxia. A small subpopulation of RPE cultured cells showed functional nAChRs, as evidenced by the selective response elicited by nicotine and acetylcholine stimulation. Expression of the endogenous nicotinic receptors' modulator lynx1 was confirmed in bovine retina and RPE, and expression of lynx1 and other endogenous nicotinic receptor modulators (SLURP1 and RGD1308195) were also confirmed in rat retina. These results suggest that nAChRs could have a significant role in RPE, which may not be related to the traditional role in nerve

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Chronic Exposure to Nicotine Enhances Insulin Sensitivity through α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-STAT3 Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Pei; Song, Jie; Le, Ying-Ying; Viollet, Benoit; Miao, Chao-Yu

    2012-01-01

    This study was to investigate the effect of nicotine on insulin sensitivity and explore the underlying mechanisms. Treatment of Sprague-Dawley rats with nicotine (3 mg/kg/day) for 6 weeks reduced 43% body weight gain and 65% blood insulin level, but had no effect on blood glucose level. Both insulin tolerance test and glucose tolerance test demonstrated that nicotine treatment enhanced insulin sensitivity. Pretreatment of rats with hexamethonium (20 mg/kg/day) to antagonize peripheral nicotinic receptors except for α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR) had no effect on the insulin sensitizing effect of nicotine. However, the insulin sensitizing effect but not the bodyweight reducing effect of nicotine was abrogated in α7-nAChR knockout mice. Further, chronic treatment with PNU-282987 (0.53 mg/kg/day), a selective α7-nAChR agonist, significantly enhanced insulin sensitivity without apparently modifying bodyweight not only in normal mice but also in AMP-activated kinase-α2 knockout mice, an animal model of insulin resistance with no sign of inflammation. Moreover, PNU-282987 treatment enhanced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and liver in normal mice. PNU-282987 treatment also increased glucose uptake by 25% in C2C12 myotubes and this effect was total abrogated by STAT3 inhibitor, S3I-201. All together, these findings demonstrated that nicotine enhanced insulin sensitivity in animals with or without insulin resistance, at least in part via stimulating α7-nAChR-STAT3 pathway independent of inflammation. Our results contribute not only to the understanding of the pharmacological effects of nicotine, but also to the identifying of new therapeutic targets against insulin resistance. PMID:23251458

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Nicotine and its derivatives, by binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on bronchial epithelial cells, can regulate cellular signaling and inflammatory processes. Delineation of nAChR subtypes and their responses to nicotine stimulation in bronchial epithelium may provide information for therapeutic targeting in smoking-related inflammation in the airway. Expression of nAChR subunit genes in 60 bronchial epithelial biopsies and immunohistochemical staining for the subcellular locations of nAChR subunit expression were evaluated. Seven human bronchial epithelial cell lines (HBECs) were exposed to nicotine in vitro for their response in nAChR subunit gene expression to nicotine exposure and removal. The relative normalized amount of expression of nAChR α4, α5, and α7 and immunohistochemical staining intensity of nAChR α4, α5, and β3 expression showed significant correlation with lung function parameters. Nicotine stimulation in HBECs resulted in transient increase in the levels of nAChR α5 and α6 but more sustained increase in nAChR α7 expression. nAChR expression in bronchial epithelium was found to correlate with lung function. Nicotine exposure in HBECs resulted in both short and longer term responses in nAChR subunit gene expression. These results gave insight into the potential of targeting nAChRs for therapy in smoking-related inflammation in the airway. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  4. Cyclic imine toxins from dinoflagellates: a growing family of potent antagonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Molgó, Jordi; Marchot, Pascale; Aráoz, Rómulo; Benoit, Evelyne; Iorga, Bogdan I; Zakarian, Armen; Taylor, Palmer; Bourne, Yves; Servent, Denis

    2017-08-01

    We present an overview of the toxicological profile of the fast-acting, lipophilic macrocyclic imine toxins, an emerging family of organic compounds associated with algal blooms, shellfish contamination and neurotoxicity. Worldwide, shellfish contamination incidents are expanding; therefore, the significance of these toxins for the shellfish food industry deserves further study. Emphasis is directed to the dinoflagellate species involved in their production, their chemical structures, and their specific mode of interaction with their principal natural molecular targets, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, or with the soluble acetylcholine-binding protein, used as a surrogate receptor model. The dinoflagellates Karenia selliformis and Alexandrium ostenfeldii / A. peruvianum have been implicated in the biosynthesis of gymnodimines and spirolides, while Vulcanodinium rugosum is the producer of pinnatoxins and portimine. The cyclic imine toxins are characterized by a macrocyclic skeleton comprising 14-27 carbon atoms, flanked by two conserved moieties, the cyclic imine and the spiroketal ring system. These phycotoxins generally display high affinity and broad specificity for the muscle type and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, a feature consistent with their binding site at the receptor subunit interfaces, composed of residues highly conserved among all nAChRs, and explaining the diverse toxicity among animal species. This is an article for the special issue XVth International Symposium on Cholinergic Mechanisms. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  5. Targeted Deletion of the Mouse α2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunit Gene (Chrna2) Potentiates Nicotine-Modulated Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Lotfipour, Shahrdad; Byun, Janet S.; Leach, Prescott; Fowler, Christie D.; Murphy, Niall P.; Kenny, Paul J.; Gould, Thomas J.; Boulter, Jim

    2013-01-01

    Baseline and nicotine-modulated behaviors were assessed in mice harboring a null mutant allele of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit gene α2 (Chrna2). Homozygous Chrna2−/− mice are viable, show expected sex and Mendelian genotype ratios, and exhibit no gross neuroanatomical abnormalities. A broad range of behavioral tests designed to assess genotype-dependent effects on anxiety (elevated plus maze and light/dark box), motor coordination (narrow bean traverse and gait), and locomotor activity revealed no significant differences between mutant mice and age-matched wild-type littermates. Furthermore, a panel of tests measuring traits, such as body position, spontaneous activity, respiration, tremors, body tone, and startle response, revealed normal responses for Chrna2-null mutant mice. However, Chrna2−/− mice do exhibit a mild motor or coordination phenotype (a decreased latency to fall during the accelerating rotarod test) and possess an increased sensitivity to nicotine-induced analgesia in the hotplate assay. Relative to wild-type, Chrna2−/− mice show potentiated nicotine self-administration and withdrawal behaviors and exhibit a sex-dependent enhancement of nicotine-facilitated cued, but not trace or contextual, fear conditioning. Overall, our results suggest that loss of the mouse nAChR α2 subunit has very limited effects on baseline behavior but does lead to the potentiation of several nicotine-modulated behaviors. PMID:23637165

  6. 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.

  7. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated responses in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Ravindran, Arippa; Diaz-Ruiz, Oscar; Zhang, Li; Morales, Marisela

    2003-09-01

    The effect of the endogenous cannabinoid ligand anandamide on the function of the cloned alpha7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes was investigated by using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. Anandamide reversibly inhibited nicotine (10 microM) induced-currents in a concentration-dependent manner (10 nM to 30 microM), with an IC50 value of 229.7 +/- 20.4 nM. The effect of anandamide was neither dependent on the membrane potential nor meditated by endogenous Ca2+ dependent Cl- channels since it was unaffected by intracellularly injected BAPTA and perfusion with Ca2+-free bathing solution containing 2 mM Ba2+. Anandamide decreased the maximal nicotine-induced responses without significantly affecting its potency, indicating that it acts as a noncompetitive antagonist on nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) alpha7 receptors. This effect was not mediated by CB1 or CB2 receptors, as neither the selective CB1 receptor antagonist N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboximide hydrochloride (SR 141716A) nor CB2 receptor antagonist N-((1S)-endo-1,3,3-trimethyl-bicyclo-heptan-2-yl]-5-(4-chloro-3-methylphenyl)-1-(4-methylbenzyl)-pyrazole-3-carboxamide (SR 144528) reduced the inhibition by anandamide. In addition, inhibition of nicotinic responses by anandamide was not sensitive to either pertussis toxin treatment or to the membrane permeable cAMP analog 8-Br-cAMP (0.2 mM). Inhibitors of enzymes involved in anandamide metabolism including phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, superoxide dismutase, and indomethacin, or the anandamide transport inhibitor AM404 did not prevent anandamide inhibition of nicotinic responses, suggesting that anandamide itself acted on nicotinic receptors. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits the function of nACh alpha7 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes in a cannabinoid receptor-independent and

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

    PubMed

    Taly, Antoine; Charon, Sebastien

    2012-05-01

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

  9. A fluorinated quinuclidine benzamide named LMA 10203 acts as an agonist of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Bodereau-Dubois, Béatrice; Lapied, Bruno; Lebreton, Jacques; Thany, Steeve H

    2012-06-01

    In the present study, we take advantage of the fact that cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons express different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes to demonstrate that simple quinuclidine benzamides such as the 2-fluorinated benzamide LMA 10203, could act as an agonist of cockroach α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype, called nAChR2. Indeed, 1 mM LMA 10203 induced ionic currents which were partially blocked by 0.5 μM α-bungarotoxin and methyllycaconitine and completely blocked by 5 μM mecamylamine. Moreover, the current-voltage curve revealed that the ionic current induced by LMA 10203 increased from -30 mV to +20 mV confirming that it acted as an agonist of α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2. In addition, 1 mM LMA 10203 induced a depolarization of the sixth abdominal ganglion and this neuroexcitatory activity was completely blocked by 5 μM mecamylamine. These data suggest that nAChR2 was also expressed at the postsynaptic level on the synapse between the cercal afferent nerve and the giant interneurons. Interestingly, despite LMA 10203 being an agonist of cockroach nicotinic receptors, it had a poor insecticidal activity. We conclude that LMA 10203 could be used as an interesting compound to identify specific insect nAChR subtypes.

  10. Allosteric modulation of Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ion channel activity by noncompetitive agonists.

    PubMed

    Maelicke, A; Coban, T; Storch, A; Schrattenholz, A; Pereira, E F; Albuquerque, E X

    1997-01-01

    Similar to other neuroreceptors of the vertebrate central nervous system, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is subject to modulatory control by allosterically acting ligands. Of particular interest in this regard are allosteric ligands that enhance the sensitivity of the receptor to its natural agonist acetylcholine (ACh), as such ligands could be useful as drugs in diseases associated with impaired nicotinic neurotransmission. Here we discuss the action of a novel class of nAChR ligands which act as allosterically potentiating ligands (APL) on the nicotinic responses induced by ACh and competitive agonists. In addition, APLs also act as noncompetitive agonists of very low efficacy, and as direct blockers of ACh-activated channels. These actions are observed with nAChRs from brain, muscle and electric tissue, and they depend on the structure of the APL and the concentration range applied. We focus here on Torpedo nAChR because (i) the unusual pharmacology of these ligands was first discovered with this system, and (ii) large quantities of this receptor are readily available for biochemical studies.

  11. Deficits in spatial learning and nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors in older, spontaneously hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Terry, A V; Hernandez, C M; Buccafusco, J J; Gattu, M

    2000-01-01

    Spontaneously hypertensive rats are often used as models of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to investigate the effects of hypertension on cognitive function. Along with the wide variety of cardiovascular anomalies, these animals as young adults also exhibit deficits in memory and attention and central nicotinic-acetylcholine receptor sites. These findings may have particular significance since nicotinic receptors appear to be involved in the regulation of cerebral circulation and mnemonic function. Furthermore, a lack of high affinity nicotinic receptors (in knockout mice) has also been shown to accelerate both the structural and cognitive degeneration associated with age, findings that may be especially relevant to age-related memory disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease where large deficits in nicotinic receptors are observed. Since spontaneously hypertensive rats appear to be both memory-impaired and deficient in nicotinic receptors at a young age (compared to the non-hypertensive phenotype, Wistar-Kyoto rats), we were interested to learn if these conditions were exacerbated in older animals with particular interest in specific nicotinic receptor subtypes in memory areas of the brain. Spatial learning was assessed in 15-month-old subjects of each phenotype (i.e. hypertensive and non-hypertensive) using a two-phase water maze paradigm, and nicotinic receptors were measured via autoradiography with [125I]-alpha-bungarotoxin and [3H]-epibatidine. In the water maze, both groups learned to locate a hidden platform as indicated by progressively shorter latencies across training days, however, Wistar-Kyoto rats were more efficient in both phases. While the number of both bungarotoxin and epibatidine binding sites was lower in the hypertensive rats across several brain regions, in the case of epibatidine binding, the magnitude of the difference and the number of areas affected was generally greater and included areas important for spatial learning (e

  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. 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.

  14. Nicotine inhibits activation of microglial proton currents via interactions with α7 acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Noda, Mami; Kobayashi, A I

    2017-01-01

    Alpha 7 subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed in microglia and are involved in the suppression of neuroinflammation. Over the past decade, many reports show beneficial effects of nicotine, though little is known about the mechanism. Here we show that nicotine inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced proton (H(+)) currents and morphological change by using primary cultured microglia. The H(+) channel currents were measured by whole-cell patch clamp method under voltage-clamp condition. Increased H(+) current in activated microglia was attenuated by blocking NADPH oxidase. The inhibitory effect of nicotine was due to the activation of α7 nAChR, not a direct action on the H(+) channels, because the effects of nicotine was cancelled by α7 nAChR antagonists. Neurotoxic effect of LPS-activated microglia due to inflammatory cytokines was also attenuated by pre-treatment of microglia with nicotine. These results suggest that α7 nAChRs in microglia may be a therapeutic target in neuroinflammatory diseases.

  15. 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.

  16. Agonist activation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors via an allosteric transmembrane site.

    PubMed

    Gill, Jaskiran K; Savolainen, Mari; Young, Gareth T; Zwart, Ruud; Sher, Emanuele; Millar, Neil S

    2011-04-05

    Conventional nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists, such as acetylcholine, act at an extracellular "orthosteric" binding site located at the interface between two adjacent subunits. Here, we present evidence of potent activation of α7 nAChRs via an allosteric transmembrane site. Previous studies have identified a series of nAChR-positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) that lack agonist activity but are able to potentiate responses to orthosteric agonists, such as acetylcholine. It has been shown, for example, that TQS acts as a conventional α7 nAChR PAM. In contrast, we have found that a compound with close chemical similarity to TQS (4BP-TQS) is a potent allosteric agonist of α7 nAChRs. Whereas the α7 nAChR antagonist metyllycaconitine acts competitively with conventional nicotinic agonists, metyllycaconitine is a noncompetitive antagonist of 4BP-TQS. Mutation of an amino acid (M253L), located in a transmembrane cavity that has been proposed as being the binding site for PAMs, completely blocks agonist activation by 4BP-TQS. In contrast, this mutation had no significant effect on agonist activation by acetylcholine. Conversely, mutation of an amino acid located within the known orthosteric binding site (W148F) has a profound effect on agonist potency of acetylcholine (resulting in a shift of ∼200-fold in the acetylcholine dose-response curve), but had little effect on the agonist dose-response curve for 4BP-TQS. Computer docking studies with an α7 homology model provides evidence that both TQS and 4BP-TQS bind within an intrasubunit transmembrane cavity. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that agonist activation of nAChRs can occur via an allosteric transmembrane site.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Identification of a novel nicotinic acetylcholine receptor structural subunit expressed in goldfish retina

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    A new non-alpha (n alpha) member of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) gene family designated GFn alpha-2 has been identified in goldfish retina by cDNA cloning. This cDNA clone encodes a protein with structural features common to all nAChR subunits sequenced to date; however, unlike all known alpha-subunits of the receptor, it lacks the cysteine residues believed to be involved in acetylcholine binding. Northern blot analysis shows multiple transcripts hybridizing to the GFn alpha-2 cDNA in goldfish retina but undetectable levels of hybridizable RNA in brain, muscle, or liver. S1 nuclease protection experiments indicate that multiple mRNAs are expressed in retina with regions identical or very similar to the GFn alpha-2 sequence. In situ hybridization shows that the gene encoding GFn alpha-2 is expressed predominantly in the ganglion cell layer of the retina. PMID:2465296

  1. 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

  2. Differential Contribution of Subunit Interfaces to α9α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Function.

    PubMed

    Boffi, Juan Carlos; Marcovich, Irina; Gill-Thind, JasKiran K; Corradi, Jeremías; Collins, Toby; Lipovsek, María Marcela; Moglie, Marcelo; Plazas, Paola V; Craig, Patricio O; Millar, Neil S; Bouzat, Cecilia; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén

    2017-03-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors can be assembled from either homomeric or heteromeric pentameric subunit combinations. At the interface of the extracellular domains of adjacent subunits lies the acetylcholine binding site, composed of a principal component provided by one subunit and a complementary component of the adjacent subunit. Compared with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) assembled from α and β subunits, the α9α10 receptor is an atypical member of the family. It is a heteromeric receptor composed only of α subunits. Whereas mammalian α9 subunits can form functional homomeric α9 receptors, α10 subunits do not generate functional channels when expressed heterologously. Hence, it has been proposed that α10 might serve as a structural subunit, much like a β subunit of heteromeric nAChRs, providing only complementary components to the agonist binding site. Here, we have made use of site-directed mutagenesis to examine the contribution of subunit interface domains to α9α10 receptors by a combination of electrophysiological and radioligand binding studies. Characterization of receptors containing Y190T mutations revealed unexpectedly that both α9 and α10 subunits equally contribute to the principal components of the α9α10 nAChR. In addition, we have shown that the introduction of a W55T mutation impairs receptor binding and function in the rat α9 subunit but not in the α10 subunit, indicating that the contribution of α9 and α10 subunits to complementary components of the ligand-binding site is nonequivalent. We conclude that this asymmetry, which is supported by molecular docking studies, results from adaptive amino acid changes acquired only during the evolution of mammalian α10 subunits.

  3. Differential Contribution of Subunit Interfaces to α9α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Function

    PubMed Central

    Boffi, Juan Carlos; Marcovich, Irina; Gill-Thind, JasKiran K.; Corradi, Jeremías; Collins, Toby; Lipovsek, María Marcela; Moglie, Marcelo; Plazas, Paola V.; Craig, Patricio O.; Millar, Neil S.; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2017-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors can be assembled from either homomeric or heteromeric pentameric subunit combinations. At the interface of the extracellular domains of adjacent subunits lies the acetylcholine binding site, composed of a principal component provided by one subunit and a complementary component of the adjacent subunit. Compared with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) assembled from α and β subunits, the α9α10 receptor is an atypical member of the family. It is a heteromeric receptor composed only of α subunits. Whereas mammalian α9 subunits can form functional homomeric α9 receptors, α10 subunits do not generate functional channels when expressed heterologously. Hence, it has been proposed that α10 might serve as a structural subunit, much like a β subunit of heteromeric nAChRs, providing only complementary components to the agonist binding site. Here, we have made use of site-directed mutagenesis to examine the contribution of subunit interface domains to α9α10 receptors by a combination of electrophysiological and radioligand binding studies. Characterization of receptors containing Y190T mutations revealed unexpectedly that both α9 and α10 subunits equally contribute to the principal components of the α9α10 nAChR. In addition, we have shown that the introduction of a W55T mutation impairs receptor binding and function in the rat α9 subunit but not in the α10 subunit, indicating that the contribution of α9 and α10 subunits to complementary components of the ligand-binding site is nonequivalent. We conclude that this asymmetry, which is supported by molecular docking studies, results from adaptive amino acid changes acquired only during the evolution of mammalian α10 subunits. PMID:28069778

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-02

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

  5. 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

  6. α2* Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors influence hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in adolescent mice.

    PubMed

    Lotfipour, Shahrdad; Mojica, Celina; Nakauchi, Sakura; Lipovsek, Marcela; Silverstein, Sarah; Cushman, Jesse; Tirtorahardjo, James; Poulos, Andrew; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Sumikawa, Katumi; Fanselow, Michael S; Boulter, Jim

    2017-06-01

    The absence of α2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in oriens lacunosum moleculare (OLM) GABAergic interneurons ablate the facilitation of nicotine-induced hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation and impair memory. The current study delineated whether genetic mutations of α2* nAChRs (Chrna2(L9'S/L9'S) and Chrna2(KO)) influence hippocampus-dependent learning and memory and CA1 synaptic plasticity. We substituted a serine for a leucine (L9'S) in the α2 subunit (encoded by the Chrna2 gene) to make a hypersensitive nAChR. Using a dorsal hippocampus-dependent task of preexposure-dependent contextual fear conditioning, adolescent hypersensitive Chrna2(L9'S/L9'S) male mice exhibited impaired learning and memory. The deficit was rescued by low-dose nicotine exposure. Electrophysiological studies demonstrated that hypersensitive α2 nAChRs potentiate acetylcholine-induced ion channel flux in oocytes and acute nicotine-induced facilitation of dorsal/intermediate CA1 hippocampal long-term potentiation in Chrna2(L9'S/L9'S) mice. Adolescent male mice null for the α2 nAChR subunit exhibited a baseline deficit in learning that was not reversed by an acute dose of nicotine. These effects were not influenced by locomotor, sensory or anxiety-related measures. Our results demonstrated that α2* nAChRs influenced hippocampus-dependent learning and memory, as well as nicotine-facilitated CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity. © 2017 Lotfipour et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  8. The role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the primary reinforcing and reinforcement-enhancing effects of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Palmatier, Matthew I; Liu, Xiu; Caggiula, Anthony R; Donny, Eric C; Sved, Alan F

    2007-05-01

    The primary reinforcing effects of nicotine are mediated by the drugs action at central nervous system nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Although previous studies have demonstrated that nicotine potently enhances responding for non-pharmacological stimuli, the role of nAChRs in this reinforcement-enhancing effect is not known. The two reinforcement-related effects of nicotine can be dissociated in a paradigm that provides concurrent access to drug infusions and a non-pharmacological visual stimulus (VS). The present study characterized the role of nAChRs in the primary reinforcing effect of nicotine and the reinforcement-enhancing effect of nicotine. For rats with access to VS (VS-Only), nicotine (NIC-Only), both reinforcers contingent upon one response (NIC+VS) or both reinforcers contingent upon separate responses (2-Lever), unit dose-response relationships (0, 30, 60, or 90 microg/kg/infusion, free base) were determined over a 22-day acquisition period. Expression of the two reinforcement-related effects of nicotine was manipulated by pharmacological antagonism of nAChRs (1 mg/kg mecamylamine, subcutaneous, 5-min before the session) or by substituting saline for nicotine infusions (ie extinction) over a series of seven test sessions. Unit dose manipulations yielded an inverse dose-response relationship for active lever responding in the NIC+VS group. The dose-response relationships for rats with independent access to each reinforcer (2-Lever group) were relatively flat. For the 2-Lever group, acute mecamylamine challenge blocked the reinforcement-enhancing effects of nicotine, VS-lever responding decreased to basal levels on the first day of mecamylamine treatment or saline substitution (to the level of the VS-Only group). In contrast, nicotine-lever responding decreased gradually over the 7-day testing period (similar to saline extinction). The two reinforcement-related effects of nicotine are mediated by nAChRs but can be dissociated by acute and

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    The co-morbidity between smoking and mood disorders is striking. Preclinical and clinical studies of nicotinic effects on mood, anxiety, aggression, and related behaviors, such as irritability and agitation, suggest that smokers may use the nicotine in tobacco products as an attempt to self-medicate symptoms of affective disorders. The role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in circuits regulating mood and anxiety is beginning to be elucidated in animal models, but the mechanisms underlying the effects of nicotine on aggression-related behavioral states (ARBS) are still not understood. Clinical trials of nicotine or nicotinic medications for neurological and psychiatric disorders have often found effects of nicotinic medications on ARBS, but few trials have studied these outcomes systematically. Similarly, the increase in ARBS resulting from smoking cessation can be resolved by nicotinic agents, but the effects of nicotinic medications on these types of mental states and behaviors in non-smokers are less well understood. Here we review the literature on the role of nAChRs in regulating mood and anxiety, and subsequently on the closely related construct of ARBS. We suggest avenues for future study to identify how nAChRs and nicotinic agents may play a role in these clinically important areas. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Inhibitory effects of tramadol on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in adrenal chromaffin cells and in Xenopus oocytes expressing alpha 7 receptors.

    PubMed

    Shiraishi, Munehiro; Minami, Kouichiro; Uezono, Yasuhito; Yanagihara, Nobuyuki; Shigematsu, Akio; Shibuya, Izumi

    2002-05-01

    1. Tramadol has been used clinically as an analgesic; however, the mechanism of its analgesic effects is still unknown. 2. We used bovine adrenal chromaffin cells to investigate effects of tramadol on catecholamine secretion, nicotine-induced cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) increases and membrane current changes. We also investigated effects of tramadol on alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) expressed in Xenopus oocytes. 3. Tramadol concentration-dependently suppressed carbachol-induced catecholamine secretion to 60% and 27% of the control at the concentration of 10 and 100 microM, respectively, whereas it had little effect on veratridine- or high K(+)-induced catecholamine secretion. 4. Tramadol also suppressed nicotine-induced ([Ca(2+)](i)) increases in a concentration-dependent manner. Tramadol inhibited nicotine-induced inward currents, and the inhibition was unaffected by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. 5. Tramadol inhibited nicotinic currents carried by alpha7 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. 6. Tramadol inhibited both alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive and -insensitive nicotinic currents in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. 7. In conclusion, tramadol inhibits catecholamine secretion partly by inhibiting nicotinic AChR functions in a naloxone-insensitive manner and alpha7 receptors are one of those inhibited by tramadol.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor but not nicotinic acetylcholine receptor plays a role in morphine-induced behavioral sensitization in rats.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jinling; Tian, Lin; Cui, Ruisi; Ruan, Heng; Li, Xinwang

    2017-09-01

    Background and Aim The cholinergic system can affect drug reward. The present study aimed to examine the roles of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in morphine-induced behavioral sensitization. To analyze the roles of mAChR and nAChR in behavioral sensitization induced by morphine (5mg/kg), seven experiments were designed. Experiments 1 and 2 examined the effects of 3, 1, and 0.3 mg/kg scopolamine and 0.2, 0.1, and 0.05mg/kg scopolamine, respectively, on the locomotor activity when administered alone. Experiments 3 and 4 explored the effect of scopolamine on morphine-induced behavioral sensitization. Experiment 5 studied the effect of mecamylamine on morphine-induced behavioral sensitization. Experiments 6 and 7 investigated the effects of scopolamine+huperzine A and mecamylamine+huperzine A, respectively, on morphine-induced behavioral sensitization. The results revealed that 3mg/kg scopolamine, which significantly enhanced locomotor activity when administered alone, inhibited the acquisition of morphine-induced sensitization. However, mecamylamine (0.5, 1, 2mg/kg) did not have these effects. The co-administration of scopolamine (0.05 mg/kg)+huperzine A (0.4mg/kg) or mecamylamine (1mg/kg)+huperzine A (0.4mg/kg) did not affect the acquisition of morphine-induced behavioral sensitization. Scopolamine (0.05mg/kg) which did not affect the locomotor activity when administered alone, but not mecamylamine (1mg/kg), reversed the acute attenuation effect of huperzine A (0.4mg/kg) on morphine-induced locomotor activity at the acquisition stage and reversed the inhibition of huperzine A on the expression of morphine-induced sensitization. The mAChR might play a more important role in morphine-induced locomotor activity and the expression of morphine-induced behavioral sensitization. The mechanisms of mAChR and nAChR were relatively separate in morphine-induced sensitization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Marco; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2015-09-01

    Pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs) play a central role in intercellular communications in the nervous system by converting the binding of a chemical messenger - a neurotransmitter - into an ion flux through the postsynaptic membrane. Here, we present an overview of the most recent advances on the signal transduction mechanism boosted by X-ray crystallography of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic homologues of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in conjunction with time-resolved analyses based on single-channel electrophysiology and Molecular Dynamics simulations. The available data consistently point to a global mechanism of gating that involves a large reorganization of the receptor mediated by two distinct quaternary transitions: a global twisting and a radial expansion/contraction of the extracellular domain. These transitions profoundly modify the organization of the interface between subunits, which host several sites for orthosteric and allosteric modulatory ligands. The same mechanism may thus mediate both positive and negative allosteric modulations of pLGICs ligand binding at topographically distinct sites. The emerging picture of signal transduction is expected to pave the way to new pharmacological strategies for the development of allosteric modulators of nAChR and pLGICs in general. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. A novel physiological property of snake bradykinin-potentiating peptides-reversion of MK-801 inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Nery, Arthur A; Trujillo, Cleber A; Lameu, Claudiana; Konno, Katsuhiro; Oliveira, Vitor; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ulrich, Henning; Hayashi, Mirian A F

    2008-10-01

    The first naturally occurring angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors described are pyroglutamyl proline-rich oligopeptides, found in the venom of the viper Bothrops jararaca, and named as bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs). Biochemical and pharmacological properties of these peptides were essential for the development of Captopril, the first active site-directed inhibitor of ACE, currently used for the treatment of human hypertension. However, a number of data have suggested that the pharmacological activity of BPPs could not only be explained by their inhibitory action on enzymatic activity of somatic ACE. In fact, we showed recently that the strong and long-lasting anti-hypertensive effect of BPP-10c [nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in blood vessels have been related to blood pressure regulation. Therefore, we have studied the effects of BPP-10c on acetylcholine receptor function in the PC12 pheochromocytoma cell line, which following induction to neuronal differentiation expresses most of the nicotinic receptor subtypes. BPP-10c did not induce receptor-mediated ion flux, nor potentiated carbamoylcholine-provoked receptor activity as determined by whole-cell recording. This peptide, however, alleviated MK-801-induced inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activity. Although more data are needed for understanding the mechanism of the BPP-10c effect on nicotinic receptor activity and its relationship with the anti-hypertensive activity, this work reveals possible therapeutic applications for BPP-10c in establishing normal acetylcholine receptor activity.

  1. 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

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation reduces skeletal muscle inflammation of mdx mice.

    PubMed

    Leite, Paulo Emílio Corrêa; Lagrota-Candido, Jussara; Moraes, Louise; D'Elia, Livia; Pinheiro, Douglas Florindo; da Silva, Rafael Ferreira; Yamasaki, Edna N; Quirico-Santos, Thereza

    2010-10-08

    Mdx mice develop an inflammatory myopathy characterized at different ages by myonecrosis with scattered inflammatory infiltrates followed by muscular regeneration and later persistent fibrosis. This work aimed to verify the putative anti-inflammatory role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in the mdx muscular lesion. Mitigation of myonecrosis and decreased TNFα production were accompanied by increased numbers of F4/80 macrophages expressing nAChRα7. In vivo treatment with nicotine attenuated muscular inflammation characterized by reduced metalloprotease MMP-9 activity, TNFα and NFkB content and increased muscular regeneration. Our data indicate that nAChR activation influences local inflammatory responses in the muscular lesion of mdx mice. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. A method for soluble overexpression of the 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor extracellular domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Markus; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; Schott, Karin; Bacher, Adelbert; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2001-03-01

    We describe the construction of a soluble protein carrying the N-terminal extracellular domain (ECD) of the 7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. The approach was to fuse the 7 ECD at the C and N termini of several monomeric and pentameric soluble carrier proteins and to investigate the soluble expression of the product in Escherichia coli. An initial screening of six carrier proteins resulted in the selection of a fusion protein comprising, from the N to the C terminus, the maltose binding protein, a 17-aa linker containing an enterokinase binding site, and the α7 ECD. This protein is soluble upon expression in bacteria and is purified by affinity chromatography. It binds the competitive nicotinic antagonist α-bungarotoxin with 2.5 μM affinity and displays a CD spectrum corresponding to a folded protein. The method might be suitable to produce large quantities of protein for crystallization and immunochemical experiments.

  4. 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.

  5. Association of a variant in the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor 2 gene (CHRM2) with nicotine addiction.

    PubMed

    Mobascher, A; Rujescu, D; Mittelstraß, K; Giegling, I; Lamina, C; Nitz, B; Brenner, H; Fehr, C; Breitling, L P; Gallinat, J; Rothenbacher, D; Raum, E; Müller, H; Ruppert, A; Hartmann, A M; Möller, H J; Gal, A; Gieger, Ch; Wichmann, H E; Illig, T; Dahmen, N; Winterer, G

    2010-03-05

    Genetic factors contribute to the overall risk of developing nicotine addiction, which is the major cause of preventable deaths in western countries. However, knowledge regarding specific polymorphisms influencing smoking phenotypes remains scarce. In the present study we provide evidence that a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the 5' untranslated region of CHRM2, the gene coding for the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor 2 is associated with nicotine addiction. CHRM2 was defined as a candidate gene for nicotine addiction based on previous evidence that linked variations in CHRM2 to alcohol and drug dependence. A total of more than 5,500 subjects representative of the German population were genotyped and assessed regarding their smoking habits. The impact of three SNPs in CHRM2 on smoking behavior/nicotine addiction was investigated using logistic regression models or a quasi-Poisson regression model, respectively. We found the T allele of SNP rs324650 to be associated with an increased risk of smoking/nicotine dependence according to three different models, the recessive models of regular or heavy smokers vs. never-smokers (odds ratio 1.17 in both analyses) and according to the Fagerström index of nicotine addiction. In the analysis stratified by gender this association was only found in females. Our data provide further evidence that variations in CHRM2 may be associated with the genetic risk of addiction in general or with certain personality traits that predispose to the development of addiction. Alternatively, variations in CHRM2 could modulate presynaptic auto-regulation in cholinergic systems and may thereby affect an individual's response to nicotine more specifically. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Functional characterization of mongoose nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha-subunit: resistance to alpha-bungarotoxin and high sensitivity to acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Asher, O; Lupu-Meiri, M; Jensen, B S; Paperna, T; Fuchs, S; Oron, Y

    1998-07-24

    The mongoose is resistant to snake neurotoxins. The mongoose muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) alpha-subunit contains a number of mutations in the ligand-binding domain and exhibits poor binding of alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTX). We characterized the functional properties of a hybrid (alpha-mongoose/beta gamma delta-rat) AChR. Hybrid AChRs, expressed in Xenopus oocytes, respond to acetylcholine with depolarizing current, the mean maximal amplitude of which was greater than that mediated by the rat AChR. The IC50 of alpha-BTX to the hybrid AChR was 200-fold greater than that of the rat, suggesting much lower affinity for the toxin. Hybrid AChRs exhibited an apparent higher rate of desensitization and higher affinity for ACh (EC50 1.3 vs. 23.3 microM for the rat AChR). Hence, changes in the ligand-binding domain of AChR not only affect the binding properties of the receptor, but also result in marked changes in the characteristics of the current.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Cation-pi interactions in ligand recognition by serotonergic (5-HT3A) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: the anomalous binding properties of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Beene, Darren L; Brandt, Gabriel S; Zhong, Wenge; Zacharias, Niki M; Lester, Henry A; Dougherty, Dennis A

    2002-08-13

    A series of tryptophan analogues has been introduced into the binding site regions of two ion channels, the ligand-gated nicotinic acetylcholine and serotonin 5-HT(3A) receptors, using unnatural amino acid mutagenesis and heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. A cation-pi interaction between serotonin and Trp183 of the serotonin channel 5-HT(3A)R is identified for the first time, precisely locating the ligand-binding site of this receptor. The energetic contribution of the observed cation-pi interaction between a tryptophan and the primary ammonium ion of serotonin is estimated to be approximately 4 kcal/mol, while the comparable interaction with the quaternary ammonium of acetylcholine is approximately 2 kcal/mol. The binding mode of nicotine to the nicotinic receptor of mouse muscle is examined by the same technique and found to differ significantly from that of the natural agonist, acetylcholine.

  11. The pore domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: molecular modeling, pore dimensions, and electrostatics.

    PubMed Central

    Sankararamakrishnan, R; Adcock, C; Sansom, M S

    1996-01-01

    The pore domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor has been modeled as a bundle of five kinked M2 helices. Models were generated via molecular dynamics simulations incorporating restraints derived from 9-A resolution cryoelectron microscopy data (Unwin, 1993; 1995), and from mutagenesis data that identify channel-lining side chains. Thus, these models conform to current experimental data but will require revision as higher resolution data become available. Models of the open and closed states of a homopentameric alpha 7 pore are compared. The minimum radius of the closed-state model is less than 2 A; the minimum radius of the open-state models is approximately 6 A. It is suggested that the presence of "bound" water molecules within the pore may reduce the effective minimum radii below these values by up to approximately 3 A. Poisson-Boltzmann calculations are used to obtain a first approximation to the potential energy of a monovalent cation as it moves along the pore axis. The differences in electrostatic potential energy profiles between the open-state models of alpha 7 and of a mutant of alpha 7 are consistent with the experimentally observed change in ion selectivity from cationic to anionic. Models of the open state of the heteropentameric Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor pore domain are also described. Relatively small differences in pore radius and electrostatic potential energy profiles are seen when the Torpedo and alpha 7 models are compared. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 5 PMID:8889144

  12. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of zebrafish and an evaluation of pharmacological tools used for their study

    PubMed Central

    Papke, Roger L.; Ono, Fumihito; Stokes, Clare; Urban, Jason; Boyd, R. Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have been used to study multiple effects of nicotine, for example on cognition, locomotion, and stress responses, relying on the assumption that pharmacological tools will operate similarly upon molecular substrates in the fish and mammalian systems. We have cloned the zebrafish nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits and expressed key nAChR subtypes in Xenopus oocytes including neuronal (α4β2, α2β2, α3β4, and α7) and muscle (α1β1bεδ) nAChR. Consistent with studies of mammalian nAChR, nicotine was relatively inactive on muscle-type receptors, having both low potency and efficacy. It had high efficacy but low potency for α7 receptors, and the best potency and good efficacy for α4β2 receptors. Cytisine, a key lead compound for the development of smoking cessation agents, is a full agonist for both mammalian α7 and α3β4 receptors, but a full agonist only for the fish α7, with surprisingly low efficacy for α3β4. The efficacy of cytisine for α4β2 was somewhat greater than typically reported for mammalian α4β2. The ganglionic blocker mecamylamine was most potent for blocking α3β4 receptors, least potent for α7, and roughly equipotent for the muscle receptors and the β2-containing nAChR. However, the block of β2-containing receptors was slowly reversible, consistent with effective targeting of these CNS-type receptors in vivo. Three prototypical α7-selective agonists, choline, tropane, and 4OH-GTS-21, were tested, and these agents were observed to activate both fish α7 and α4β2 nAChR. Our data therefore indicate that while some pharmacological tools used in zebrafish may function as expected, others will not. PMID:22580045

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Electrophysiological perspectives on the therapeutic use of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Papke, Roger L; Trocmé-Thibierge, Caryn; Guendisch, Daniela; Al Rubaiy, Shehd Abdullah Abbas; Bloom, Stephen A

    2011-05-01

    Partial agonist therapies rely variously on two hypotheses: the partial agonists have their effects through chronic low-level receptor activation or the partial agonists work by decreasing the effects of endogenous or exogenous full agonists. The relative significance of these activities probably depends on whether acute or chronic effects are considered. We studied nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes to test a model for the acute interactions between acetylcholine (ACh) and weak partial agonists. Data were best-fit to a basic competition model that included an additional factor for noncompetitive inhibition. Partial agonist effects were compared with the nAChR antagonist bupropion in prolonged bath application experiments that were designed to mimic prolonged drug exposure typical of therapeutic drug delivery. A primary effect of prolonged application of nicotine was to decrease the response of all nAChR subtypes to acute applications of ACh. In addition, nicotine, cytisine, and varenicline produced detectable steady-state activation of α4β2* [(α4)(2)(β2)(3), (α4)(3)(β2)(2), and (α4)(2)(β2)(2)α5)] receptor subtypes that was not seen with other test compounds. Partial agonists produced no detectable steady-state activation of α7 nAChR, but seemed to show small potentiation of ACh-evoked responses; however, "run-up" of α7 ACh responses was also sometimes observed under control conditions. Potential off-target effects of the partial agonists therefore included the modulation of α7 responses by α4β2 partial agonists and decreases in α4β2* responses by α7-selective agonists. These data indicate the dual effects expected for α4β2* partial agonists and provide models and insights for utility of partial agonists in therapeutic development.

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

    PubMed Central

    Scadden, Mick´l; Carmona-Hidalgo, Beatriz; McIntosh, J. Michael; Albillos, Almudena

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that contain α6 and β4 subunits have been demonstrated functionally in human adrenal chromaffin cells, rat dorsal root ganglion neurons, and on noradrenergic terminals in the hippocampus of adolescent mice. In human adrenal chromaffin cells, α6β4* nAChRs (the asterisk denotes the possible presence of additional subunits) are the predominant subtype whereas in rodents, the predominant nAChR is the α3β4* subtype. Here we present molecular and pharmacological evidence that chromaffin cells from monkey (Macaca mulatta) also express α6β4* receptors. PCR was used to show the presence of transcripts for α6 and β4 subunits and pharmacological characterization was performed using patch-clamp electrophysiology in combination with α-conotoxins that target the α6β4* subtype. Acetylcholine-evoked currents were sensitive to inhibition by BuIA[T5A,P6O] and MII[H9A,L15A]; α-conotoxins that inhibit α6-containing nAChRs. Two additional agonists were used to probe for the expression of α7 and β2-containing nAChRs. Cells with currents evoked by acetylcholine were relatively unresponsive to the α7-selctive agonist choline but responded to the agonist 5-I-A-85380. These studies provide further insights into the properties of natively expressed α6β4* nAChRs. PMID:24727685

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ton, Hoai T.; Smart, Amanda E.; Aguilar, Brittany L.; Olson, Thao T.

    2015-01-01

    The α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype is widely expressed in the peripheral and central nervous systems, including in airway sensory nerves. The nAChR subtype transduces the irritant effects of nicotine in tobacco smoke and, in certain brain areas, may be involved in nicotine addiction and/or withdrawal. Menthol, a widely used additive in cigarettes, is a potential analgesic and/or counterirritant at sensory nerves and may also influence nicotine’s actions in the brain. We examined menthol’s effects on recombinant human α3β4 nAChRs and native nAChRs in mouse sensory neurons. Menthol markedly decreased nAChR activity as assessed by Ca2+ imaging, 86Rb+ efflux, and voltage-clamp measurements. Coapplication of menthol with acetylcholine or nicotine increased desensitization, demonstrated by an increase in the rate and magnitude of the current decay and a reduction of the current integral. These effects increased with agonist concentration. Pretreatment with menthol followed by its washout did not affect agonist-induced desensitization, suggesting that menthol must be present during the application of agonist to augment desensitization. Notably, menthol acted in a voltage-independent manner and reduced the mean open time of single channels without affecting their conductance, arguing against a simple channel-blocking effect. Further, menthol slowed or prevented the recovery of nAChRs from desensitization, indicating that it probably stabilizes a desensitized state. Moreover, menthol at concentrations up to 1 mM did not compete for the orthosteric nAChR binding site labeled by [3H]epibatidine. Taken together, these data indicate that menthol promotes desensitization of α3β4 nAChRs by an allosteric action. PMID:25964258

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 86Rb+ efflux mediated by alpha4beta2*-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with high and low-sensitivity to stimulation by acetylcholine display similar agonist-induced desensitization.

    PubMed

    Marks, Michael J; Meinerz, Natalie M; Brown, Robert W B; Collins, Allan C

    2010-10-15

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) assembled from alpha4 and beta2 subunits are the most densely expressed subtype in the brain. Concentration-effect curves for agonist activation of alpha4beta2*-nAChR are biphasic. This biphasic agonist sensitivity is ascribed to differences in subunit stoichiometry. The studies described here evaluated desensitization elicited by low concentrations of epibatidine, nicotine, cytisine or methylcarbachol of brain alpha4beta2-nAChR function measured with acetylcholine-stimulated (86)Rb(+) efflux from mouse thalamic synaptosomes. Each agonist elicited concentration-dependent desensitization. The agonists differed in potency. However, IC(50) values for each agonist for desensitization of (86)Rb(+) efflux both with high (EC(50) approximately 3 microM) and low (EC(50) approximately 150 microM) acetylcholine sensitivity were not significantly different. Concentrations required to elicit desensitization were higher that their respective K(D) values for receptor binding. Even though the two components of alpha4beta2*-nAChR-mediated (86)Rb(+) efflux from mouse brain differ markedly in EC(50) values for agonist activation, they are equally sensitive to desensitization by exposure to low agonist concentrations. Mice were also chronically treated with nicotine by continuous infusion of 0, 0.5 or 4.0mg/kg/h and desensitization induced by nicotine was evaluated. Consistent with previous results, chronic nicotine treatment increased the density of epibatidine binding sites. Acute exposure to nicotine also elicited concentration-dependent desensitization of both high-sensitivity and low-sensitivity acetylcholine-stimulated (86)Rb(+) efflux from cortical and thalamic synaptosomes. Although chronic nicotine treatment reduced maximal (86)Rb(+) efflux from thalamus, IC(50) values in both brain regions were unaffected by chronic nicotine treatment. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Brain α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are involved in the secretion of noradrenaline and adrenaline from adrenal medulla in rats.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Takahiro; Tanaka, Kenjiro; Hasegawa, Takashi; Yokotani, Kunihiko

    2011-03-11

    Recently, we reported that intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) administered (±)-epibatidine (a non-selective agonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) elevates plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline through brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated mechanisms in rats. In the present study, we characterized the receptors involved in these responses using selective agonists and antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes in anesthetized rats. (±)-Epibatidine (5 and 10nmol/animal, i.c.v.) and (-)-nicotine (250 and 500nmol/animal, i.c.v.) both elevated plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline (adrenaline>noradrenaline) but the former was more efficient than the latter. The (±)-epibatidine (5nmol/animal, i.c.v.)-induced elevation of plasma catecholamines was reduced by dihydro-β-erythroidine (a selective antagonist of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) (100 and 300nmol/animal, i.c.v.), while methyllycaconitine (a selective antagonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) (100 and 300nmol/animal, i.c.v.) had no effect on the (±)-epibatidine-induced responses. RJR-2403 (a selective agonist of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) (2.5 and 5μmol/animal, i.c.v.) elevated plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline (adrenaline>noradrenaline), while PNU-282987 (a selective agonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) (2.5 and 5μmol/animal, i.c.v.) had no effect. Furthermore, the RJR-2403 (5μmol/animal, i.c.v.)-induced responses were abolished by acute bilateral adrenalectomy. Immunohistochemical procedures demonstrated the expression of α4 and β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits on the spinally projecting hypothalamic paraventricular neurons. Taken together, brain α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors seem to be involved in the secretion of noradrenaline and adrenaline from adrenal medulla in rats.

  4. 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

  5. Regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor phosphorylation in rat myotubes by forskolin and cAMP

    SciTech Connect

    Miles, K.; Anthony, D.T.; Rubin, L.L.; Greengard, P.; Huganir, R.L.

    1987-09-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (Ac-ChoR) from rat myotubes prelabeled in culture with (/sup 32/P)orthophosphate was isolated by acetylcholine affinity chromatography followed by immunoaffinity chromatography. Under basal conditions, the nicotinic AcChoR was shown to be phosphorylated in situ on the ..beta.. and delta subunits. Regulation of AcChoR phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase was explored by the addition of forskolin or cAMP analogues to prelabeled cell cultures. Forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase, stimulated the phosphorylation of the delta subunit 20-fold over basal phosphorylation and induced phosphorylation of the ..cap alpha.. subunit. The effect of forskolin was dose dependent with a half-maximal response at 8 ..mu..M in the presence of 35 ..mu..M Ro 20-1724, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. Stimulation of delta subunit phosphorylation was almost maximal within 5 min, whereas stimulation of ..cap alpha.. subunit phosphorylation was not maximal until 45 min after forskolin treatment. Stimulation of AcChoR phosphorylation by 8-benzylthioadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate was identical to that obtained by forskolin. Two-dimensional thermolytic phosphopeptide maps of the delta subunit revealed a single major phosphopeptide. These results correlate closely with the observed effects of forskolin on AcChoR desensitization in muscle and suggest that cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of the delta subunit increases the rate of AcChoR desensitization in rat myotubes.

  6. A model of the closed form of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor m2 channel pore.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sanguk; Chamberlain, Aaron K; Bowie, James U

    2004-08-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is a neurotransmitter-gated ion channel in the postsynaptic membrane. It is composed of five homologous subunits, each of which contributes one transmembrane helix--the M2 helix--to create the channel pore. The M2 helix from the delta subunit is capable of forming a channel by itself. Although a model of the receptor was recently proposed based on a low-resolution, cryo-electron microscopy density map, we found that the model does not explain much of the other available experimental data. Here we propose a new model of the M2 channel derived solely from helix packing and symmetry constraints. This model agrees well with experimental results from solid-state NMR, chemical reactivity, and mutagenesis experiments. The model depicts the channel pore, the channel gate, and the residues responsible for cation specificity.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

    Artali, Roberto; Bombieri, Gabriella; Meneghetti, Fiorella

    2005-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Role of alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in human non-small cell lung cancer proliferation.

    PubMed

    Paleari, L; Catassi, A; Ciarlo, M; Cavalieri, Z; Bruzzo, C; Servent, D; Cesario, A; Chessa, L; Cilli, M; Piccardi, F; Granone, P; Russo, P

    2008-12-01

    Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the world. Cigarette smoking represents the major risk factor. Nicotine, an active component of cigarettes, can induce cell proliferation, angiogenesis and apoptosis resistance. All these events are mediated through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) expressed on lung cancer cells. We speculate that new insights into the pathophysiological roles of nAChR may lead to new therapeutic avenues to reduce non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumour growth. Human samples of NSCLC, cell lines and mouse models were utilized in Western blotting, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and apoptosis studies. Human NSCLC tissues expressed alpha7-nAChR. This expression was higher in smoking patients with squamous carcinomas than those with adenocarcinomas and in male smoking patients than in females. All the data support the hypothesis that major expression of alpha7-nAChR is related to major activation of the Rb-Raf-1/phospho-ERK/phospho-p90RSK pathway. alpha7-nAChR antagonists, via mitochondria associated apoptosis, inhibited proliferation of human NSCLC primary and established cells. Nicotine stimulates tumour growth in a murine model, A549 cells orthotopically grafted. The effects of nicotine were associated with increases in phospho-ERK in tumours. Proliferation effects of nicotine could be blocked by inhibition of alpha7-nAChR by the high affinity ligand alpha-cobratoxin. These results showed that alpha7-nAChR plays an important role in NSCLC cell growth and tumour progression as well as in cell death.

  14. Regulation of GABA release by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the neonatal rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Maggi, Laura; Sher, Emanuele; Cherubini, Enrico

    2001-01-01

    The whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique was used to study the modulation of giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in CA3 hippocampal neurons in slices from postnatal day (P) 2–6 rats.Bath application of nicotine increased GDP frequency in a concentration-dependent manner. For example, nicotine (0.5–1 μm) enhanced GDP frequency from 0.05 ± 0.04 to 0.17 ± 0.04 Hz. This effect was prevented by the broad-spectrum nicotinic receptor antagonist dihydro-β-erythtroidine (DHβE, 50 μm) and partially antagonized by methyllycaconitine (MLA, 50 nm) a competitive antagonist of α7 nAChRs. GDP frequency was also enhanced by AR-17779 (100 μm), a selective agonist of α7 nAChRs.The GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (10 μm) and the non-NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist DNQX (20 μm) blocked GDPs and prevented the effects of nicotine on GDPs. In the presence of DNQX, nicotine increased GABA-mediated synaptic noise, indicating that this drug may have a direct effect on GABAergic interneurons.Bath application of edrophonium (20 μm), a cholinesterase inhibitor, in the presence of atropine (1 μm), increased GDP frequency, indicating that nAChRs can be activated by ACh released from the septo-hippocampal fibres. This effect was prevented by DHβE (50 μm).In the majority of neurons tested, MLA (50 nm) and DHβE (50 μm) reduced the frequency of GDPs with different efficacy: a reduction of 98 ± 11 and 61 ± 29 % was observed with DHβE and MLA, respectively. In a subset of cells (40 % in the case of MLA and 17 % in the case of DHβE) these drugs induced a twofold increase in GDP frequency.It is suggested that, during development, nAChRs modulate the release of GABA, assessed as GDPs, through distinct nAChRs. The rise of intracellular calcium via nAChRs would further strengthen GABA-mediated oscillatory activity. This can be crucial for consolidation of synaptic contacts and for the fine-tuning of the

  15. Selectivity of lynx proteins on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens.

    PubMed

    Yang, B; Yao, X; Gu, S; Zhang, Y; Liu, Z; Zhang, Y

    2010-06-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are major excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Two lynx proteins (Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2) have been identified in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, which act as modulators on insect nAChRs. In the present study, two lynx proteins were found to act on the triplet receptor Nlalpha1/Nlalpha2/beta2 expressed in Xenopus oocytes, increasing agonist-evoked macroscopic currents, but not changing agonist sensitivity and desensitization properties. Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 increased I(max) (maximum responses) of acetylcholine to 4.85-fold and 2.40-fold of that of Nlalpha1/Nlalpha2/beta2 alone, and they also increased I(max) of imidacloprid to 2.57-fold and 1.25-fold. Although, on another triplet nAChRs Nlalpha3/Nlalpha8/beta2, Nl-lynx2 increased I(max) of acetylcholine and imidacloprid to 3.63-fold and 2.16-fold, Nl-lynx1 had no effects on I(max) of either acetylcholine or imidacloprid. The results demonstrate the selectivity of lynx proteins for different insect nAChR subtypes. This selectivity was also identified in native N. Lugens. Co-immunoprecipitation was found between Nlalpha1/Nlalpha2-containing receptors and both Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2, but was only found between Nlalpha3/Nlalpha8-containing receptors and Nl-lynx2. When the previously identified Nlalpha1(Y151S) and Nlalpha3(Y151S) mutations were included (Nlalpha1(Y151S)/Nlalpha2/beta2 and Nlalpha3(Y151S)/Nlalpha8/beta2), the increase in I(max) of imidacloprid, but not acetylcholine, caused by co-expression of Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 was more noticeable than that of their wildtype counterparts. Taken together, these data suggest that two modulators, Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2, might serve as an influencing factor in target site insensitivity in N. lugens, such as Y151S mutation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Conotoxin αD-GeXXA utilizes a novel strategy to antagonize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Xu, Shaoqiong; Zhang, Tianlong; Kompella, Shiva N; Yan, Mengdi; Lu, Aiping; Wang, Yanfang; Shao, Xiaoxia; Chi, Chengwu; Adams, David J; Ding, Jianping; Wang, Chunguang

    2015-09-23

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play essential roles in transmitting acetylcholine-mediated neural signals across synapses and neuromuscular junctions, and are also closely linked to various diseases and clinical conditions. Therefore, novel nAChR-specific compounds have great potential for both neuroscience research and clinical applications. Conotoxins, the peptide neurotoxins produced by cone snails, are a rich reservoir of novel ligands that target receptors, ion channels and transporters in the nervous system. From the venom of Conus generalis, we identified a novel dimeric nAChR-inhibiting αD-conotoxin GeXXA. By solving the crystal structure and performing structure-guided dissection of this toxin, we demonstrated that the monomeric C-terminal domain of αD-GeXXA, GeXXA-CTD, retains inhibitory activity against the α9α10 nAChR subtype. Furthermore, we identified that His7 of the rat α10 nAChR subunit determines the species preference of αD-GeXXA, and is probably part of the binding site of this toxin. These results together suggest that αD-GeXXA cooperatively binds to two inter-subunit interfaces on the top surface of nAChR, thus allosterically disturbing the opening of the receptor. The novel antagonistic mechanism of αD-GeXXA via a new binding site on nAChRs provides a valuable basis for the rational design of new nAChR-targeting compounds.

  19. Three austin family compounds from Penicillium brasilianum exhibit selective blocking action on cockroach nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Kataoka, Saori; Furutani, Shogo; Hirata, Koichi; Hayashi, Hideo; Matsuda, Kazuhiko

    2011-01-01

    Austin (AT) and its derivatives (dehydroaustin (DAT) and acetoxydehydroaustin (ADAT)) produced by Penicillium brasilianum MG-11 exhibit toxicity to insects, yet their targets are unknown. Here, we used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to investigate the action of AT family compounds on cockroach acetylcholine (ACh), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and l-glutamate receptors expressed in the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) neuron. U-tube application of AT or its derivatives did not induce any current amplitudes, suggesting that they did not act as agonist of these three receptors. In the second step of experiments, they were bath-applied for 1min before co-application with the corresponding ligand. We found that AT and its derivatives had no effect on GABA and l-glutamate-induced currents, whereas they significantly reduced ACh- and epibatidine-induced currents, showing that these compounds acted as selective antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in the cockroach neuron. Of the compounds, DAT showed the highest blocking potency for nAChRs, differentially attenuating the peak and slowly desensitizing current amplitude of ACh-induced responses with pIC(50) (=-logIC(50) (M)) values of 6.11 and 5.91, respectively. DAT reduced the maximum normalized response to ACh without a significant shift in EC(50), suggesting that the blocking action is not competitive with ACh.

  20. Regulation of phosphorylation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mouse BC3H1 myocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, M.M.; Merlie, J.P.; Lawrence, J.C. Jr.

    1987-09-01

    By using /sup 32/P-labeling methods and performing immunoprecipitations with specific antibodies, the authors have found that three subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and phosphorylated in mouse skeletal muscle cells. In nonstimulated cells, the molar ratios of phosphate estimated in ..cap alpha.., ..beta.., and delta subunits were 0.02, 0.05, and 0.5, respectively. All three subunits contained predominantly phosphoserine with some phosphothreonine; the ..beta.., subunit also contained phosphotyrosine. Incubating cells with agents that stimulate cAMP-dependent pathways (isoproterenol, forskolin, 8-Br-cAMP) increased the phosphorylation of the delta subunit by 50%, but phosphate labeling of the ..beta.. subunit was depressed by a third. In contrast, when cells were incubated with the divalent cation ionophores A-23187 or ionomycin, phosphorylation of both the delta and ..beta.. subunits increased. The results indicate that acetylcholine receptors are phosphorylated to significant levels in skeletal muscle cells and that cAMP-dependent and Ca/sup 2 +/-dependent pathways exist for controlling the phosphorylation state of the receptor subunits.

  1. Recent developments in novel antidepressants targeting α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Yu, Li-Fang; Zhang, Han-Kun; Caldarone, Barbara J; Eaton, J Brek; Lukas, Ronald J; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2014-10-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Beta3 subunits promote expression and nicotine-induced up-regulation of human nicotinic alpha6* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in transfected cell lines.

    PubMed

    Tumkosit, Prem; Kuryatov, Alexander; Luo, Jie; Lindstrom, Jon

    2006-10-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) containing alpha6 subunits are typically found at aminergic nerve endings where they play important roles in nicotine addiction and Parkinson's disease. alpha6* AChRs usually contain beta3 subunits. beta3 subunits are presumed to assemble only in the accessory subunit position within AChRs where they do not participate in forming acetylcholine binding sites. Assembly of subunits in the accessory position may be a critical final step in assembly of mature AChRs. Human alpha6 AChRs subtypes were permanently transfected into human tsA201 human embryonic kidney (HEK) cell lines. alpha6beta2beta3 and alpha6beta4beta3 cell lines were found to express much larger amounts of AChRs and were more sensitive to nicotine-induced increase in the amount of AChRs than were alpha6beta2 or alpha6beta4 cell lines. The increased sensitivity to nicotine-induced up-regulation was due not to a beta3-induced increase in affinity for nicotine but probably to a direct effect on assembly of AChR subunits. HEK cells express only a small amount of mature alpha6beta2 AChRs, but many of these subunits are on the cell surface. This contrasts with Xenopus laevis oocytes, which express a large amount of incorrectly assembled alpha6beta2 subunits that bind cholinergic ligands but form large amorphous intracellular aggregates. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were made to the alpha6 and beta3 subunits to aid in the characterization of these AChRs. The alpha6 mAbs bind to epitopes C-terminal of the extracellular domain. These data demonstrate that both cell type and the accessory subunit beta3 can play important roles in alpha6* AChR expression, stability, and up-regulation by nicotine.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Structural Characterization of the Putative Cholinergic Binding Region alpha(179-201) of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor. Part 1. Review and Experimental Design.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-01

    Dynamic Model for the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor, in Computer -Assisted Modeling of Receptor-Ligand Interactions: Theoretical Aspects and...Hunkapillar, M.W., Strader, C.D., Hood, LE.-Acetylcholine receptor: complex of homologous subunits. Sceince vol. 208, pp. 1454-1457, 1980 Ragone, R

  8. The Structural Features of α-Conotoxin Specifically Target Different Isoforms of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Wu, Rui-Jie; Wang, Lei; Xiang, Hui

    2015-01-01

    α-Conotoxins (α-Ctxs) are the major class of Ctxs extracted from the venom of marine cone snails. Most α-Ctxs specifically target various subtypes of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with high affinity and potency as antagonists. Therefore, they may be used for the treatment of numerous diseases that nAChRs involved. The subtype affinity and selectivity of α-Ctxs arise from their amino acid composition and geometric conformation of microsites. To reveal the structural features of α-Ctxs, detailed structural information on the various nAChR subtypes and their ligand complexes is needed. This review article provides an overview of the structural data on α-Ctx-nAChR interactions to investigate the prediction and evaluation of the affinity and selectivity of α-Ctx.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ashcom, J D; Stiles, B G

    1997-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Design and synthesis of isoxazole containing bioisosteres of epibatidine as potent nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Singh, S; Avor, K S; Pouw, B; Seale, T W; Basmadjian, G P

    1999-10-01

    An efficient synthesis of isoxazole containing isosteres of epibatidine is described. The synthesis proceeded from N-tert-butoxycarbonyl (Boc)-exo-2-(methoxycarbonyl)-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane (9). Compound 9 was reacted with the dilithium salt of an appropriately substituted oxime in tetrahydrofuran (THF). Cyclodehydration of the resultant beta-keto oxime and deprotection of the N-Boc group in 5 N aqueous HCl afforded the isoxazole containing isosteres of epibatidine (6-8). The binding affinities of these compounds were determined at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor for the displacement of [3H]cystisine. The unsubstituted isoxazole containing isostere (6) showed the lower binding potency compared to the 3'-methylisoxazole isostere (7). Substitution with a phenyl group at the 3'-position of the isoxazole significantly reduced the binding potency. The in vivo toxicological studies of these analogs were also performed. The LD50 of the analogs ranged in the order: Me > H > Ph.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Whole-cell patch-clamp recording of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in adult Brugia malayi muscle

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, A. P.; Buxton, S. K.; Martin, R. J.

    2013-01-01

    Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating disease caused by clade III parasites like Brugia malayi and Wuchereria bancrofti. Current recommended treatment regimen for this disease relies on albendazole, ivermectin and diethylcarbamazine, none of which targets the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in these parasitic nematodes. Our aim therefore has been to develop adult B. malayi for electrophysiological recordings to aid in characterizing the ion channels in this parasite as anthelmintic target sites. In that regard, we recently demonstrated the amenability of adult B. malayi to patch-clamp recordings and presented results on the single-channel properties of nAChR in this nematode. We have built on this by recording whole-cell nAChR currents from adult B. malayi muscle. Acetylcholine, levamisole, pyrantel, bephenium and tribendimidine activated the receptors on B. malayi muscle, producing robust currents ranging from > 200 pA to ~1.5 nA. Levamisole completely inhibited motility of the adult B. malayi within 10 min and after 60 min, motility had recovered back to control values. PMID:23562945

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-05-17

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

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

    PubMed

    Rossman, Amanda C

    2011-10-01

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

  1. Modelling and simulation of ion channels: applications to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Sansom, M S; Adcock, C; Smith, G R

    1998-01-01

    Molecular dynamics simulations with experimentally derived restraints have been used to develop atomic models of M2 helix bundles forming the pore-lining domains of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and related ligand-gated ion channels. M2 helix bundles have been used in microscopic simulations of the dynamics and energetics of water and ions within an ion channel. Translational and rotational motion of water are restricted within the pore, and water dipoles are aligned relative to the pore axis by the surrounding helix dipoles. Potential energy profiles for translation of a Na+ ion along the pore suggest that the protein and water components of the interaction energy exert an opposing effect on the ion, resulting in a relatively flat profile which favors cation permeation. Empirical conductance calculations based on a pore radius profile suggest that the M2 helix model is consistent with a single channel conductance of ca. 50 pS. Continuum electrostatics calculations indicate that a ring of glutamate residues at the cytoplasmic mouth of the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor M2 helix bundle may not be fully ionized. A simplified model of the remainder of the channel protein when added to the M2 helix bundle plays a significant role in enhancing the ion selectivity of the channel.

  2. 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.

  3. Activation and modulation of human α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by the neonicotinoids clothianidin and imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Ann, Jason; Akk, Gustav

    2011-08-01

    Neonicotinoids are synthetic, nicotine-derived insecticides used for agricultural and household pest control. Though highly effective at activating insect nicotinic receptors, many neonicotinoids are also capable of directly activating and/or modulating the activation of vertebrate nicotinic receptors. In this study, we have investigated the actions of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (CTD) and imidacloprid (IMI) on human neuronal α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The data demonstrate that the compounds are weak agonists of the human receptors with relative peak currents of 1-4% of the response to 1 mM acetylcholine (ACh). Coapplication of IMI strongly inhibited currents elicited by ACh. From Schild plot analysis, we estimate that the affinity of IMI for the human α4β2 receptor is 18 μM. The application of low concentrations of CTD potentiated responses to low concentrations of ACh, suggesting that receptors occupied by one ACh and one CTD molecule have a higher gating efficacy than receptors with one ACh bound. Interestingly, subunit stoichiometry affected inhibition by CTD, with (α4)(2) (β2)(3) receptors significantly more strongly inhibited than the (α4)(3) (β2)(2) receptors.

  4. Activation and modulation of human α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by the neonicotinoids clothianidin and imidacloprid

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ping; Ann, Jason; Akk, Gustav

    2013-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are synthetic, nicotine-derived insecticides used for agricultural and household pest control. While highly effective at activating insect nicotinic receptors, many neonicotinoids are also capable of directly activating and/or modulating the activation of vertebrate nicotinic receptors. In this study, we have investigated the actions of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (CTD) and imidacloprid (IMI) on human neuronal α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The data demonstrate that the compounds are weak agonists of the human receptors with relative peak currents of 1–4 % of the response to 1 mM acetylcholine (ACh). Coapplication of IMI strongly inhibited currents elicited by ACh. From Schild plot analysis, we estimate that the affinity of IMI to the human α4β2 receptor is 18 µM. The application of low concentrations of CTD potentiated responses to low concentrations of ACh, suggesting that receptors occupied by one ACh and one CTD molecule have a higher gating efficacy than receptors with one ACh bound. Interestingly, subunit stoichiometry affected inhibition by CTD, with (α4)2(β2)3 receptors significantly more strongly inhibited than the (α4)3(β2)2 receptors. PMID:21538459

  5. 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

  6. Expression profile of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in the brain of HIV-1 transgenic rats given chronic nicotine treatment.

    PubMed

    Cao, Junran; Nesil, Tanseli; Wang, Shaolin; Chang, Sulie L; Li, Ming D

    2016-10-01

    Abuse of addictive substances, including cigarettes, is much greater in HIV-1-infected individuals than in the general population and challenges the efficiency of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). The HIV-1 transgenic (HIV-1Tg) rat, an animal model used to study drug addiction in HIV-1-infected patients on HAART, displays abnormal neurobehavioral responses to addictive substances. Given that the cholinergic system plays an essential part in the central reward circuitry, we evaluated the expression profile of nine nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit genes in the central nervous system (CNS) of HIV-1Tg rats. We found that nAChR subunits were differentially expressed in various brain regions in HIV-1Tg rats compared to F344 control rats, with more subunits altered in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of the HIV-1Tg rats than in other brain regions. We also found that chronic nicotine treatment (0.4 mg/kg/day) decreased the mRNA expression of nAChR subunits α6, β3, and β4 in the VTA of HIV-1Tg rats, whereas expression of α4 and α6 subunits in the NAc increased. No such changes were observed in F344 rats. Together, our data suggest that HIV-1 proteins alter the expression of nAChRs, which may contribute to the vulnerability to cigarette smoking addiction in HIV-1 patients.

  7. Morphine inhibits an alpha9-acetylcholine nicotinic receptor-mediated response by a mechanism which does not involve opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Lioudyno, M I; Verbitsky, M; Holt, J C; Elgoyhen, A B; Guth, P S

    2000-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors are known to be targets for modulation by a number of substances, including the opiates. It is known that acetylcholine (ACh) coexists with opioid peptides in cochlear efferent neurons, and such a colocalization has been proposed for the vestibular system. In the present study we test the hypothesis that morphine, an opioid receptor agonist with a broad spectrum of selectivity, modulates alpha9nACh receptor-mediated responses in frog vestibular hair cells. Morphine dose-dependently and reversibly inhibited ACh-induced currents as recorded by the perforated patch-clamp method. In the presence of morphine the ACh dose-response curve was shifted to the right in a parallel fashion, suggesting a competitive interaction. However, naloxone did not antagonize the inhibition produced by morphine. To test the hypothesis that morphine could interact with the alpha9nACh receptor without the involvement of opioid receptors, experiments were performed using Xenopus laevis oocytes injected with the alpha9nACh receptor cRNA. The currents activated by ACh in Xenopus oocytes, a system that lacks opioid receptors, were also dose-dependently inhibited by morphine. We conclude that morphine inhibits the alpha9nACh receptor-mediated response in hair cells and Xenopus oocytes through a mechanism which does not involve opioid receptors but may be a direct block of the alpha9nACh receptor.

  8. Peptides from puff adder Bitis arietans venom, novel inhibitors of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Vulfius, Catherine A; Spirova, Ekaterina N; Serebryakova, Marina V; Shelukhina, Irina V; Kudryavtsev, Denis S; Kryukova, Elena V; Starkov, Vladislav G; Kopylova, Nina V; Zhmak, Maxim N; Ivanov, Igor A; Kudryashova, Ksenia S; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2016-10-01

    Phospholipase A2 (named bitanarin) possessing capability to block nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) was isolated earlier (Vulfius et al., 2011) from puff adder Bitis arietans venom. Further studies indicated that low molecular weight fractions of puff adder venom inhibit nAChRs as well. In this paper, we report on isolation from this venom and characterization of three novel peptides called baptides 1, 2 and 3 that reversibly block nAChRs. To isolate the peptides, the venom of B. arietans was fractionated by gel-filtration and reversed phase chromatography. The amino acid sequences of peptides were established by de novo sequencing using MALDI mass spectrometry. Baptide 1 comprised 7, baptides 2 and 3-10 amino acid residues, the latter being acetylated at the N-terminus. This is the first indication for the presence of such post-translational modification in snake venom proteins. None of the peptides contain cysteine residues. For biological activity studies the peptides were prepared by solid phase peptide synthesis. Baptide 3 and 2 blocked acetylcholine-elicited currents in isolated Lymnaea stagnalis neurons with IC50 of about 50 μM and 250 μM, respectively. In addition baptide 2 blocked acetylcholine-induced currents in muscle nAChR heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes with IC50 of about 3 μM. The peptides did not compete with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and α7 nAChRs at concentration up to 200 μM that suggests non-competitive mode of inhibition. Calcium imaging studies on α7 and muscle nAChRs heterologously expressed in mouse neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells showed that on α7 receptor baptide 2 inhibited acetylcholine-induced increasing intracellular calcium concentration with IC50 of 20.6 ± 3.93 μM. On both α7 and muscle nAChRs the suppression of maximal response to acetylcholine by about 50% was observed at baptide 2 concentration of 25 μM, the value being close to IC50 on α7 nAChR. These data are in

  9. Impact of short access nicotine self-administration on expression of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in non-human primates.

    PubMed

    Le Foll, Bernard; Chefer, Svetlana I; Kimes, Alane S; Stein, Elliot A; Goldberg, Steven R; Mukhin, Alexey G

    2016-05-01

    Although nicotine exposure upregulates the α4β2* subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), the upregulation of nAChRs in non-human primates voluntarily self-administering nicotine has never been demonstrated. The objective of the study is to determine if short access to nicotine in a non-human primate model of nicotine self-administration is sufficient to induce nAChRs upregulation. We combined a nicotine self-administration paradigm with in vivo measure of α4β2* nAChRs using 2-[(18)F]fluoro-A-85380 (2-FA) and positron emission tomography (PET) in six squirrel monkeys. PET measurement was performed before and after intravenous nicotine self-administration (unit dose 10 μg/kg per injection). Monkeys were trained to self-administer nicotine under a fixed-ratio (FR) schedule of reinforcement. Intermittent access (1 h daily per weekday) to nicotine was allowed for 4 weeks and levels of α4β2* nAChRs were measured 4 days later. This intermittent access was sufficient to induce upregulation of α4β2* receptors in the whole brain (31 % upregulation) and in specific brain areas (+36 % in amygdala and +62 % in putamen). These results indicate that intermittent nicotine exposure is sufficient to produce change in nAChRs expression.

  10. High calcium permeability and calcium block of the alpha9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Katz, E; Verbitsky, M; Rothlin, C V; Vetter, D E; Heinemann, S F; Elgoyhen, A B

    2000-03-01

    At the synapse between olivocochlear efferent fibers and outer hair cells (OHCs) of the cochlea, a non-classical ionotropic cholinergic receptor allows Ca(2+) entry into the hair cell, thus activating a Ca(2+)-sensitive K(+) current which hyperpolarizes the cell's membrane. In the mammalian ear, this leads to a reduction in basilar membrane motion, altering auditory nerve fiber activity and reducing the dynamic range of hearing. The alpha9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit mediates synaptic transmission between cholinergic olivocochlear fibers and OHCs. Given that Ca(2+) is a key player at this inhibitory synapse, we evaluated the permeability to Ca(2+) of the recombinant alpha9 receptor expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and the modulation of its activity by extracellular Ca(2+). Our results show that the alpha9 receptor is highly permeable to Ca(2+) and that this cation potently blocks monovalent currents through this channel (IC(50)=100 microM, at -70 mV) in a voltage-dependent manner. At a Ca(2+) concentration similar to that found in the perilymph bathing the base of the OHCs, approximately 90% of the Na(+) current through the alpha9 receptor is blocked, suggesting that one of the main functions of this channel could be to provide a pathway for Ca(2+) influx.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Alpha-9 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Immunoreactivity in the Rodent Vestibular Labyrinth

    PubMed Central

    Luebke, Anne E.; Maroni, Paul D.; Guth, Scott M.; Lysakowski, Anna

    2010-01-01

    Vestibular tissues (cristae ampullares, macular otolithic organs, and Scarpa’s ganglia) in chinchilla, rat, and guinea pig were examined for immunoreactivity to the α9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit. The α9 antibody was generated against a conserved peptide present in the intracellular loop of the predicted protein sequence of the guinea pig α9 nAChR subunit. In the vestibular periphery, staining was observed in calyces around type I hair cells, at the synaptic pole of type II hair cells, and in varying levels in Scarpa’s ganglion cells. Ganglion cells were also triply labeled to detect α9, calretinin, and peripherin. Calretinin labels calyx-only afferents. Peripherin labels bouton-only afferents. Dimorphic afferents, which have both calyx and bouton endings, are not labeled by calretinin or peripherin. In these experiments, α9 was expressed in both calyx and dimorphic afferents. A subpopulation of small ganglion cells did not contain the α9 nAChR but did stain for peripherin. We surmise that these are bouton-only afferents. Bouton (regularly discharging) afferents also show efferent responses, although they are qualitatively different from those in irregularly discharging (calyx and dimorphic) afferents, much slower and longer lasting. Thus, regular afferents are probably more affected via a muscarinic cholinergic or a peptidergic mechanism, with a much smaller superimposed fast nicotinic-type response. This latter response could be due to one of the other nicotinic receptors that have been described in studies from other laboratories. PMID:16217793

  14. 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

  15. Selective alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists worsen disease in experimental colitis.

    PubMed

    Snoek, Susanne A; Verstege, Marleen I; van der Zanden, Esmerij P; Deeks, Nigel; Bulmer, David C; Skynner, Michael; Lee, Kevin; Te Velde, Anje A; Boeckxstaens, Guy E; de Jonge, Wouter J

    2010-05-01

    In various models vagus nerve activation has been shown to ameliorate intestinal inflammation, via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed on immune cells. As the alpha7 nAChR has been put forward to mediate this effect, we studied the effect of nicotine and two selective alpha7 nAChR agonists (AR-R17779, (-)-spiro[1-azabicyclo[2.2.2] octane-3,5'-oxazolidin-2'-one and GSK1345038A) on disease severity in two mouse models of experimental colitis. Colitis was induced by administration of 1.5% dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) in drinking water or 2 mg 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (TNBS) intrarectally. Nicotine (0.25 and 2.50 micromol.kg(-1)), AR-R17779 (0.6-30 micromol.kg(-1)) or GSK1345038A (6-120 micromol.kg(-1)) was administered daily by i.p. injection. After 7 (DSS) or 5 (TNBS) days clinical parameters and colonic inflammation were scored. Nicotine and both alpha7 nAChR agonists reduced the activation of NF-kappaB and pro-inflammatory cytokines in whole blood and macrophage cultures. In DSS colitis, nicotine treatment reduced colonic cytokine production, but failed to reduce disease parameters. Reciprocally, treatment with AR-R17779 or GSK1345038A worsened disease and led to increased colonic pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in DSS colitis. The highest doses of GSK1345038A (120 micromol.kg(-1)) and AR-R17779 (30 micromol.kg(-1)) ameliorated clinical parameters, without affecting colonic inflammation. Neither agonist ameliorated TNBS-induced colitis. Although nicotine reduced cytokine responses in vitro, both selective alpha7 nAChR agonists worsened the effects of DSS-induced colitis or were ineffective in those of TNBS-induced colitis. Our data indicate the need for caution in evaluating alpha7 nAChR as a drug target in colitis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Channel opening motion of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor as suggested by normal mode analysis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xiaolin; Lu, Benzhuo; Grant, Barry; Law, Richard J; McCammon, J Andrew

    2006-01-13

    The gating motion of the human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha7 was investigated with normal mode analysis (NMA) of two homology models. The first model, referred to as model I, was built from both the Lymnaea stagnalis acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) and the transmembrane (TM) domain of the Torpedo marmorata nAChR. The second model, referred to as model C, was based solely on the recent electron microscopy structure of the T. marmorata nAChR. Despite structural differences, both models exhibit nearly identical patterns of flexibility and correlated motions. In addition, both models show a similar global twisting motion that may represent channel gating. The similar results obtained for the two models indicate that NMA is most sensitive to the contact topology of the structure rather than its finer detail. The major difference between the low-frequency motions sampled for the two models is that a symmetrical pore-breathing motion, favoring channel opening, is present as the second most dominant motion in model I, whilst largely absent from model C. The absence of this mode in model C can be attributed to its less symmetrical architecture. Finally, as a further goal of the present study, an approximate open channel model, consistent with many experimental findings, has been produced.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-24

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiu

    2013-11-01

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

  6. High Throughput Random Mutagenesis and Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing of the Muscle Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Groot-Kormelink, Paul J.; Ferrand, Sandrine; Kelley, Nicholas; Bill, Anke; Freuler, Felix; Imbert, Pierre-Eloi; Marelli, Anthony; Gerwin, Nicole; Sivilotti, Lucia G.; Miraglia, Loren; Orth, Anthony P.; Oakeley, Edward J.; Schopfer, Ulrich; Siehler, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    High throughput random mutagenesis is a powerful tool to identify which residues are important for the function of a protein, and gain insight into its structure-function relation. The human muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor was used to test whether this technique previously used for monomeric receptors can be applied to a pentameric ligand-gated ion channel. A mutant library for the α1 subunit of the channel was generated by error-prone PCR, and full length sequences of all 2816 mutants were retrieved using single molecule real time sequencing. Each α1 mutant was co-transfected with wildtype β1, δ, and ε subunits, and the channel function characterized by an ion flux assay. To test whether the strategy could map the structure-function relation of this receptor, we attempted to identify mutations that conferred resistance to competitive antagonists. Mutant hits were defined as receptors that responded to the nicotinic agonist epibatidine, but were not inhibited by either α-bungarotoxin or tubocurarine. Eight α1 subunit mutant hits were identified, six of which contained mutations at position Y233 or V275 in the transmembrane domain. Three single point mutations (Y233N, Y233H, and V275M) were studied further, and found to enhance the potencies of five channel agonists tested. This suggests that the mutations made the channel resistant to the antagonists, not by impairing antagonist binding, but rather by producing a gain-of-function phenotype, e.g. increased agonist sensitivity. Our data show that random high throughput mutagenesis is applicable to multimeric proteins to discover novel functional mutants, and outlines the benefits of using single molecule real time sequencing with regards to quality control of the mutant library as well as downstream mutant data interpretation. PMID:27649498

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. Azemiopsin from Azemiops feae Viper Venom, a Novel Polypeptide Ligand of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor*

    PubMed Central

    Utkin, Yuri N.; Weise, Christoph; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Andreeva, Tatyana V.; Kryukova, Elena V.; Zhmak, Maxim N.; Starkov, Vladislav G.; Hoang, Ngoc Anh; Bertrand, Daniel; Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Sieghart, Werner; Thompson, Andrew J.; Lummis, Sarah C. R.; Tsetlin, Victor I.

    2012-01-01

    Azemiopsin, a novel polypeptide, was isolated from the Azemiops feae viper venom by combination of gel filtration and reverse-phase HPLC. Its amino acid sequence (DNWWPKPPHQGPRPPRPRPKP) was determined by means of Edman degradation and mass spectrometry. It consists of 21 residues and, unlike similar venom isolates, does not contain cysteine residues. According to circular dichroism measurements, this peptide adopts a β-structure. Peptide synthesis was used to verify the determined sequence and to prepare peptide in sufficient amounts to study its biological activity. Azemiopsin efficiently competed with α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) (IC50 0.18 ± 0.03 μm) and with lower efficiency to human α7 nAChR (IC50 22 ± 2 μm). It dose-dependently blocked acetylcholine-induced currents in Xenopus oocytes heterologously expressing human muscle-type nAChR and was more potent against the adult form (α1β1ϵδ) than the fetal form (α1β1γδ), EC50 being 0.44 ± 0.1 μm and 1.56 ± 0.37 μm, respectively. The peptide had no effect on GABAA (α1β3γ2 or α2β3γ2) receptors at a concentration up to 100 μm or on 5-HT3 receptors at a concentration up to 10 μm. Ala scanning showed that amino acid residues at positions 3–6, 8–11, and 13–14 are essential for binding to Torpedo nAChR. In biological activity azemiopsin resembles waglerin, a disulfide-containing peptide from the Tropidechis wagleri venom, shares with it a homologous C-terminal hexapeptide, but is the first natural toxin that blocks nAChRs and does not possess disulfide bridges. PMID:22613724

  12. Rational Design of α-Conotoxin Analogues Targeting α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Armishaw, Christopher; Jensen, Anders A.; Balle, Thomas; Clark, Richard J.; Harpsøe, Kasper; Skonberg, Christian; Liljefors, Tommy; Strømgaard, Kristian

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that belong to the superfamily of Cys loop receptors. Valuable insight into the orthosteric ligand binding to nAChRs in recent years has been obtained from the crystal structures of acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) that share significant sequence homology with the amino-terminal domains of the nAChRs. α-Conotoxins, which are isolated from the venom of carnivorous marine snails, selectively inhibit the signaling of neuronal nAChR subtypes. Co-crystal structures of α-conotoxins in complex with AChBP show that the side chain of a highly conserved proline residue in these toxins is oriented toward the hydrophobic binding pocket in the AChBP but does not have direct interactions with this pocket. In this study, we have designed and synthesized analogues of α-conotoxins ImI and PnIA[A10L], by introducing a range of substituents on the Pro6 residue in these toxins to probe the importance of this residue for their binding to the nAChRs. Pharmacological characterization of the toxin analogues at the α7 nAChR shows that although polar and charged groups on Pro6 result in analogues with significantly reduced antagonistic activities, analogues with aromatic and hydrophobic substituents in the Pro6 position exhibit moderate activity at the receptor. Interestingly, introduction of a 5-(R)-phenyl substituent at Pro6 in α-conotoxin ImI gives rise to a conotoxin analogue with a significantly higher binding affinity and antagonistic activity at the α7 nAChR than those exhibited by the native conotoxin. PMID:19131337

  13. Azemiopsin from Azemiops feae viper venom, a novel polypeptide ligand of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Utkin, Yuri N; Weise, Christoph; Kasheverov, Igor E; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Kryukova, Elena V; Zhmak, Maxim N; Starkov, Vladislav G; Hoang, Ngoc Anh; Bertrand, Daniel; Ramerstorfer, Joachim; Sieghart, Werner; Thompson, Andrew J; Lummis, Sarah C R; Tsetlin, Victor I

    2012-08-03

    Azemiopsin, a novel polypeptide, was isolated from the Azemiops feae viper venom by combination of gel filtration and reverse-phase HPLC. Its amino acid sequence (DNWWPKPPHQGPRPPRPRPKP) was determined by means of Edman degradation and mass spectrometry. It consists of 21 residues and, unlike similar venom isolates, does not contain cysteine residues. According to circular dichroism measurements, this peptide adopts a β-structure. Peptide synthesis was used to verify the determined sequence and to prepare peptide in sufficient amounts to study its biological activity. Azemiopsin efficiently competed with α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) (IC(50) 0.18 ± 0.03 μm) and with lower efficiency to human α7 nAChR (IC(50) 22 ± 2 μm). It dose-dependently blocked acetylcholine-induced currents in Xenopus oocytes heterologously expressing human muscle-type nAChR and was more potent against the adult form (α1β1εδ) than the fetal form (α1β1γδ), EC(50) being 0.44 ± 0.1 μm and 1.56 ± 0.37 μm, respectively. The peptide had no effect on GABA(A) (α1β3γ2 or α2β3γ2) receptors at a concentration up to 100 μm or on 5-HT(3) receptors at a concentration up to 10 μm. Ala scanning showed that amino acid residues at positions 3-6, 8-11, and 13-14 are essential for binding to Torpedo nAChR. In biological activity azemiopsin resembles waglerin, a disulfide-containing peptide from the Tropidechis wagleri venom, shares with it a homologous C-terminal hexapeptide, but is the first natural toxin that blocks nAChRs and does not possess disulfide bridges.

  14. Correlation of phospholipid structure with functional effects on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. A modulatory role for phosphatidic acid.

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, A; McNamee, M G

    1993-01-01

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is used to characterize specific interactions between negatively charged lipids, such as phosphatidic acid, and the purified nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from Torpedo californica. The specific interaction of phosphatidic acid with acetylcholine receptor is demonstrated by the receptor-induced perturbation of the lipid ionization state, which is monitored using Fourier transform infrared bands arising from the phosphate head group. The acetylcholine receptor shifts the pKa of phosphatidic acid molecules adjacent to the receptor to a lower value by almost 2 pH units from 8.5 to 6.6. Decreased pH also leads to changes in ion channel function and to changes in the secondary structure of the acetylcholine receptor in membranes containing ionizable phospholipids. Phospholipase D restores functional activity of acetylcholine receptor reconstituted in an unfavorable environment containing phosphatidylcholine by generating phosphatidic acid. Lipids such as phosphatidic acid may serve as allosteric effectors for membrane protein function and the lipid-protein interface could be a site for activity-dependent changes that lead to modulation of synaptic efficacy. PMID:8471723

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Lynx1 regulates synaptic plasticity in the brain by regulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). It is not known to which extent Lynx1 can bind to endogenous nAChR subunits in the brain or how this interaction is affected by Alzheimer's disease pathology. We apply affinity purification to demonstrate that a water-soluble variant of human Lynx1 (Ws-Lynx1) isolates α3, α4, α5, α6, α7, β2, and β4 nAChR subunits from human and rat cortical extracts, and rat midbrain and olfactory bulb extracts, suggesting that Lynx1 forms complexes with multiple nAChR subtypes in the human and rodent brain. Incubation with Ws-Lynx1 decreases nicotine-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in PC12 cells and striatal neurons, indicating that binding of Ws-Lynx1 is sufficient to inhibit signaling downstream of nAChRs. The effect of nicotine in PC12 cells is independent of α7 or α4β2 nAChRs, suggesting that Lynx1 can affect the function of native non-α7, non-α4β2 nAChR subtypes. We further show that Lynx1 and oligomeric β-amyloid1-42 compete for binding to several nAChR subunits, that Ws-Lynx1 prevents β-amyloid1-42-induced cytotoxicity in cortical neurons, and that cortical Lynx1 levels are decreased in a transgenic mouse model with concomitant β-amyloid and tau pathology. Our data suggest that Lynx1 binds to multiple nAChR subtypes in the brain and that this interaction might have functional and pathophysiological implications in relation to Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. β2 Subunit Containing Acetylcholine Receptors Mediate Nicotine Withdrawal Deficits in the Acquisition of Contextual Fear Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Portugal, George S.; Kenney, Justin W.; Gould, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    Acute nicotine enhances contextual fear conditioning, whereas withdrawal from chronic nicotine produces impairments. However, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) that are involved in nicotine withdrawal deficits in contextual fear conditioning are unknown. The present study used genetic and pharmacological techniques to investigate the nAChR subtype(s) involved in the effects of nicotine withdrawal on contextual fear conditioning. β2 or α7 nAChR subunit knockout (KO) and corresponding wild-type (WT) mice were withdrawn from 12 days of chronic nicotine treatment (6.3 mg/kg/day), and trained with 2 conditioned stimulus (CS; 85 dB white noise) – unconditioned stimulus (US; 0.57mA footshock) pairings on day 13. On day 14, mice were tested for contextual and cued freezing. β2 KO mice did not show nicotine withdrawal-related deficits in contextual fear conditioning, in contrast to WT mice and α7 KO mice. A follow-up study investigated if nicotine withdrawal disrupts acquisition or recall of contextual fear conditioning. The high affinity nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHβE; 3 mg/kg) was administered prior to training or testing to precipitate withdrawal in chronic nicotine-treated C57BL/6 mice. Deficits in contextual fear conditioning were observed in chronic nicotine-treated mice when DHβE was administered prior to training, but not when administered at testing. These results indicate that β2-containing nAChRs, such as the α4β2 receptor, mediate nicotine withdrawal deficits in contextual fear conditioning. In addition, nicotine withdrawal selectively affects acquisition but not recall or expression of the learned response. PMID:17584502

  17. A hydrophobic gate in an ion channel: the closed state of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beckstein, Oliver; Sansom, Mark S. P.

    2006-06-01

    The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is the prototypic member of the 'Cys-loop' superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels which mediate synaptic neurotransmission, and whose other members include receptors for glycine, γ-aminobutyric acid and serotonin. Cryo-electron microscopy has yielded a three-dimensional structure of the nAChR in its closed state. However, the exact nature and location of the channel gate remains uncertain. Although the transmembrane pore is constricted close to its center, it is not completely occluded. Rather, the pore has a central hydrophobic zone of radius about 3 Å. Model calculations suggest that such a constriction may form a hydrophobic gate, preventing movement of ions through a channel. We present a detailed and quantitative simulation study of the hydrophobic gating model of the nicotinic receptor, in order to fully evaluate this hypothesis. We demonstrate that the hydrophobic constriction of the nAChR pore indeed forms a closed gate. Potential of mean force (PMF) calculations reveal that the constriction presents a barrier of height about 10 kT to the permeation of sodium ions, placing an upper bound on the closed channel conductance of 0.3 pS. Thus, a 3 Å radius hydrophobic pore can form a functional barrier to the permeation of a 1 Å radius Na+ ion. Using a united-atom force field for the protein instead of an all-atom one retains the qualitative features but results in differing conductances, showing that the PMF is sensitive to the detailed molecular interactions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Watty, Anke; Methfessel, Christoph; Hucho, Ferdinand

    1997-01-01

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

  20. BDNF up-regulates alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor levels on subpopulations of hippocampal interneurons.

    PubMed

    Massey, Kerri A; Zago, Wagner M; Berg, Darwin K

    2006-12-01

    In the hippocampus, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates a number of synaptic components. Among these are nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing alpha7 subunits (alpha7-nAChRs), which are interesting because of their relative abundance in the hippocampus and their high relative calcium permeability. We show here that BDNF elevates surface and intracellular pools of alpha7-nAChRs on cultured hippocampal neurons and that glutamatergic activity is both necessary and sufficient for the effect. Blocking transmission through NMDA receptors with APV blocked the BDNF effect; increasing spontaneous excitatory activity with the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline replicated the BDNF effect. BDNF antibodies blocked the BDNF-mediated increase but not the bicuculline one, consistent with enhanced glutamatergic activity acting downstream from BDNF. Increased alpha7-nAChR clusters were most prominent on interneuron subtypes known to directly innervate excitatory neurons. The results suggest that BDNF, acting through glutamatergic transmission, can modulate hippocampal output in part by controlling alpha7-nAChR levels.

  1. Effects of isoflurane on the actions of neuromuscular blockers on the muscle nicotine acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Li, Chuanxiang; Yao, Shanglong; Nie, Hui; Lü, Bin

    2004-01-01

    In this study, we tested the hypothesis that volatile anesthetic enhancement of muscle relaxation is the result of combined drug effects on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The poly A m RNA from muscle by isolation were microinjected into Xenopus oocytes for receptor expression. Concentration-effect curves for the inhibition of Ach-induced currents were established for vecuronium, rocuranium, and isoflurane. Subsequently, inhibitory effects of NDMRs were studied in the presence of the isoflurane at a concentration equivalent to half the concentration producing a 50% inhibition alone. All tested drugs produced rapid and readily reversible concentration-dependent inhibition. The 50% inhibitory concentration values were 889 micromol/L (95% CI: 711-1214 micromol). 33.4 micromol (95% CI: 27.1-41.7 nmol) and 9.2 nmol (95% CI: 7.9-12.3 nmol) for isoflurane. rocuranium and vecuronium, respectively. Coapplication of isoflurane significantly enhanced the inhibitory effects of rocuranium and vecuronium, and it was especially so at low concentration of NMDRs. Isoflurane increases the potency of NDMRs, possibly by enhancing antagonist affinity at the receptor site.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

  3. The effective opening of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with single agonist binding sites

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Dustin K.; Stokes, Clare; Horenstein, Nicole A.

    2011-01-01

    We have identified a means by which agonist-evoked responses of nicotinic receptors can be conditionally eliminated. Modification of α7L119C mutants by the sulfhydryl reagent 2-aminoethyl methanethiosulfonate (MTSEA) reduces responses to acetylcholine (ACh) by more than 97%, whereas corresponding mutations in muscle-type receptors produce effects that depend on the specific subunits mutated and ACh concentration. We coexpressed α7L119C subunits with pseudo wild-type α7C116S subunits, as well as ACh-insensitive α7Y188F subunits with wild-type α7 subunits in Xenopus laevis oocytes using varying ratios of cRNA. When mutant α7 cRNA was coinjected at a 5:1 ratio with wild-type cRNA, net charge responses to 300 µM ACh were retained by α7L119C-containing mutants after MTSEA modification and by the ACh-insensitive Y188F-containing mutants, even though the expected number of ACh-sensitive wild-type binding sites would on average be fewer than two per receptor. Responses of muscle-type receptors with one MTSEA-sensitive subunit were reduced at low ACh concentrations, but much less of an effect was observed when ACh concentrations were high (1 mM), indicating that saturation of a single binding site with agonist can evoke strong activation of nicotinic ACh receptors. Single-channel patch clamp analysis revealed that the burst durations of fetal wild-type and α1β1γδL121C receptors were equivalent until the α1β1γδL121C mutants were exposed to MTSEA, after which the majority (81%) of bursts were brief (≤2 ms). The longest duration events of the receptors modified at only one binding site were similar to the long bursts of native receptors traditionally associated with the activation of receptors with two sites containing bound agonists. PMID:21444659

  4. Expression and functional properties of α7 acetylcholine nicotinic receptors are modified in the presence of other receptor subunits.

    PubMed

    Criado, Manuel; Valor, Luis M; Mulet, José; Gerber, Susana; Sala, Salvador; Sala, Francisco

    2012-11-01

    Although α7 nicotinic receptors are predominantly homopentamers, previous reports have indicated that α7 and β2 subunits are able to form heteromers. We have studied whether other nicotinic receptor subunits can also assemble with α7 subunits and the effect of this potential association. Coexpression of α7 with α2, α3, or β4 subunits reduced to about half, surface α-bungarotoxin binding sites and acetylcholine-gated currents. This is probably because of inhibition of membrane trafficking, as the total amount of α7 subunits was similar in all cases and a significant proportion of mature α7 receptors was present inside the cell. Only β4 subunits appeared to directly associate with α7 receptors at the membrane and these heteromeric receptors showed some kinetic and pharmacological differences when compared with homomeric α7 receptors. Finally, we emulated the situation of bovine chromaffin cells in Xenopus laevis oocytes by using the same proportion of α3, β4, α5, and α7 mRNAs, finding that α-bungarotoxin binding was similarly reduced in spite of increased currents, apparently mediated by α3β4(α5) receptors.

  5. The Duration of Nicotine Withdrawal-Associated Deficits in Contextual Fear Conditioning Parallels Changes in Hippocampal High Affinity Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Upregulation

    PubMed Central

    Gould, Thomas J.; Portugal, George S.; André, Jessica M.; Tadman, Matthew P.; Marks, Michael J.; Kenney, Justin W.; Yildirim, Emre; Adoff, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A predominant symptom of nicotine withdrawal is cognitive deficits, yet understanding of the neural basis for these deficits is limited. Withdrawal from chronic nicotine disrupts contextual learning in mice and this deficit is mediated by direct effects of nicotine in the hippocampus. Chronic nicotine treatment upregulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR); however, it is unknown whether upregulation is related to the observed withdawal-induced cognitive deficits. If a relationship between altered learning and nAChR levels exists, changes in nAChR levels after cessation of nicotine treatment should match the duration of learning deficits. To test this hypothesis, mice were chronically administered 6.3 mg/kg/day (freebase) nicotine for 12 days and trained in contextual fear conditioning on day 11 or between 1 to 16 days after withdrawal of treatment. Changes in [125I]-epibatidine binding at cytisine-sensitive and cytisine-resistant nAChRs and chronic nicotine-related changes in α4, α7, and β2 nAChR subunit mRNA expression were assessed. Chronic nicotine had no behavioral effect but withdrawal produced deficits in contextual fear conditioning that lasted 4 days. Nicotine withdrawal did not disrupt cued fear conditioning. Chronic nicotine upregulated hippocampal cytisine-sensitive nAChR binding; upregulation continued after cessation of nicotine administration and the duration of upregulation during withdrawal paralleled the duration of behavioral changes. Changes in binding in cortex and cerebellum did not match behavioral changes. No changes in α4, α7, and β2 subunit mRNA expression were seen with chronic nicotine. Thus, nicotine withdrawal-related deficits in contextual learning are time-limited changes that are associated with temporal changes in upregulation of high-affinity nAChR binding. PMID:22285742

  6. Alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors affect growth regulation of human mesothelioma cells: role of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.

    PubMed

    Trombino, Sonya; Cesario, Alfredo; Margaritora, Stefano; Granone, PierLuigi; Motta, Giovanni; Falugi, Carla; Russo, Patrizia

    2004-01-01

    This study presents data suggesting that both human mesothelioma (cell lines and human mesothelioma biopsies) and human normal mesothelial cells express receptors for acetylcholine and that stimulation of these receptors by nicotine prompted cell growth via activation of nicotinic cholinergic receptors. Thus, these data demonstrate that: (a) human mesothelioma cells and human biopsies of mesothelioma as well as of normal pleural mesothelial cells express functionally alpha-7 nicotinic acethlycholine receptors, evaluated by alpha-bungarotoxin-FITC binding, receptor binding assay, Western blot, and reverse transcription-PCR; (b) choline acetyltransferase immunostaining is present in mesothelioma cells; (c) mesothelioma cell growth is modulated by the cholinergic system in which agonists (i.e., nicotine) has a proliferative effect, and antagonists (i.e., curare) has an inhibitory effect, evaluated by cell cloning, DNA synthesis and cell cycle; (d) nicotine induces Ca(+2) influx, evaluated by [(45)Ca(2+)] uptake, and consequently activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway (extracellular signal-regulated kinase and p90(RSK) phosphorylation), evaluated by Western blot; and (e) apoptosis mechanisms in mesothelioma cells are under the control of the cholinergic system (nicotine antiapoptotic via induction of nuclear factor-kappaB complexes and phosphorylation of Bad at Ser(112); curare proapoptotic via G(0)-G(1) arrest p21(waf-1) dependent but p53 independent). The involvement of the nonneuronal cholinergic system in mesothelioma appears reasonable and open up new therapeutic strategies.

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

    PubMed Central

    Banks, Matthew L.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Block of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by philanthotoxins is strongly dependent on their subunit composition

    PubMed Central

    Kachel, Hamid S.; Patel, Rohit N.; Franzyk, Henrik; Mellor, Ian R.

    2016-01-01

    Philanthotoxin-433 (PhTX-433) is an active component of the venom from the Egyptian digger wasp, Philanthus triangulum. PhTX-433 inhibits several excitatory ligand-gated ion channels, and to improve selectivity two synthetic analogues, PhTX-343 and PhTX-12, were developed. Previous work showed a 22-fold selectivity of PhTX-12 over PhTX-343 for embryonic muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in TE671 cells. We investigated their inhibition of different neuronal nAChR subunit combinations as well as of embryonic muscle receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Whole-cell currents in response to application of acetylcholine alone or co-applied with PhTX analogue were studied by using two-electrode voltage-clamp. α3β4 nAChRs were most sensitive to PhTX-343 (IC50 = 12 nM at −80 mV) with α4β4, α4β2, α3β2, α7 and α1β1γδ being 5, 26, 114, 422 and 992 times less sensitive. In contrast α1β1γδ was most sensitive to PhTX-12 along with α3β4 (IC50 values of 100 nM) with α4β4, α4β2, α3β2 and α7 being 3, 3, 26 and 49 times less sensitive. PhTX-343 inhibition was strongly voltage-dependent for all subunit combinations except α7, whereas this was not the case for PhTX-12 for which weak voltage dependence was observed. We conclude that PhTX-343 mainly acts as an open-channel blocker of nAChRs with strong subtype selectivity. PMID:27901080

  9. Potentiation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors via an allosteric transmembrane site.

    PubMed

    Young, Gareth T; Zwart, Ruud; Walker, Alison S; Sher, Emanuele; Millar, Neil S

    2008-09-23

    Positive allosteric modulators of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have attracted considerable interest as potential tools for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. However, despite the potential therapeutic usefulness of these compounds, little is known about their mechanism of action. Here, we have examined two allosteric potentiators of alpha7 nAChRs (PNU-120596 and LY-2087101). From studies with a series of subunit chimeras, we have identified the transmembrane regions of alpha7 as being critical in facilitating potentiation of agonist-evoked responses. Furthermore, we have identified five transmembrane amino acids that, when mutated, significantly reduce potentiation of alpha7 nAChRs. The amino acids we have identified are located within the alpha-helical transmembrane domains TM1 (S222 and A225), TM2 (M253), and TM4 (F455 and C459). Mutation of either A225 or M253 individually have particularly profound effects, reducing potentiation of EC(20) concentrations of acetylcholine to a tenth of the level seen with wild-type alpha7. Reference to homology models of the alpha7 nAChR, based on the 4A structure of the Torpedo nAChR, indicates that the side chains of all five amino acids point toward an intrasubunit cavity located between the four alpha-helical transmembrane domains. Computer docking simulations predict that the allosteric compounds such as PNU-120596 and LY-2087101 may bind within this intrasubunit cavity, much as neurosteroids and volatile anesthetics are thought to interact with GABA(A) and glycine receptors. Our findings suggest that this is a conserved modulatory allosteric site within neurotransmitter-gated ion channels.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-06

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

  11. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Transmembrane Mutations Convert Ivermectin from a Positive to a Negative Allosteric Modulator

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Toby

    2010-01-01

    Ivermectin is a macrocyclic lactone that acts as a positive allosteric modulator of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) but has no modulatory activity on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) type 3 (5-HT3) receptors. By examining the influence of ivermectin on subunit chimeras containing domains from the nAChR α7 subunit and the 5-HT3A subunit, we have concluded that the transmembrane domains play a critical role in influencing allosteric modulation by ivermectin. A series of mutations located within the α-helical transmembrane domains of the α7 subunit were examined, and seven were found to have significant effects on allosteric modulation by ivermectin. Four mutations (A225D, Q272V, T456Y, and C459Y) caused a significant reduction in the potency of ivermectin as an allosteric potentiator. Compared with wild-type α7 nAChRs, potentiation by ivermectin was reduced dramatically (by 89–97%) by these mutations. Somewhat unexpectedly, three mutations (S222M, M253L, and S276V located in TM1, TM2, and TM3) converted ivermectin from a positive allosteric modulator into an antagonist. Levels of inhibition of 56, 84, and 89% were observed on M253L, S276V, and S222M, respectively. Antagonism by ivermectin was insurmountable and had no effect on EC50 of acetylcholine, indicating that it is acting noncompetitively. The seven mutations that influence allosteric modulation by ivermectin are located near a predicted intrasubunit transmembrane cavity. Computer docking simulations provide support for the hypothesis that ivermectin binds in close proximity to this cavity. We conclude that transmembrane mutations in α7 nAChRs are able to convert ivermectin from a positive to a negative allosteric modulator. PMID:20463059

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabassum, Nargis; Yu, Rilei; Jiang, Tao

    2016-12-01

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

  13. Cigarette Smoking Saturates Brain α4 β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Brody, Arthur L.; Mandelkern, Mark A.; London, Edythe D.; Olmstead, Richard E.; Farahi, Judah; Scheibal, David; Jou, Jennifer; Allen, Valerie; Tiongson, Emmanuelle; Chefer, Svetlana I.; Koren, Andrei O.; Mukhin, Alexey G.

    2009-01-01

    Context 2-[18F]fluoro-3-(2(S)-azetidinylmethoxy) pyridine (2-F-A-85380, abbreviated as 2-FA) is a recently developed radioligand that allows for visualization of brain α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in humans. Objective To determine the effect of cigarette smoking on α4β2* nAChR occupancy in tobacco-dependent smokers. Design Fourteen 2-FA PET scanning sessions were performed. During the PET scanning sessions, subjects smoked 1 of 5 amounts (none, 1 puff, 3 puffs, 1 full cigarette, or to satiety [2½ to 3 cigarettes]). Setting Academic brain imaging center. Participants Eleven tobacco-dependent smokers (paid volunteers). Main Outcome Measure Dose-dependent effect of smoking on occupancy of α4β2* nAChRs, as measured with 2-FA and PET in nAChR-rich brain regions. Results Smoking 0.13 (1 to 2 puffs) of a cigarette resulted in 50% occupancy of α4β2* nAChRs for 3.1 hours after smoking. Smoking a full cigarette (or more) resulted in more than 88% receptor occupancy and was accompanied by a reduction in cigarette craving. A venous plasma nicotine concentration of 0.87 ng/mL (roughly 125th of the level achieved in typical daily smokers) was associated with 50% occupancy of α4β2* nAChRs. Conclusions Cigarette smoking in amounts used by typical daily smokers leads to nearly complete occupancy of α4β2* nAChRs, indicating that tobacco-dependent smokers maintain α4β2* nAChR saturation throughout the day. Because prolonged binding of nicotine to α4β2* nAChRs is associated with desensitization of these receptors, the extent of receptor occupancy found herein suggests that smoking may lead to withdrawal alleviation by maintaining nAChRs in the desensitized state. PMID:16894067

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Inhibitory role of cholinergic system mediated via alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in LPS-induced neuro-inflammation.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, Ethika; Agrawal, Rahul; Nath, Chandishwar; Shukla, Rakesh

    2010-02-01

    This study investigated the influence of the cholinergic system on neuro-inflammation using nicotinic and muscarinic receptor agonists and antagonists. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 50 microg) was used to induce neuro-inflammation in rats and estimations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) mRNA expression were done in striatum, cerebral cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus at 24 h after LPS injection. Nicotine (0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 mg/kg, i.p.) or oxotremorine (0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 mg/kg, i.p.) were administered 2 h prior to sacrifice. We found that only nicotine was able to block the proinflammatory cytokines induced by LPS whereas, oxotremorine was found ineffective. Methyllycaconitine (MLA; 1.25, 2.5 and 5 mg/kg, i.p.), an alpha7 nAChR antagonist or dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHbetaE; 1.25, 2.5 and 5 mg/kg, i.p.), an alpha4beta2 nAChR antagonist, was given 20 min prior to nicotine in LPS-treated rats. Methyllycaconitine antagonized the anti-inflammatory effect of nicotine whereas DHbetaE showed no effect demonstrating that alpha7 nAChR is responsible for attenuation of LPS-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines. This study suggests that the inhibitory role of the central cholinergic system on neuro-inflammation is mediated via alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and muscarinic receptors are not involved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Brunzell, Darlene H; McIntosh, J Michael

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Implications of the quaternary twist allosteric model for the physiology and pathology of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Taly, Antoine; Corringer, Pierre-Jean; Grutter, Thomas; de Carvalho, Lia Prado; Karplus, Martin; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2006-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels composed of subunits that consist of an extracellular domain that carries the ligand-binding site and a distinct ion-pore domain. Signal transduction results from the allosteric coupling between the two domains: the distance from the binding site to the gate of the pore domain is 50 Å. Normal mode analysis with a Cα Gaussian network of a new structural model of the neuronal α7 nAChR showed that the lowest mode involves a global quaternary twist motion that opens the ion pore. A molecular probe analysis, in which the network is modified at each individual amino acid residue, demonstrated that the major effect is to change the frequency, but not the form, of the twist mode. The largest effects were observed for the ligand-binding site and the Cys-loop. Most (24/27) of spontaneous mutations known to cause congenital myasthenia and autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy are located either at the interface between subunits or, within a given subunit, at the interface between rigid blocks. These interfaces are modified significantly by the twist mode. The present analysis, thus, supports the quaternary twist model of the nAChR allosteric transition and provides a qualitative interpretation of the effect of the mutations responsible for several receptor pathologies. PMID:17077146

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

    PubMed

    de Fiebre, Nancyellen C; de Fiebre, Christopher M

    2005-01-03

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

  20. Mesoionic insecticides: a novel class of insecticides that modulate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Holyoke, Caleb W; Cordova, Daniel; Zhang, Wenming; Barry, James D; Leighty, Robert M; Dietrich, Robert F; Rauh, James J; Pahutski, Thomas F; Lahm, George P; Tong, My-Hanh Thi; Benner, Eric A; Andreassi, John L; Smith, Rejane M; Vincent, Daniel R; Christianson, Laurie A; Teixeira, Luis A; Singh, Vineet; Hughes, Kenneth A

    2017-04-01

    As the world population grows towards 9 billion by 2050, it is projected that food production will need to increase by 60%. A critical part of this growth includes the safe and effective use of insecticides to reduce the estimated 20-49% loss of global crop yields owing to pests. The development of new insecticides will help to sustain this protection and overcome insecticide resistance. A novel class of mesoionic compounds has been discovered, with exceptional insecticidal activity on a range of Hemiptera and Lepidoptera. These compounds bind to the orthosteric site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and result in a highly potent inhibitory action at the receptor with minimal agonism. The synthesis, biological activity, optimization and mode of action will be discussed. Triflumezopyrim insect control will provide a powerful tool for control of hopper species in rice throughout Asia. Dicloromezotiaz can provide a useful control tool for lepidopteran pests, with an underexploited mode of action among these pests. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. Gating of Long-Term Potentiation by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors at the Cerebellum Input Stage

    PubMed Central

    Prestori, Francesca; Bonardi, Claudia; Mapelli, Lisa; Lombardo, Paola; Goselink, Rianne; De Stefano, Maria Egle; Gandolfi, Daniela; Mapelli, Jonathan; Bertrand, Daniel; Schonewille, Martijn; De Zeeuw, Chris; D’Angelo, Egidio

    2013-01-01

    The brain needs mechanisms able to correlate plastic changes with local circuit activity and internal functional states. At the cerebellum input stage, uncontrolled induction of long-term potentiation or depression (LTP or LTD) between mossy fibres and granule cells can saturate synaptic capacity and impair cerebellar functioning, which suggests that neuromodulators are required to gate plasticity processes. Cholinergic systems innervating the cerebellum are thought to enhance procedural learning and memory. Here we show that a specific subtype of acetylcholine receptors, the α7-nAChRs, are distributed both in cerebellar mossy fibre terminals and granule cell dendrites and contribute substantially to synaptic regulation. Selective α7-nAChR activation enhances the postsynaptic calcium increase, allowing weak mossy fibre bursts, which would otherwise cause LTD, to generate robust LTP. The local microperfusion of α7-nAChR agonists could also lead to in vivo switching of LTD to LTP following sensory stimulation of the whisker pad. In the cerebellar flocculus, α7-nAChR pharmacological activation impaired vestibulo-ocular-reflex adaptation, probably because LTP was saturated, preventing the fine adjustment of synaptic weights. These results show that gating mechanisms mediated by specific subtypes of nicotinic receptors are required to control the LTD/LTP balance at the mossy fibre-granule cell relay in order to regulate cerebellar plasticity and behavioural adaptation. PMID:23741401

  2. Heteromeric α7β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway spans several macro- and micro-environments to control inflammation via α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Physiologic inflammation is necessary for normal wound repair and is triggered, in part, via Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Here, we demonstrate that keratinocyte nAChR activation dampens TLR2-mediated migration and pro-inflammatory cytokine and antimicrobial peptide (AMP) production, which is restored by a α7-selective nAChR antagonist. The mechanism of this response occurs by blocking the NF-κB and Erk1/2 pathway during early and late wound healing. In a mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus wound infection, topical nAChR activation reduces wound AMP and TLR2 production to augment bacterial survival in wild-type mice. These findings suggest that aberrant α7 nAChR activation may impair normal wound healing responses, and that pharmacologic administration of topical nAChR antagonists may improve wound healing outcomes in wounds necessitating a more robust inflammatory response. PMID:26071220

  4. Expression of the endogenous, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligand, SLURP-1, in human colon cancer.

    PubMed

    Pettersson, A; Nordlander, S; Nylund, G; Khorram-Manesh, A; Nordgren, S; Delbro, D S

    2008-10-01

    1. Secreted mammalian Ly-6/urokinase plasminogen activator receptor-related protein-1 (SLURP-1) is a recently discovered endogenous ligand at the alpha7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Previous reports have shown that SLURP-1 is expressed in normal human keratinocytes seemingly with a pro-apoptotic function. Conversely, such expression was markedly attenuated in transformed cells and it was suggested that the molecule could convey protection against malignant transformation. 2. In this study, we demonstrated the mRNA expression (by RT-PCR) and protein expression (by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry) of SLURP-1 in the human colon cancer cell line, HT-29. 3. Furthermore, we demonstrated the expression of SLURP-1 (by immunohistochemistry) in tumour cells of human colon cancer tissue, and, to a greater extent, in immune and smooth muscle cells of adjacent, macroscopically tumour-free colon tissue. 4. The current findings suggest that SLURP-1 participates in the regulation of gut immune functions and motility, as well as possibly playing a role in colon carcinogenesis/cancer progression.

  5. Immune system expression of SLURP-1 and SLURP-2, two endogenous nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Moriwaki, Yasuhiro; Yoshikawa, Ken; Fukuda, Hiromi; Fujii, Yoshihito X; Misawa, Hidemi; Kawashima, Koichiro

    2007-05-30

    A novel transduction pathway via which apoptosis of keratinocytes is regulated through nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) has emerged in studies of secreted mammalian Ly6/urokinase plasminogen-type activator receptor-related protein-1 and-2 (SLURP-1 and SLURP-2, respectively). SLURP-1 reportedly binds to alpha7 nAChRs and enhances the amplitude of macroscopic currents induced by ACh, leading to facilitation of apoptosis, whereas SLURP-2 binds to alpha3 nAChRs and prevents apoptosis. These observations prompted us to test whether SLURPs are expressed in immune cells and are involved in the regulation of immune function. We initially used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis to characterize the expression profiles of SLURP mRNAs in several murine tissues and organs. Although SLURP-1 mRNA was not expressed in the pancreas, all other tissues and organs tested, including spleen and thymus, expressed both SLURP-1 and SLURP-2 mRNAs. Expression of both mRNAs also was detected in T and B cells, bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages. Moreover, as in keratinocytes, stimulation of MOLT-3 human leukemic T cells with recombinant human SLURP-1 evoked intracellular Ca(2+) signaling. These results suggest that both SLURP-1 and SLURP-2 are expressed in various immune cells and organs, and that not only ACh but also SLURPs may be involved in regulating lymphocyte function via nAChR-mediated pathways.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Effects of donepezil treatment on rat nicotinic acetylcholine receptor levels in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Reid, Richard T; Sabbagh, Marwan N

    2003-12-01

    Research on acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) indicates that long term exposure increases the level of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) but the effects of donepezil on nAChRs are not well studied. Therefore, we investigated the effects of sub-chronic donepezil administration on nAChRs in rats and rat pheochromocytoma PC-12 cells. Male Sprague Dawley rats were administered donepezil (0.7 and 2.4 micromoles/kg), nicotine (2.5 micromoles/kg) or saline subcutaneously twice daily for 14 days, PC-12 cells were incubated with 10(-6) to 10(-4) M donepezil for 72 hours and nAChR levels were determined by receptor binding assay using the nAChR ligands [3H]-epibatidine (EPI) for non-alpha 7 nAChRs and [3H]-methyllyconitine (MLA) for alpha 7 nAChRs. Chronic donepezil administration at 1.4 micromoles/kg/day and 4.8 micromoles/ kg/day significantly increased [3H]-epibatidine binding in the cortex to 126 +/- 1.3% and 127 +/- 3.2% of the saline control animals, respectively. [3H]-MLA binding in the cortex increased to 114 +/- 4.4% and 124 +/- 2.8% of the control group for the high and low dose groups, respectively. Hippocampal [3H]-EPI binding in the low dose and high dose groups significantly increased to 135 +/- 3.6% and 125 +/- 4.6% of the controls, respectively while there were no changes in the level of [3H]-MLA binding. In striatal homogenates, neither [3H]-EPI nor [3H]-MLA binding were significantly effected at either dose of donepezil. In PC-12 cells, [3H]-EPI binding was increased at the non-physiological 10(-4)M concentration only. There was no effect of donepezil on [3H]-MLA binding at any concentration examined. These results indicate that donepezil increases cortical alpha 7 and non-alpha 7 nAChRs, hippocampal non-alpha 7 nAChRs but does not influence striatal nAChR levels. Furthermore, the lack of an effect on the alpha 7-nAChRs in PC-12 cells suggests that the increase in cortical alpha 7 nAChRs may be an indirect effect of increased acetylcholine

  9. 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

  10. Role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in cell proliferation and tumour invasion in broncho-pulmonary carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Medjber, Kahina; Freidja, Mohamed Lamine; Grelet, Simon; Lorenzato, Marianne; Maouche, Kamel; Nawrocki-Raby, Béatrice; Birembaut, Philippe; Polette, Myriam; Tournier, Jean-Marie

    2015-03-01

    Nicotine and its associated nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are believed to be involved in the progression of lung carcinomas. This study aimed at examining the localization of nAChRs in human lung tumours and, by using primary cultures of tumour cells derived from these tumours, determining the nAChR roles in cell proliferation and tumour invasion. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess nAChR expression in non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC). Primary cultures of tumour cells were established from NSCLC tissue samples and the effects of nicotine and nAChR antagonists on cell proliferation and invasion were assessed. α5, α7, β2 and β4 nAChR subunits were expressed in all adenocarcinomas (AC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) tissue samples. In AC, all subunits were identified in glandular structures. In SCC, α5, β2 and β4 subunits were essentially identified in tumour cells at invasive fronts, whereas α7 subunit was mainly present in the most differentiated tumour cells and less frequently at invasive fronts. In AC and SCC, there was an inverse distribution of cell proliferation marker Ki-67 and α7 nAChR. Both α7 nAChR and heteromeric nAChRs positively regulated in vitro tumour invasion in NSCLC. Heteromeric nAChRs had a limited activity in regulating tumour cell proliferation in vitro. In contrast, α7 nAChR was a repressor of proliferation in tumour cells isolated from well differentiated NSCLC but mediated the pro-proliferative activity of nicotine in cells isolated from poorly differentiated NSCLC. α7 nAChR and heteromeric α5*β2*β4* nAChRs play a role in ex vivo tumour progression by stimulating invasion and, depending on the differentiation status of the tumour, by regulating proliferation. Our results suggest that the use of α7 nAChR antagonists to prevent lung cancer progression should be restricted to poorly differentiated tumours. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Identification of two Lynx proteins in Nilaparvata lugens and the modulation on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zewen; Cao, Guangchun; Li, Jian; Bao, Haibo; Zhang, Yongjun

    2009-09-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission in the insect brain and are targets for neonicotinoid insecticides. Some proteins, other than nAChRs themselves, might play important roles in insect nAChRs function in vivo and in vitro, such as the chaperone, regulator and modulator. Here we report the identification of two nAChR modulators (Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2) in the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens. Analysis of amino acid sequences of Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 reveals that they are two members of the Ly-6/neurotoxin superfamily, with a cysteine-rich consensus signature motif. Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 only increased agonist-evoked macroscopic currents of hybrid receptors Nlalpha1/beta2 expressed in Xenopus oocytes, but not change the agonist sensitivity and desensitization properties. For example, Nl-lynx1 increased I(max) of acetylcholine and imidacloprid to 3.56-fold and 1.72-fold of that of Nlalpha1/beta2 alone, and these folds for Nl-lynx2 were 3.25 and 1.51. When the previously identified Nlalpha1(Y151S) mutation was included (Nlalpha1(Y151S)/beta2), the effects of Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 on imidacloprid responses, but not acetylcholine response, were different from that in Nlalpha1/beta2. The increased folds in imidacloprid responses by Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 were much higher in Nlalpha1(Y151S)/beta2 (3.25-fold and 2.86-fold) than in Nlalpha1/beta2 (1.72-fold and 1.51-fold), which indicated Nl-lynx1 and Nl-lynx2 might also serve as an influencing factor in target-site insensitivity in N. lugens. These findings indicate that nAChRs chaperone, regulator and modulator may be of importance in assessing the likely impact of the target-site mutations such as Y151S upon neonicotinoid insecticide resistance.

  13. αS-conotoxin GVIIIB potently and selectively blocks α9α10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Sean B; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Olivera, Baldomero M; McIntosh, J Michael

    2015-08-15

    Although acetylcholine is widely utilized in vertebrate nervous systems, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), including the α9α10 subtype, also are expressed in a wide variety of non-neuronal cells. These cell types include cochlear hair cells, adrenal chromaffin cells and immune cells. α9α10 nAChRs present in these cells may respectively play roles in protection from noise-induced hearing loss, response to stress and neuroprotection. Despite these critical functions, there are few available selective ligands to confirm mechanistic hypothesis regarding the role of α9α10 nAChRs. Conus, has been a rich source of ligands for receptors and ion channels. Here, we identified Conus geographus venom as a lead source for a novel α9α10 antagonist. The active component was isolated and the encoding gene cloned. The peptide signal sequence and cysteine arrangement had the signature of the σ-conotoxin superfamily. Previously isolated σ-conotoxin GVIIIA, also from Conus geographus, targets the 5-HT3 receptor. In contrast, αS-GVIIIB blocked the α9α10 nAChR with an IC50 of 9.8 nM, yet was inactive at the 5-HT3 receptor. Pharmacological characterization of αS-GVIIIB shows that it is over 100-fold selective for the α9α10 nAChR compared to other nAChR subtypes. Thus, the S-superfamily represents a novel conotoxin scaffold for flexibly targeting a variety of receptor subtypes. Functional competition studies utilized distinct off-rate kinetics of conotoxins to identify the α10/α9 nAChR interface as the site of αS-GVIIIB binding; this adds to the importance of the (+) face of the α10 rather than the (+) face of the α9 nAChR subunit as critical to binding of α9α10-targeted conotoxins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Pr-lynx1, a modulator of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the insect.

    PubMed

    Choo, Young Moo; Lee, Byung Hwan; Lee, Kwang Sik; Kim, Bo Yeon; Li, Jianhong; Kim, Jong Gill; Lee, Jae Heon; Sohn, Hung Dae; Nah, Seung Yeol; Jin, Byung Rae

    2008-06-01

    Insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are targets for insecticides. Despite the importance of the nAChR as a major target for insecticide action, modulators of nAChRs in insects remain unidentified. Here we describe the cloning and identification of a nAChR modulator gene in an insect. This gene was isolated by searching the firefly Pyrocoelia rufa cDNA library, and the gene itself encodes a protein 120 amino acids in length, named Pr-lynx1. Pr-lynx1 shares all the features, including a cysteine-rich consensus motif and common gene structure, of the Ly-6/neurotoxin superfamily. The recombinant Pr-lynx1, which is expressed as a 12-kDa polypeptide in baculovirus-infected insect Sf9 cells, is normally present at the cell surface as a GPI-anchored protein. Northern and Western blot analyses revealed that Pr-lynx1 is expressed in various tissues, such as the ganglion, brain, mandibular muscle, proventriculus, leg muscle, and epidermis. This expression pattern is similar to the distribution of nAChRs as assayed by alpha3 nAChR immunoreactivity. Co-expression of Pr-lynx1 in Xenopus oocytes expressing alpha3beta4 nAChRs results in an increase in acetylcholine-evoked macroscopic currents, indicating a functional role of Pr-lynx1 as a protein modulator for nAChRs. This study on Pr-lynx1 is the first report of a modulator of nAChRs in an insect species.

  16. Modulation of TNF Release by Choline Requires α7 Subunit Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor-Mediated Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Parrish, William R; Rosas-Ballina, Mauricio; Gallowitsch-Puerta, Margot; Ochani, Mahendar; Ochani, Kanta; Yang, Li-Hong; Hudson, LaQueta; Lin, Xinchun; Patel, Nirav; Johnson, Sarah M; Chavan, Sangeeta; Goldstein, Richard S; Czura, Christopher J; Miller, Edmund J; Al-Abed, Yousef; Tracey, Kevin J; Pavlov, Valentin A

    2008-01-01

    The α7 subunit-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) is an essential component in the vagus nerve-based cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway that regulates the levels of TNF, high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), and other cytokines during inflammation. Choline is an essential nutrient, a cell membrane constituent, a precursor in the biosynthesis of acetylcholine, and a selective natural α7nAChR agonist. Here, we studied the anti-inflammatory potential of choline in murine endotoxemia and sepsis, and the role of the α7nAChR in mediating the suppressive effect of choline on TNF release. Choline (0.1–50 mM) dose-dependently suppressed TNF release from endotoxin-activated RAW macrophage-like cells, and this effect was associated with significant inhibition of NF-κB activation. Choline (50 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [i.p.]) treatment prior to endotoxin administration in mice significantly reduced systemic TNF levels. In contrast to its TNF suppressive effect in wild type mice, choline (50 mg/kg, i.p.) failed to inhibit systemic TNF levels in α7nAChR knockout mice during endotoxemia. Choline also failed to suppress TNF release from endotoxin-activated peritoneal macrophages isolated from α7nAChR knockout mice. Choline treatment prior to endotoxin resulted in a significantly improved survival rate as compared with saline-treated endotoxemic controls. Choline also suppressed HMGB1 release in vitro and in vivo, and choline treatment initiated 24 h after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced polymicrobial sepsis significantly improved survival in mice. In addition, choline suppressed TNF release from endotoxin-activated human whole blood and macrophages. Collectively, these data characterize the anti-inflammatory efficacy of choline and demonstrate that the modulation of TNF release by choline requires α7nAChR-mediated signaling. PMID:18584048

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

    PubMed

    Banks, Matthew L

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. Discovery of peptide ligands through docking and virtual screening at nicotinic acetylcholine receptor homology models.

    PubMed

    Leffler, Abba E; Kuryatov, Alexander; Zebroski, Henry A; Powell, Susan R; Filipenko, Petr; Hussein, Adel K; Gorson, Juliette; Heizmann, Anna; Lyskov, Sergey; Tsien, Richard W; Poget, Sébastien F; Nicke, Annette; Lindstrom, Jon; Rudy, Bernardo; Bonneau, Richard; Holford, Mandë

    2017-09-19

    Venom peptide toxins such as conotoxins play a critical role in the characterization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) structure and function and have potential as nervous system therapeutics as well. However, the lack of solved structures of conotoxins bound to nAChRs and the large size of these peptides are barriers to their computational docking and design. We addressed these challenges in the context of the α4β2 nAChR, a widespread ligand-gated ion channel in the brain and a target for nicotine addiction therapy, and the 19-residue conotoxin α-GID that antagonizes it. We developed a docking algorithm, ToxDock, which used ensemble-docking and extensive conformational sampling to dock α-GID and its analogs to an α4β2 nAChR homology model. Experimental testing demonstrated that a virtual screen with ToxDock correctly identified three bioactive α-GID mutants (α-GID[A10V], α-GID[V13I], and α-GID[V13Y]) and one inactive variant (α-GID[A10Q]). Two mutants, α-GID[A10V] and α-GID[V13Y], had substantially reduced potency at the human α7 nAChR relative to α-GID, a desirable feature for α-GID analogs. The general usefulness of the docking algorithm was highlighted by redocking of peptide toxins to two ion channels and a binding protein in which the peptide toxins successfully reverted back to near-native crystallographic poses after being perturbed. Our results demonstrate that ToxDock can overcome two fundamental challenges of docking large toxin peptides to ion channel homology models, as exemplified by the α-GID:α4β2 nAChR complex, and is extendable to other toxin peptides and ion channels. ToxDock is freely available at rosie.rosettacommons.org/tox_dock.

  20. Partial blockade of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors improves the counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia in recurrently hypoglycemic rats

    PubMed Central

    LaGamma, Edmund F.; Kirtok, Necla; Chan, Owen

    2014-01-01

    Recurrent exposure to hypoglycemia can impair the normal counterregulatory hormonal responses that guard against hypoglycemia, leading to hypoglycemia unawareness. This pathological condition known as hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure (HAAF) is the main adverse consequence that prevents individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus from attaining the long-term health benefits of tight glycemic control. The underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the progressive loss of the epinephrine response to subsequent bouts of hypoglycemia, a hallmark sign of HAAF, are largely unknown. Normally, hypoglycemia triggers both the release and biosynthesis of epinephrine through activation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) on the adrenal glands. We hypothesize that excessive cholinergic stimulation may contribute to impaired counterregulation. Here, we tested whether administration of the nAChR partial agonist cytisine to reduce postganglionic synaptic activity can preserve the counterregulatory hormone responses in an animal model of HAAF. Compared with nicotine, cytisine has limited efficacy to activate nAChRs and stimulate epinephrine release and synthesis. We evaluated adrenal catecholamine production and secretion in nondiabetic rats subjected to two daily episodes of hypoglycemia for 3 days, followed by a hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemic clamp on day 4. Recurrent hypoglycemia decreased epinephrine responses, and this was associated with suppressed TH mRNA induction (a measure of adrenal catecholamine synthetic capacity). Treatment with cytisine improved glucagon responses as well as epinephrine release and production in recurrently hypoglycemic animals. These data suggest that pharmacological manipulation of ganglionic nAChRs may be promising as a translational adjunctive therapy to avoid HAAF in type 1 diabetes mellitus. PMID:25117409

  1. Plasticity in Brainstem Mechanisms of Pain Modulation by Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    White, Stephanie R.

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with chronic pain may be driven to smoke more because the analgesic efficacy of nicotine diminishes. To determine whether persistent pain diminishes the actions of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist in pain modulatory pathways, we examined the effects of epibatidine in the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) of rats with and without inflammatory injury induced by intraplantar injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA). In uninjured rats, epibatidine produced a dose-dependent antinociception that was completely blocked by dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE; α4β2 antagonist) and partially blocked by methyllycaconitine (MLA; α7 antagonist). Epibatidine reversed heat hyperalgesia when microinjected in the RVM 4 h, 4 d, or 2 weeks after CFA treatment. Although DHβE completely blocked epibatidine’s antihyperalgesic effect at 4 h, at 2 weeks it elicited only partial antagonism. Methyllycaconitine was ineffective at both time points. Epibatidine’s antinociceptive efficacy in the uninjured hind paw progressively declined, and it was without effect 2 weeks after CFA. Moreover, as early as 4 h after CFA, the antinociceptive effect of epibatidine was no longer antagonized by DHβE. Neither antagonist alone altered paw withdrawal latency in uninjured or CFA-treated rats, suggesting that neither α4β2 nor α7 nAChRs are tonically active in the RVM. The Bmax and Kd of α4β2 nAChRs in the RVM were unchanged after CFA treatment. These observations provide the first evidence of pharmacological plasticity of the actions of α4β2 nAChR agonists in a critical brainstem pain modulatory pathway and may in part explain why people with chronic pain smoke more than the general population. PMID:28197544

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor availability in cigarette smokers: effect of heavy caffeine or marijuana use.

    PubMed

    Brody, Arthur L; Hubert, Robert; Mamoun, Michael S; Enoki, Ryutaro; Garcia, Lizette Y; Abraham, Paul; Young, Paulina; Mandelkern, Mark A

    2016-09-01

    Upregulation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) is one of the most well-established effects of chronic cigarette smoking on the brain. Prior research by our group gave a preliminary indication that cigarette smokers with concomitant use of caffeine or marijuana have altered nAChR availability. We sought to determine if smokers with heavy caffeine or marijuana use have different levels of α4β2* nAChRs than smokers without these drug usages. One hundred and one positron emission tomography (PET) scans, using the radiotracer 2-FA (a ligand for β2*-containing nAChRs), were obtained from four groups of males: non-smokers without heavy caffeine or marijuana use, smokers without heavy caffeine or marijuana use, smokers with heavy caffeine use (mean four coffee cups per day), and smokers with heavy marijuana use (mean 22 days of use per month). Total distribution volume (Vt/fp) was determined for the brainstem, prefrontal cortex, and thalamus, as a measure of nAChR availability. A significant between-group effect was found, resulting from the heavy caffeine and marijuana groups having the highest Vt/fp values (especially for the brainstem and prefrontal cortex), followed by smokers without such use, followed by non-smokers. Direct between-group comparisons revealed significant differences for Vt/fp values between the smoker groups with and without heavy caffeine or marijuana use. Smokers with heavy caffeine or marijuana use have higher α4β2* nAChR availability than smokers without these drug usages. These findings are likely due to increased nicotine exposure but could also be due to an interaction on a cellular/molecular level.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder involving impaired cholinergic neurotransmission and dysregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Ly-6/neurotoxin (Lynx) proteins have been shown to modulate cognition and neural plasticity by binding to nAChR subtypes and modulating their function. Hence, changes in nAChR regulatory proteins such as Lynx proteins could underlie the dysregulation of nAChRs in AD. Using Western blotting, we detected bands corresponding to the Lynx proteins prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) and Lypd6 in human cortex indicating that both proteins are present in the human brain. We further showed that PSCA forms stable complexes with the α4 nAChR subunit and decreases nicotine-induced extracellular-signal regulated kinase phosphorylation in PC12 cells. In addition, we analyzed protein levels of PSCA and Lypd6 in postmortem tissue of medial frontal gyrus from AD patients and found significantly increased PSCA levels (approximately 70%). In contrast, no changes in Lypd6 levels were detected. In concordance with our findings in AD patients, PSCA levels were increased in the frontal cortex of triple transgenic mice with an AD-like pathology harboring human transgenes that cause both age-dependent β-amyloidosis and tauopathy, whereas Tg2576 mice, which display β-amyloidosis only, had unchanged PSCA levels compared to wild-type animals. These findings identify PSCA as a nAChR-binding protein in the human brain that is affected in AD, suggesting that PSCA-nAChR interactions may be involved in the cognitive dysfunction observed in AD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Oseltamivir produces hypothermic and neuromuscular effects by inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor functions: comparison to procaine and bupropion.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Akihiro; Chazono, Kaori; Hashimoto, Yuichi; Iwajima, Yui; Yamamoto, Shohei; Maeda, Yasuhiro; Ohsawa, Masahiro; Ono, Hideki

    2015-09-05

    Oseltamivir, an anti-influenza virus drug, induces marked hypothermia in normal mice. We have proposed that the hypothermic effect arises from inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function of sympathetic ganglion neurons which innervate the brown adipose tissue (a heat generator). It has been reported that local anesthetics inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function by acting on its ionic channels, and that bupropion, a nicotinic antagonist, induces hypothermia. In this study, we compared the effects of oseltamivir, procaine and bupropion on body temperature, cardiovascular function and neuromuscular transmission. Intraperitoneal administration of oseltamivir (100mg/kg), procaine (86.6mg/kg) and bupropion (86.7mg/kg) lowered the core body temperature of normal mice. At lower doses (10-30mg/kg oseltamivir, 8.7-26mg/kg procaine and bupropion), when administered subcutaneously, the three drugs antagonized the hypothermia induced by intraperitoneal injection of nicotine (1mg/kg). In anesthetized rats, intravenous oseltamivir (30-100mg/kg), procaine (10mg/kg) and bupropion (10mg/kg) induced hypotension and bradycardia. Oseltamivir alone (100mg/kg) did not inhibit neuromuscular twitch contraction of rats, but at 3-30mg/kg it augmented the muscle-relaxing effect of d-tubocurarine. Similar effects were observed when lower doses of procaine (10-30mg/kg) and bupropion (3-10mg/kg) were administered, suggesting that systemic administration of oseltamivir inhibits muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These results support the idea that the hypothermic effect of oseltamivir is due to its effects on sympathetic ganglia which innervate the brown adipose tissue, and suggest that oseltamivir may exert non-selective ion channel blocking effects like those of ester-type local anesthetics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Molecular Determinants for Competitive Inhibition of α4β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Annalisa; García-Beltrán, Olimpo; Livingstone, Phil D.; Biggin, Philip C.; Cassels, Bruce K.; Wonnacott, Susan; Zapata-Torres, Gerald; Bermudez, Isabel

    2010-01-01

    The Erythrina alkaloids erysodine and dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE) are potent and selective competitive inhibitors of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), but little is known about the molecular determinants of the sensitivity of this receptor subtype to inhibition by this class of antagonists. We addressed this issue by examining the effects of DHβE and a range of aromatic Erythrina alkaloids on [3H]cytisine binding and receptor function in conjunction with homology models of the α4β2 nAChR, mutagenesis, and functional assays. The lactone group of DHβE and a hydroxyl group at position C-16 in aromatic Erythrina alkaloids were identified as major determinants of potency, which was decreased when the conserved residue Tyr126 in loop A of the α4 subunit was substituted by alanine. Sensitivity to inhibition was also decreased by substituting the conserved aromatic residues α4Trp182 (loop B), α4Tyr230 (loop C), and β2Trp82 (loop D) and the nonconserved β2Thr84; however, only α4Trp182 was predicted to contact bound antagonist, suggesting α4Tyr230, β2Trp82, and β2Thr84 contribute allosterically to the closed state elicited by bound antagonist. In addition, homology modeling predicted strong ionic interactions between the ammonium center of the Erythrina alkaloids and β2Asp196, leading to the uncapping of loop C. Consistent with this, β2D196A abolished sensitivity to inhibition by DHβE or erysodine but not by epierythratidine, which is not predicted to form ionic bonds with β2Asp196. This residue is not conserved in subunits that comprise nAChRs with low sensitivity to inhibition by DHβE or erysodine, which highlights β2Asp196 as a major determinant of the receptor selectivity of Erythrina alkaloids. PMID:20547737

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Small changes in bone structure of female α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Lips, Katrin S; Yanko, Özcan; Kneffel, Mathias; Panzer, Imke; Kauschke, Vivien; Madzharova, Maria; Henss, Anja; Schmitz, Peter; Rohnke, Marcus; Bäuerle, Tobias; Liu, Yifei; Kampschulte, Marian; Langheinrich, Alexander C; Dürselen, Lutz; Ignatius, Anita; Heiss, Christian; Schnettler, Reinhard; Kilian, Olaf

    2015-01-31

    Recently, analysis of bone from knockout mice identified muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype M3 (mAChR M3) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit α2 as positive regulator of bone mass accrual whereas of male mice deficient for α7-nAChR (α7KO) did not reveal impact in regulation of bone remodeling. Since female sex hormones are involved in fair coordination of osteoblast bone formation and osteoclast bone degradation we assigned the current study to analyze bone strength, composition and microarchitecture of female α7KO compared to their corresponding wild-type mice (α7WT). Vertebrae and long bones of female 16-week-old α7KO (n = 10) and α7WT (n = 8) were extracted and analyzed by means of histological, radiological, biomechanical, cell- and molecular methods as well as time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Bone of female α7KO revealed a significant increase in bending stiffness (p < 0.05) and cortical thickness (p < 0.05) compared to α7WT, whereas gene expression of osteoclast marker cathepsin K was declined. ToF-SIMS analysis detected a decrease in trabecular calcium content and an increase in C4H6N(+) (p < 0.05) and C4H8N(+) (p < 0.001) collagen fragments whereas a loss of osteoid was found by means of TEM. Our results on female α7KO bone identified differences in bone strength and composition. In addition, we could demonstrate that α7-nAChRs are involved in regulation of bone remodelling. In contrast to mAChR M3 and nAChR subunit α2 the α7-nAChR favours reduction of bone strength thereby showing similar effects as α7β2-nAChR in male mice. nAChR are able to form heteropentameric receptors containing α- and β-subunits as well as the subunits α7 can be arranged as homopentameric cation channel. The different effects of homopentameric and heteropentameric α7-nAChR on bone need to be analysed in future studies as well as gender effects of cholinergic receptors on

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-06

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

  11. 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.

  12. Acetylcholine regulation of nicotinic receptor channels through a putative G protein in chick myotubes.

    PubMed Central

    Eusebi, F; Grassi, F; Molinaro, M; Zani, B M

    1987-01-01

    1. Single-channel currents induced by acetylcholine (ACh) were recorded from unstriated and non-innervated embryonic chick myotubes using the cell-attached patch-clamp technique. 2. ACh applied to the non-patched membrane decreased both channel opening probability and conductance. These ACh-induced effects occurred also when the non-patched membrane was exposed to nominally Ca2+-free extracellular medium, but were absent when it was treated with curare. 3. ACh-induced membrane current recorded under whole-cell patch-clamp conditions decreased in amplitude and time course when myotubes were intracellularly loaded with guanosine-5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) GTP gamma S), but not with guanosine-5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP beta S) or cyclic adenosine-5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP). Internal perfusion of GTP gamma S affected the ACh-induced openings in a similar manner to the non-patch ACh application. 4. These results suggest that ACh, in addition to its direct effect, acts indirectly on the nicotinic receptor channels by delivering an intracellular messenger and through the activation of a putative G protein. PMID:2451747

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Characterization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit gene Mdalpha2 from the house fly, Musca domestica.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jian-Rong; Deacutis, Juliane M; Scott, Jeffrey G

    2007-01-01

    A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit gene, Mdalpha2, was isolated and characterized from the house fly, Musca domestica. This is the first nAChR family member cloned from house flies. Mdalpha2 had a cDNA of 2,607 bp, which included a 696 bp 5'-untranslated region (UTR), an open reading frame of 1,692 bp, and a 219 bp 3'-UTR. Its deduced amino acid sequence possesses the typical characteristics of nAChRs. Mdalpha2 genomic sequence was 11.2 kb in length in the aabys strain and 10.9 kb in the OCR strain, including eight exons and seven introns. Based on the deduced amino acid sequence, Mdalpha2 had the closest phylogenetic relationship to the Drosophila melanogaster Dalpha2 and Anopheles gambiae Agamalpha2, and a similar genomic structure to Dalpha2. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that Mdalpha2 is expressed in the head and the thorax at 150- and 8.5-fold higher levels than in the abdomen. Linkage analysis of a Mdalpha2 polymorphism indicates this gene is on autosome 2. The importance of these results in understanding the diversity and phylogenetic relationships of insect nAChRs, the physiology of nAChRs in the house fly, and the utility of nAChR sequences in resistance detection/monitoring is discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist affects honey bee sucrose responsiveness and decreases waggle dancing.

    PubMed

    Eiri, Daren M; Nieh, James C

    2012-06-15

    A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, imidacloprid, impairs memory formation in honey bees and has general effects on foraging. However, little is known about how this agonist affects two specific aspects of foraging: sucrose responsiveness (SR) and waggle dancing (which recruits nestmates). Using lab and field experiments, we tested the effect of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on (1) bee SR with the proboscis extension response assay, and (2) free-flying foragers visiting and dancing for a sucrose feeder. Bees that ingested imidacloprid (0.21 or 2.16 ng bee(-1)) had higher sucrose response thresholds 1 h after treatment. Foragers that ingested imidacloprid also produced significantly fewer waggle dance circuits (10.5- and 4.5-fold fewer for 50% and 30% sucrose solutions, respectively) 24 h after treatment as compared with controls. However, there was no significant effect of imidacloprid on the sucrose concentrations that foragers collected at a feeder 24 h after treatment. Thus, imidacloprid temporarily increased the minimum sucrose concentration that foragers would accept (short time scale, 1 h after treatment) and reduced waggle dancing (longer time scale, 24 h after treatment). The effect of time suggests different neurological effects of imidacloprid resulting from the parent compound and its metabolites. Waggle dancing can significantly increase colony food intake, and thus a sublethal dose (0.21 ng bee(-1), 24 p.p.b.) of this commonly used pesticide may impair colony fitness.

  17. Nonmyogenic factors bind nicotinic acetylcholine receptor promoter elements required for response to denervation.

    PubMed

    Bessereau, J L; Laudenbach, V; Le Poupon, C; Changeux, J P

    1998-05-22

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) belong to a class of muscle proteins whose expression is regulated by muscle electrical activity. In innervated muscle fiber, AChR genes are transcriptionally repressed outside of the synapse, while after denervation they become reexpressed throughout the fiber. The myogenic determination factors (MDFs) of the MyoD family have been shown to play a central role in this innervation-dependent regulation. In the chicken AChR alpha-subunit gene promoter, two E-boxes that bind MDFs are necessary to achieve the enhancement of transcription following muscle denervation. However, the deletion of promoter sequences located upstream to these E-boxes greatly impairs the response to denervation (Bessereau, J. L., Stratford- Perricaudet, L. D., Piette, J., Le Poupon, C. and Changeux, J. P. (1994) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 91, 1304-1308). Here we identified two additional cis-regulatory elements of the alpha-subunit gene promoter that cooperate with the E-boxes in the denervation response. One region binds the Sp1 and Sp3 zinc finger transcription factors. The second region binds at least three distinct factors, among which we identified an upstream stimulatory factor, a b-ZIP-HLH transcription factor. We propose that among MDF-responsive muscle promoters, a specific combination between myogenic and nonmyogenic factors specify innervation-dependent versus innervation-independent promoters.

  18. Retinal waves in mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chao; Warland, David K; Ballesteros, Jose M; van der List, Deborah; Chalupa, Leo M

    2008-09-09

    The structural and functional properties of the visual system are disrupted in mutant animals lacking the beta2 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. In particular, eye-specific retinogeniculate projections do not develop normally in these mutants. It is widely thought that the developing retinas of beta2(-/-) mutants do not manifest correlated activity, leading to the notion that retinal waves play an instructional role in the formation of eye-specific retinogeniculate projections. By multielectrode array recordings, we show here that the beta2(-/-) mutants have robust retinal waves during the formation of eye-specific projections. Unlike in WT animals, however, the mutant retinal waves are propagated by gap junctions rather than cholinergic circuitry. These results indicate that lack of retinal waves cannot account for the abnormalities that have been documented in the retinogeniculate pathway of the beta2(-/-) mutants and suggest that other factors must contribute to the deficits in the visual system that have been noted in these animals.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-30

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

  20. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 7 stimulation dampens splenic myelopoiesis and inhibits atherogenesis in Apoe(-/-) mice.

    PubMed

    Al-Sharea, Annas; Lee, Man K S; Whillas, Alexandra; Flynn, Michelle C; Chin-Dusting, Jaye; Murphy, Andrew J

    2017-10-01

    Monocyte levels predict cardiovascular outcomes and play a causal role in atherogenesis. Monocytes can be produced in the spleen and track to the atherosclerotic lesion in significant numbers. The cholinergic system has been shown to have anti-inflammatory actions in the spleen. We aimed to explore whether therapeutic stimulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 7 (nAChRα7) can suppress atherogenesis. Apoe(-/-) mice were placed on a Western-type diet and treated with bi-daily injections of the nAChRα7 agonist GTS-21 or vehicle every 2-3 days for 8 weeks. GTS-21 caused a reduction in atherosclerosis in the aortic arch and proximal aorta. This also resulted in less plaque macrophages. Moreover, GTS-21 reduced the abundance of blood monocytes, which was caused by inhibition of inflammatory cytokines and extramedullary hematopoiesis in the spleen, along with splenic monocytes. Stimulation of nAChRα7 with GTS-21 reduced atherosclerosis, which was associated with dampened splenic myelopoiesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bossy, B; Ballivet, M; Spierer, P

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Targeted drug delivery system to neural cells utilizes the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Huey, Rachel; O'Hagan, Barry; McCarron, Paul; Hawthorne, Susan

    2017-06-15

    Drug delivery to the brain is still a major challenge in the field of therapeutics, especially for large and hydrophilic compounds. In order to achieve drug delivery of therapeutic concentration in the central nervous system, the problematic blood brain barrier (BBB) must be overcome. This work presents the formulation of a targeted nanoparticle-based drug delivery system using a specific neural cell targeting ligand, rabies virus derived peptide (RDP). Characterization studies revealed that RDP could be conjugated to drug-loaded PLGA nanoparticles of average diameter 257.10±22.39nm and zeta potential of -5.51±0.73mV. In vitro studies showed that addition of RDP to nanoparticles enhanced drug accumulation in a neural cell line specifically as opposed to non-neural cell lines. It was revealed that this drug delivery system is reliant upon nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function for RDP-facilitated effects, supporting a cellular uptake mechanism of action. The specific neural cell targeting capabilities of RDP via the nAChR offers a non-toxic, non-invasive and promising approach to the delivery of therapeutics to the brain. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. Structure-activity relationships of benzylidene anabaseines in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of cockroach nerve cords.

    PubMed

    Sultana, Israt; Ikeda, Izumi; Ozoe, Yoshihisa

    2002-09-01

    Ten analogues of 6'-chloro-3-benzylideneanabaseine (CBA) bearing substituents at the ortho- and the para-positions of the phenyl group were synthesized, together with two related compounds. The affinity of the synthesized compounds for nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the nerve cord of the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana L.) was examined by the radioligand binding assay using [(3)H]epibatidine (EPI), a nAChR agonist. All 12 tested compounds inhibited [(3)H]EPI binding, showing K(i) values ranging from 14.6 to 6830nM. The potency variation of para-substituted CBA analogues was explained by the steric (Delta B(1)) and electronic (sigma(p)) parameters of the para-substituents, or by the steric parameter and the charge of the N1 nitrogen atom (qN(1)). Among the CBA analogues, only two compounds containing a dimethylamino group and a methoxy group at the para-position showed high insecticidal activity against the German cockroach (Blattella germanica) when injected after pretreatment with metabolic inhibitors. High-affinity analogues of CBA might be suitable probes for use in classifying and characterizing insect nAChR subtypes.

  7. Spectroscopic investigation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor for application in medical diagnosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salzer, Reiner; Fischer, Wolfgang B.; Unverricht, Ines; Schwenke, Dirk; Steiner, Gerald; Schrattenholz, Andre; Maelicke, Alfred

    1998-04-01

    Native vesicles containing the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) prepared from the electric organ of the ray Torpedo marmorata were used to obtain fluorescence signal sin dependence of different concentrations of the local anesthetics procaine. Nonlinear concentration dependent spectral changes are found using ethidium bromide as a fluorescence marker. Structural changes are found for the proteins including the nAChR in the vesicles during immobilization onto surfaces such as IR transparent germanium (GE) crystal, Ge crystal coated with silver (Ag) cluster to use the SEIRA effect and/or crystals covered with a lipid subphase. A comparison between Ge and Ge coated with Ag (Ge/Ag) clusters reveals increased structural changes in the spectral regions around 1670 cm-1 upon adsorption of the vesicles on the latter surface. Is the Ge/Ag crystal precoated with a lipid subphase an almost similar spectral contour for the amide I band envelope as in the spectra recorded on a neat Ge crystal is found.

  8. Molecular characterisation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits from the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae).

    PubMed

    Bass, Chris; Lansdell, Stuart J; Millar, Neil S; Schroeder, Iris; Turberg, Andreas; Field, Linda M; Williamson, Martin S

    2006-01-01

    As part of a program to monitor the susceptibility of cat flea populations to the insecticide imidacloprid we have examined the cat flea nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, the target site protein of the neonicotinoid group of insecticides. Seven nAChR subunits (six alpha-type and one beta-type) were identified in cat flea using a degenerate PCR-based strategy. Five of these were expressed in vitro by creating chimeras containing the N-terminal ligand-binding domain of the cat flea subunits and the C-terminal region of the Drosophila Dalpha2 (SAD) subunit. Two of the five chimeric subunits, Cfalpha1/Dalpha2 and Cfalpha3/Dalpha2, when co-expressed with rat beta2 in Drosophila S2 cells, showed high-affinity binding of both epibatidine (Kd=1.6+/-0.6 and 0.13+/-0.06nM, respectively), and imidacloprid (Ki=142+/-34 and 28.7+/-2.4nM, respectively). It is likely therefore that Cfalpha1 and Cfalpha3 contribute to nAChR populations in vivo that are sensitive to imidacloprid. The identification of cat flea nAChR subunits that have a high affinity for imidacloprid presents candidate genes in which to look for resistance-associated mutations if target-site resistance to imidacloprid arises in domestic pet flea populations.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Novel neonicotinoid-agarose affinity column for Drosophila and Musca nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Tomizawa, M; Latli, B; Casida, J E

    1996-10-01

    Neonicotinoids such as the insecticide imidacloprid (IMI) act as agonists at the insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Head membranes of Drosophila melanogaster and Musca domestica have a single high-affinity binding site for [3H]IMI with KD values of 1-2 nM and Bmax values of 560-850 fmol/mg of protein. Locusta and Periplaneta nAChRs isolated with an alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BGT)-agarose affinity column are known to be alpha-subunit homooligomers. This study uses 1-[N-(6-chloro-3-pyridylmethyl)-N-ethyl]amino-1-amino-2-nitroethene++ + (which inhibits [3H]IMI binding to Drosophila and Musca head membranes at 2-3 nM) to develop a neonicotinoid-agarose affinity column. The procedure-introduction of Triton-solubilized Drosophila or Musca head membranes into this neonicotinoid-based column, elution with IMI, and analysis by lithium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamicle gel electrophoresis-gives only three proteins (69, 66, and 61 kDa) tentatively assigned as putative subunits of the nAChR; the same three proteins are obtained with Musca using the alpha-BGT-agarose affinity column. Photoaffinity labeling of the Drosophila and Musca putative subunits from the neonicotinoid column with 125I-alpha-BGT-4-azidosalicylic acid gives a labeled derivative of 66-69 kDa. The yield is 2-5 micrograms of receptor protein from 1 g of Drosophila or Musca heads. Neonicotinoid affinity chromatography to isolate native Drosophila and Musca receptors will facilitate studies on the structure and function of insect nAChRs.

  14. Evaluating Commercially Available Antibodies for Rat α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.

    PubMed

    Garg, Brijesh K; Loring, Ralph H

    2017-09-01

    Alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7 nAChRs) are important drug targets in neurological disorders and inflammation, making their detection and localization by validated antibodies highly desirable. However, tests in knockout animals raised questions about specificity of antibodies to mouse α7 nAChRs. To date, methods for validating antibodies for rat or human α7 nAChR have not been reported. We developed a gel-shift assay for western blots using GH4C1 cells expressing either native rat receptors or α7 nAChR-green fluorescent protein (GFP) chimeras to evaluate seven commercially available α7 nAChR antibodies. Blots with anti-GFP antibody detected GFP or α7 nAChR-GFP expressed in GH4C1 cells, and (125)I-α-bungarotoxin binding and RNA analysis demonstrated α7 nAChR expression. Validated samples were used to evaluate α7 nAChR antibodies by western blot and immunofluorescence studies. These methods confirmed that two of seven α7 nAChR antibodies identify gel-shifts for α7 nAChR/nAChR-GFP but only one antibody demonstrated low background and significant immunofluorescence differences between wild-type and α7 nAChR expressing GH4C1 cells. However, that polyclonal antibody displayed lot-to-lot variability. Our findings suggest that careful validation methods are required for all α7 nAChR receptor species and antibody lots and that the gel-shift assay may allow for relatively rapid antibody screening.

  15. Brain Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Availability and Response to Smoking Cessation Treatment A Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Brody, Arthur L.; Mukhin, Alexey G.; Mamoun, Michael S.; Luu, Trinh; Neary, Meaghan; Liang, Lidia; Shieh, Jennifer; Sugar, Catherine A.; Rose, Jed E.; Mandelkern, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Cigarette smoking leads to upregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the human brain, including the common α4β2* nAChR subtype. While subjective aspects of tobacco dependence have been extensively examined as predictors of quitting smoking with treatment, no studies to our knowledge have yet reported the relationship between the extent of pretreatment upregulation of nAChRs and smoking cessation. OBJECTIVE To determine whether the degree of nAChR upregulation in smokers predicts quitting with a standard course of treatment. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Eighty-one tobacco-dependent cigarette smokers (volunteer sample) underwent positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning of the brain with the radiotracer 2-FA followed by 10 weeks of double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment with nicotine patch (random assignment). Pretreatment specific binding volume of distribution (VS/fP) on PET images (a value that is proportional to α4β2* nAChR availability) was determined for 8 brain regions of interest, and participant-reported ratings of nicotine dependence, craving, and self-efficacy were collected. Relationships between these pretreatment measures, treatment type, and outcome were then determined. The study took place at academic PET and clinical research centers. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Posttreatment quit status after treatment, defined as a participant report of 7 or more days of continuous abstinence and an exhaled carbon monoxide level of 3 ppm or less. RESULTS Smokers with lower pretreatment VS/fP values (a potential marker of less severe nAChR upregulation) across all brain regions studied were more likely to quit smoking (multivariate analysis of covariance, F8,69 = 4.5; P < .001), regardless of treatment group assignment. Furthermore, pretreatment average VS/fP values provided additional predictive power for likelihood of quitting beyond the self-report measures (stepwise binary logistic regression, likelihood ratio χ12

  16. Synthesis, Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Binding, Antinociceptive and Seizure Properties of Methyllycaconitine Analogs

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, F. Ivy; Ma, Wei; Navarro, Hernán A.; Abraham, Philip; Wolckenhauer, Scott A.; Damaj, M. I.; Martin, Billy R.

    2007-01-01

    A series of methyllycaconitine (1a, MLA) analogs was synthesized where the (S)-2-methylsuccinimidobenzoyl group in MLA was replaced with a (R)-2-methyl, 2,2-dimethyl-, 2,3-dimethyl, 2-phenyl- and 2-cyclohexylsuccinimidobenzoyl (1b–f) group. The analogs 1b–f were evaluated for their inhibition of [125I]iodo MLA binding at rat brain α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). In order to determine selectivity, MLA and the analogs 1b–f were evaluated for inhibition of binding to rat brain α, β nAChR using [3H]epibatidine. At the α7 nAChR, MLA showed a Ki value of 0.87 nM, analogs 1b–e possessed Ki values of 1.68–2.16 nM, and 1f showed a Ki value of 26.8 nM. Surprisingly, the analog 1e containing the large phenyl substituent (Ki = 1.68 nM) possessed the highest affinity. None of the compounds possessed appreciable affinity for α, β nAChRs. MLA antagonized nicotine-induced seizures with an AD50 = 2mg/kg. None of the MLA analogs were as potent as MLA in this assay. MLA and all of the MLA analogs, with the exception of 1b, antagonized nicotine’s antinociceptive effects in the tail-flick assay. Compound 1c (Ki = 1.78 nM at α7 nAChR) with an AD50 value of 1.8 mg/kg was 6.7 times more potent than MLA (AD50 = 12 mg/kg) in antagonizing nicotine’s antinociceptive effects but was 5-fold less potent than MLA in blocking nicotine-induced seizures. Since MLA has been reported to show neuroprotection against β-amyloid1–42, these new analogs which have high α7 nAChR affinity and good selectivity relative to α, β nAChRs will be useful biological tools for studying the effects of α7 nAChR antagonist and neuroprotection. PMID:17098430

  17. Optical studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes in the guinea-pig enteric nervous system.

    PubMed

    Obaid, A L; Nelson, M E; Lindstrom, J; Salzberg, B M

    2005-08-01

    Nicotinic transmission in the enteric nervous system (ENS) is extensive, but the role of individual nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes in the functional connectivity of its plexuses has been elusive. Using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against neuronal alpha3-, alpha4-, alpha3/alpha5-, beta2-, beta4- and alpha7-subunits, combined with radioimmunoassays and immunocytochemistry, we demonstrate that guinea-pig enteric ganglia contain all of these nAChR-subunits with the exception of alpha4, and so, differ from mammalian brain. This information alone, however, is insufficient to establish the functional role of the identified nAChR-subtypes within the enteric networks and, ultimately, their specific contributions to gastrointestinal physiology. We have used voltage-sensitive dyes and a high-speed CCD camera, in conjunction with specific antagonists to various nAChRs, to elucidate some of the distinct contributions of the individual subtypes to the behaviour of enteric networks. In the guinea-pig, the submucous plexus has the extraordinary advantage that it is virtually two-dimensional, permitting optical recording, with single cell resolution, of the electrical activity of all of its neurones. In this plexus, the block of alpha3beta2-, alpha3beta4- and/or alpha7-nAChRs always results in a decrease in the magnitude of the synaptic response. However, the magnitude of the fast excitatory post-synaptic potentials (epsps) evoked by electrical stimulation of a neighbouring ganglion varies from cell to cell, reflecting the differential expression of subunits already observed using mAbs, as well as the strengths of the activated synaptic inputs. At the same time, we observe that submucous neurones have a substantial mecamylamine (Mec)-insensitive (non-nicotinic) component to their fast epsps, which may point to the presence of purinergic or serotonergic fast epsps in this system. In the myenteric plexus, on the other hand, the antagonist-induced changes in the

  18. Brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptor availability and response to smoking cessation treatment: a randomized trial.

    PubMed

    Brody, Arthur L; Mukhin, Alexey G; Mamoun, Michael S; Luu, Trinh; Neary, Meaghan; Liang, Lidia; Shieh, Jennifer; Sugar, Catherine A; Rose, Jed E; Mandelkern, Mark A

    2014-07-01

    Cigarette smoking leads to upregulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the human brain, including the common α4β2* nAChR subtype. While subjective aspects of tobacco dependence have been extensively examined as predictors of quitting smoking with treatment, no studies to our knowledge have yet reported the relationship between the extent of pretreatment upregulation of nAChRs and smoking cessation. To determine whether the degree of nAChR upregulation in smokers predicts quitting with a standard course of treatment. Eighty-one tobacco-dependent cigarette smokers (volunteer sample) underwent positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning of the brain with the radiotracer 2-FA followed by 10 weeks of double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment with nicotine patch (random assignment). Pretreatment specific binding volume of distribution (VS/fP) on PET images (a value that is proportional to α4β2* nAChR availability) was determined for 8 brain regions of interest, and participant-reported ratings of nicotine dependence, craving, and self-efficacy were collected. Relationships between these pretreatment measures, treatment type, and outcome were then determined. The study took place at academic PET and clinical research centers. Posttreatment quit status after treatment, defined as a participant report of 7 or more days of continuous abstinence and an exhaled carbon monoxide level of 3 ppm or less. Smokers with lower pretreatment VS/fP values (a potential marker of less severe nAChR upregulation) across all brain regions studied were more likely to quit smoking (multivariate analysis of covariance, F8,69 = 4.5; P < .001), regardless of treatment group assignment. Furthermore, pretreatment average VS/fP values provided additional predictive power for likelihood of quitting beyond the self-report measures (stepwise binary logistic regression, likelihood ratio χ21 = 19.8; P < .001). Smokers with less upregulation of available α4β2* n

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Activation of muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens core is necessary for the acquisition of drug reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Jose A; Sturm, Katja; Saria, Alois; Zernig, Gerald

    2006-05-31

    Neurotransmitter release in the nucleus accumbens core (NACore) during the acquisition of remifentanil or cocaine reinforcement was determined in an operant runway procedure by simultaneous tandem mass spectrometric analysis of dopamine, acetylcholine, and remifentanil or cocaine itself. Run times for remifentanil or cocaine continually decreased over the five consecutive runs of the experiment. Intra-NACore dopamine, acetylcholine, and drug peaked with each intravenous remifentanil or cocaine self-administration and decreased to pre-run baseline with half-lives of approximately 10 min. As expected, remifentanil or cocaine peaks did not vary between the five runs. Surprisingly, however, drug-contingent dopamine peaks also did not change over the five runs, whereas acetylcholine peaks did. Thus, the acquisition of drug reinforcement was paralleled by a continuous increase in acetylcholine overflow in the NACore, whereas the overflow of dopamine, the expected prime neurotransmitter candidate for conditioning in drug reinforcement, did not increase. Local intra-accumbens administration by reverse microdialysis of either atropine or mecamylamine completely and reversibly blocked the acquisition of remifentanil reinforcement. Our findings suggest that activation of muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the NACore by acetylcholine volume transmission is necessary during the acquisition phase of drug reinforcement conditioning.

  2. Methanandamide allosterically inhibits in vivo the function of peripheral nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing the alpha 7-subunit.

    PubMed

    Baranowska, Urszula; Göthert, Manfred; Rudz, Radoslaw; Malinowska, Barbara

    2008-09-01

    Methanandamide (MAEA), the stable analog of the endocannabinoid anandamide, has been proven in Xenopus oocytes to allosterically inhibit the function of the alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in a cannabinoid (CB) receptor-independent manner. The present study aimed at demonstrating that this mechanism can be activated in vivo. In anesthetized and vagotomized pithed rats treated with atropine, we determined the tachycardic response to electrical stimulation of preganglionic sympathetic nerves via the pithing rod or to i.v. nicotine (0.7 micromol/kg) activating nAChRs on the cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons. MAEA (3 and 10 micromol/kg) inhibited the electrically induced tachycardia (maximally by 15-20%; abolished by the CB(1) receptor antagonist AM 251 [N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide]; 3 micromol/kg) in pentobarbitone-anesthetized pithed rats, but not in urethane-anesthetized pithed rats, which, thus, are suitable to study the CB(1) receptor-independent inhibition of nicotine-evoked tachycardia. The subunit-nonselective nAChR antagonist hexamethonium (100 micromol/kg) and the selective alpha7-subunit antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA; 3 and 10 micromol/kg) decreased the nicotine-induced tachycardia by 100 and 40%, respectively (maximal effects), suggesting that nAChRs containing the alpha7-subunit account for 40% of the nicotine-induced tachycardia. MAEA (3 micromol/kg) produced an AM 251-insensitive inhibition (maximum again by 40%) of the nicotine-induced tachycardia. Simultaneous or sequential coadministration of MLA and MAEA inhibited the nicotine-induced tachycardia to the same extent (maximally by 40%) as each of the drugs alone. In conclusion, according to nonadditivity of the effects, MAEA mediates in vivo inhibition by the same receptors as MLA, namely alpha7-subunit-containing nAChRs, although at an allosteric instead of the orthosteric site.

  3. Identification of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor recycling and its role in maintaining receptor density at the neuromuscular junction in vivo.

    PubMed

    Bruneau, Emile; Sutter, David; Hume, Richard I; Akaaboune, Mohammed

    2005-10-26

    In the CNS, receptor recycling is critical for synaptic plasticity; however, the recycling of receptors has never been observed at peripheral synapses. Using a novel imaging technique, we show here that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) recycle into the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction. By sequentially labeling AChRs with biotin-bungarotoxin and streptavidin-fluorophore conjugates, we were able to distinguish recycled, preexisting, and new receptor pools at synapses in living mice. Time-lapse imaging revealed that recycled AChRs were incorporated into the synapse within hours of initial labeling, and their numbers increased with time. At fully functional synapses, AChR recycling was robust and comparable in magnitude with the insertion of newly synthesized receptors, whereas chronic synaptic activity blockade nearly abolished receptor recycling. Finally, using the same sequential labeling method, we found that acetylcholinesterase, another synaptic component, does not recycle. These results identify an activity-dependent AChR-recycling mechanism that enables the regulation of receptor density, which could lead to rapid alterations in synaptic efficacy.

  4. Structure-activity relationships of acetylcholine derivatives with Lucilia cuprina nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α1 and α2 subunits in chicken β2 subunit hybrid receptors in comparison with chicken nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α4/β2.

    PubMed

    Dederer, H; Berger, M; Meyer, T; Werr, M; Ilg, T

    2013-04-01

    Insect nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors (nAChRs) are the targets of several insecticide classes. In the present study, we report the gene identification and cloning of nAChR α1 and α2 subunits (Lcα1 and Lcα2) from the sheep blowfly Lucilia cuprina. Xenopus oocytes voltage clamp experiments as hybrids with the chicken β2 nAChR (Ggβ2) subunit resulted in ACh-gated ion channels with distinct dose-response curves for Lcα1/Ggβ2 (effective concentration 50% [EC50 ] = 80 nM; nH  = 1.05), and Lcα2/Ggβ2 (EC50  = 5.37 μM, nH  = 1.46). The neonicotinoid imidacloprid was a potent agonist for the α-bungarotoxin-sensitive Lcα1/Ggβ2 (EC50 ∼ 20 nM), while the α-bungarotoxin-resistant Lcα2/Ggβ2 showed a 30-fold lower sensitivity to this insecticide (EC50  = 0.62 μM). Thirteen close derivatives of ACh were analysed in EC50 , Hill coefficient and maximum current (relative to ACh) determinations for Lcα1/Ggβ2 and Lcα2/Ggβ2 and the chicken Ggα4/Ggβ2 nAChRs, and comparisons relative to ACh allowed the definition of novel structure-activity and structure-selectivity relationships. In the case of N-ethyl-acetylcholine, the EC50 of the chicken Ggα4/Ggβ2 rose by a factor of 1000, while for both Lcα1/Ggβ2 and Lcα2/Ggβ2, potency remained unchanged. Further derivatives with insect nAChR selectivity potential were acetyl-α-methylcholine and trimethyl-(3-methoxy-3-oxopropyl)ammonium, followed by acetylhomocholine and trimethyl-(4-oxopentyl) ammonium. Our results may provide guidance for the identification or design of insect-specific nAChR agonists using structure-based or in silico methods. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

  5. Critical Molecular Determinants of α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Allosteric Activation

    PubMed Central

    Horenstein, Nicole A.; Papke, Roger L.; Kulkarni, Abhijit R.; Chaturbhuj, Ganesh U.; Stokes, Clare; Manther, Khan; Thakur, Ganesh A.

    2016-01-01

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are uniquely sensitive to selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs), which increase the efficiency of channel activation to a level greater than that of other nAChRs. Although PAMs must work in concert with “orthosteric” agonists, compounds such as GAT107 ((3aR,4S,9bS)-4-(4-bromophenyl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-8-sulfonamide) have the combined properties of agonists and PAMs (ago-PAM) and produce very effective channel activation (direct allosteric activation (DAA)) by operating at two distinct sites in the absence of added agonist. One site is likely to be the same transmembrane site where PAMs like PNU-120596 function. We show that the other site, required for direct activation, is likely to be solvent-accessible at the extracellular domain vestibule. We identify key attributes of molecules in this family that are able to act at the DAA site through variation at the aryl ring substituent of the tetrahydroquinoline ring system and with two different classes of competitive antagonists of DAA. Analyses of molecular features of effective allosteric agonists allow us to propose a binding model for the DAA site, featuring a largely non-polar pocket accessed from the extracellular vestibule with an important role for Asp-101. This hypothesis is supported with data from site-directed mutants. Future refinement of the model and the characterization of specific GAT107 analogs will allow us to define critical structural elements that can be mapped onto the receptor surface for an improved understanding of this novel way to target α7 nAChR therapeutically. PMID:26742843

  6. The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor complex: one, two or multiple drug targets?

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Morten S; Mikkelsen, Jens D

    2012-05-01

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is a promising drug target for a number of diseases ranging from schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease to chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Focusing on the central nervous system, we describe how endogenous and experimental compounds and proteins regulate expression and function of the α7 nAChR. Drug development efforts have hitherto focused on direct manipulation of the α7 nAChR, but it is still not clear, whether agonism/antagonism or allosteric modulation is preferable as a potential drug therapy. In addition, the action of such compounds in vivo is highly dependent on α7 nAChR-interacting proteins, such as RIC-3 and lynx1, which modulate expression and function of the receptor. These regulatory proteins are often not expressed in in vitro models used to study α7 nAChR function, and it is not known to what extent they are involved in diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, α7 nAChR agonists and allosteric modulators differentially alter expression and functionality of the α7 nAChR with repeated administration, which suggests that there may be fundamentally different outcomes of long-term administration with these different types of compounds. Finally, we describe the special case of Aβ1-42 binding to the α7 nAChR, which may pose a unique challenge to drug development of α7 nAChR-specific ligands for Alzheimer's disease. Hopefully, a greater knowledge of the many factors influencing α7 nAChR function as well as an increasing pipeline of specific drug candidates, enabling a more subtle manipulation of α7 nAChR function, may facilitate α7 nAChR drug development efforts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-30

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

  8. 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.

  9. Neonicotinoid binding, toxicity and expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.

    PubMed

    Taillebois, Emiliane; Beloula, Abdelhamid; Quinchard, Sophie; Jaubert-Possamai, Stéphanie; Daguin, Antoine; Servent, Denis; Tagu, Denis; Thany, Steeve H; Tricoire-Leignel, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides act on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and are particularly effective against sucking pests. They are widely used in crops protection to fight against aphids, which cause severe damage. In the present study we evaluated the susceptibility of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum to the commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid (IMI), thiamethoxam (TMX) and clothianidin (CLT). Binding studies on aphid membrane preparations revealed the existence of high and low-affinity binding sites for [3H]-IMI (Kd of 0.16 ± 0.04 nM and 41.7 ± 5.9 nM) and for the nicotinic antagonist [125I]-α-bungarotoxin (Kd of 0.008 ± 0.002 nM and 1.135 ± 0.213 nM). Competitive binding experiments demonstrated that TMX displayed a higher affinity than IMI for [125I]-α-bungarotoxin binding sites while CLT affinity was similar for both [125I]-α-bungarotoxin and [3H]-IMI binding sites. Interestingly, toxicological studies revealed that at 48 h, IMI (LC50 = 0.038 µg/ml) and TMX (LC50 = 0.034 µg/ml) were more toxic than CLT (LC50 = 0.118 µg/ml). The effect of TMX could be associated to its metabolite CLT as demonstrated by HPLC/MS analysis. In addition, we found that aphid larvae treated either with IMI, TMX or CLT showed a strong variation of nAChR subunit expression. Using semi-quantitative PCR experiments, we detected for all insecticides an increase of Apisumα10 and Apisumβ1 expressions levels, whereas Apisumβ2 expression decreased. Moreover, some other receptor subunits seemed to be differently regulated according to the insecticide used. Finally, we also demonstrated that nAChR subunit expression differed during pea aphid development. Altogether these results highlight species specificity that should be taken into account in pest management strategies.

  10. Neonicotinoid Binding, Toxicity and Expression of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subunits in the Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum

    PubMed Central

    Taillebois, Emiliane; Beloula, Abdelhamid; Quinchard, Sophie; Jaubert-Possamai, Stéphanie; Daguin, Antoine; Servent, Denis; Tagu, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides act on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and are particularly effective against sucking pests. They are widely used in crops protection to fight against aphids, which cause severe damage. In the present study we evaluated the susceptibility of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum to the commonly used neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid (IMI), thiamethoxam (TMX) and clothianidin (CLT). Binding studies on aphid membrane preparations revealed the existence of high and low-affinity binding sites for [3H]-IMI (Kd of 0.16±0.04 nM and 41.7±5.9 nM) and for the nicotinic antagonist [125I]-α-bungarotoxin (Kd of 0.008±0.002 nM and 1.135±0.213 nM). Competitive binding experiments demonstrated that TMX displayed a higher affinity than IMI for [125I]-α-bungarotoxin binding sites while CLT affinity was similar for both [125I]-α-bungarotoxin and [3H]-IMI binding sites. Interestingly, toxicological studies revealed that at 48 h, IMI (LC50 = 0.038 µg/ml) and TMX (LC50 = 0.034 µg/ml) were more toxic than CLT (LC50 = 0.118 µg/ml). The effect of TMX could be associated to its metabolite CLT as demonstrated by HPLC/MS analysis. In addition, we found that aphid larvae treated either with IMI, TMX or CLT showed a strong variation of nAChR subunit expression. Using semi-quantitative PCR experiments, we detected for all insecticides an increase of Apisumα10 and Apisumβ1 expressions levels, whereas Apisumβ2 expression decreased. Moreover, some other receptor subunits seemed to be differently regulated according to the insecticide used. Finally, we also demonstrated that nAChR subunit expression differed during pea aphid development. Altogether these results highlight species specificity that should be taken into account in pest management strategies. PMID:24801634

  11. Antipeptide monoclonal antibodies inhibit the binding of rabies virus glycoprotein and alpha-bungarotoxin to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Bracci, L; Antoni, G; Cusi, M G; Lozzi, L; Niccolai, N; Petreni, S; Rustici, M; Santucci, A; Soldani, P; Valensin, P E

    1988-09-01

    It has been reported that binding to muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at the post-synaptic membrane is an important event of the rabies virus neurotropism. The binding site can be located within the 190-203 region of the virus glycoprotein sharing a high degree of homology with the "toxic loop" of the curare-mimetic snake neurotoxins. We have synthesized a tetradecapeptide corresponding to this glycoprotein region and used it, following conjugation with an immunogenic carrier to raise MAbs. We found that some MAbs raised against the peptide were able to recognize both the virus glycoprotein and the snake neurotoxin alpha-bungarotoxin; moreover, they can inhibit the binding of rabies virus glycoprotein and alpha-bungarotoxin to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor extracted from the electric organs of Torpedo marmorata. On the basis of this cross-reactivity, we suggest that rabies virus glycoprotein and curare-mimetic snake neurotoxins share three-dimensionally similar structures in order to bind to the nicotinic cholinergic receptor. The potential use of the immunogenic properties of the peptide for the rational design of a synthetic vaccine against rabies is proposed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

    Prefrontal glutamate release evoked through activation of α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) situated on thalamic glutamatergic afferents mediates cue detection processes and thus contributes to attentional performance. However, little is known about the respective contributions of the high sensitivity and low sensitivity (LS) stoichiometries of the α4β2 nAChR, (α4)2(β2)3 and (α4)3(β2)2, to these processes. In the present study we employed glutamate-sensitive microelectrodes and the (α4)3(β2)2-selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM) NS9283 to investigate the importance of the LS α4β2 nAChR for glutamate release in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Firstly, the signaling evoked by physiologically relevant ACh concentrations through the (α4)3(β2)2 nAChR in HEK293 cells was potentiated by NS9283, consistent with the classification of NS9283 as a PAM. In urethane-anesthetized rats, intra-prefrontal pressure ejections of NS9283 evoked glutamatergic transients. Importantly, this glutamate release was attenuated by removal of cholinergic projections to the recording area. This finding indicates that the effects of NS9283 depend on endogenous ACh, again consistent with effects of a PAM. We then conducted microdialysis to demonstrate the presence of extracellular ACh in urethane-anesthetized control rats. While detectable, those levels were significantly lower than in awake rats. Finally, the amplitudes of glutamatergic transients evoked by local pressure ejections of a low concentration of nicotine were significantly augmented following systemic administration of NS9283 (3.0mg/kg). In conclusion, our results indicate that a LS α4β2 nAChR PAM such as NS9283 may enhance the cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the cortex, thereby perhaps alleviating the attentional impairments common to a range of brain disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors persistently enhances hippocampal synaptic transmission and prevents Aß-mediated inhibition of LTP in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ondrejcak, Tomas; Wang, Qinwen; Kew, James N C; Virley, David J; Upton, Neil; Anwyl, Roger; Rowan, Michael J

    2012-02-29

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate fast cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Here we investigated the effects of subtype selective activation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on hippocampal transmission and the inhibition of synaptic long-term potentiation by the Alzheimer's disease associated amyloid ß-protein (Aß). The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist "compound A" ((R)-N-(1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl)(5-(2-pyridyl))thiophene-2-carboxamide) induced a rapid-onset persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus in vitro. Consistent with a requirement for activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, the type II α7-selective positive allosteric modulator PheTQS ((3aR, 4S, 9bS)-4-(4-methylphenyl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-8-sulfonamide) potentiated, and the antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) prevented the persistent enhancement. Systemic injection of the agonist also induced a similar MLA-sensitive persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the CA1 area in vivo. Remarkably, although compound A did not affect control long-term potentiation (LTP) in vitro, it prevented the inhibition of LTP by Aß1-42 and this effect was inhibited by MLA. These findings strongly indicate that activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is sufficient to persistently enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and to overcome the inhibition of LTP by Aß.

  14. 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.

  15. Resistance to cycloxaprid in Laodelphax striatellus is associated with altered expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yueliang; Han, Yangchun; Yang, Qiong; Wang, Lihua; He, Peng; Liu, Zewen; Guo, Huifang; Fang, Jichao

    2017-10-09

    Cycloxaprid is a new oxabridged cis-configuration neonicotinoid insecticide, the resistance development potential and underlying resistance mechanism of which were investigated in the small brown planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén), an important agricultural pest of rice. A cycloxaprid-resistant strain (YN-CPD) only achieved 10-fold resistance, in contrast to 106-fold resistance to buprofezin and 332-fold resistance to chlorpyrifos achieved after exposure to similar selection pressure, and the cycloxaprid selected line showed no cross-resistance to the buprofezin and chlorpyrifos-selected resistance strains. Moreover, we identified 10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits from the transcriptome of L. striatellus, and 6 segments had open reading frames (ORFs). While we did not find mutations in the nAChR genes of L. striatellus, subunits Lsα1 and Lsβ1 exhibited respectively 9.60-fold and 3.36-fold higher expression in the resistant strain, while Lsα8 exhibited 0.44-fold lower expression. Suppression of Lsα1 through ingestion of dsLsα1 led to an increase in susceptibility to cycloxaprid. The findings indicate that resistance to cycloxaprid develops slowly compared to other chemicals and without cross-resistance to chlorpyrifos or buprofezin; over-expressed Lsα1 is associated with low cycloxaprid resistance levels, but the importance of over-expressed Lsβ1 and reduced expression of Lsα8 could not be excluded. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Channel Electrostatics Determined by Diffusion-Enhanced Luminescence Energy Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Meltzer, Robert H.; Lurtz, Monica M.; Wensel, Theodore G.; Pedersen, Steen E.

    2006-01-01

    The electrostatic potentials within the pore of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) were determined using lanthanide-based diffusion-enhanced fluorescence energy transfer experiments. Freely diffusing Tb3+-chelates of varying charge constituted a set of energy transfer donors to the acceptor, crystal violet, a noncompetitive antagonist of the nAChR. Energy transfer from a neutral Tb3+-chelate to nAChR-bound crystal violet was reduced 95% relative to the energy transfer to free crystal violet. This result indicated that crystal violet was strongly shielded from solvent when bound to the nAChR. Comparison of energy transfer from positively and negatively charged chelates indicate negative electrostatic potentials of −25 mV in the channel, measured in low ionic strength, and −10 mV measured in physiological ionic strength. Debye-Hückel analyses of potentials determined at various ionic strengths were consistent with 1–2 negative charges within 8 Å of the crystal violet binding site. To complement the energy transfer experiments, the influence of pH and ionic strength on the binding of [3H]phencyclidine were determined. The ionic strength dependence of binding affinity was consistent with −3.3 charges within 8 Å of the binding site, according to Debye-Hückel analysis. The pH dependence of binding had an apparent pKa of 7.2, a value indicative of a potential near −170 mV if the titratable residues are constituted of aspartates and glutamates. It is concluded that long-range potentials are small and likely contribute little to selectivity or conductance whereas close interactions are more likely to contribute to electrostatic stabilization of ions and binding of noncompetitive antagonists within the channel. PMID:16751249

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

    PubMed Central

    Chojnacka, Kinga; Horenstein, Nicole A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-07-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-03-18

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

  3. Interaction of dinotefuran and its analogues with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of cockroach nerve cords.

    PubMed

    Mori, Kazuki; Okumoto, Takashi; Kawahara, Nobuyuki; Ozoe, Yoshihisa

    2002-02-01

    To investigate the action of dinotefuran (MTI-446, 1-methyl-2-nitro-3-(tetrahydro-3-furylmethyl)guanidine), a recently developed insecticide, on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), we determined the potencies of the compound and 15 analogues in inhibiting the specific binding of [3H]epibatidine (EPI), a nAChR agonist, and [3H]alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BGT), a competitive nAChR antagonist, to the nerve cord membranes of American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana). Racemic dinotefuran inhibited [3H]EPI binding with an IC50 of 890 nM and [3H]alpha-BGT binding with an IC50 of 36.1 microM. Scatchard analysis indicated that the dinotefuran inhibition of [3H]EPI binding was a competitive one. Slight structural modification caused a drastic reduction in potency; only four analogues were found to be equipotent to or more potent than dinotefuran. Chloropyridinyl and chlorothiazolyl neonicotinoid insecticides displayed two or three orders of magnitude higher potency than dinotefuran. There was a good correlation between the IC50 values of tested compounds obtained with [3H]EPI and those obtained with [3H]alpha-BGT. A better correlation was observed between 3-h knockdown activities (KD50) against German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) and IC50 values obtained from [3H]EPI assays than between 24-h lethal activities (LD50) and IC50 values. While the results indicate that dinotefuran and its analogues interact with the ACh-binding site in cockroach nAChRs, it remains to be elucidated why they displayed lower potencies than those expected based on their insecticidal activities.

  4. Investigating nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression in neonicotinoid resistant Myzus persicae FRC.

    PubMed

    Beckingham, Christopher; Phillips, Janet; Gill, Mark; Crossthwaite, Andrew J

    2013-11-01

    The peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae is a pest of many commercial crops due to its polyphagous nature of feeding and has a well-documented history of acquiring resistance to insecticides. In 2009 a strain (M. persicae FRC) emerged in southern France with a point mutation (R81T) at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), the target site for neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid. This point mutation was associated with the loss of the high affinity imidacloprid binding site (pM Kd), with the single remaining binding site (low nM Kd) highly overexpressed compared to laboratory controls (Bass et al., 2011 [1]). Here we report that after 2years of continuous selection in the glass house environment with neonicotinoids, the total level of IMD-sensitive nAChRs (low nM Kd) in M. persicae FRC is now comparable to laboratory controls (pM and low nM Kd). Interestingly, despite this large reduction in IMD-sensitive nAChRs, this was not associated with any significant alteration in NNIC-lethality. Additionally, sustained absence of neonicotinoid-selection did not alter nAChR protein levels. We suggest that alterations in nAChR protein expression level described in the original characterisation of the field-isolated M. persicae FRC is unlikely to have been a direct consequence of the R81T mutation. Rather, we speculate that nAChR expression in aphids is likely influenced by as yet unknown conditions in the natural field environment that are absent in the laboratory setting. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. The α7-nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor and MMP-2/-9 Pathway Mediate the Proangiogenic Effect of Nicotine in Human Retinal Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Dom, Aaron M.; Buckley, Adam W.; Brown, Kathleen C.; Egleton, Richard D.; Marcelo, Aileen J.; Proper, Nancy A.; Weller, Donald E.; Shah, Yashoni H.; Lau, Jamie K.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Nicotine, the active component of cigarette smoke, has been found to stimulate angiogenesis in several experimental systems. In this study, the Matrigel duplex assay (Matrigel; BD Biosciences, Franklin Lakes, NJ) and the rat retinal explant assay were used to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the proangiogenic effects of nicotine in endothelial cells. Methods. Western blot analysis was performed to determine the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes expressed on primary human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs). The angiogenic effect of nicotine in the retina was evaluated with the duplex assay. The results obtained from the assay were confirmed by the rat retinal explant angiogenesis assay. ELISAs were used to measure MMP-2, -9, and -13 levels in HRMEC culture supernatants. The role of α7-nAChRs in nicotine-induced angiogenesis was examined by siRNA techniques. Results. Nicotine-induced angiogenesis required nAChR function and was associated with the upregulation of MMP-2 and -9 in HRMECs. Specifically, α7-nAChRs mediated the stimulatory effects of nicotine on retinal angiogenesis and MMP levels. Treatment of HRMECs with α7-nAChR antagonists ablated nicotine-induced angiogenesis. The inhibitory actions of α7-nAChR antagonists correlated with the suppression of MMP-2 and -9 levels in HRMECs. Conclusions. The α7-nAChR is vital for the proangiogenic activity of nicotine. The α7-nAChRs expressed on HRMECs upregulate levels of MMP-2 and -9, which stimulate retinal angiogenesis. The data also suggest that α7-nAChR antagonists could be useful agents for the therapy of angiogenesis-related retinal diseases. PMID:20554619

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. [Bacterial expression of water-soluble domain of Lynx1, endogenic neuromodulator of human nicotinic acetylcholine receptors].

    PubMed

    Shulepko, M A; Liukmanova, E N; Kasheverov, I E; Dolgikh, D A; Tsetlin, V I; Kirpichnikov, M P

    2011-01-01

    Lynx1 expresses in the central nervous system and plays important role in a regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Successful milligram-quantitive expression of ws-Lynx1 was achieved only in the case of its production in the form of cytoplasm inclusion bodies. Different conditions of ws-Lynx1 refolding for yield optimization were performed. The obtained recombinant protein was characterized by means of mass spectrometry and CD spectroscopy. The binding experiments on the nAChRs from Torpedo californica membranes revealed that ws-Lynxl is biologically active and blocks muscle nAChR with IC50-20-30 microM.

  10. 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.

  11. An allosteric modulator of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor possessing cognition-enhancing properties in vivo.

    PubMed

    Timmermann, Daniel B; Grønlien, Jens Halvard; Kohlhaas, Kathy L; Nielsen, Elsebet Ø; Dam, Eva; Jørgensen, Tino D; Ahring, Philip K; Peters, Dan; Holst, Dorte; Christensen, Jeppe K; Chrsitensen, Jeppe K; Malysz, John; Briggs, Clark A; Gopalakrishnan, Murali; Olsen, Gunnar M

    2007-10-01

    Augmentation of nicotinic alpha7 receptor function is considered to be a potential therapeutic strategy aimed at ameliorating cognitive and mnemonic dysfunction in relation to debilitating pathological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. In the present report, a novel positive allosteric modulator of the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), 1-(5-chloro-2-hydroxy-phenyl)-3-(2-chloro-5-trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-urea (NS1738), is described. NS1738 was unable to displace or affect radioligand binding to the agonist binding site of nicotinic receptors, and it was devoid of effect when applied alone in electrophysiological paradigms. However, when applied in the presence of acetylcholine (ACh), NS1738 produced a marked increase in the current flowing through alpha7 nAChRs, as determined in both oocyte electrophysiology and patch-clamp recordings from mammalian cells. NS1738 acted by increasing the peak amplitude of ACh-evoked currents at all concentrations; thus, it increased the maximal efficacy of ACh. Oocyte experiments indicated an increase in ACh potency as well. NS1738 had only marginal effects on the desensitization kinetics of alpha7 nAChRs, as determined from patch-clamp studies of both transfected cells and cultured hippocampal neurons. NS1738 was modestly brain-penetrant, and it was demonstrated to counteract a (-)-scopolamine-induced deficit in acquisition of a water-maze learning task in rats. Moreover, NS1738 improved performance in the rat social recognition test to the same extent as (-)-nicotine, demonstrating that NS1738 is capable of producing cognitive enhancement in vivo. These data support the notion that alpha7 nAChR allosteric modulation may constitute a novel pharmacological principle for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Contribution of NMDA glutamate and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor mechanisms in the discrimination of ethanol-nicotine mixtures.

    PubMed

    Ford, Matthew M; Davis, Natalie L; McCracken, Aubrey D; Grant, Kathleen A

    2013-10-01

    Ethanol and nicotine are commonly coabused drugs, and the incidence of codependence is greater than would be expected on the basis of the summed probability of dependence on each drug alone. Previous findings from our laboratory and others suggest that interactive mechanisms at the level of discriminative stimulus (S(D)) effects may contribute to this coabuse phenomenon. Specifically, ethanol overshadows the nicotine S(D) whereas nicotine potentiates the stimulus salience of ethanol when the two drugs are conditioned as a drug mixture. The goal of the current study was to begin to delineate the pharmacological bases of these ethanol-nicotine interactions. Three groups of C57BL/6J mice were trained to discriminate 0.8 mg/kg nicotine + 0.5 g/kg ethanol (0.8 N + 0.5 E), 0.8 N + 1.0 E, or 0.8 N + 2.0 E. An NMDA receptor antagonist (MK-801) and three nACh receptor ligands were tested for their ability to generalize from or antagonize, respectively, the drug mixtures. MK-801 fully generalized from the 0.8 N + 1.0 E and 0.8 N + 2.0 E mixtures and partially generalized from 0.8 N + 0.5 E. In contrast, nACh receptor ligands had minimal influence in blocking the perception of 0.8 N + 1.0 E and 0.8 N + 2.0 E mixtures, and only mecamylamine partially blocked 0.8 N+0.5 E. Reduced and enhanced contributions of nACh and NMDA receptors, respectively, in the discrimination of ethanol-nicotine mixtures may contribute to the overshadowing and potentiation phenomena observed previously.

  14. 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

  15. Identification of Propofol Binding Sites in a Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor with a Photoreactive Propofol Analog*

    PubMed Central

    Jayakar, Selwyn S.; Dailey, William P.; Eckenhoff, Roderic G.; Cohen, Jonathan B.

    2013-01-01

    Propofol, a widely used intravenous general anesthetic, acts at anesthetic concentrations as a positive allosteric modulator of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors and at higher concentration as an inhibitor of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here, we characterize propofol binding sites in a muscle-type nAChR by use of a photoreactive analog of propofol, 2-isopropyl-5-[3-(trifluoromethyl)-3H-diazirin-3-yl]phenol (AziPm). Based upon radioligand binding assays, AziPm stabilized the Torpedo nAChR in the resting state, whereas propofol stabilized the desensitized state. nAChR-rich membranes were photolabeled with [3H]AziPm, and labeled amino acids were identified by Edman degradation. [3H]AziPm binds at three sites within the nAChR transmembrane domain: (i) an intrasubunit site in the δ subunit helix bundle, photolabeling in the nAChR desensitized state (+agonist) δM2-18′ and two residues in δM1 (δPhe-232 and δCys-236); (ii) in the ion channel, photolabeling in the nAChR resting, closed channel state (−agonist) amino acids in the M2 helices (αM2-6′, βM2-6′ and -13′, and δM2-13′) that line the channel lumen (with photolabeling reduced by >90% in the desensitized state); and (iii) at the γ-α interface, photolabeling αM2-10′. Propofol enhanced [3H]AziPm photolabeling at αM2-10′. Propofol inhibited [3H]AziPm photolabeling within the δ subunit helix bundle at lower concentrations (IC50 = 40 μm) than it inhibited ion channel photolabeling (IC50 = 125 μm). These results identify for the first time a single intrasubunit propofol binding site in the nAChR transmembrane domain and suggest that this is the functionally relevant inhibitory binding site. PMID:23300078

  16. 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.

  17. Ligand-binding properties of an unusual nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype on isolated outer hair cells from guinea pig cochlea.

    PubMed

    Lawoko, G; Järlebark, L; Heilbronn, E

    1995-07-28

    Acetylcholine receptors on isolated guinea pig cochlear outer hair cells (OHC) were characterized by radioligand binding. Equilibrium binding of [125I]alpha-bungarotoxin revealed a KD of 62 +/- 2 nM, Bmax = 7.2 +/- 1.8 x 10(7) binding sites/OHC, and a slowly reversible dissociation rate constant, kappa-1 = 2.2 +/- 0.01 x 10(-4) min-1. L-[3H]Nicotine bound reversibly (estimated KD approximately 230 nM and Bmax approximately 5 x 10(7)) with kinetic rate constants of association kappa-1 = 6.2 +/- 0.06 x 10(4) min-1 nM-1 and dissociation kappa-1 = 0.23 +/- 0.003 min-1. [3H]Strychnine bound to OHC with a KD of 35 +/- 6 nM and Bmax = 2.6 +/- 0.5 x 10(7), and binding increased 3-4 fold after membrane depolarization with 56.2 mM [K+], suggesting additional binding sites. Binding, seen only at > nM concentrations, of [3H]3-quinuclidinyl benzilate (KD = 11.5 +/- 5 nM; Bmax = 2.5 +/- 0.6 x 10(6)) was competitively inhibited by the muscarinic antagonists atropine and 4-DAMP (IC50 of 6.1 +/- 0.5 and 6.5 +/- 0.4 nM). The OHC receptor is thus an atypical nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype with unusual pharmacological properties.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

  19. Expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in non-small-cell lung cancer reveals differences between smokers and nonsmokers.

    PubMed

    Lam, David Chi-Leung; Girard, Luc; Ramirez, Ruben; Chau, Wing-Shun; Suen, Wai-sing; Sheridan, Shelley; Tin, Vicky P C; Chung, Lap-ping; Wong, Maria P; Shay, Jerry W; Gazdar, Adi F; Lam, Wah-kit; Minna, John D

    2007-05-15

    Nicotine and its derivatives, by binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) on bronchial epithelial cells, can regulate cellular proliferation and apoptosis via activating the Akt pathway. Delineation of nAChR subtypes in non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC) may provide information for prevention or therapeutic targeting. Expression of nAChR subunit genes in 66 resected primary NSCLCs, 7 histologically non-involved lung tissues, 13 NSCLC cell lines, and 6 human bronchial epithelial cell lines (HBEC) was analyzed with quantitative PCR and microarray analysis. Five nonmalignant HBECs were exposed to nicotine in vitro to study the variation of nAChR subunit gene expression with nicotine exposure and removal. NSCLCs from nonsmokers showed higher expression of nAChR alpha6 (P < 0.001) and beta3 (P = 0.007) subunit genes than those from smokers, adjusted for gender. In addition, nAChR alpha4 (P < 0.001) and beta4 (P = 0.029) subunit gene expression showed significant difference between NSCLCs and normal lung. Using Affymetrix GeneChip U133 Sets, 65 differentially expressed genes associated with NSCLC nonsmoking nAChR alpha6beta3 phenotype were identified, which gave high sensitivity and specificity of prediction. nAChR alpha1, alpha5, and alpha7 showed significant reversible changes in expression levels in HBECs upon nicotine exposure. We conclude that between NSCLCs from smokers and nonsmokers, different nAChR subunit gene expression patterns were found, and a 65-gene expression signature was associated with nonsmoking nAChR alpha6beta3 expression. Finally, nicotine exposure in HBECs resulted in reversible differences in nAChR subunit gene expression. These results further implicate nicotine in bronchial carcinogenesis and suggest targeting nAChRs for prevention and therapy in lung cancer.

  20. Synthesis of 2-(substituted phenyl)-3,5,5-trimethylmorpholine analogues and their effects on monoamine uptake, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function, and behavioral effects of nicotine.

    PubMed

    Carroll, F Ivy; Muresan, Ana Z; Blough, Bruce E; Navarro, Hernán A; Mascarella, S Wayne; Eaton, J Brek; Huang, Xiaodong; Damaj, M Imad; Lukas, Ronald J

    2011-03-10

    Toward development of smoking cessation aids superior to bupropion (2), we describe synthesis of 2-(substituted phenyl)-3,5,5-trimethylmorpholine analogues 5a-5h and their effects on inhibition of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin uptake, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) function, acute actions of nicotine, and nicotine-conditioned place preference (CPP). Several analogues encompassing aryl substitutions, N-alkylation, and alkyl extensions of the morpholine ring 3-methyl group provided analogues more potent in vitro than (S,S)-hydroxybupropion (4a) as inhibitors of dopamine or norepinephrine uptake and antagonists of nAChR function. All of the new (S,S)-5 analogues had better potency than (S,S)-4a as blockers of acute nicotine analgesia in the tail-flick test. Two analogues with highest potency at α3β4*-nAChR and among the most potent transporter inhibitors have better potency than (S,S)-4a in blocking nicotine-CPP. Collectively, these findings illuminate mechanisms of action of 2 analogues and identify deshydroxybupropion analogues 5a-5h as possibly superior candidates as aids to smoking cessation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. (-)-Spiro[1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octane-3,5'-oxazolidin-2'-one], a conformationally restricted analogue of acetylcholine, is a highly selective full agonist at the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Mullen, G; Napier, J; Balestra, M; DeCory, T; Hale, G; Macor, J; Mack, R; Loch, J; Wu, E; Kover, A; Verhoest, P; Sampognaro, A; Phillips, E; Zhu, Y; Murray, R; Griffith, R; Blosser, J; Gurley, D; Machulskis, A; Zongrone, J; Rosen, A; Gordon, J

    2000-11-02

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are members of the ligand-gated ion channel receptor superfamily and may play important roles in modulating neurotransmission, cognition, sensory gating, and anxiety. Because of its distribution and abundance in the CNS, the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor is a strong candidate to be involved in some of these functions. In this paper we describe the synthesis and in vitro profile of AR-R17779, (-)-spiro[1-azabicyclo[2.2. 2]octane-3,5'-oxazolidin-2'-one] (4a), a potent full agonist at the rat alpha 7 nicotinic receptor, which is highly selective for the rat alpha 7 nicotinic receptor over the alpha 4 beta 2 subtype. Preliminary SAR of AR-R17779 presented here indicate that there is little scope for modification of this rigid molecule as even minor changes result in significant loss of the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor affinity.

  4. Methadone is a non-competitive antagonist at the α4β2 and α3* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and an agonist at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Talka, Reeta; Salminen, Outi; Tuominen, Raimo K

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine-methadone interactions have been studied in human beings and in various experimental settings regarding addiction, reward and pain. Most methadone maintenance treatment patients are smokers, and methadone administration has been shown to increase cigarette smoking. Previous in vitro studies have shown that methadone is a non-competitive antagonist at rat α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and an agonist at human α7 nAChRs. In this study, we used cell lines expressing human α4β2, α7 and α3* nAChRs to compare the interactions of methadone at the various human nAChRs under the same experimental conditions. A [(3) H]epibatidine displacement assay was used to determine whether methadone binds to the nicotinic receptors, and (86) Rb(+) efflux and changes in intracellular calcium [Ca(2+) ]i were used to assess changes in the functional activity of the receptors. Methadone displaced [(3) H]epibatidine from nicotinic agonist-binding sites in SH-EP1-hα7 and SH-SY5Y cells, but not in SH-EP1-hα4β2 cells. The Ki values for methadone were 6.3 μM in SH-EP1-hα7 cells and 19.4 μM and 1008 μM in SH-SY5Y cells. Methadone increased [Ca(2+) ]i in all cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner, and in SH-EP1-hα7 cells, the effect was more pronounced than the effect of nicotine treatment. In SH-EP1-hα4β2 cells, the effect of methadone was negligible compared to that of nicotine. Methadone pre-treatment abolished the nicotine-induced response in [Ca(2+) ]i in all cell lines expressing nAChRs. In SH-EP1-hα4β2 and SH-SY5Y cells, methadone had no effect on the (86) Rb(+) efflux, but it antagonized the nicotine-induced (86) Rb(+) ion efflux in a non-competitive manner. These results suggest that methadone is an agonist at human α7 nAChRs and a non-competitive antagonist at human α4β2 and α3* nAChRs. This study adds further support to the previous findings that opioids interact with nAChRs, which may underlie their frequent co

  5. 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.

  6. Postsynaptic action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor attenuates alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated responses in hippocampal interneurons.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Catarina C; Pinto-Duarte, António; Ribeiro, Joaquim Alexandre; Sebastião, Ana M

    2008-05-21

    Nicotinic mechanisms acting on the hippocampus influence attention, learning, and memory and constitute a significant therapeutic target for many neurodegenerative, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. Here, we report that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (1-100 ng/ml), a member of the neurotrophin gene family, rapidly decreases alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor responses in interneurons of the hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum. Such effect is dependent on the activation of the TrkB receptor and involves the actin cytoskeleton; noteworthy, it is compromised when the extracellular levels of the endogenous neuromodulator adenosine are reduced with adenosine deaminase (1 U/ml) or when adenosine A(2A) receptors are blocked with SCH 58261 (2-(2-furanyl)-7-(2-phenylethyl)-7H-pyrazolo[4,3-e][1,2,4]triazolo[1,5-c]pyrimidin-5-amine) (100 nm). The intracellular application of U73122 (1-[6[[(17beta)-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl]amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione) (5 mum), a broad-spectrum inhibitor of phospholipase C, or GF 109203X (bisindolylmaleimide I) (2 mum), a general inhibitor of protein kinase C isoforms, blocks BDNF-induced inhibition of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function. Moreover, in conditions of simultaneous intracellular dialysis of the fast Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA (10 mm) and removal of extracellular Ca(2+) ions, the inhibitory action of BDNF is further prevented. The present findings disclose a novel target for rapid actions of BDNF that might play important roles on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the brain.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. [The synergetic effects of nitric oxide and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on learning and memory of rats].

    PubMed

    Jing, Zhi-Hua; Wei, Xiao-Ming; Wang, Shao-Hu; Chen, Yu-Fen; Liu, Li-Xia; Qi, Wen-Xiu

    2014-06-25

    The aim of the present study is to explore the interaction of nitric oxide (NO) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) on learning and memory of rats. Rats were intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) injected with L-arginine (L-Arg, the NO precursor) (L-Arg group) or choline chloride (CC, an agonist of α7nAChR) (CC group), and with combined injection of L-Arg and CC (L-Arg+CC group), and methyllycaconitine (MLA, α7nAChR antagonist) or N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) i.c.v. injected first and followed by administration of L-Arg combined with CC (MLA+L-Arg+CC group or L-NAME+L-Arg+CC group), respectively, and normal saline was used as control (NS group). The learning and memory ability of rats was tested with Y-maze; the level of NO and the expressions of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) or α7nAChR in hippocampus were measured by NO assay kit, immunohistochemistry or Western blot. The results showed that compared with L-Arg group or CC group, the rats' learning and memory behavioral ability in Y-maze was observably enhanced and the level of NO, the optical density of nNOS-like immunoreactivity (LI) or α7nAChR-LI in hippocampus were significantly increased in L-Arg+CC group; Compared with L-Arg+CC group, the ability of learning and memory and the level of NO as well as the expressions of nNOS-LI or α7nAChR-LI were obviously decreased in MLA+L-Arg+CC group or in L-NAME+L-Arg+CC group. In conclusion, i.c.v. administration of L-Arg combined with CC significantly improved the action of the L-Arg or CC on the content of NO and the nNOS or α7nAChR expressions in hippocampus along with the learning and memory behavior of rats; when nNOS or α7nAChR was interrupted in advance, the effects of L-Arg combined with CC were also suppressed. The results suggest that there are probably synergistic effects between NO and nAChR on learning and memory.

  9. Structural determinants of alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor trafficking.

    PubMed

    Ren, Xiao-Qin; Cheng, Shi-Bin; Treuil, Magdalen W; Mukherjee, Jayanta; Rao, Jayaraman; Braunewell, K H; Lindstrom, Jon M; Anand, Rene

    2005-07-13

    The structural determinants of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) trafficking have yet to be fully elucidated. Hydrophobic residues occur within short motifs important for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) export or endocytotic trafficking. Hence, we tested whether highly conserved hydrophobic residues, primarily leucines, in the cytoplasmic domain of the alpha4beta2 AChR subunits were required for cell surface expression of alpha4beta2 AChRs. Mutation of F350, L351, L357, and L358 to alanine in the alpha4 AChR subunit attenuates cell surface expression of mutant alpha4beta2 AChRs. Mutation of F342, L343, L349, and L350 to alanine at homologous positions in the beta2 AChR subunit abolishes cell surface expression of mutant alpha4beta2 AChRs. The hydrophobic nature of the leucine residue is a primary determinant of its function because mutation of L343 to another hydrophobic amino acid, phenylalanine, in the beta2 AChR subunit only poorly inhibits trafficking of mutant alpha4beta2 AChR to the cell surface. All mutant alpha4beta2 AChRs exhibit high-affinity binding for [3H]epibatidine. In both tsA201 cells and differentiated SH-SY5Y neural cells, wild-type alpha4beta2 AChRs colocalize with the Golgi marker giantin, whereas mutant alpha4beta2 AChRs fail to do so. The striking difference between mutant alpha4 versus mutant beta2 AChR subunits on cell surface expression of mutant alpha4beta2 AChRs points to a cooperative or regulatory role for the alpha4 AChR subunit and an obligatory role for the beta2 AChR subunit in ER export. Collectively, our results identify, for the first time, residues within AChR subunits that are essential structural determinants of alpha4beta2 AChR ER export.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Immunohistochemical localization of monoclonal antibodies to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in chick midbrain.

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, L W; Lindstrom, J; Tzartos, S; Schmued, L C; O'Leary, D D; Cowan, W M

    1983-01-01

    We used the indirect immunofluorescence method to determine the crossreactivity of a library of 57 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against each of the subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAcChoR) isolated from Torpedo and Electrophorus electric organs or from fetal calf and human muscle, with specific neural elements in the midbrain of the chick. Out of 17 mAbs that recognized motor end plates on chick muscle, 14 produced a similar pattern of labeling in the midbrain: the neuronal perikarya and dendrites in the lateral spiriform nucleus (SpL) were intensely labeled, and there was moderate labeling of fibers in certain of the deeper layers of the optic tectum, which disappeared after the SpL was destroyed electrolytically. Two lines of evidence suggest that the mAbs may be crossreacting with nAcChoRs in the midbrain. First, all of the mAbs that stained the SpL also stained neuromuscular junctions in skeletal muscle, whereas none of the 40 mAbs that failed to stain end plates crossreacted with the SpL; second, in vitro immunological studies and blocking experiments on tissue sections (in which unlabeled mAbs were used to block the staining of a directly fluorescein-treated mAb) indicated the presence of mAbs specific for unique antigenic determinants on all four of the subunits (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) from Torpedo nAcChoR in chick midbrain and muscle. On the other hand, the distribution of mAb staining in the optic tectum does not closely parallel that of either acetylcholinesterase staining or of 125I-labeled alpha-bungarotoxin binding; no toxin binding has been observed autoradiographically in the SpL, but the nucleus does contain moderately dense acetylcholinesterase staining. Take together, our observations suggest that there may be a cholinergic input to the SpL and that the projection fibers from the SpL to the optic tectum (which are also stained with an antiserum to [Leu]enkephalin) may contain presynaptic nAcChoRs. It is clear, however

  12. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors containing α6 subunits contribute to alcohol reward-related behaviours

    PubMed Central

    Powers, M. S.; Broderick, H. J.; Drenan, R. M.; Chester, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence is emerging that neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system are involved in mediating the reinforcing effects of alcohol. Midbrain DA neurons express high levels of α6 subunit-containing nAChRs that modulate DA transmission, implicating their involvement in reward-related behaviours. This study assessed the role of α6-containing nAChRs in modulating alcohol reward using transgenic mice expressing mutant, hyper-sensitive α6 nAChR subunits (α6L9′ S mice). α6L9′ S mice and littermate controls were tested in three well-established models of alcohol reward: 24-h two-bottle choice drinking, drinking in the dark (DID), and conditioned place preference (CPP). Confocal microscopy and patch-clamp electrophysiology were used to show the localization and function of hypersensitive α6 subunit-containing nAChRs. Results indicate that female α6L9′ S mice showed significantly higher alcohol intake at low concentrations of alcohol (3% and 6%) in the two-bottle choice procedure. Both male and female α6L9′ S mice drank significantly more in the DID procedure and displayed an alcohol-induced place preference using a low dose of alcohol (0.5 g/kg) that was ineffective in littermate controls. Confocal microscopy showed that α6 subunit-containing nAChRs are selectively expressed on ventral tegmental area (VTA) DAergic, but not GABAergic neurons. Patch-clamp electrophysiology showed that VTA DA neurons of α6L9′ S mice are hypersensitive to ACh. Collectively, these results suggest that α6L9′ S mice are more sensitive to the rewarding effects of alcohol, and suggest that VTA α6 subunit-containing nAChRs modulate alcohol reward. Thus, α6 subunit-containing nAChRs may be a promising therapeutic target for treatment of alcohol use disorders. PMID:23594044

  13. 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

    which are more potent at desensitization of α4β2* receptors display better analgesia scores in the formalin test. Consideration of desensitization propertiesat α4β2* receptors, especially at α4β2α5, in multiple linear regression analyses significantly improves correlations with efficacies of analgesia. Thus, α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor desensitization may contribute to efficacy in the mediation of pain, and represent a mechanism for analgesic effects mediated by nicotinic agonists.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Acetylcholine sensitivity of biphasic Ca2+ mobilization induced by nicotinic receptor activation at the mouse skeletal muscle endplate

    PubMed Central

    Dezaki, Katsuya; Kimura, Ikuko

    1998-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) was locally applied onto the endplate region in a mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm muscle preparation to measure intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) entry through nicotinic ACh receptors (AChRs) by use of Ca2+-aequorin luminescence.ACh (0.1–3 mM, 20 μl) elicited biphasic elevation of [Ca2+]i (fast and slow Ca2+ mobilization) in muscle cells. The peak amplitude of the slow Ca2+ mobilization (not accompanied by twitch tension) was concentration-dependently increased by ACh, whereas that of the fast component (accompanied by twitch tension) reached a maximum response at a lower concentration (0.1 mM) of applied ACh.A pulse of nicotinic agonists, (−)-nicotine (10 mM) and 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenyl-piperazinium (10 mM), but not a muscarinic agonist pilocarpine (10 mM), also elicited a biphasic Ca2+ signal.Even though ACh release from motor nerve endings was blocked by botulinum toxin (5 μg, bolus i.p. before isolation of the tissue), the generation of both a fast and slow Ca2+ component caused by ACh application was observed.These results strongly suggest that ACh locally applied onto the endplate region of skeletal muscle induces a slow Ca2+ signal reflecting Ca2+ entry through a postsynaptic nicotinic AChR, which has a low sensitivity to transmitter ACh. PMID:9579738

  16. Sevoflurane anesthesia alters exploratory and anxiety-like behavior in mice lacking the beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit.

    PubMed

    Wiklund, Andreas; Granon, Sylvie; Cloëz-Tayarani, Isabelle; Faure, Philippe; le Sourd, Anne-Marie; Sundman, Eva; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Eriksson, Lars I

    2008-11-01

    Preexisting cognitive impairment and advanced age are factors that increase the risk of developing postoperative cognitive dysfunction. Because anesthetic agents interfere with cholinergic transmission and as impairment of cholinergic function is associated with cognitive decline, the authors studied how the volatile anesthetic sevoflurane affects exploratory and anxiety-like behavior in young and aged animals with a genetically modified cholinergic system. Young and aged wild-type and mutant mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nicotinic cholinergic receptor (beta2KO) were anesthetized for 2 h with 2.6% sevoflurane in oxygen and compared with nonanesthetized controls. Locomotor activity and organization of movement in the open field model were assessed before and 24 h after anesthesia. Locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze were assessed 24 h after anesthesia. High- and low-affinity nicotinic receptor and cholinergic uptake site densities were evaluated in the hippocampus, amygdala, and forebrain regions using receptor autoradiography. Sevoflurane anesthesia significantly reduced locomotor activity, altered temporospatial organization of trajectories, and increased anxiety-like behavior in young beta2KO mice, whereas no such changes were observed in young wild-type mice. Aged wild-type and beta2KO mice displayed reactions that were similar, but not identical, to the reactions of young mice to sevoflurane anesthesia. However, behavioral changes were not associated with differences in nicotinic receptor or cholinergic uptake site densities. In conclusion, sevoflurane anesthesia altered exploratory and anxiety-like behavior in mice lacking the beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit.

  17. Kynurenic acid as an antagonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain: facts and challenges.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, Edson X; Schwarcz, Robert

    2013-04-15

    Kynurenic acid (KYNA), a major tryptophan metabolite, is a glutamate receptor antagonist, which is also reported to inhibit α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs). Due to variations in experimental approaches, controversy has arisen regarding the ability of KYNA to directly influence α7nAChR function. Here we summarize current concepts of KYNA neurobiology and review evidence pertaining to the proposed role of KYNA as an endogenous modulator of α7nAChRs and synaptic transmission. As dysfunction of α7nAChRs plays a major role in the pathophysiology of central nervous system disorders, elucidation of KYNA's action on this receptor subtype has significant therapeutic implications. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Varenicline provokes impulsive action by stimulating α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the infralimbic cortex in a nicotine exposure status-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Ohmura, Yu; Sasamori, Hitomi; Tsutsui-Kimura, Iku; Izumi, Takeshi; Yoshida, Takayuki; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro

    2017-03-01

    Higher impulsivity is a risk factor for criminal involvement and drug addiction. Because nicotine administration enhances impulsivity, the effects of stop-smoking aids stimulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on impulsivity must be determined in different conditions. Our goals were 1) to confirm the relationship between varenicline, a stop-smoking aid and α4β2 nAChR partial agonist, and impulsivity, 2) to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effects of varenicline, 3) to examine whether a low dose of varenicline that does not evoke impulsive action could block the stimulating effects of nicotine on impulsive action, 4) to determine whether the route of administration could modulate the effects of varenicline on impulsive action, and 5) to determine whether the effects of varenicline on impulsivity could be altered by smoking status. We used a 3-choice serial reaction time task to assess impulsivity and other cognitive functions in rats. Our findings are as follows: 1) acute subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of varenicline evoked impulsive action in a dose-dependent manner; 2) the effects of varenicline on impulsivity were blocked by the microinjection of dihydro-β-erythroidine, a α4β2 nAChR antagonist, into the infralimbic cortex; 3) the low dose of varenicline did not attenuate the effects of nicotine on impulsive action at all; 4) oral administration of varenicline evoked impulsive action in a similar manner to s.c. injection; and 5) the stimulating effects of varenicline on impulsive action were not observed in rats that received nicotine infusion for 8days or nicotine-abstinent rats after discontinuing infusion. Additionally, we found that oral varenicline administration enhanced attentional function whether nicotine was infused or not. Thus, although varenicline administration could be harmless to heavy smokers or ex-smokers, it could be difficult for non-smokers with respect to impulsivity, whereas it may be beneficial with respect to

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and maternal nicotine exposure in animal models are associated with cognitive impairments in offspring. However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Oriens-lacunosum moleculare (OLM) cells expressing α2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are an important component of hippocampal circuitry, gating information flow and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region. Here we investigated whether early postnatal nicotine exposure alters the normal role of α2*-nAChR-expressing OLM cells during adolescence in rats. We found that early postnatal nicotine exposure significantly decreased not only the number of α2-mRNA-expressing interneurons in the stratum oriens/alveus, but also α2*-nAChR-mediated responses in OLM cells. These effects of nicotine were prevented by co-administration with the nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine, suggesting that nicotine-induced activation, but not desensitization, of nAChRs mediates the effects. α2*-nAChR-mediated depolarization of OLM cells normally triggers action potentials, causing an increase in spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in synaptically connected pyramidal cells. However, these α2*-nAChR-mediated effects were profoundly reduced after early postnatal nicotine exposure, suggesting altered control of CA1 circuits by α2*-nAChR-expressing OLM cells. Furthermore, these effects were associated with altered excitatory neural activity and LTP as well as the loss of normal α2*-nAChR-mediated control of excitatory neural activity and LTP. These findings suggest the altered function of α2*-nAChR-expressing OLM cells as an important target of further study for identifying the mechanisms underlying the cognitive impairment induced by maternal smoking during pregnancy. PMID:26386153

  1. Effect of administration of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist BTMPS, during nicotine self-administration, on lever responding induced by context long after withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Hall, Brandon J; Pearson, Laura S; Buccafusco, Jerry J

    2010-02-01

    The use-dependent, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist bis-(2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-4-piperidinyl) sebacate (BTMPS) was studied for its potential to reduce the self-administration of nicotine in rats, as well as to reduce context-induced recidivistic-like behavior after a six-week period of cessation. Rats were allowed to self-administer nicotine (FR1 schedule) inside an operant chamber with a response lever active on a 24 h basis for 14 days. After the self-administration phase, the rats were returned to standard maintenance cages for a period of six weeks. At the end of six weeks the rats were returned to the operant chambers for 7 days and lever responses were recorded under conditions identical to the original self-administration phase, except that lever responses were not rewarded. Daily administration (s.c.) of BTMPS produced a dose-dependent decrease in the self-administration of nicotine 55-80% compared to control animals, and significantly decreased context-induced lever responding initiated six weeks after cessation (35-78% reduction vs. controls). Decreasing the BTMPS regimen to administration once every 3 days was not effective in reducing nicotine self-administration, but lever responding induced during the return to the operant chambers 6 weeks later was significantly decreased (40% reduction vs. controls). Therefore BTMPS can selectively reduce both self-administration of nicotine and long-term recidivistic-like behavior depending upon the dose regimen. Since BTMPS does not evoke anti-nicotinic effects under normal physiological conditions, these data support a proof of concept for the safe use of such compounds in the treatment of tobacco abuse. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptors with high and low acetylcholine sensitivity: pharmacology, stoichiometry, and sensitivity to long-term exposure to nicotine.

    PubMed

    Moroni, Mirko; Zwart, Ruud; Sher, Emanuele; Cassels, Bruce K; Bermudez, Isabel

    2006-08-01

    alpha4 and beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits expressed heterologously assemble into receptors with high (HS) and low (LS) sensitivity to acetylcholine (ACh); their relative proportions depend on the alpha4to beta2 ratio. In this study, injection of oocytes with 1:10 alpha4/beta2 subunit cDNA ratios favored expression of HS alpha4beta2 nAChRs, as evidenced by monophasic ACh concentration-response curves, whereas injections with 10:1 cDNA ratios favored expression of LS alpha4beta2 receptors. The stoichiometry was inferred from the shifts in the ACh EC(50) values caused by Leu to Thr mutations at position 9' of the second transmembrane domain of alpha4 and beta2. The 1:10 injection ratio produced the (alpha4)(2)(beta2)(3) stoichiometry, whereas 10:1 injections produced the (alpha4)(3)(beta2)(2) stoichiometry. The agonists epibatidine, 3-[2(S)-azetidinylmethoxy]pyridine (A-85380), 5-ethoxy-metanicotine (TC-2559), cytisine, and 3-Br-cytisine and the antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine and d-tubocurarine were more potent at HS receptors. TC-2559 was more efficacious than ACh at HS receptors but was a partial agonist at LS receptors. Epibatidine was more efficacious than ACh at LS receptors and a partial agonist at HS receptors. Cytisine and 5-halogenated cytisines had moderate efficacy at LS receptors but had almost no efficacy at HS receptors. By exploiting the differential effects of ACh, TC-2559 and 5-I-cytisine we evaluated the effects of long-term exposure to nicotine on HS and LS receptors expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes after cDNA injections or microtransplantation of alpha4beta2 receptors assembled in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. We conclude that nicotine up-regulates HS alpha4beta2 receptors, probably by influencing the assembly of receptors rather than by altering the functional state of LS alpha4beta2 nAChRs.

  5. The prototoxin LYPD6B modulates heteromeric α3β4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but not α7 homomers

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa, Vanessa; George, Andrew A.; Nishi, Rae; Whiteaker, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Prototoxins are a diverse family of membrane-tethered molecules expressed in the nervous system that modulate nicotinic cholinergic signaling, but their functions and specificity have yet to be completely explored. We tested the selectivity and efficacy of leukocyte antigen, PLAUR (plasminogen activator, urokinase receptor) domain-containing (LYPD)-6B on α3β4-, α3α5β4-, and α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To constrain stoichiometry, fusion proteins encoding concatemers of human α3, β4, and α5 (D and N variants) subunits were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and tested with or without LYPD6B. We used the 2-electrode voltage-clamp method to quantify responses to acetylcholine (ACh): agonist sensitivity (EC50), maximal agonist-induced current (Imax), and time constant (τ) of desensitization. For β4–α3–α3–β4–α3 and β4–α3–β4–α3–α3, LYPD6B decreased EC50 from 631 to 79 μM, reduced Imax by at least 59%, and decreased τ. For β4–α3–α5D–β4–α3 and β4–α3–β4–α–α5D, LYPD6B decreased Imax by 63 and 32%, respectively. Thus, LYPD6B acted only on (α3)3(β4)2 and (α3)2(α5D)(β4)2 and did not affect the properties of (α3)2(β4)3, α7, or (α3)2(α5N)(β4)2 nAChRs. Therefore, LYPD6B acts as a mixed modulator that enhances the sensitivity of (α3)3(β4)2 nAChRs to ACh while reducing ACh-induced whole-cell currents. LYPD6B also negatively modulates α3β4 nAChRs that include the α5D common human variant, but not the N variant associated with nicotine dependence.—Ochoa, V., George, A. A., Nishi, R., Whiteaker, P. The prototoxin LYPD6B modulates heteromeric α3β4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but not α7 homomers. PMID:26586467

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Thujone inhibits the function of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and impairs nicotine-induced memory enhancement in one-trial passive avoidance paradigm.

    PubMed

    Sultan, Ahmed; Yang, Keun-Hang Susan; Isaev, Dmitro; Nebrisi, Eslam El; Syed, Nurulain; Khan, Nadia; Howarth, Christopher F; Sadek, Bassem; Oz, Murat

    2017-06-01

    Effects of thujone, a major ingredient of absinthe, wormwood oil and some herbal medicines, were tested on the function of α7 subunit of the human nicotinic acetylcholine (α7 nACh) receptor expressed in Xenopus oocytes using the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. Thujone reversibly inhibited ACh (100μM)-induced currents with an IC50 value of 24.7μM. The effect of thujone was not dependent on the membrane potential and did not involve Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels expressed endogenously in oocytes. Inhibition by thujone was not reversed by increasing ACh concentrations. Moreover, specific binding of [(125)I] α-bungarotoxin was not altered by thujone. Further experiments in SH-EP1 cells expressing human α7 nACh receptor indicated that thujone suppressed choline induced Ca(2+) transients in a concentration-dependent manner. In rat hippocampal CA3-dentate gyrus synapses, nicotine-induced enhancement of long-term potentiation was also inhibited by thujone. Furthermore, the results observed in in-vivo one-trial passive avoidance paradigm show that thujone (1.25mg/kg, i.p.) significantly impaired nicotine-induced enhancement of learning and memory in Wistar rats. Collectively, our results indicate that thujone inhibits the function of the α7-nACh receptor and impairs cellular and behavioral correlates of cholinergic modulation of learning and memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Acetylcholine and the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor: a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of periodontal disease?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for a functional cholinergic system operating within the periodontium and determine the evidence for its role in periodontal immunity. Introduction Acetylcholine can influence the immune system via the ‘cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway’. This pathway is mediated by the vagus nerve which releases acetylcholine to interact with the α7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) on proximate immuno-regulatory cells. Activation of the α7nAChR on these cells leads to down-regulated expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and thus regulates localised inflammatory responses. The role of the vagus nerve in periodontal pathophysiology is currently unknown. However, non-neuronal cells can also release acetylcholine and express the α7nAChR; these include keratinocytes, fibroblasts, T cells, B cells and macrophages. Therefore, by both autocrine and paracrine methods non-neuronal acetylcholine can also be hypothesised to modulate the localised immune response. Methods A Pubmed database search was performed for studies providing evidence for a functional cholinergic system operating in the periodontium. In addition, literature on the role of the ‘cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway’ in modulating the immune response was extrapolated to hypothesise that similar mechanisms of immune regulation occur within the periodontium. Conclusion The evidence suggests a functional nonneuronal ‘cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway’ may operate in the periodontium and that this may be targeted therapeutically to treat periodontal disease. PMID:22777144

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-09

    Activation of the α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype has recently been implicated in the pathophysiology of various conditions, including development and progression of lung cancer and in nicotine addiction. As selective α3β4 nAChR antagonists, α-conotoxins are valuable tools to evaluate the functional roles of this receptor subtype. We previously reported the discovery of a new α4/7-conotoxin, RegIIA. RegIIA was isolated from Conus regius and inhibits acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked currents mediated by α3β4, α3β2, and α7 nAChR subtypes. The current study used alanine scanning mutagenesis to understand the selectivity profile of RegIIA at the α3β4 nAChR subtype. [N11A] and [N12A] RegIIA analogs exhibited 3-fold more selectivity for the α3β4 than the α3β2 nAChR subtype. We also report synthesis of [N11A,N12A]RegIIA, a selective α3β4 nAChR antagonist (IC5