Neural systems governed by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: emerging hypotheses.
Summary of "Neural systems governed by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: emerging hypotheses."
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.
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21482353
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2011.03.014
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Drugs that bind to nicotinic cholinergic receptors (RECEPTORS, NICOTINIC) and block the actions of acetylcholine or cholinergic agonists. Nicotinic antagonists block synaptic transmission at autonomic ganglia, the skeletal neuromuscular junction, and at central nervous system nicotinic synapses.
Agents that mimic neural transmission by stimulation of the nicotinic receptors on postganglionic autonomic neurons. Drugs that indirectly augment ganglionic transmission by increasing the release or slowing the breakdown of acetylcholine or by non-nicotinic effects on postganglionic neurons are not included here nor are the nonspecific cholinergic agonists.
Drugs that bind to and activate nicotinic cholinergic receptors (RECEPTORS, NICOTINIC). Nicotinic agonists act at postganglionic nicotinic receptors, at neuroeffector junctions in the peripheral nervous system, and at nicotinic receptors in the central nervous system. Agents that function as neuromuscular depolarizing blocking agents are included here because they activate nicotinic receptors, although they are used clinically to block nicotinic transmission.
Agents having as their major action the interruption of neural transmission at nicotinic receptors on postganglionic autonomic neurons. Because their actions are so broad, including blocking of sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, their therapeutic use has been largely supplanted by more specific drugs. They may still be used in the control of blood pressure in patients with acute dissecting aortic aneurysm and for the induction of hypotension in surgery.
Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital
A heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by a congenital defect in neuromuscular transmission at the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION. This includes presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic disorders (that are not of autoimmune origin). The majority of these diseases are caused by mutations of various subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (RECEPTORS, NICOTINIC) on the postsynaptic surface of the junction. (From Arch Neurol 1999 Feb;56(2):163-7)
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