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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) function as ligand-gated ion channels activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Gene knockout and antisense studies coupled with pharmacological studies with nAChR agonists have documented a role of α4β2 nAChR activation in analgesia. ABT-594, for the first time, provided clinical validation to the nAChR(More)
Gabapentin and pregabalin have been demonstrated, both in animal pain models and clinically, to be effective analgesics particularly for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The precise mechanism of action for these two drugs is unknown, but they are generally believed to function via initially binding to the alpha2delta subunit of voltage-gated Ca2+(More)
Pain and itch are closely related sensations, yet qualitatively quite distinct. Despite recent advances in brain imaging techniques, identifying the differences between pain and itch signals in the brain cortex is difficult due to continuous temporal and spatial changes in the signals. The high spatial resolution of positron emission tomography (PET) and(More)
BACKGROUND Dimebolin (latrepirdine), a compound with multiple potential drug targets, is being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and preliminary results suggest it can slow the disease process. There is also evidence that dimebolin directly improves aspects of cognition. Here we examined the acute effect of dimebolin(More)
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. Multiple genetic and environmental factors are thought to be responsible for susceptibility to AD. In this study, we collected 2,478 DNA samples including 209 AD patients and 729 control subjects from Taiwanese population and 513 AD patients and 1027 control subject from Japanese population for(More)
Kawasaki disease (KD) is characterized by systemic vasculitis with unknown etiology. Previous studies from Japan indicated that a gene polymorphism of ITPKC (rs28493229) is responsible for susceptibility to KD. We collected DNA samples from 1,531 Taiwanese subjects (341 KD patients and 1,190 controls) for genotyping ITPKC. In this study, no significant(More)
Progress in the fields of neuroscience and molecular biology has identified the forebrain cholinergic system as being important in many higher order brain functions. Further analysis of the genes encoding the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) has highlighted, in particular, the role of α7 nAChRs in these higher order brain functions as evidenced by(More)
Alpha3-containing (alpha 3*) and alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed in human IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells and implicated in Ca(2+) signaling. In this study, we investigated the intracellular Ca(2+) transient generation evoked by selective activation of alpha 3* (agonist potency rank order: epibatidine>varenicline>nicotine(More)
P2X receptors belong to a superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels that conduct the influx of Ca(2+), Na(+) and K(+) cations following activation by extracellular nucleotides such as ATP. Molecular cloning studies have identified seven subunits, namely P2X(1-7), that share approximately 40 - 50% identity in amino acid sequences within the subfamily. Using(More)
The human skin is an integral system that acts as a physical and immunological barrier to outside pathogens, toxicants, and harmful irradiations. Environmental ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun might potentially play a more active role in regulating several important biological responses in the context of global warming. UV rays first encounter the(More)