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Nicotine is a very widely used drug of abuse, which exerts a number of neurovegetative, behavioural and psychological effects by interacting with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (NAChRs). These receptors are distributed widely in human brain and ganglia, and form a family of ACh-gated ion channels of different subtypes, each of which has a(More)
The distribution of nicotinic receptors in the brain and ganglia of the Cynomolgus monkey was studied by in situ hybridization and receptor autoradiography. A 35S-labeled antisense riboprobe for the mRNA of the alpha 3 subunit of the human nicotinic receptor, [3H]L-nicotine and [125]alpha-bungarotoxin were used as markers. The highest levels of alpha 3-mRNA(More)
The mechanisms involved in the development of chronic pain are varied and complex. Pain processes are plastic and unrelieved pain may lead to changes in the neural structure involved in pain generation. Nociceptive pain announces the presence of a potentially damaging stimulus that occurs when noxious stimuli activate primary afferent neurons. Neuropathic(More)
Synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) is involved in different neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Consistently, SNAP-25 polymorphisms in humans are associated with hyperactivity and/or with low cognitive scores. We analysed five SNAP-25 gene polymorphisms (rs363050, rs363039,(More)
Ghrelin is a hormone with a crucial role in the regulation of appetite, regulation of inflammation, glucose metabolism and cell proliferation. In the brain ghrelin neurons are located in the cortex (sensorimotor area, cingular gyrus), and the fibres of ghrelin neurons in hypothalamus project directly to the dorsal vagal complex (DVC). Ghrelin binds the(More)
The mRNA encoding the human alpha5 nicotinic subunit was detected in several structures of the nervous system but appeared to be mainly expressed in cerebellum, thalamus, and the autonomic ganglia. For the first time, the alpha5 transcript was also detected in several non-neuronal tissues, with maximal expressions being found throughout the gastrointestinal(More)
We investigated the expression of the partially duplicated α7 nAChR subunit gene in three monocytic cell lines: THP-1, U937 and Mono-Mac-6. Qualitative PCR revealed the presence of the classic α7 gene in these lineages, but real-time PCR showed the exclusive expression of α7dup. Both mRNA and protein levels were reduced in THP-1 upon LPS challenge, and it(More)
Changes in the number of high-affinity nicotine binding sites have been widely reported in specific regions of the human brain during aging and in degenerative neurological diseases associated with aging, such as Alzheimer's disease. Nicotinic receptors are highly diverse and a description of the molecular subtypes affected in such conditions has not been(More)
Acetylcholine receptors are cationic channels whose opening is controlled by acetylcholine. They are key molecules in the cholinergic nicotinic transmission in a number of areas of the central and peripheral nervous system. Because of the structural complexity, given by the numerous subunits that forms these receptors, they have different pharmacological(More)
The expression of neurotransmitter receptors on the surface of immunocompetent cells is generally accepted as evidence that the nervous system can influence immune responses, even though many aspects of these interactions remain to be elucidated. In this article, we analyzed the expression of the alpha3 nicotinic receptor subunit in human cell lines of(More)