Henry A. Lester

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Fast synaptic transmission depends on the selective ionic permeability of transmitter-gated ion channels. Here we show changes in the ion selectivity of neuronal P2X transmitter-gated cation channels as a function of time (on the order of seconds) and previous ATP exposure. Heterologously expressed P2X2, P2X2/P2X3 and P2X4 channels as well as native(More)
Understanding effects of chronic nicotine requires identifying the neurons and synapses whose responses to nicotine itself, and to endogenous acetylcholine, are altered by continued exposure to the drug. To address this problem, we developed mice whose alpha4 nicotinic receptor subunits are replaced by normally functioning fluorescently tagged subunits,(More)
The identity of nicotinic receptor subtypes sufficient to elicit both the acute and chronic effects of nicotine dependence is unknown. We engineered mutant mice with a4 nicotinic subunits containing a single point mutation, Leu9' --> Ala9' in the pore-forming M2 domain, rendering a4* receptors hypersensitive to nicotine. Selective activation of a4*(More)
Two-electrode voltage clamping of expressed ion channels in intact oocytes of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis has been refined to allow stable, low-resistance electrical access to the cytosol (50–800 kΩ). Glass microelectrodes were filled with a cushion of 1 % agarose at their tips to prevent KC1 leakage (agarose-cushion electrodes). Insertion(More)
Cys-loop receptors are membrane-spanning neurotransmitter-gated ion channels that are responsible for fast excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the peripheral and central nervous systems. The best studied members of the Cys-loop family are nACh, 5-HT3, GABAA and glycine receptors. All these receptors share a common structure of five subunits,(More)
GABA transporter subtype 1 (GAT1) knock-out (KO) mice display normal reproduction and life span but have reduced body weight (female, -10%; male, -20%) and higher body temperature fluctuations in the 0.2-1.5/h frequency range. Mouse GAT1 (mGAT1) KO mice exhibit motor disorders, including gait abnormality, constant 25-32 Hz tremor, which is aggravated by(More)
BACKGROUND The proteases (secretases) that cleave amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide from the amyloid precursor protein (APP) have been the focus of considerable investigation in the development of treatments for Alzheimer disease. The prediction has been that reducing Abeta production in the brain, even after the onset of clinical symptoms and the development of(More)
Alpha6-containing (alpha6*) nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) are selectively expressed in dopamine (DA) neurons and participate in cholinergic transmission. We generated and studied mice with gain-of-function alpha6* nAChRs, which isolate and amplify cholinergic control of DA transmission. In contrast to gene knockouts or pharmacological blockers, which(More)
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(More)
Mammalian brain expresses multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes that differ in subunit composition, sites of expression and pharmacological and functional properties. Among known subtypes of receptors, alpha 4 beta 2* and alpha 6 beta 2*-nAChR have the highest affinity for nicotine (where * indicates possibility of other subunits). The(More)