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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)
The agonist properties of acetylcholine (ACh), tetramethylammonium, ethyl-trimethylammonium and choline were evaluated for muscle and neuronal nicotinic receptors in Xenopus oocytes. The only essential feature for a neuronal receptor agonist appears to be the charged nitrogen. For specific receptor subtypes, other structural elements appear permissive(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)
Increasing evidence for an involvement of nicotinic cholinergic systems in neurodegenerative disorders has stimulated the search for compounds with selectivity for CNS nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs). To this end, we have evaluated a number of nicotinic agonists for their ability to 1) bind to and up-regulate high-affinity nAChRs, 2) release [3H]-dopamine(More)
We showed recently that nicotine activates the growth-promoting enzyme Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) in PC12 cells and that preincubation of these cells with the JAK2-specific inhibitor AG-490 blocked the nicotine-induced neuroprotection against beta-amyloid (1-42) [Abeta (1-42)]. These results provided direct evidence for linkage between JAK2 and the alpha7(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, a4b2* and a6b2*-nAChR have the highest affinity for nicotine (where * indicates possibility of other subunits). The a4b2*-nAChRs are(More)
A growing body of evidence suggests that the alpha7 neuronal nicotinic receptor (NNR) subtype is an important target for the development of novel therapies to treat schizophrenia, offering the possibility to address not only the positive but also the cognitive and negative symptoms associated with the disease. In order to probe the relationship of alpha7(More)
Human nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor subtypes expressed in Xenopus oocytes were characterized in terms of their activation by the experimental agonist RJR-2403. Responses to RJR-2403 were compared with those evoked by ACh and nicotine. These agonists were also characterized in terms of whether application of the drugs had the effect of producing a(More)
We have recently provided evidence for nicotine-induced complex formation between the alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and the tyrosine-phosphorylated enzyme Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) that results in subsequent activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI-3-K) and Akt. Nicotine interaction with the alpha7 nAChR inhibits Abeta (1-42)(More)
Both clinical and preclinical data support a potential therapeutic benefit of modulating the activity of CNS neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNRs) to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Based on the notion that the depressive states involve hypercholinergic tone, we have examined the potential palliative role of NNR antagonism in these disorders, using(More)