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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed by dopaminergic (DA) neurons have long been considered as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of several neuropsychiatric diseases, including nicotine and cocaine addiction or Parkinson's disease. However, DA neurons express mRNAs coding for most, if not all, neuronal nAChR subunits, and the(More)
Although the neuronal nicotinic receptor alpha 6 subunit was cloned several years ago, its functional significance remains to be investigated. Here we describe an in situ hybridization study of the mRNA for this subunit in the adult rat central nervous system using oligonucleotide probes. Specific alpha 6 mRNA labelling was restricted to a few nuclei(More)
Nicotine affects many aspects of behaviour including learning and memory through its interaction with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Functional nAChRs are pentameric proteins containing at least one type of alpha-subunit and one type of beta-subunit. The involvement of a particular neuronal nicotinic subunit in pharmacology and(More)
nAChRs are pentameric transmembrane proteins into the superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels that includes the 5HT3, glycine, GABAA, and GABAC receptors. Electron microscopy, affinity labeling, and mutagenesis experiments, together with secondary structure predictions and measurements, suggest an all-beta folding of the N-terminal extracellular domain,(More)
In smoker's brain, rodent brain, and in cultured cells expressing nicotinic receptors, chronic nicotine treatment induces an increase in the total number of high affinity receptors for acetylcholine and nicotine, a process referred to as up-regulation. Up-regulation induced by 1 mm nicotine reaches 6-fold for alpha3beta2 nicotinic receptors transiently(More)
The neurons of the locus ceruleus are responsible for most of the noradrenergic innervation in the brain and nicotine potentiates noradrenaline release from their terminals. Here we investigated the diversity and subcellular distribution of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the locus ceruleus both somatically, by combining single-cell reverse(More)
Coliform bacteria detect chemical attractants by means of a membrane-associated cluster of receptors and signalling molecules. We have used recently determined molecular structures, in conjunction with plastic models generated by three-dimensional printer technology, to predict how the proteins of the complex are arranged in relation to the plasma membrane.(More)
Nicotine exerts antinociceptive effects by interacting with one or more of the subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that are present throughout the neuronal pathways that respond to pain. To identify the particular subunits involved in this process, we generated mice lacking the alpha4 subunit of the neuronal nAChR by homologous(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are made up of homologous subunits, which are encoded by a large multigene family. The wide number of receptor oligomers generated display variable pharmacological properties. One of the main questions underlying research in molecular pharmacology resides in the actual role of this diversity. It is generally assumed that(More)
In the present study we have investigated the anatomical distribution pattern of nAChR alpha 3, alpha 4, beta 2, and beta 4 subunit mRNAs during prenatal and perinatal development of the rat CNS and PNS. Three main developmental patterns have been recognized. (1) In the majority of cases studied (caudal brain, spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, trigeminal(More)