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Neuropharmacology October 1, 2000; 39 (13): 2515-24.

Mixed nicotinic-muscarinic properties of the alpha9 nicotinic cholinergic receptor.

Verbitsky M , Rothlin CV , Katz E , Elgoyhen AB .

The rat alpha9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) was expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and tested for its sensitivity to a wide variety of cholinergic compounds. Acetylcholine (ACh), carbachol, choline and methylcarbachol elicited agonist-evoked currents, giving maximal or near maximal responses. Both the nicotinic agonist suberyldicholine as well as the muscarinic agonists McN-A-343 and methylfurtrethonium behaved as weak partial agonists of the receptor. Most classical cholinergic compounds tested, being either nicotinic (nicotine, epibatidine, cytisine, methyllycaconitine, mecamylamine, dihydro-beta-erythroidine), or muscarinic (muscarine, atropine, gallamine, pilocarpine, bethanechol) agonists and antagonists, blocked the recombinant alpha9 receptor. Block by nicotine, epibatidine, cytisine, methyllycaconitine and atropine was overcome at high ACh concentrations, suggesting a competitive type of block. The present results indicate that alpha9 displays mixed nicotinic-muscarinic features that resemble the ones described for the cholinergic receptor of cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs). We suggest that alpha9 contains the structural determinants responsible for the pharmacological properties of the native receptor.

PubMed ID: 11044723
Article link: Neuropharmacology

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