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J Pharmacol Exp Ther May 1, 2007; 321 (2): 716-25.

The novel alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist N-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-7-[2-(methoxy)phenyl]-1-benzofuran-2-carboxamide improves working and recognition memory in rodents.

Boess FG , De Vry J , Erb C , Flessner T , Hendrix M , Luithle J , Methfessel C , Riedl B , Schnizler K , van der Staay FJ , van Kampen M , Wiese WB , Koenig G .

The relative contribution of alpha4beta2, alpha7 and other nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes to the memory enhancing versus the addictive effects of nicotine is the subject of ongoing debate. In the present study, we characterized the pharmacological and behavioral properties of the alpha7 nAChR agonist N-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-7-[2-(methoxy)phenyl]-1-benzofuran-2-carboxamide (ABBF). ABBF bound to alpha7 nAChR in rat brain membranes (Ki=62 nM) and to recombinant human 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)3 receptors (Ki=60 nM). ABBF was a potent agonist at the recombinant rat and human alpha7 nAChR expressed in Xenopus oocytes, but it did not show agonist activity at other nAChR subtypes. ABBF acted as an antagonist of the 5-HT3 receptor and alpha3beta4, alpha4beta2, and muscle nAChRs (at higher concentrations). ABBF improved social recognition memory in rats (0.3-1 mg/kg p.o.). This improvement was blocked by intracerebroventricular administration of the alpha7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine at 10 microg, indicating that it is mediated by alpha7 nAChR agonism. In addition, ABBF improved working memory of aged rats in a water maze repeated acquisition paradigm (1 mg/kg p.o.) and object recognition memory in mice (0.3-1 mg/kg p.o.). Rats trained to discriminate nicotine (0.4 mg/kg s.c.) from vehicle did not generalize to ABBF (0.3-30 mg/kg p.o.), suggesting that the nicotine cue is not mediated by the alpha7 nAChR and that selective alpha7 nAChR agonists may not share the abuse liability of nicotine. Our results support the hypothesis that alpha7 nAChR agonists may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cognitive deficits with low abuse potential.

PubMed ID: 17308038
Article link: J Pharmacol Exp Ther

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