Long-term nicotine exposure depresses dopamine release in nonhuman primate nucleus accumbens.
ABSTRACT Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide. However, current smoking cessation therapies have very limited long-term success rates. Considerable research effort is therefore focused on identification of central nervous system changes with nicotine exposure because this may lead to more successful treatment options. Although recent work suggests that α6β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play a dominant role in dopaminergic function in rodent nucleus accumbens, the effects of long-term nicotine exposure remain to be determined. Here, we used cyclic voltammetry to investigate α6β2* nAChR-mediated release with long-term nicotine treatment in nonhuman primate nucleus accumbens shell. Control studies showed that nAChR-mediated dopamine release occurs predominantly through the α6β2* receptor subtype. Unexpectedly, there was a complete loss of α6β2* nAChR-mediated activity after several months of nicotine treatment. This decline in function was observed with both single- and multiple-pulse-stimulated dopamine release. Paired-pulse studies showed that the facilitation of dopamine release with multiple pulsing observed in controls in the presence of nAChR antagonist was lost with long-term nicotine treatment. Nicotine-evoked [(3)H]dopamine release from nucleus accumbens synaptosomes was similar in nicotine- and vehicle-treated monkeys, indicating that long-term nicotine administration does not directly modify α6β2* nAChR-mediated dopamine release. Dopamine uptake rates, as well as dopamine transporter and α6β2* nAChRs levels, were also not changed with nicotine administration. These data indicate that nicotine exposure, as occurs with smoking, has major effects on cellular mechanisms linked to α6β2* nAChR-mediated dopamine release and that this receptor subtype may represent a novel therapeutic target for smoking cessation.
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ABSTRACT: The striatum plays a central role in motor control and motor learning. Appropriate responses to environmental stimuli, including pursuit of reward or avoidance of aversive experience all require functional striatal circuits. These pathways integrate synaptic inputs from limbic and cortical regions including sensory, motor and motivational information to ultimately connect intention to action. Although many neurotransmitters participate in striatal circuitry, one critically important player is acetylcholine (ACh). Relative to other brain areas, the striatum contains exceptionally high levels of ACh, the enzymes that catalyze its synthesis and breakdown, as well as both nicotinic and muscarinic receptor types that mediate its postsynaptic effects. The principal source of striatal ACh is the cholinergic interneuron (ChI), which comprises only about 1-2% of all striatal cells yet sends dense arbors of projections throughout the striatum. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the factors affecting the excitability of these neurons through acute effects and long term changes in their synaptic inputs. In addition, we discuss the physiological effects of ACh in the striatum, and how changes in ACh levels may contribute to disease states during striatal dysfunction.Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience 01/2014; 6:22.
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ABSTRACT: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) of the α6β2* subtype (where * indicates the possible presence of additional subunits) are prominently expressed on dopaminergic neurons. Because of this, their role in tobacco use and nicotine dependence has received much attention. Previous studies have demonstrated that α6β2*-nAChR are downregulated following chronic nicotine exposure (unlike other subtypes that have been investigated - most prominently α4β2* nAChR). This study examines, for the first time, effects across a comprehensive chronic nicotine dose range. Chronic nicotine dose-responses and quantitative ligand-binding autoradiography were used to define nicotine sensitivity of changes in α4β2*-nAChR and α6β2*-nAChR expression. α6β2*-nAChR downregulation by chronic nicotine exposure in dopaminergic and optic-tract nuclei was ≈three-fold more sensitive than upregulation of α4β2*-nAChR. In contrast, nAChR-mediated [(3) H]-dopamine release from dopamine-terminal region synaptosomal preparations changed only in response to chronic treatment with high nicotine doses, while dopaminergic parameters (transporter expression and activity, dopamine receptor expression) were largely unchanged. Functional measures in olfactory tubercle preparations were made for the first time; both nAChR expression levels and nAChR-mediated functional measures changed differently between striatum and olfactory tubercles. These results show that functional changes measured using synaptosomal [(3) H]-DA release are primarily due to changes in nAChR, rather than in dopaminergic, function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Journal of Neurochemistry 03/2014; · 3.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human (α6β2)(α4β2)β3 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) are essential for addiction to nicotine and a target for drug development for smoking cessation. Expressing this complex AChR is difficult, but has been achieved using subunit concatamers. In order to determine what limits expression of α6* AChRs and to efficiently express α6* AChRs using free subunits, we investigated expression of the simpler (α6β2)2β3 AChR. The concatameric form of this AChR assembles well, but is transported to the cell surface inefficiently. Various chimeras of α6 with the closely related α3 subunit increased expression efficiency with free subunits and produced pharmacologically equivalent functional AChRs. A chimera in which the large cytoplasmic domain of α6 was replaced with that of α3 increased assembly with β2 subunits and transport of AChRs to the oocyte surface. Another chimera replacing the unique methionine 211 of α6 with leucine found at this position in transmembrane domain 1 of α3 and other α subunits increased assembly of mature subunits containing β3 subunits within oocytes. Combining both α3 sequences in an α6 chimera increased expression of functional (α6β2)2β3 AChRs to 12-fold more than with concatamers. This is pragmatically useful, and provides insights on features of α6 subunit structure that limit its expression in transfected cells.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e103244. · 3.53 Impact Factor