Potentiation of alpha7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by select albumins.
ABSTRACT Nicotinic receptors containing alpha7 subunits are ligand-gated ion channels widely distributed in the nervous system; they influence a diverse array of events because of their high relative calcium permeability. We show here that nicotine-induced whole-cell responses generated by such receptors can be dramatically potentiated in a rapidly reversible manner by some but not all albumins. The potentiation involves increases both in potency and efficacy with no obvious differences in rise and fall times of the response. The potentiation is not reduced by removing absorbed components; it is abolished by proteolysis, suggesting that the albumin protein backbone is essential. The fact that some albumins are ineffective indicates that minor differences in amino acid sequence may be critical. Experiments with open channel blockers indicate that the potentiation involves increased responses from active receptors rather than recruitment of receptors from a previously silent pool. Single channel recordings reveal that the potentiation correlates with increased single channel opening probability, reflected in increased frequency of channel opening and increased mean channel open time. The potentiation can be exploited to overcome blockade by noncompetitive inhibitors such as beta-amyloid peptide. The results raise the possibility that endogenous compounds use the site to modulate receptor function in vivo, and suggest that the receptors may represent useful targets for therapeutic intervention in cases where they have been implicated in neuropathologies such as Alzheimer's disease.
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- "This may occur through increases or decreases of the impact of identified endogenous negative regulators or potentially by alterations in positive modulators. While as yet no endogenous positive modulators have been clearly identified in brain systems, the positive modulatory effects for agents such as certain serum albumins (e.g., BSA) (Conroy et al., 2003) and 5-hydrox-indole (Zwart et al., 2002) make it seem likely that such agents may exist in the brain or alternatively be developed as a new therapeutic approach for improving and maintaining cholinergic function in the aging or diseased brain. "
ABSTRACT: The hippocampus receives substantial input from the medial septum/diagonal band of broca (MS/DB) via the fibria-fornix (FF). Projections from the MS/DB innervate hippocampal interneurons that express alpha7 nicotinic receptors and regulate excitation in principal cell populations. In the present report we used stereotaxic surgery, whole-cell patch clamping, and immunohistochemical techniques to evaluate the effects of FF and MS/DB lesions on alpha7 nicotinic receptors in stratum radiatum interneurons. Focal somatic application of ACh (1 mM) evoked methyllycaconitine (MLA)-sensitive currents that were markedly reduced following aspirative lesions of the FF. Reductions in current amplitudes were prevented or restored to levels not significantly different from controls following in vivo treatment with the alpha7-selective agonist GTS-21, and GTS-21 treatment did not change current amplitudes measured in tissue from unlesioned animals. MS/DB injections of the selective cholinergic neurotoxin 192 IgG-saporin did not affect alpha7 receptor currents, although MS/DB ChAT and hippocampal AChE immunolabeling were significantly reduced. In contrast, kainic acid lesions of the MS/DB, potentially more selective for GABAergic projection neurons, produced significant reductions in current amplitudes. These findings are the first to show functional changes in alpha7 receptors following hippocampal denervation and suggest that MS/DB hippocampal innervation regulates functional aspects of hippocampal alpha7 receptors. The results confirm hippocampal alpha7 nicotinic receptors as viable therapeutic targets in diseases that involve degradation of the septohippocampal pathway and may indicate that GABAergic MS/DB hippocampal input plays a more substantial role in the regulation of alpha7 nicotinic receptor function than MS/DB hippocampal cholinergic input.Experimental Neurology 11/2005; 195(2):342-52. DOI:10.1016/j.expneurol.2005.05.006 · 4.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neuronal alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) binds the neurotoxin alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-Bgt). Fine mapping of the alpha-Bgt-binding site on the human alpha7 AChR was performed using synthetic peptides covering the entire extracellular domain of the human alpha7 subunit (residues 1-206). Screening of these peptides for (125)I-alpha-Bgt binding resulted in the identification of at least two toxin-binding sites, one at residues 186-197, which exhibited the best (125)I-alpha-Bgt binding, and one at residues 159-165, with weak toxin-binding capacity; these correspond, respectively, to loops C and IV of the agonist-binding site. Toxin binding to the alpha7(186-197) peptide was almost completely inhibited by unlabelled alpha-Bgt or d -tubocurarine. Alanine substitutions within the sequence 186-198 revealed a predominant contribution of aromatic and negatively charged residues to the binding site. This sequence is homologous to the alpha-Bgt binding site of the alpha1 subunit (residues 188-200 in Torpedo AChR). In competition experiments, the soluble peptides alpha7(186-197) and Torpedo alpha1(184-200) inhibited the binding of (125)I-alpha-Bgt to the immobilized alpha7(186-197) peptide, to native Torpedo AChR, and to the extracellular domain of the human alpha1 subunit. These results suggest that the toxin-binding sites of the neuronal alpha7 and muscle-type AChRs bind to identical or overlapping sites on the alpha-Bgt molecule. In support of this, when synthetic alpha-Bgt peptides were tested for binding to the recombinant extracellular domains of the human alpha7 and alpha1 subunits, and to native Torpedo and alpha7 AChR, the results indicated that alpha-Bgt interacts with both neuronal and muscle-type AChRs through its central loop II and C-terminal tail.Biochemical Journal 07/2003; 372(Pt 2):543-54. DOI:10.1042/BJ20021537 · 4.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 (nAChR alpha7) may be involved in cognitive deficits in Schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. A fast pharmacological characterization of homomeric alpha7 receptors is mostly hampered by their low functional expression levels in heterologous expression systems. In the present study expression of homomeric nAChR alpha7 was achieved in GH3 rat pituitary cells. Alpha7 subunits were heterologously expressed as components of [125I]-labeled alpha-bungarotoxin binding nAChRs (Bmax: 1.2 pmol/mg protein). Function of the expressed alpha7 ion channels was assessed by patch-clamp recording and calcium imaging. While acetylcholine-induced currents desensitized within much less than 1 s, calcium-sensitive fluorescence transients peaked after 5-10 s and returned to background levels within 30 s only. The fluorescence signal was blocked by isradipine and removal of extracellular sodium indicated that in these cells opening of rapidly desensitizing alpha7 nAChR triggers calcium influx via voltage-gated, DHP-sensitive calcium channels. In this cellular system, agonists revealed the following rank order of potency: epibatidine>anatoxin A>AAR17779>ABT-594>DMPP>nicotine>GTS-21>cytisine>ABT-418>acetylcholine>choline>ABT-089. All of the signals were inhibited by the alpha7 antagonists alpha-bungarotoxin (pIC50: 7.4) and methyllycaconitine (pIC50: 7.8). Further, marketed antidepressants showed antagonistic activity with the following rank order of potency: fluoxetine>imipramine>paroxetine>sertraline. These data illustrate that coupling to voltage-gated calcium channels allows a rapid and reliable functional examination of nAChR alpha7.Neuropharmacology 02/2005; 48(2):215-27. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2004.10.003 · 4.82 Impact Factor