J M Lindstrom

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (193)1047.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Chronic nicotine administration increases the density of brain α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which may contribute to withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation. Varenicline, a smoking cessation drug, also increases these receptors in rodent brain. The maintenance of this increase by varenicline as well as nicotine replacement may contribute to the high rate of relapse during the first year after smoking cessation. Recently we found that sazetidine-A, a potent partial agonist that desensitizes α4β2* nAChRs, does not increase the density of these receptors in brain at doses that decrease nicotine self-administration, increase attention in rats, and produce anxiolytic effects in mice. Here we investigated whether chronic sazetidine-A and varenicline maintain the density of nAChRs after their up-regulation by nicotine. In addition, we examined the effects of these drugs on a measure of anxiety in mice and weight gain in rats. After increasing nAChRs in the rodent brain with chronic nicotine, replacing nicotine with chronic varenicline maintained the increased nAChR binding, as well as the subunit proteins measured by western blots. In contrast, replacing nicotine treatments with chronic sazetidine-A resulted in the return of the density of nAChRs to the levels seen in saline controls. Nicotine, sazetidine-A and varenicline each demonstrated anxiolytic effects in mice, but only sazetidine-A and nicotine attenuated the gain of weight over a 6-week period in rats. These findings suggest that apart from its modest anxiolytic and weight control effects, sazetidine-A, or drugs like it, may be useful in achieving long-term abstinence from smoking. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 01/2014; · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotine, the primary psychoactive component in tobacco smoke, produces its behavioral effects through interactions with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). α4β2 nAChRs are the most abundant in mammalian brain, and converging evidence shows that this subtype mediates the rewarding and reinforcing effects of nicotine. A number of rare variants in the CHRNA4 gene that encodes the α4 nAChR subunit have been identified in human subjects and appear to be underrepresented in a cohort of smokers. We compared three of these variants (α4R336C, α4P451L and α4R487Q) to the common variant to determine their effects on α4β2 nAChR pharmacology. We examined [3H]-epibatidine binding, interacting proteins and phosphorylation of the α4 nAChR subunit with LC-MS/MS in HEK 293 cells, and voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes. We observed significant effects of the α4 variants on nAChR expression, subcellular distribution, and sensitivity to nicotine-induced receptor upregulation. Proteomic analysis of immunopurified α4β2 nAChRs incorporating the rare variants identified considerable differences in the intracellular interactomes due to these single amino acid substitutions. Electrophysiological characterization in Xenopus oocytes revealed alterations in the functional parameters of activation by nAChR agonists conferred by these α4 rare variants, as well as shifts in receptor function following incubation with nicotine. Taken together, these experiments suggest that genetic variation at CHRNA4 alters the assembly and expression of α4β2 nAChRs resulting in receptors that are more sensitive to nicotine exposure than those assembled with the common α4 variant. The changes in nAChR pharmacology could contribute to differences in responses to smoked nicotine in individuals harboring these rare variants.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 01/2014; · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design and synthesis of a series of substituted heteroaromatic α4β2α5 positive allosteric modulators is reported. The optimization and development of the heteroaromatic series was carried out from NS9283, and several potent analogues, such as 3-(5-(pyridin-3-yl)-2H-tetrazol-2-yl)benzonitrile (5k) and 3,3'-(2H-tetrazole-2,5-diyl)dipyridine (12h) with good in vitro efficacy were discovered.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 11/2013; · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Selected nicotinic agonists were used to activate and desensitize high-sensitivity (HS; (α4)2(β2)3) or low-sensitivity (LS; (α4)3(β2)2) isoforms of human α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Function was assessed using (86)Rb(+) efflux in a stably-transfected SH-EP1-hα4β2 human epithelial cell line, and two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes expressing concatenated pentameric HS or LS α4β2-nAChR constructs (HSP and LSP). Unlike previously-studied agonists, desensitization bythe highly-selective agonists A-85380 and sazetidine-A (Saz-A) preferentially reduced α4β2-nAChR HS-phase vs. LS-phase responses. The concatenated-nAChR experiments confirmed that ≈20% of LS-isoform ACh-induced function occurs in an HS-like phase, which is abolished by Saz-A preincubation. Six mutant LSP were generated, each targeting a conserved agonist-binding residue within the LS-isoform-only α4(+)/(-)α4 interface agonist binding site. Every mutation reduced the percentage of LS-phase function, demonstrating that this site underpins LS-phase function. Oocyte-surface expression of the HSP and each of the LSP constructs was statistically indistinguishable, as measured using β2-subunit-specific [(125)I]mAb295 labeling. However, maximum function is approximately 5x greater on a "per receptor" basis for unmodified-LSP vs. HSP α4β2-nAChR. Thus, recruitment of the α4(+)/(-)α4 site at higher agonist concentrations appears to augment otherwise-similar function mediated by the pair of α4(+)/(-)β2 sites shared by both isoforms. These studies elucidate the receptor-level differences underlying the differential pharmacology of the two α4β2-nAChR isoforms, and demonstrate that HS vs. LS α4β2-nAChR activity can be selectively manipulated using pharmacological approaches. Since α4β2 nAChR are the predominant neuronal subtype these discoveries likely have significant functional implications, and may provide important insights for drug discovery and development.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 11/2013; · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing α4 and β2 subunits are the principal receptors in the mammalian central nervous system that bind nicotine with high affinity. These nAChRs are involved in nicotine dependence, mood disorders, neurodegeneration and neuroprotection. However, our understanding of the interactions between α4β2-containing (α 4 β2∗) nAChRs and other proteins remains limited. In this study, we identified proteins that interact with α 4 β2∗ nAChRs in a gene-dose dependent pattern by immunopurifying β2∗ nAChRs from mice that differ in α4 and β2 subunit expression and performing proteomic analysis using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ). Reduced expression of either the α4 or the β2 subunit results in a correlated decline in the expression of a number of putative interacting proteins. We identified 208 proteins co-immunoprecipitated with these nAChRs. Furthermore, stratified linear regression analysis indicated that levels of 17 proteins was correlated significantly with expression of α4 β2 nAChRs, including proteins involved in cytoskeletal rearrangement and calcium signaling. These findings represent the first application of quantitative proteomics to produce a β2∗ nAChR interactome and describe a novel technique used to discover potential targets for pharmacological manipulation of α4 β2 nAChRs and their downstream signaling mechanisms.
    Genomics, proteomics & bioinformatics. 07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Synthesis of acetylcholine (ACh) by non-neuronal cells is now well established and plays diverse physiologic roles. In neurons, the Na(+) -dependent, high affinity choline transporter (CHT1) is absolutely required for ACh synthesis. By contrast, some non-neuronal cells synthesize ACh in the absence of CHT1 indicating a fundamental difference in ACh synthesis compared to neurons. The aim of this study was to identify choline transporters, other than CHT1, that play a role in non-neuronal ACh synthesis. ACh synthesis was studied in lung and colon cancer cell lines focusing on the choline transporter-like proteins, a five gene family (CTL1-5). Supporting a role for CTLs in choline transport in lung cancer cells, choline transport was Na(+) -independent and CTL1-5 were expressed in all cells examined. CTL1,2,&5 were expressed at highest levels and knockdown of CTL1,2&5 decreased choline transport in H82 lung cancer cells. Knockdowns of CTL1,2,3&5 had no effect on ACh synthesis in H82 cells. By contrast, knockdown of CTL4 significantly decreased ACh secretion by both lung and colon cancer cells. Conversely, increasing expression of CTL4 increased ACh secretion. These results indicate that CTL4 mediates ACh synthesis in non-neuronal cell lines and presents a mechanism to target non-neuronal ACh synthesis without affecting neuronal ACh synthesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 05/2013; · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) do not assemble efficiently in cells transfected with α7 subunits unless the cells are also transfected with the chaperone protein RIC-3. Despite the presence of RIC-3, large amounts of these subunits remain improperly assembled. Thus, additional chaperone proteins are probably required for efficient assembly of α7 AChRs. Cholinergic ligands can act as pharmacological chaperones to promote assembly of mature AChRs and upregulate the amount of functional AChRs. In addition, we have found that the chemical chaperones 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA) and valproic acid (VPA) greatly increase the amount of functional α7 AChRs produced in a cell line expressing both α7 and RIC-3. Increased α7 AChR expression allows assay of drug action using a membrane potential-sensitive fluorescent indicator. Both PBA and VPA also increase α7 expression in the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line that endogenously expresses α7 AChRs. VPA increases expression of endogenous α7 AChRs in hippocampal neurons but PBA does not. RIC-3 is insufficient for optimal assembly of α7 AChRs, but provides assay conditions for detecting additional chaperones. Chemical chaperones are a useful pragmatic approach to express high levels of human α7 AChRs for drug selection and characterization and possibly to increase α7 expression in vivo.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e62246. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The behavioral effects of nicotine and other nicotinic agonists are mediated by AChRs in the brain. The relative contribution of acute activation versus chronic desensitization of AChRs is unknown. Sustained "smoldering activation" occurs over a range of agonist concentrations at which activated and desensitized AChRs are present in equilibrium. We used a fluorescent dye sensitive to changes in membrane potential to examine the effects of acute activation and chronic desensitization by nicotinic AChR agonists on cell lines expressing human α4β2, α3β4 and α7 AChRs. We examined the effects of acute and prolonged application of nicotine and the partial agonists varenicline, cytisine and sazetidine-A on these AChRs. The range of concentrations over which nicotine causes smoldering activation of α4β2 AChRs was centered at 0.13 µM, a level found in smokers. However, nicotine produced smoldering activation of α3β4 and α7 AChRs at concentrations well above levels found in smokers. The α4β2 expressing cell line contains a mixture of two stoichiometries, namely (α4β2)2β2 and (α4β2)2α4. The (α4β2)2β2 stoichiometry is more sensitive to activation by nicotine. Sazetidine-A activates and desensitizes only this stoichiometry. Varenicline, cytisine and sazetidine-A were partial agonists on this mixture of α4β2 AChRs, but full agonists on α3β4 and α7 AChRs. It has been reported that cytisine and varenicline are most efficacious on the (α4β2)2α4 stoichiometry. In this study, we distinguish the dual effects of activation and desensitization of AChRs by these nicotinic agonists and define the range of concentrations over which smoldering activation can be sustained.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e79653. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Jon Lindstrom, Jie Luo
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    ABSTRACT: In myasthenia gravis (MG) and experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG), many pathologically significant autoantibodies are directed to the main immunogenic region (MIR) of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), a conformation-dependent region at the extracellular tip of α1 subunits of AChRs. Human muscle AChR α1 MIR sequences were integrated into Aplesia ACh-binding protein (AChBP). The chimera potently induced EAMG, while AChBP induced EAMG much less potently. AChBP is a water-soluble protein resembling the extracellular domain of AChRs; yet, rats immunized with chimeras developed autoantibodies to both extracellular and cytoplasmic domains of muscle AChRs. We propose that an initial autoimmune response directed at the MIR leads to an autoimmune response sustained by muscle AChRs. Autoimmune stimulation sustained by endogenous muscle AChR may be a target for specific immunosuppression. These studies show that the α1 MIR is highly myasthenogenic, and that AChR-like proteins distantly related to muscle AChR can induce EAMG and, potentially, MG.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 12/2012; 1274(1):9-13. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several mutations in α4 or β2 nicotinic receptor subunits are linked to autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (ADNFLE). One such missense mutation in the gene encoding the β2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit (CHRNB2) is a valine-to-leucine substitution in the second transmembrane domain at position 287 (β2VL). Previous studies indicated that the β2VL mutation in mice alters circadian rhythm consistent with sleep alterations observed in ADNFLE patients (Xu et al., 2011). The current study investigates changes in nicotinic receptor function and expression that may explain the behavioral phenotype of β2VL mice. No differences in β2 mRNA expression were found between wild-type (WT) and heterozygous (HT) or homozygous mutant (MT) mice. However, antibody and ligand binding indicated that the mutation resulted in a reduction in receptor protein. Functional consequences of the β2VL mutation were assessed biochemically using crude synaptosomes. A gene-dose dependent increase in sensitivity to activation by acetylcholine and decrease in maximal nAChR-mediated [(3)H]-dopamine release and (86)Rb efflux were observed. Maximal nAChR-mediated [(3)H]-GABA release in the cortex was also decreased in the MT, but maximal [(3)H]-GABA release was retained in the hippocampus. Behaviorally both HT and MT mice demonstrated increased sensitivity to nicotine-induced hypolocomotion and hypothermia. Furthermore, WT mice display only a tonic-clonic seizure (EEG recordable) 3min after injection of a high dose of nicotine, while MT mice also display a dystonic arousal complex (non-EEG recordable) event 30s after nicotine injection. Data indicate decreases in maximal response for certain measures are larger than expected given the decrease in receptor expression.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 11/2012; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing α6 and β2 subunits modulate dopamine release in the basal ganglia and are therapeutically relevant targets for treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders including Parkinson's disease and nicotine dependence. However, the expression profile of β2 and β4 subunits overlap in a variety of tissues including locus ceruleus, retina, hippocampus, dorsal root ganglia, and adrenal chromaffin cells. Ligands that bind α6β2 nAChRs also potently bind the closely related α6β4 subtype. To distinguish between these two subtypes, we synthesized novel analogs of a recently described α-conotoxin, PeIA. PeIA is a peptide antagonist that blocks several nAChR subtypes, including α6/α3β2β3 and α6/α3β4 nAChRs, with low nanomolar potency. We systematically mutated PeIA and evaluated the resulting analogs for enhanced potency and/or selectivity for α6/α3β2β3 nAChRs expressed in Xenopus oocytes (α6/α3 is a subunit chimera that contains the N-terminal ligand-binding domain of the α6 subunit). On the basis of these results, second-generation analogs were then synthesized. The final analog, PeIA[S9H,V10A,E14N], potently blocked acetylcholine-gated currents mediated by α6/α3β2β3 and α6/α3β4 nAChRs with IC(50) values of 223 pM and 65 nM, respectively, yielding a >290-fold separation between the two subtypes. Kinetic studies of ligand binding to α6/α3β2β3 nAChRs yielded a k(off) of 0.096 ± 0.001 min(-1) and a k(on) of 0.23 ± 0.019 min(-1) M(-9). The synthesis of PeIA[S9H,V10A,E14N] demonstrates that ligands can be developed to discriminate between α6β2 and α6β4 nAChRs.
    Molecular pharmacology 08/2012; 82(5):972-82. · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    Jie Luo, Jon Lindstrom
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    ABSTRACT: In myasthenia gravis (MG) and experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG), many pathologically significant autoantibodies are directed at the main immunogenic region (MIR), a conformation-dependent region at the extracellular tip of α1 subunits of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). Human muscle AChR α1 MIR sequences were integrated into Aplysia ACh-binding protein (AChBP). The chimera was potent in inducing both acute and chronic EAMG, though less potent than Torpedo electric organ AChR. Wild-type AChBP also induced EAMG but was less potent, and weakness developed slowly without an acute phase. AChBP is more closely related in sequence to neuronal α7 AChRs that are also homomeric; however, autoimmune responses were induced to muscle AChR, but not to neuronal AChR subtypes. The greater accessibility of muscle AChRs to antibodies, compared to neuronal AChRs, may allow muscle AChRs to induce self-sustaining autoimmune responses. The human α1 subunit MIR is a potent immunogen for producing pathologically significant autoantibodies. Additional epitopes in this region or other parts of the AChR extracellular domain contribute significantly to myasthenogenicity. We show that an AChR-related protein can induce EAMG. Thus, in principle, an AChR-related protein could induce MG. AChBP is a water-soluble protein resembling the extracellular domain of AChRs, yet rats that developed EAMG had autoantibodies to AChR cytoplasmic domains. We propose that an initial autoimmune response, directed at the MIR on the extracellular surface of muscle AChRs, leads to an autoimmune response sustained by muscle AChRs. Autoimmune stimulation sustained by endogenous muscle AChR may be a target for specific immunosuppression.
    Autoimmunity 09/2011; 45(3):245-52. · 2.77 Impact Factor
  • Neurology 08/2011; 77(8):783. · 8.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic nicotine treatment elicits a brain region-selective increase in the number of high-affinity agonist binding sites, a phenomenon termed up-regulation. Nicotine-induced up-regulation of α4β2-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in cell cultures results from increased assembly and/or decreased degradation of nAChRs, leading to increased nAChR protein levels. To evaluate whether the increased binding in mouse brain results from an increase in nAChR subunit proteins, C57BL/6 mice were treated with nicotine by chronic intravenous infusion. Tissue sections were prepared, and binding of [(125)I]3-((2S)-azetidinylmethoxy)-5-iodo-pyridine (A85380) to β2*-nAChR sites, [(125)I]monoclonal antibody (mAb) 299 to α4 nAChR subunits, and [(125)I]mAb 270 to β2 nAChR subunits was determined by quantitative autoradiography. Chronic nicotine treatment dose-dependently increased binding of all three ligands. In regions that express α4β2-nAChR almost exclusively, binding of all three ligands increased coordinately. However, in brain regions containing significant β2*-nAChR without α4 subunits, relatively less increase in mAb 270 binding to β2 subunits was observed. Signal intensity measured with the mAbs was lower than that with [(125)I]A85380, perhaps because the small ligand penetrated deeply into the sections, whereas the much larger mAbs encountered permeability barriers. Immunoprecipitation of [(125)I]epibatidine binding sites with mAb 270 in select regions of nicotine-treated mice was nearly quantitative, although somewhat less so with mAb 299, confirming that the mAbs effectively recognize their targets. The patterns of change measured using immunoprecipitation were comparable with those determined autoradiographically. Thus, increases in α4β2*-nAChR binding sites after chronic nicotine treatment reflect increased nAChR protein.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 01/2011; 337(1):187-200. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a cell based system and experimental approach to characterize agonist and antagonist selectivity for ligand-gated ion channels (LGIC) by developing sensor cells stably expressing a Ca(2+) permeable LGIC and a genetically encoded Förster (or fluorescence) resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based calcium sensor. In particular, we describe separate lines with human α7 and human α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, mouse 5-HT(3A) serotonin receptors and a chimera of human α7/mouse 5-HT(3A) receptors. Complete concentration-response curves for agonists and Schild plots of antagonists were generated from these sensors and the results validate known pharmacology of the receptors tested. Concentration-response relations can be generated from either the initial rate or maximal amplitudes of FRET-signal. Although assaying at a medium throughput level, this pharmacological fluorescence detection technique employs a clonal line for stability and has versatility for screening laboratory generated congeners as agonists or antagonists on multiple subtypes of ligand-gated ion channels. The clonal sensor lines are also compatible with in vivo usage to measure indirectly receptor activation by endogenous neurotransmitters.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16519. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Alexandre Kuryatov, Jon Lindstrom
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    ABSTRACT: α6β2β3* acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) on dopaminergic neurons are important targets for drugs to treat nicotine addiction and Parkinson's disease. However, it has not been possible to efficiently express functional α6β2β3* AChRs in oocytes or transfected cells. α6/α3 subunit chimeras permit expression of functional AChRs and reveal that parts of the α6 M1 transmembrane domain and large cytoplasmic domain impair assembly. Concatameric subunits permit assembly of functional α6β2β3* AChRs with defined subunit compositions and subunit orders. Assembly of accessory subunits is limiting in formation of mature AChRs. A single linker between the β3 accessory subunit and an α4 or α6 subunit is sufficient to permit assembly of complex β3-(α4β2)(α6β2) or β3-(α6β2)(α4β2) AChRs. Concatameric pentamers such as β3-α6-β2-α4-β2 have been functionally characterized. α6β2β3* AChRs are sensitive to activation by drugs used for smoking cessation therapy (nicotine, varenicline, and cytisine) and by sazetidine. All these are partial agonists. (α6β2)(α4β2)β3 AChRs are most sensitive to agonists. (α6β2)₂β3 AChRs have the greatest Ca²+ permeability. (α4β2)(α6β2)β3 AChRs are most efficiently transported to the cell surface, whereas (α6β2)₂β3 AChRs are the least efficiently transported. Dopaminergic neurons may have special chaperones for assembling accessory subunits with α6 subunits and for transporting (α6β2)₂β3 AChRs to the cell surface. Concatameric pentamers and pentamers formed from combinations of trimers, dimers, and monomers exhibit similar properties, indicating that the linkers between subunits do not alter their functional properties. For the first time, these concatamers allow analysis of functional properties of α6β2β3* AChRs. These concatamers should enable selection of drugs specific for α6β2β3* AChRs.
    Molecular pharmacology 10/2010; 79(1):126-40. · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic studies have identified a D398N variation in the α5 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) that increases risk of nicotine dependence and lung cancer. (α4β2)₂α5 AChRs are a significant brain presynaptic subtype in brain. Their high sensitivity to activation by nicotine and high Ca²+ permeability give them substantial functional impact. α3β4* and α3β2* AChRs are predominant postsynaptic AChRs in the autonomic nervous system, but rare in brain. The amino acid 398 of α5 is located in the large cytoplasmic domain near the amphipathic α helix preceding the M4 transmembrane domain. These helices have been shown to influence AChR conductance by forming portals to the central channel. We report that α5 Asn 398 lowers Ca²+ permeability and increases short-term desensitization in (α4β2)₂α5 but not in (α3β4)₂α5 or (α3β2)₂α5 AChRs. This suggests that a positive allosteric modulator would augment nicotine replacement therapy for those with this risk variant. α5 D398N variation does not alter sensitivity to activation. The high sensitivity to activation and desensitization of (α4β2)₂α5 AChRs by nicotine results in a narrow concentration range in which activation and desensitization curves overlap. This region centers on 0.2 μM nicotine, a concentration typically sustained in smokers. This concentration would desensitize 60% of these AChRs and permit smoldering activation of the remainder. The low sensitivity to activation and desensitization of (α3β4)₂α5 AChRs by nicotine results in a broad region of overlap centered near 10 μM. Thus, at the nicotine concentrations in smokers, negligible activation or desensitization of this subtype would occur.
    Molecular pharmacology 09/2010; 79(1):119-25. · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    Jie Luo, Alexander Kuryatov, Jon M Lindstrom
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    ABSTRACT: Myasthenia gravis (MG) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), are antibody (Ab)-mediated autoimmune diseases, in which autoantibodies bind to and cause loss of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at the neuromuscular junction. To develop a specific immunotherapy of MG, we treated rats with ongoing EAMG by intraperitoneal injection of bacterially-expressed human muscle AChR constructs. Rats with ongoing EAMG received intraperitoneal treatment with the constructs weekly for 5 weeks beginning after the acute phase. Autoantibody concentration, subclassification, and specificity were analyzed to address the underlying therapeutic mechanism. EAMG was specifically suppressed by diverting autoantibody production away from pathologically relevant specificities directed at epitopes on the extracellular surface of muscle AChRs toward pathologically irrelevant epitopes on the cytoplasmic domain. A mixture of subunit cytoplasmic domains was more effective than a mixture containing both extracellular and cytoplasmic domains or than only the extracellular domain of alpha1 subunits. Therapy using only cytoplasmic domains, which lack pathologically relevant epitopes, avoids the potential liability of boosting the pathological response. Use of a mixture of bacterially-expressed human muscle AChR cytoplasmic domains for antigen-specific immunosuppression of myasthenia gravis has the potential to be specific, robust, and safe.
    Annals of Neurology 04/2010; 67(4):441-51. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The main immunogenic region (MIR) is a conformation-dependent region at the extracellular apex of alpha1 subunits of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) that is the target of half or more of the autoantibodies to muscle AChRs in human myasthenia gravis and rat experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. By making chimeras of human alpha1 subunits with alpha7 subunits, both MIR epitopes recognized by rat mAbs and by the patient-derived human mAb 637 to the MIR were determined to consist of two discontiguous sequences, which are adjacent only in the native conformation. The MIR, including loop alpha1 67-76 in combination with the N-terminal alpha helix alpha1 1-14, conferred high-affinity binding for most rat mAbs to the MIR. However, an additional sequence corresponding to alpha1 15-32 was required for high-affinity binding of human mAb 637. A water soluble chimera of Aplysia acetylcholine binding protein with the same alpha1 MIR sequences substituted was recognized by a majority of human, feline, and canine myasthenia gravis sera. The presence of the alpha1 MIR sequences in alpha1/alpha7 chimeras greatly promoted AChR expression and significantly altered the sensitivity to activation. This reveals a structural and functional, as well as antigenic, significance of the MIR.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2009; 29(44):13898-908. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    Jie Luo, Jon Lindstrom
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    ABSTRACT: The main immunogenic region on the alpha1 subunits of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors provokes half or more of the autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis and its animal model. Many of these autoantibodies depend on the native conformation of the receptor for their ability to bind with high affinity. We mapped this region and explained the conformation dependence of its epitopes by making chimeras in which sequences of human muscle alpha1 subunits were replaced in human neuronal alpha7 subunits or Aplysia acetylcholine binding protein. These chimeras also revealed that the main immunogenic region can play a major role in promoting conformational maturation and, consequently, assembly of receptor subunits.
    Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 09/2009; 40(1-2):217-20. · 2.89 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
1,047.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1991–2014
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Neuroscience
      • • Department of Ophthalmology
      • • The Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2013
    • Barrow Neurological Institute
      • Division of Neurobiology
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
    • Thomas Jefferson University
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2005–2013
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      Portland, Oregon, United States
  • 1997–2013
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Neuroscience
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2007–2011
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG)
      Boulder, CO, United States
  • 2005–2009
    • Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans
      • Center for Neuroscience
      New Orleans, LA, United States
  • 2004–2009
    • Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
    • University of Utah
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 1985–2007
    • Salk Institute
      La Jolla, California, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Cologne
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Vision Science Research Center
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 1992–2000
    • University of São Paulo
      • Departamento de Fisiologia e Biofísica (ICB)
      Ribeirão Preto, Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 1993
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 1991–1993
    • University of Minnesota Duluth
      • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
      Duluth, MN, United States
  • 1985–1992
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Neurosciences
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 1989
    • University of California, Riverside
      • Division of Biomedical Sciences
      Riverside, CA, United States
  • 1983
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • Division of Hospital Medicine
      San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 1978
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, California, United States