Nicotinic (α7) Receptors
α7 is a subunit of the neuronal nicotinic receptor that can combine to form homomeric receptors. In avian tissue α7α8 heteromers also occur and an association between α7 and β2 subunits has been suggested in the mammalian brain. The α7 nAChR is particularly prominent in the hippocampus, where it is found on GABAergic interneurons of stratum oriens and stratum radiatum, and on pyramidal neurones.
Presynaptic α7 nAChRs are present on glutamate terminals and facilitate transmitter release in various brain regions, including the hippocampus, cortex and ventral tegmental area. Nicotine acting at α7 nAChRs can enhance hippocampal LTP, and α7 nAChRs are associated with attentional processes and working memory. As a consequence, α7 nAChRs are a therapeutic target for treating cognitive impairment, notably in Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, and this has prompted the generation of α7 nAChR-selective ligands. The human gene encoding the nicotinic α7 receptor subunit has been localized to chromosome 15 (15q13.3).
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Literature for Nicotinic (α7) Receptors
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Updated in 2014, this review summarizes the diverse structure and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and gives an in-depth review of the ligands available for nAChR research. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.Request copy | Download PDF | View all reviews
Written by Alan Palmer and updated in 2015, this poster summarizes structural and functional changes observed in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD), as well as classic AD drug targets. The hypotheses behind the neurobiology of AD are discussed alongside the different stages in disease progression. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.Request copy | Download PDF | View all posters
Written by E. Clea Warburton and Zafar Bashir, this poster outlines the cellular mechanisms underlying recognition memory and its links to long-term depression. The role of different neurotransmitters involved in recognition memory and synaptic plasticity are also summarized. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.Request copy | Download PDF | View all posters
Written by Grant D. Nicol and Michael R. Vasko, this poster outlines the excitatory and inhibitory signaling pathways involved in modulation of peripheral sensitization. The role of ion channels, GPCRs, neurotrophins, and cytokines in sensory neurons are also described. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.Request copy | Download PDF | View all posters
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