Nicotinic (α7) Receptors

Supporting information

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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Species Gene Symbol Gene Accession No. Protein Accession No.
Human CHRNA7 NM_000746 P36544
Mouse Chrna7 NM_007390 P49582
Rat Chrna7 NM_012832 Q05941

Literature for Nicotinic (α7) Receptors

Neurodegeneration Product Guide

A collection of over 275 products for neurodegeneration research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Huntington's disease
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Neurodegeneration Product Guide
Pain Research Product Guide

A collection of over 250 products for pain research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Nociception
  • Ion Channels
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
  • Intracellular Signaling
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Pain Research Product Guide
Nicotinic ACh Receptors Scientific Review

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.

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Nicotinic ACh Receptors Scientific Review
Alzheimer's Life Science Poster

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.

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Alzheimer's Life Science Poster
Learning & Memory Life Science Poster

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.

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Learning & Memory Life Science Poster
Pain Life Science Poster

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.

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Pain Life Science Poster

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Pain Research Product Guide

Pain Research Product Guide

Our Pain guide highlights over 280 products for Pain research. Request copy or view PDF today.

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Neurodegeneration Research Product Guide

Neurodegeneration Product Guide

Our Neurodegeneration guide highlights over 275 products for neurodegeneration research. Request copy or view PDF today.

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Nicotinic ACh Review

Written by Susan Wonnacott

Nicotinic ACh Receptors Scientific Review

Our Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor review summarizes the structure and function of nAChR receptors, and the pharmacological ligands used to study them. Request copy or view PDF today.

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Alzheimer's Disease: Neurobiology and Drug Targets

Written by Alan Palmer

Alzheimer's Life Science Poster

Our Alzheimer's disease poster summarizes the structural and functional changes observed in the progression of this neurodegenerative disease. Request copy or view PDF today.

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Peripheral Sensitization

Written by Grant D. Nicol and Michael R. Vasko

Pain Life Science Poster

Our Peripheral Sensitization poster gives a summary of the excitatory and inhibitory signaling pathways involved in modulation of peripheral sensitization. Request copy or view PDF today.

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Learning and Memory

Written by Clea Warburton and Zafar Bashir

Learning & Memory Life Science Poster

Our Learning and Memory poster gives an overview of the cellular mechanisms underlying recognition memory and its links to long-term depression. Request copy or view PDF today.

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