Nicotine is a drug of abuse that presumably exerts its psychoactive effect through its interactions with nicotine binding sites in the central nervous system. Among its potential sites of action are the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the neuronal αbungarotoxin binding sites. In this review we focus on the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, their diversity, distribution, and functions as nicotine receptors or as mediators of synaptic transmission in the mammalian brain. We find that the complexity characteristic of the gene family encoding the subunits of these receptors is reflected both in the pattern of expression of the genes and in the pharmacological diver-sity of the expressed receptors.
- α-bungarotoxin binding
- Nicotinic receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Cell Biology