Muscarinic Receptors

Volume 208 of the series Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology pp 223-241


Muscarinic Modulation of Striatal Function and Circuitry

  • Joshua A. GoldbergAffiliated withDepartment of Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • , Jun B. DingAffiliated withDepartment of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
  • , D. James SurmeierAffiliated withDepartment of Physiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Email author 

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Striatal cholinergic interneurons are pivotal modulators of the striatal circuitry involved in action selection and decision making. Although nicotinic receptors are important transducers of acetylcholine release in the striatum, muscarinic receptors are more pervasive and have been more thoroughly studied. In this review, the effects of muscarinic receptor signaling on the principal cell types in the striatum and its canonical circuits will be discussed, highlighting new insights into their role in synaptic integration and plasticity. These studies, and those that have identified new circuit elements driven by activation of nicotinic receptors, make it clear that temporally patterned activity in cholinergic interneurons must play an important role in determining the effects on striatal circuitry. These effects could be critical to the response to salient environmental stimuli that serve to direct behavior.


Striatum Medium spiny projection neuron Acetylcholine Cholinergic interneuron Muscarinic receptor Synaptic integration Thalamus Synaptic plasticity Neuromodulation Autoreceptor Parkinson’s disease