Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 423–433 | Cite as

Regulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor function by adenine nucleotides

  • Vesna A. Eterović
  • Lian Li
  • Andrew Palma
  • Mark G. McNamee


  1. 1.

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) from BC3H1 cells (which express a skeletal muscle-type receptor) and fromTorpedo californica electric organ were expressed inXenopus laevis oocytes and studied with a voltage-clamp technique.

  2. 2.

    We found that bath application of ATP in the micromolar to millimolar range increased the ACh-elicited current in both muscle and electrocyte receptors. The effect of ATP increased with successive applications. This “use-dependent” increase in potentiation was Ca2+ dependent, while the potentiation itself was not.

  3. 3.

    Four other nucleotides were tested on muscle nAChR: ADP, AMP, adenosine, and GTP. Of these, only ADP was a potentiator, but its effect was not use dependent. Neither ATP nor ADP affected the resting potential of the oocyte membrane.

  4. 4.

    ADP potentiated the response to suberyldicholine and nicotine, as well as ACh.

  5. 5.

    Finally, ADP reversed the phencyclidine-induced block of ACh currents in oocytes expressing muscle nAChR.


Key words

nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ATP ADP phencyclidine 

Abbreviations used




bovine serum albmin


nicotinic acetylcholine receptor




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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vesna A. Eterović
    • 1
  • Lian Li
    • 2
  • Andrew Palma
    • 2
  • Mark G. McNamee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversidad Central del CaribeCayeyPuerto Rico
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsUniversity of California at DavisDavisUSA

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