Search for Nicotine-Like Receptor Binding Sites in Brain
Our knowledge of nicotine-like receptors in brain, their distribution and functional importance is fragmentary. Most information has been obtained by using iontophoretic and electrophysiological techniques. The introduction of radio-receptor binding techniques has, however, increased the possibility of characterizing the nicotine-like binding sites in brain by using ligands with high specific radioactivity. It is well established that α-bungarotoxin (α-Btx) binds to the nicotine-like acetylcholine (ACh) receptor on electric organ of electric eel and ray and on skeletal muscle and functionally acts as an irreversible antagonist. Binding of α-Btx to various nervous tissues such as sympathetic ganglia, retina and brain have been reported (for review, see 5), but it has not yet been proved that this binding is to a functionally active ACh receptor binding site (2,3,8). For nicotine receptor binding studies in brain, α-Btx has been used by most investigators (5), but in a few studies other ligands such as nicotine (1,7,10,17), and the nicotinic antagonist tubocurarine (1,7) have been used.
KeywordsSympathetic Ganglion Receptor Binding Site Electric Organ Human Fetal Brain Human Hippocampus
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