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Cholinergic Transmission

  • B. Lendvai
Reference work entry

Abstract:

The cholinergic system can modulate cognitive functions efficiently in the brain acting on a rich assembly of metabotropic and ionotropic receptors. The cholinergic system operates through the cooperation of the muscarinic and the nicotinic subsystems. While muscarinic ACh receptors mediate slow responses with considerable delay, nicotinic facilitation, following activation of nicotinic ACh receptors, evokes relatively fast responses. In some cases muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors form a dual control striatal on certain cell types, such as the spiny interneurons of the striatum. On important aspect of nicotinic transmission is that it modulates, rather than mediate, fast synaptic transmission. Desensitization of these receptors leads to a loss of function that is a key factor in the effect of nicotine during smoking. Desensitization extends the possible states of cholinergic transmission and increases the computational power of the neuron. As most nicotinic receptors are found in nonsynaptic localizations, especially on axons. They can directly release transmitters from presynaptic boutons. Importance of studies on nicotinic and muscarinic effects is highlighted by the fact that cholinergic therapy is the mainstay treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The current view that nonsynaptic communication is dominant in cholinergic transmission also support the future perspective of drug therapy targeting high affinity nonsynaptic receptors.

Keywords

Pyramidal Neuron Nicotinic Receptor Stratum Radiatum Cholinergic Transmission Ciliary Ganglion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:

ACh

acetylcholine

AChE

acetylcholine-esterase

ChAT

choline-acetyltranspherase

CNS

central nervous system

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid

mAChR

muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

nAChR

nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

NMDA

N-methyl-d-aspartate

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  • B. Lendvai

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