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Nicotine Tob Res. 2001 Aug;3(3):203-23.

Neuronal nicotinic receptors: from structure to function.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Molecular identification of the genes and resulting protein sequences for a large number of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits has stimulated numerous studies highlighting their role in several human behaviors including neurological disorders and nicotine addiction. This receptor gene family is likely to be involved in release of multiple neurotransmitters in both brain and periphery that mediate sensitivity and tolerance to nicotine. Recent findings also suggest that alterations in these receptors may lead to neurological diseases, some associated with increased incidence of smoking. This review addresses current knowledge of nicotinic receptor structure, regulation of expression, and function, in both normal and psychiatric subjects.

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