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Neurochem Res. 2003 Apr;28(3-4):423-9.

Upregulation of mRNA encoding the M5 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor in human T- and B-lymphocytes during immunological responses.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Kyoritsu College of Pharmacy, 1-5-30 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8512, Japan.


Lymphocytes possess an independent, non-neuronal cholinergic system. Moreover, both T- and B-lymphocytes express multiple muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR). To obtain a better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing mAChR gene expression in the lymphocytic cholinergic system, we examined the effects of lymphocyte activation on expression of mAChR mRNA. Stimulation of T- and B-lymphocytes, respectively, with T-cell activator phytohemagglutinin and B-cell activator Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I upregulated M5 mAChR mRNA expression in the CEM human leukemic T-cell line and in the Daudi B-cell line, which served as models of lymphocytes. In striking contrast, M3 and M4 mAChR mRNA expression was not affected in either cell line. Nonetheless, stimulating lymphocytes with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a protein kinase C activator, plus ionomycin, a calcium ionophore, upregulated expression of both M3 and M5 mAChR mRNA. This represents the first demonstration that immunological stimulation leads to M5 mAChR gene expression in lymphocytes.

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