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Neuron. 2011 Apr 14;70(1):20-33. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.03.014.

Neural systems governed by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: emerging hypotheses.

Author information

1
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

Cholinergic neurons and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain participate in diverse functions: reward, learning and memory, mood, sensory processing, pain, and neuroprotection. Nicotinic systems also have well-known roles in drug abuse. Here, we review recent insights into nicotinic function, linking exogenous and endogenous manipulations of nAChRs to alterations in synapses, circuits, and behavior. We also discuss how these contemporary advances can motivate attempts to exploit nicotinic systems therapeutically in Parkinson's disease, cognitive decline, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

PMID:
21482353
PMCID:
PMC4418790
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2011.03.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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