Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Neurosci. 2014 Mar;59:85-96. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Feb 8.

Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
2
Cell Biology Division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge UK.
3
Functional Genomics and Proteomics, KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 59, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; SPHERE - Systemic Physiological & Ecotoxicological Research, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171/U7, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium.
4
Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences and Institute of Biochemistry, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Str. 15, D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany.
5
Department of Medical Neurobiology, Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem 91120, Israel. Electronic address: millet_t@cc.huji.ac.il.

Abstract

Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron.

KEYWORDS:

Acetylcholine; Caenorhabditis elegans; Calcium; Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; Polymodal nociceptors

PMID:
24518198
PMCID:
PMC4258610
DOI:
10.1016/j.mcn.2014.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center