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J Neurol Sci. 1996 Apr;137(1):1-6.

Alteration of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in rabies viral-infected dog brains.

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Neuro and Behavioural Biology Center, Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand.


Functions of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) were studied in rabid dog brains using [3H]quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) as a radioligand. Of various brain regions, hippocampus and brainstem were the areas mostly affected in terms of impaired specific binding to [3H]QNB, as compared to other regions, as well as to those of controls. Saturation studies of the hippocampus revealed significantly elevated dissociation equilibrium constant (K(d)) values in both furious (n = 5) (9.80 + or - 2.77 nM) and dumb (n = 6) (6.01 + or - 1.08 nM) types of rabies as compared to 11 controls (2.15 + or - 0.31 nM), whereas the maximum number of receptor sites (B (max)) values were comparable among all subgroups of normal (1.38 + or - 0.10 pmol/mg protein), dumb (1.43 + or - 0.17 pmol/mg protein) and furious (1.28 + or - 0.12 pmol/mg protein) rabies types. Hippocampal K(d) values were comparable between high (fluorescent antibody test-FAT and polymerase chain reaction-PCR positive; n = 4) (7.47 + or - 3.27 nM), and low (FAT-negative and PCR-positive; n = 4) virus amount (8.34 + or - 3.93 nM) but these were significantly higher than controls (n = 4) (1.58 + or - 0.17 nM). Our data suggest a functional derangement of mAChR at specific sites of hippocampus and brainstem which is not dependent on the amount of virus.

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