Abstract| Volume 177, ISSUE 1, P40, August 2013

Genetic dissection of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in sympathetic neurons

      The properties of ionotropic receptors with known subunit composition are normally investigated by using heterologous expression systems like Xenopus laevis oocytes or HEK293 cells. However, ion channel properties of recombinant receptors may not faithfully represent receptors in their native environment. We have recently resolved the subunit composition of hetero-oligomeric nAChRs in the mouse superior cervical ganglion (SCG), where we found 55% α3β4, 24% α3β4α5, and 21% α3β4β2 receptors. By using mice lacking the subunits α5 and β2 we now investigated the properties of “pure” α3β4 receptors at the single-channel level. Deletions of α5 and β2 left α3β4β2 and α3β4α5 receptors, in addition to α3β4, in the respective KO.
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