Navigation Links
Mechanism of nicotine's learning effects explored

While nicotine is highly addictive, researchers have also shown the drug to enhance learning and memory—a property that has launched efforts to develop nicotine-like drugs to treat cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

A key problem in designing such drugs has been that little was known about the detailed mechanism by which nicotine exerts its learning-enhancing effects.

Now, researchers have discovered important details of how nicotine adjusts the signaling properties of neuronal wiring to enhance memory. Such signaling properties include the strength of the connections by which one neuron triggers another. Huibert Mansvelder and colleagues reported their findings in the April 5, 2007, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

The researchers made their discoveries by analyzing the electrophysiological properties of neurons in slices of mouse brain, as they treated the slices with nicotine or with drugs that prevent nicotine’s action. Specifically, the researchers studied the neurons of the prefrontal cortex, which contain centers for learning and memory.

Researchers had known that nicotine enhances learning by activating receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Such neurotransmitters are the chemical signals that one neuron launches at another to trigger a nerve impulse in the receiving neuron.

In their studies, Mansvelder and colleagues found that by activating acetylcholine receptors, nicotine affects a process called “spike-timing-dependent potentiation?that governs changes in strength of signaling connections among neurons. What’s more, the researchers traced this effect to nicotine’s action on specific kinds of neurons, called GABAergic neurons, in the learning centers. In turn, the effects on GABAergic neurons affected signaling between neurons mediated by the key substance calcium.

The researchers a lso discovered key details of the mechanisms by which nicotine excites different kinds of “interneurons?in the prefrontal cortex. Interneurons are the way-stations for neuronal impulses, passing neuronal signals from one neuron to another.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Mechanism for the captation of nutrients in plants- unknown to date
2. Mechanism regulating tooth shape formulation found
3. Mechanism for Epstein-Barr virus proteins role in blood cancers discovered
4. Mechanism for memory revealed in neurons of electric fish
5. Mechanism identified for promising neurological drug
6. Mechanism for neurodenegerative diseases linked to transport proteins
7. Mechanisms involved with tumor relapse identified
8. Dissecting the machinery of nicotines reward
9. New research identifies gene important for nicotines effects on the brain
10. Structure-building cell signals also may influence learning and memory
11. Building a protein name dictionary from full text: a machine learning term extraction approach
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/23/2017)... 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being enlisted in what,s ... live in and on the human body –and are believed to affect ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is ... starting with the gut. The project's goal is to help advance scientific ... ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... DAL ) customers now can use fingerprints instead of their ... (DCA). ... launches biometrics to board aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport ... Delta,s biometric boarding pass experience that launched in May at ... process to allow eligible Delta SkyMiles Members who are enrolled in CLEAR ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in an ... on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by 2050, ... a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are becoming ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, ... ... years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface ... expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... 2017  The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry ... Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard ... microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden the ... community. The winners worked with systems manufactured by ... highly resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: