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:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted ... quarter of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... the operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share ... operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... M. The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to ... ) , The analysts forecast the ... CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... number of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... Flagship Biosciences, the leader in ... Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired from Charles River Laboratories (CRL), where, ... Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Gillett joined Charles River in 1999 ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Dr. Thomas P. McHugh , an ... The Woodlands, Texas , now offers SculpSure, the ... fat cells in just 25-minutes, leaving a slimmer figure ... of Americans report feeling bothered by excess weight and ... are a growing industry. This innovative new approach to ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... its clients in mind, the fresh look and added functionality give the agricultural ... years have seen a dynamic shift in agriculture – from precision farming via ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc ., the commercial ... of the Proove Health Foundation . The Foundation is a non-profit organization ... of personalized medicine for tackling the nation’s most-pressing healthcare epidemics. As part of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: