More Than Addiction


While studying the effects of nicotine on the mammalian nervous system, scientists found the neuro-receptors have a broader role than was imagined. The alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in mice brain was studied. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter released by the nervous system to activate the receptor during nicotine intake. Other than nicotine, 55 proteins, including the G alpha protein, were found to bind to the receptor. Drug makers target receptors that G alpha protein binds to. This makes the nicotine receptor a potential target. Humans, too, have this receptor. This was reported in April in the Journal of Proteome Research.


Down To Earth, May 2009