Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the ascending dopamine pathways

Phil D Livingstone, Susan Wonnacott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (SciVal)


Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are widely expressed in midbrain dopamine neurons that project to dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex. Thus nAChRs can influence the functions of these three pathways, notably motor control, ‘reward’ and executive function, respectively. Diverse subtypes of nAChRs have been identified on dopamine cell bodies and terminals as well as on neighbouring afferents and interneurons. Here we review the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which nAChRs exert their influence on these pathways in rodents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-755
Number of pages12
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


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