Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and the regulation of neuronal signalling

F Dajas-Bailador, S Wonnacott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

519 Citations (SciVal)


Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors in the brain are more commonly associated with modulatory events than mediation of synaptic transmission. nACh receptors have a high permeability for Ca2+, and Ca2+ signals are pivotal in shaping nACh receptor-mediated neuromodulatory effects. In this review, we consider the mechanisms through which nACh receptors convert rapid ionic signals into sustained, wide-ranging phenomena. The complex Ca2+ responses that are generated after activation of nACh receptors can transmit information beyond the initial domain and facilitate the interface with many intracellular processes. These mechanisms underlie the diverse repertoire of neuronal activities of nicotine in the brain, from the enhancement of learning and memory, to addiction and neuroprotection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


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