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Article Aversion to Nicotine Is Regulated by the Balanced Activity of b4 and a5 Nicotinic Receptor Subunits in the Medial Habenula

Abstract : Nicotine dependence is linked to single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CHRNB4-CHRNA3-CHRNA5 gene cluster encoding the a3b4a5 nicotinic acetyl-choline receptor (nAChR). Here we show that the b4 subunit is rate limiting for receptor activity, and that current increase by b4 is maximally competed by one of the most frequent variants associated with tobacco usage (D398N in a5). We identify a b4-specific residue (S435), mapping to the intracellular vestibule of the a3b4a5 receptor in close proximity to a5 D398N, that is essential for its ability to increase currents. Transgenic mice with targeted overexpres-sion of Chrnb4 to endogenous sites display a strong aversion to nicotine that can be reversed by viral-mediated expression of the a5 D398N variant in the medial habenula (MHb). Thus, this study both provides insights into a3b4a5 receptor-mediated mechanisms contributing to nicotine consumption, and identifies the MHb as a critical element in the circuitry controlling nicotine-dependent phenotypes.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 11, 2020 - 12:59:12 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 3:24:08 AM

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Silke Frahm, Marta Slimak, Leiron Ferrarese, Julio Santos-Torres, Beatriz Antolin-Fontes, et al.. Article Aversion to Nicotine Is Regulated by the Balanced Activity of b4 and a5 Nicotinic Receptor Subunits in the Medial Habenula. Neuron, Elsevier, 2011, 70 (3), pp.522-535. ⟨10.1016/j.neuron.2011.04.013⟩. ⟨pasteur-02936508⟩

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