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Two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology has been used to study the actions of two amyloid peptides (Abeta(1-42), Abeta(1-40)) on alpha7, alpha4beta2 and alpha3beta4 recombinant human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nicotinic AChRs), heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The application of Abeta(1-42) or Abeta(1-40) (1 pM-100 nM) for 5 s does not directly activate expressed human alpha7, alpha4beta2 or alpha3beta4 nicotinic AChRs.Abeta(1-42) and Abeta(1-40) are antagonists of alpha7 nicotinic AChRs. For example, 10 nM Abeta(1-42) and Abeta(1-40) both reduced the peak amplitude of currents recorded (3 mM ACh) to 48+/-5 and 45+/-10% (respectively) of control currents recorded in the absence of peptide. In both the cases the effect is sustained throughout a 30 min peptide application and is poorly reversible.Abeta(1-42) and Abeta(1-40) (10 nM) enhance currents recorded in response to ACh (3 mM) from oocytes expressing alpha4beta2 nicotinic AChRs by 195+/-40 and 195+/-41% respectively. This effect is transient, reaching a peak after 3 min and returning to control values after a 24 min application of 10 nM Abeta(1-42). We observe an enhancement of 157+/-22% of control ACh-evoked current amplitude in response to 100 nM Abeta(1-42) recorded from oocytes expressing alpha4beta2 nicotinic AChRs.Abeta(1-42) and Abeta(1-40) (10 nM) were without antagonist actions on the responses of alpha3beta4 nicotinic AChRs to ACh (1 nM-3 mM).

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





964 - 971


Acetylcholine, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Animals, Female, Humans, Ion Channels, Oocytes, Peptide Fragments, Receptors, Nicotinic, Recombinant Proteins, Xenopus laevis, alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor