Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor properties are modulated by surrounding lipids: an in vivo study

J Mol Neurosci. 2006;30(1-2):5-6. doi: 10.1385/JMN:30:1:5.


In vitro studies carried out on liposomes of defined composition showed that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are fully functional when they are reconstituted in a heterogeneous lipid matrix, such as that provided by crude soybean (asolectin [R-Aso]) lipids. However, when they are reconstituted in plain phosphatidylcholine (R-PC) lipids, their functional activity is completely lost (Fong and McNamee, 1986). This kind of study also pointed out that phosphatidic acid (PA) and cholesterol (Chol) play an important role in preserving the ability of this protein to exhibit an optimal channel activity (Fong and McNamee, 1986). Furthermore, it has been shown recently that nAChR, itself, induces the formation of specific PA-rich lipid domains (Poveda et al., 2002). Because Xenopus oocytes incorporate functionally into their plasma membrane nAChRs after intracellular injection of liposomes bearing this protein (Morales et al., 1995), the aim of this work was to determine the effect of the reconstitution lipid matrix on the functional properties of the transplanted nAChRs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cholesterol / pharmacology
  • Lipids / pharmacology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Phosphatidylcholines / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / drug effects
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / physiology*
  • Torpedo


  • Lipids
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • Cholesterol
  • Acetylcholine