Diversity of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: lessons from behavior and implications for CNS therapeutics

Life Sci. 1995;56(8):545-70. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(94)00488-e.


Although the molecular biology of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) provides evidence for multiple receptor subtypes, few selective pharmacological tools exist to identify these subtypes in vivo. However, the diversity of behavioral effects of available nAChR agonists and antagonists reviewed in this paper suggests that neuronal nAChR subtypes may play distinct roles in a variety of behavioral outcomes. Further characterization of the behavioral effects of the activation of discrete nAChR subtypes may eventually provide information useful in designing selective nAChR ligands targeting a variety of CNS disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Nicotine / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / classification
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / physiology


  • Receptors, Nicotinic
  • Nicotine