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Functional Changes to the Modulation of alpha4beta2* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors During Postnatal Maturation

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Title: Functional Changes to the Modulation of alpha4beta2* Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors During Postnatal Maturation
Author: Hewitson, Elizabeth
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Program: Biomedical Sciences
Advisor: Bailey, Craig
Abstract: Acetylcholine (ACh) initiates an excitatory response at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), although this activity may be modulated by mechanisms that alter receptor function. This thesis investigates whole-cell electrophysiological properties of pyramidal neurons expressing α4β2* nAChRs within brain slices of male and female mice aged young postnatal (P) 15-20 and adult P 80-120, corresponding ACh-driven currents, and how these currents are modulated by nicotine, allopregnanolone (ALLO) and galantamine. nAChR desensitization by nicotine was greater in young mice and this result was driven by an effect of postnatal age in males only. In contrast, ALLO inhibited nAChR function to a similar degree at each age. Galantamine potentiated nAChR function to a similar degree at each age, although this potentiation was significantly greater in females. Results from this study suggest that distinct factors are involved in each type of receptor modulation, which are differentially altered during postnatal maturation and across biological sex.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26499
Date: 2021-09
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