Title

Determining cell-type specific effects of M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

Presenter Information

Samantha Mitchell

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Although it is well known that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) is crucial in the central nervous system, the roles of its specific receptors are less clear. Within the brain, the most important type of receptor is the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR), which exists as one of five subtypes. Distinguishing the unique role of each subtype could lead to the development of more effective treatments for central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer?s disease. One subtype, the M1 mAChR, is of particular interest because it is linked to cognitive functions and has been shown to be dysfunctional in disease states. Recent evidence suggests these receptors are prevalent in the hippocampus on parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons. Although various genetically-modified mouse strains have been developed to study the effects of removing specific receptor subtypes, the line I worked with is unique in that M1 mAChRs have been removed only from PV cells. As part of a comprehensive study on the role of M1 mAChRs, I compared the performance of mice lacking the receptors to those with intact receptors in a behavioral cognitive test called the Morris water maze (MWM). The MWM consisted of a tank of water in which the mice were required to find and remember the location of a hidden platform. In addition to the MWM, supplementary tests are being conducted to examine M1 mAChRs on PV cells, which will lead to a better understanding of the role of M1 receptors in hippocampus-dependent cognition and its associated diseases.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 13th, 2:00 PM Apr 13th, 2:20 PM

Determining cell-type specific effects of M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

UC 327

Although it is well known that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) is crucial in the central nervous system, the roles of its specific receptors are less clear. Within the brain, the most important type of receptor is the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR), which exists as one of five subtypes. Distinguishing the unique role of each subtype could lead to the development of more effective treatments for central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer?s disease. One subtype, the M1 mAChR, is of particular interest because it is linked to cognitive functions and has been shown to be dysfunctional in disease states. Recent evidence suggests these receptors are prevalent in the hippocampus on parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons. Although various genetically-modified mouse strains have been developed to study the effects of removing specific receptor subtypes, the line I worked with is unique in that M1 mAChRs have been removed only from PV cells. As part of a comprehensive study on the role of M1 mAChRs, I compared the performance of mice lacking the receptors to those with intact receptors in a behavioral cognitive test called the Morris water maze (MWM). The MWM consisted of a tank of water in which the mice were required to find and remember the location of a hidden platform. In addition to the MWM, supplementary tests are being conducted to examine M1 mAChRs on PV cells, which will lead to a better understanding of the role of M1 receptors in hippocampus-dependent cognition and its associated diseases.