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Modulatory effects of α7 nAChRs on the immune system and its relevance for CNS disorders

Kalkman, HO and Feuerbach, Dominik (2016) Modulatory effects of α7 nAChRs on the immune system and its relevance for CNS disorders. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.


The clinical development of selective α7 nAChR agonists has hitherto been focused on disorders characterized by cognitive deficits (Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia). However, α7 nAChRs are also widely expressed on cells of the immune system and on cells with a secondary role in pathogen defense. Activation of α7 nAChRs leads to an anti-inflammatory effect. Since sterile inflammation is a frequently observed phenomenon in both psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, melancholic- and bipolar depression) and neurological disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy), α7 nAChR agonists might display beneficial effects in these central nervous system disorders. In the current review, we summarize information on receptor expression, the intracellular signaling pathways, the reasons for receptor dysfunction, clinical evidence for altered α7 nAChR function (including information on tabacco smoking, vagus nerve stimulation and cholinesterase inhibitors), and finally discuss potential indications for selective α7 nAChR agonists.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 23:45
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 23:45


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