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Lynx1 Modulation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors


Parker, Rell Lin (2015) Lynx1 Modulation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9HM56DT.


Nicotinic receptors are the target of nicotine in the brain. They are pentameric ion channels. The pentamer structure allows many combinations of receptors to be formed. These various subtypes exhibit specific properties determined by their subunit composition. Each brain region contains a fixed complement of nicotinic receptor subunits. The midbrain region is of particular interest because the dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain express several subtypes of nicotinic receptors, and these dopaminergic neurons are important for the rewarding effects of nicotine. The α6 nicotinic receptor subunit has garnered intense interest because it is present in dopaminergic neurons but very few other brain regions. With its specific and limited presence in the brain, targeting this subtype of nicotinic receptor may prove advantageous as a method for smoking cessation. However, we do not fully understand the trafficking and membrane localization of this receptor or its effects on dopamine release in the striatum. We hypothesized that lynx1, a known modulator of other nicotinic receptor subtypes, is important for the proper function of α6 nicotinic receptors. lynx1 has been found to act upon several classes of nicotinic receptors, such as α4β2 and α7, the two most common subtypes in the brain. To determine whether lynx1 affects α6 containing nicotinic receptors we used biochemistry, patch clamp electrophysiology, fast scan cyclic voltammetry, and mouse behavior. We found that lynx1 has effects on α6 containing nicotinic receptors, but the effects were subtle. This thesis will detail the observed effects of lynx1 on α6 nicotinic receptors.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Nicotine ; Addiction ; Dopamine
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Neurobiology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lester, Henry A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Chan, David C. (chair)
  • Meister, Markus
  • Prober, David A.
  • Lester, Henry A.
Defense Date:11 July 2014
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Tobacco-Related Diseases Research Program22DT-0008
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06292014-232713483
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8528
Deposited By: Rell Parker
Deposited On:07 Aug 2014 00:03
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:05

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PDF (Rell Parker Final Thesis) - Final Version
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