Gregory H. Turner1, Junwei Hao2,3, Alain R. Simard4, Jie Wu2, Paul Whiteaker4, Ronald J. Lukas4, Fu-Dong Shi2
1Neuroimaging Research, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, United States; 2Neurology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, United States; 3School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin, China, People's Republic of; 4Neurobiology, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, United States
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play critical roles throughout the brain and body by mediating cholinergic excitatory neurotransmission, modulating neurotransmitter release, and effecting gene expression and cellular interactions. Studies have shown that many immune cell types express nAChR subunits and that binding of nicotine or acetylcholine to α7-nAChR leads to a suppression of inflammation. This study used a combination of in vivo MRI and bioluminescence imaging to examine the effect of nicotine on EAE in an α7-nAChR knockout mouse. The results of this study indicate that cholinergic modulation of inflammation involves not only α7-nAChR but also likely involves several nAChR subtypes.