Characterization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in cultured arterial chemoreceptor cells of the cat

Tomoko Higashi, J. Michael McIntosh, Machiko Shirahata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Neurotransmitters appear to be involved in chemotransmission of the carotid body, a major arterial chemoreceptor. Substantial data indicate that acetylcholine (ACh) is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the carotid body, regulating the excitability of afferent nerve endings and glomus cells (putative chemoreceptor cells). In this study we characterized properties of nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChRs) in cultured cat glomus cells using immunocytochemistry and whole cell patch clamp techniques. Cultured glomus cells expressed immunoreactivity for α3, α4, and β2 subunits of nAChRs. An application of ACh elicited inward current. Nicotinic AChRs of glomus cells showed high affinity for ACh. The current-voltage relationship showed strong inward rectification at positive membrane potential. α-Conotoxin MII (20 nM), dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE; 1 nM), and hexamethonium (300 μM) significantly inhibited ACh-induced current. These results indicate that cultured cat glomus cells possess functional nAChRs, and that their characteristics are consistent with those of α3, α4 and β2 containing nAChRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 6 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotid body
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Patch clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in cultured arterial chemoreceptor cells of the cat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this