In the presence of a cholinesterase inhibitor to prevent hydrolysis and atropine to block muscarinic cholinergic receptors, [3H]acetylcholine ([3H]ACh) binding to human brain membranes showed highest levels of nicotinic binding sites in the thalamus. [3H]ACh, in the presence of atropine, binds to heterogenous high-affinity binding sites in human thalamus. Scatchard analysis of the binding gave a Kd of 0.58 nM and a Bmax of 3.3 pmol/g protein for the 'super high-affinity' site and a Kd of 27 nM and a Bmax of 70 pmol/g protein for the 'high-affinity' site. Moreover, in competition studies nicotinic agonists such (-)-nicotine and carbachol displaceable [3H]ACh-specific binding sites consist of both a high- and a low-affinity population of sites. These results indicate that highest levels of [3H]ACh binding in human brain were found in the thalamus. Moreover, the human thalamus was found to have multiple high-affinity nicotinic agonist sites.
- Binding site
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