Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor

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Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are a subtype of metabotropic Class 1 G protein-coupled receptors located at postganglionic in the parasympathetic nervous system[1]. Within this, there are five further subtypes of mAChRs, ranging from M1-M5[2].

Muscarinic receptors are named as such due to their response to the toxin produced by Amanita muscaria, the muscarine toxin. This leads to agonism of the parasympathetic nervous system and consequently convulsions[3].

Muscarinic Antagonism

MSChRs are commonly used pharmacologically, they can be antagonised by atropine-based drugs. This pathway is used to resuscitate those suffering from bradycardia by increasing heart rate. M2 antagonists may also be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease by increasing the cholinergic release in the brain. M3 antagonists such as tolterodine are used to treat issues with the bladder, particularly regarding the smooth muscle function[4].

References

  1. Fryer A, Christopoulos A, Nathanson N. Handbook of Pharmacology: Muscarinic Receptors. Berlin: Springer. 2012
  2. Eglen R. Muscarinic receptor subtypes in neuronal and non-neuronal cholinergic function. Autonomic and Autacoid Pharmacology. 2006;26(3)
  3. https://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/potm/2005_11/Page2.htm [Accessed 01/11/18]
  4. Eglen R. Muscarinic receptor subtypes in neuronal and non-neuronal cholinergic function. Autonomic and Autacoid Pharmacology. 2006;26(3)
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