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  • cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibits α7 nicotinic receptor activity in layer 1 cortical interneurons through activation of D1/D5 dopamine receptors.

cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibits α7 nicotinic receptor activity in layer 1 cortical interneurons through activation of D1/D5 dopamine receptors.

The Journal of physiology (2015-05-21)
Pragya Komal, Jasem Estakhr, Melad Kamran, Anthony Renda, Raad Nashmi
ABSTRACT

Protein kinases can modify the function of many proteins including ion channels. However, the role of protein kinase A in modifying nicotinic receptors in the CNS has never been investigated. We showed through whole-cell recordings of layer 1 prefrontal cortical interneurons that α7 nicotinic responses are negatively modulated by protein kinase A. Furthermore, we show that stimulation of dopamine receptors can similarly attenuate α7 nicotinic responses through the activation of protein kinase A. These results suggest how the interaction of the cholinergic and dopaminergic systems may influence neuronal excitability in the brain. Phosphorylation of ion channels, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), by protein kinases plays a key role in the modification of synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. α7 nAChRs are the second most prevalent nAChR subtype in the CNS following α4β2. Serine 365 in the M3-M4 cytoplasmic loop of the α7 nAChR is a phosphorylation site for protein kinase A (PKA). D1/D5 dopamine receptors signal through the adenylate cyclase-PKA pathway and play a key role in working memory and attention in the prefrontal cortex. Thus, we examined whether the dopaminergic system, mediated through PKA, functionally interacts with the α7-dependent cholinergic neurotransmission. In layer 1 interneurons of mouse prefrontal cortex, α7 nicotinic currents were decreased upon stimulation with 8-Br-cAMP, a PKA activator. In HEK 293T cells, dominant negative PKA abolished 8-Br-cAMP's effect of diminishing α7 nicotinic currents, while a constitutively active PKA catalytic subunit decreased α7 currents. In brain slices, the PKA inhibitor KT-5720 nullified 8-Br-cAMP's effect of attenuating α7 nicotinic responses, while applying a PKA catalytic subunit in the pipette solution decreased α7 currents. 8-Br-cAMP stimulation reduced surface expression of α7 nAChRs, but there was no change in single-channel conductance. The D1/D5 dopamine receptor agonist SKF 83822 similarly attenuated α7 nicotinic currents from layer 1 interneurons and this attenuation of nicotinic current was prevented by KT-5720. These results demonstrate that dopamine receptor-mediated activation of PKA negatively modulates nicotinic neurotransmission in prefrontal cortical interneurons, which may be a contributing mechanism of dopamine modulation of cognitive behaviours such as attention or working memory.

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