Pyrilamine inhibits nicotine-induced catecholamine secretion

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Function of nicotine, which induces activation of all parts of the body including our brain, has been receiving much attention for a long period of time and also been actively studied by researchers for its pharmacological actions in the central nervous system. The modulation of nicotine concentration and the inhibition of nicotine binding on target receptors in the brain are the key factors for smoking addiction therapy. In previous studies showed that influx of nicotine at the blood–brain barrier was through the pyrilamine-sensitive organic cation transporters. But the direct interacting mechanism of pyrilamine on the nicotine binding target receptors has not yet been clarified. The aim of the present study is to investigate the direct binding mechanisms of a pyrilamine on the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We found that pyrilamine shares the same ligand binding pocket of nicotine (NCT) on nAChRs but interacts with more amino acid residues than NCT does. The extended part of pyrilamine interacts with additional residues in the ligand binding pocket of nAChRs which are located nearby the entrance of the binding pocket. The catecholamine (CA) secretion induced by nAChR agonist (NCT′) was significantly inhibited by the pyrilamine pretreatment. Real time carbon-fiber amperometry confirmed the inhibition of the NCT′-induced exocytosis by pyrilamine in a single cell level. We also found that pyrilamine inhibited the NCT′-induced [Ca2+]i. In contrast, pyrilamine did not affect the increase in calcium induced by high K+. Overall, these data suggest that pyrilamine directly docks into the ligand binding site of nAChRs and specifically inhibits the nAChR-mediated effects thereby causing inhibition of CA secretion. Therefore, pyrilamine may play an important role to explore new treatments to aid smoking cessation.

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