Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a class of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels involved in a wide variety of complex brain functions (memory, cognition, etc.) and neuromuscular transmission and play a role in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and nicotine addiction. Additionally, nicotinic receptor agonists have potential as analgesics, anxiolytics and cognitive enhancers. The search for modulators of nAChR channels has been hampered by the lack of suitable high throughput electrophysiology platforms with the ability to interrogate fast desensitizing ligand gated channels.
IonFlux Mercury was designed from the start with the needs of fast desensitizing nicotinic receptor assays in mind. The system’s precise fluidic control, fast liquid exchange, and continuous flow allow for repetitive serial application of acetylcholine or other ligands. Features include:
Rapid additions of ligand delivers fast current activation
Continuous flow produces rapid and complete ligand removal
Wash steps between ligand application eliminates need for addition of enzymes or other additive drugs.