Fractional Ca2+ current through human neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

Sergio Fucile, Massimiliano Renzi, Pedro Lax, Fabrizio Eusebi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor is believed to be a highly Ca2+ permeable ligand-gated receptor-channel. However, the contribution of Ca2+ to cationic current generated by ACh has not yet been directly measured to date. Simultaneous fluorescence and whole-cell current measurements using the Ca2+ indicator dye fura-2 were made in GH4C1 pituitary cells stably expressing human α7 receptors and the fractional Ca2+ current (the proportion of whole-cell current carried by Ca2+; Pf) was determined. We report that the Pf value was 11.4 ± 1.3%. This value was significantly larger than Pf of human L248Tα7 receptor mutant (Pf = 6.3 ± 1.0%) and of rat α7 receptor (Pf = 8.8 ± 1.5 %) both determined in transiently transfected GH4C1 cells. In our knowledge, the findings here reported indicate the human α7 receptors are the most Ca2+ conductive homomeric ligand-gated receptor-channels expressed in a heterologous cell system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003


  • α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor
  • 5-hydroxyindole
  • Fractional C current
  • GH4C1 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Endocrinology


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