Scientists have conducted studies and showed how nicotine builds up inside the neurons and affects the brain causing dependence on Smoking
Each time a smoker inhales tobacco smoke, small molecules nicotine easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain.
One of its main targets nicotinecontaining cholinergic receptors (nACh-r) on the surface of nerve cells. Communicating with them, nicotine is a corresponding cascade of effects, including mild euphoria. However, its impact is not limited. The molecules of nicotine penetrate into the neurons, where their fate remains vague and poorly understood.
Issledovanie conducted by scientists from the California Institute of technology Henry Lester (Henry Lester), together with colleagues from China.
The study described a method to visualize the distribution of molecules trapped in a cage. To do this, biologists constructed an artificial system consisting of two proteins. One of them selectively bind to nicotine and change shape, leading to activation of the second fluorescent protein. Such a “sensor” can be used to selectively make the desired areas of the cells and the luminescence and its decay to find out where and when it accumulate nicotine.[Relink id=”911675″]
First experiments have shown that already a few seconds after making it into the environment, where grown culture of neurons, nicotine penetrated inside the cells and in the endoplasmic reticulum. These folded structures are the cells of the main “factory” and “composition”, where it is synthesized and temporarily stored new proteins, including receptors nACh-r.
Scientists noticed that under the influence of nicotine of their “shelf life” is reduced, the receptors begin to actively migrate to the cell membrane — the place of their main work. The increase in the number of nicotinic receptors on the membrane leads to a higher sensitivity of the neuron to further exposure to nicotine. As a result, each next cigarette seem a little more pleasant than the previous one. Perhaps this mechanism plays a role in the development of addiction and bad habits.
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