This article is free to access.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are thought to be associated with a wide range of phenomena, such as movement, learning, memory, attention, and addiction. However, the causal relationship between nicotinic receptor activity and behavior remains unclear. Contrary to the studies that examined the functions of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, the role of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on behavior has not been examined as extensively. Here, we examined the effects of intraperitoneal injection of mecamylamine, a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, on the performance of male mice in a head-fixed temporal conditioning task and a free-moving open-field task. The head-fixed experimental setup allowed us to record and precisely quantify the licking response while the mice performed the behavioral task with no external cues. In addition, by combining the utility of the head-fixed experimental design with computer vision analysis based on deep learning algorithms, we succeeded in quantifying the eyelid size of awake mice. In the temporal conditioning task, we delivered a 10% sucrose solution every 10 s using a blunt-tipped needle placed within the licking distance of the mice. After the training, the mice showed increased anticipatory licking toward the timing of sucrose delivery, suggesting that the mice could predict the timing of the reward. Systemic injection of mecamylamine decreased licking behavior and caused eye closure but had no effect on learned conditioned predictive behavior in the head-fixed temporal conditioning task. In addition, the injection of mecamylamine decreased spontaneous locomotor activity in a dose-dependent manner in the free-moving open-field task. The results in the open-field experiments further revealed that the effect of mecamylamine on fecal output and urination, suggesting the effects on autonomic activities. Our achievement of successful eyelid size recording has potential as a useful approach in initial screening for drug discovery. Our study paves a way forward to understanding the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on learning and behavior.
Kaneko, S., Niki, Y., Yamada, K., Nasukawa, D., Ujihara, Y., & Toda, K. (2022). Systemic injection of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist mecamylamine affects licking, eyelid size, and locomotor and autonomic activities but not temporal prediction in male mice. Molecular Brain, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13041-022-00959-y
Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.