The use of chemogenetic approaches to study the physiological roles of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system
journal contributionposted on 05.04.2019, 07:52 by SJ Bradley, AB Tobin, R Prihandoko
Chemical genetic has played an important role in linking specific G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling to cellular processes involved in central nervous system (CNS) functions. Key to this approach has been the modification of receptor properties such that receptors no longer respond to endogenous ligands but rather can be activated selectively by synthetic ligands. Such modified receptors have been called Receptors Activated Solely by Synthetic Ligands (RASSLs) or Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). Unlike knock-out animal models which allow detection of phenotypic changes caused by loss of receptor functions, RASSL and DREADD receptors offer the possibility of rescuing "knock-out" phenotypic deficits by administration of the synthetic ligands. Here we describe the use of these modified receptors in defining the physiological role of GPCRs and validation of receptors as drug targets. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Neuropharmacology on Muscarinic Receptors'.