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Table 1 Types of AChR with their locations and main function

From: Acetylcholine receptor antagonists in acute respiratory distress syndrome: much more than muscle relaxants

Type Location of expression Function
nAChR
 Muscle-type Neuromuscular junction Muscle contraction, mainly by increased Na+ and K+ permeability
 Neuronal-type Autonomic ganglia Activation of autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic), mainly by increased Na+and K+ permeability
Hippocampus / cortex Cognition, modulate the induction of synaptic plasticity, effect on learning and memory formation, i.e., can improve neurovascular coupling
Midbrain Reward center and initiation of the nicotine addiction process
Neuro-endocrineneurons in the hypothalamus Facilitate the Ca2+-dependent release of vasopressin and oxytocin
Others Improvement of neurovascular coupling (in neurodegenerative disease and ischemia)
mAChR
 M1 Autonomic ganglia Mediates slow EPSP in postganglionic nerve
Exocrine glands Stimulates secretion
Central nervous system Activates slow after-depolarizing potentials in neurons
 M2 Heart Reduce of heart rate, contractile forces of the atrium and conduction velocity in AV node
Central nervous system Activates slow after-depolarizing potentials in neurons
 M3 Smooth muscles Vasoconstriction, vasodilatation, bronchoconstriction
Endocrine and exocrine glands Stimulate secretion
Central nervous system Activates slow after-depolarizing potentials in neurons
Eye Lacrimation, miosis and accommodation by contraction of the sphincter papillae and ciliary body
 M4 Central nervous system Activates slow after-depolarizing potentials in neurons
 M5 Not well known -
  1. EPSP excitatory postsynaptic potential