- Alomone Labs (-)-Cytisine activates α2/β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channels heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes.Current traces of α2/β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channels activity at -60 mV holding potential. The bars above the trace represent periods where (-)-Cytisine (#C-130) or acetylcholine were applied at the indicated concentration.
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(-)-Cytisine is an alkaloid, which occurs naturally in several types of plants as well as in animals feeding on them (see example in reference 1). (-)-Cytisine is a potent and selective agonist of neuronal nAChR2. It acts as a partial agonist of β2-containing nAChR3.
EC50s differ for different subunit-composed channels; for recombinant human channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes the following EC50 values were reported: 25 µM, 39 µM, 67 µM, 72 µM, 2.6 µM 0.9 µM and 71 µM for α2/β2, α2/β4, α3/β2, α3/β4, α4/β2, α4/β4 and α7 respectively4.
However, in β2-containing channels, the response to acetylcholine (ACh) is largely reduced when applied in combination with (-)-Cytisine5. Therefore, when applied in vivo it exerts a compound effect of both activating certain nAchRs and inhibiting the effect of ACh on others. For example, (-)-Cytisine was found to have antidepressant-like effects in several animal models of antidepressant efficacy. This was probably achieved by inhibiting the effect of ACh on α2/β4 channel in the basolateral amygdala6.
In another study, the effects of (-)-Cytisine were compared to nicotine. Rats were trained to discriminate nicotine from saline and it was confirmed that (-)-Cytisine had a nicotine-like discriminative effect, but it was much less potent than nicotine itself7.
(-)-Cytisine (#C-130) is a highly pure, synthetic, and biologically active compound.