Picture of UK Houses of Parliament

Leading national thinking on politics, government & public policy through Open Access research

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the School of Government & Public Policy, based within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Research here is 1st in Scotland for research intensity and spans a wide range of domains. The Department of Politics demonstrates expertise in understanding parties, elections and public opinion, with additional emphases on political economy, institutions and international relations. This international angle is reflected in the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) which conducts comparative research on public policy. Meanwhile, the Centre for Energy Policy provides independent expertise on energy, working across multidisciplinary groups to shape policy for a low carbon economy.

Explore the Open Access research of the School of Government & Public Policy. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

What can toxins tell us for drug discovery?

Harvey, A.L. and Bradley, K.N. and Cochran, S.A. and Rowan, E.G. and Pratt, J.A. and Quillfeldt, J.A. and Jerusalinsky, D.A. (1998) What can toxins tell us for drug discovery? Toxicon, 36 (11). pp. 1635-1640. ISSN 0041-0101

Full text not available in this repository.Request a copy from the Strathclyde author

Abstract

Toxins are of interest in drug design because the toxins provide three-dimensional templates for creating small molecular mimics with interesting pharmacological properties. Toxins are also useful in drug discovery because they can be used as pharmacological tools to uncover potential therapeutic targets. With their high potency and selectivity, toxins are often more useful in functional experiments than standard pharmacological agents. We have used two groups of neurotoxins, the dendrotoxins and the muscarinic toxins (MTs), to explore the involvement of subtypes of potassium ion channels and muscarinic receptors, respectively, in processes involved in cognition and the changes in neuronal properties with aging. From our current work, quantitative autoradiographic studies with radiolabelled dendrotoxins reveal widespread distribution of binding sites throughout rat brain sections, but few differences exist between young adult and aged rats. However, displacement studies with toxin K, which preferentially binds to the Kv1.1 subtype of cloned potassium channel, show the selective loss of such sites in regions of the hippocampus and septohippocampal pathway with aging. MTs have been tested for effects on performance of rats in memory paradigms. MT2, which activates m1 receptors, improves performance of rats in a step-down inhibitory avoidance test, whereas MT3, which blocks m4 receptors, decreases performance when given into the hippocampus. This is the first clear demonstration of a role for m4 muscarinic receptors in cognition.