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Gold nanoparticle–choline complexes can block nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

Authors Chin C, Kim IK, Lim DY, Kim KS, Lee HA, Kim EJ

Published 19 April 2010 Volume 2010:5 Pages 315—321

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S10466

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Chur Chin1, In Kyeom Kim2, Dong Yoon Lim3, Ki Suk Kim4, Hyang Ae Lee4, Eun Joo Kim4

1Department of Pediatrics, Fatima Hospital, Daegu, Korea; 2Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea; 3Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea; 4Korea Institute of Toxicology, Daejeon, Korea

Abstract: We identified a novel class of direct ion-channel blockers of ligand-gated ion channels called the gold nanoparticle–choline complex. Negatively charged gold nanoparticles (1.4 nm) block ion pores by binding to the sulfur group of the cysteine loop of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and currents evoked by acetylcholine (Ach) can break these bonds. The current evoked by ACh in nAChRs was blocked directly in ion pores by the gold nanoparticle–choline complex. In adrenal-gland perfusion studies, the complex also blocked nAChRs by diminishing catecholamine release by about 75%. An in vivo study showed muscle relaxation in rats after injection of the complex. These results will foster the application of gold nanoparticles as a direct ion-channel blocker.

Keywords: negatively charged gold nanoparticle, choline, gold–sulfur bond, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, direct ion-channel blocker

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