Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor
Muscarinic receptors, or mAChRs, are G protein-coupled acetylcholine receptors found in the plasma membranes of certain neurons and other cells. They play several roles, including acting as the main end-receptor stimulated by acetylcholine released from postganglionic fibers in the parasympathetic nervous system.
Muscarinic receptors were named as such because they are more sensitive to muscarine than to nicotine.Their counterparts are nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), receptor ion channels that are also important in the autonomic nervous system. Many drugs and other substances (for example pilocarpine and scopolamine) manipulate these two distinct receptors by acting as selective agonists or antagonists.
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a neurotransmitter found extensively in the brain and autonomic nervous system. It is also the neurotransmitter used to cause voluntary muscle contraction.
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