Nicotinic vs muscarinic receptors


Unseasoned Veteran
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2008
  1. Pre-Medical
Where can you find nicotinic receptors and where can you find muscarinic receptors in the body? What’s the advantage of one being a voltage-gated membrne channel (nicotinic) and another being a second-messenger system (muscarinic). In other words…why have two different kinds of acetylcholine receptors?


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2009
  1. Medical Student
If I remember from Physiology correctly, nicotinic receptors are present on all of the postganglionic neurons as well as at the neuromuscular junction in skeletal muscles. They are always excitatory.

Muscarinic receptors are present in the autonomic nervous system, namely the parasympathetic. They can be either excitatory or inhibitory depending on the target tissue. I know on cardiac muscle they slow down the heart rate.

Basically the only reason I can think of why there are two different receptors because they have different agonists. I'm not sure if we learned why in my class. I'll have to look over my notes.
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.