Expression of muscarinic binding sites in primary human brain tumors.

D. Gurwitz*, N. Razon, M. Sokolovsky, H. Soreq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The expression of muscarinic binding sites was examined in a collection of primary brain tumors of different cellular origins and various degrees of dedifferentiation, as compared to control specimens. Eleven gliogenous tumors were examined, all of which contained substantial amounts of muscarinic binding sites. Most of the other tumor types examined did not display detectable binding of [3H]N-methyl-4-piperidyl benzilate ([3H]4NMPB). Scatchard analysis indicated the existence of homogeneous antagonist sites in both normal forebrain and glioblastoma multiforme, with Kd values of 1.2 nM and 0.9 nM, respectively. The density of muscarinic binding sites varied between tumors from different patients, and also between specimens prelevated from different areas of the same tumor. This variability, as well as the average density of binding sites, appeared to be larger in highly malignant tumors than in less malignant ones. In contrast, the density of muscarinic receptors from control specimens was invariably high, but within the same order of magnitude. To test whether the muscarinic binding activity in the brain tumors is correlated to other cholinoceptive properties, cholinesterase activity was also examined. Individual data for density of [3H]4NMPB binding sites were then plotted against corresponding values of cholinesterase activity. The pattern of distribution of these values was clearly different in tumor specimens, when compared to that observed in samples derived from non-malignant brain. Our observations indicate that human brain cells of gliogenous origin are capable of expressing muscarinic binding sites, and that, if a correlation exists between muscarinic receptors and cholinesterase levels in gliogenous tumors, it differs from that of non-malignant brain tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1984


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