Nicotine activity on chromaffin cells (WP3255)

Bos taurus

Nicotine is an alkaloid found in tobacco plants. It is a substance that acts as a stimulant in humans and is one of the main factors responsible for tobacco dependence. When nicotine enters the body, it is distributed quickly through the bloodstream, and it can cross the blood-brain barrier to enter the central nervous system (CNS). It binds to two main types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: the ganglion type and the CNS type. In chromaffin cells in the adrenal medulla, nicotine binds to the ganglion-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which is composed of alpha 3 (CHRNA3) and beta 4 (CHRNB4) subunits. By binding to the receptors, nicotine causes cell depolarization and an influx of calcium through voltage dependent calcium channels. Calcium triggers the release of epinephrine from the chromaffin vesicles into the bloodstream, which leads to increased heart rate and blood pressure and elevation of blood glucose level. Sources: [ PharmGKB:Nicotine in Chromaffin Cells], [ Wikipedia:Nicotine]


Martina Summer-Kutmon and Eric Weitz


last edited

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Bos taurus



Pathway Ontology

nicotine drug pathway

Cell Type Ontology

chromaffin cell


Label Type Compact URI Comment
Na+ Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000588
K+ Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000586
Na+ Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000588
Nicotine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001934
K+ Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000586
Ca++ Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000464
Epinephrine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000068
Epinephrine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000068
Ca++ Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000464
CHRNB4 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000003132 HomologyConvert: Homo sapiens to Bos taurus: Original ID = L:1143
CACNA1G GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000009835 HomologyConvert: Homo sapiens to Bos taurus: Original ID = L:8913
CACNA1C GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000010660 HomologyConvert: Homo sapiens to Bos taurus: Original ID = L:775
CHRNA3 GeneProduct ensembl:ENSBTAG00000003130 HomologyConvert: Homo sapiens to Bos taurus: Original ID = L:1136