Emerging Roles of Cholinergic Receptors in Schwann Cell Development and Plasticity

Roberta Piovesana, Adam J. Reid, Ada Maria Tata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cross talk between neurons and glial cells during development, adulthood, and disease, has been extensively documented. Among the molecules mediating these interactions, neurotransmitters play a relevant role both in myelinating and non-myelinating glial cells, thus resulting as additional candidates regulating the development and physiology of the glial cells. In this review, we summarise the contribution of the main neurotransmitter receptors in the regulation of the morphogenetic events of glial cells, with particular attention paid to the role of acetylcholine receptors in Schwann cell physiology. In particular, the M2 muscarinic receptor influences Schwann cell phenotype and the α7 nicotinic receptor is emerging as influential in the modulation of peripheral nerve regeneration and inflammation. This new evidence significantly improves our knowledge of Schwann cell development and function and may contribute to identifying interesting new targets to support the activity of these cells in pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2022


  • acetylcholine
  • differentiation
  • muscarinic receptors
  • myelination
  • neuron–glia interaction
  • neurotransmitter receptors
  • nicotinic receptors


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