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Br J Pharmacol. Nov 13, 1997; 122(6): 1009–1014.
PMCID: PMC1565044

Quantification and distribution of α1-adrenoceptor subtype mRNAs in human vas deferens: comparison with those of epididymal and pelvic portions


  1. This study was intended to quantify the amounts of the α1-adrenoceptor subtype mRNAs in human vas deferens, and demonstrate the receptor subtype responsible for the vas contraction.
  2. The RNase protection assay showed that the mean total amount of α1a mRNA was 7.4±2.2 pg/5 μg of poly (A)+ RNA (97.0% of the total α1 mRNA) in the epididymal portion (E-vas) and 4.9±0.8 pg/5 μg of poly (A)+ RNA (96.3% of the total) in the pelvic portion (P-vas). The E-vas showed a tendency to have a greater α1a mRNA abundance than the P-vas (P=0.11). The α1b and α1d mRNAs were absent or of extremely low abundance.
  3. By an in situ hybridization, the α1a and α1d mRNAs were recognized in the smooth muscle cells of the E-vas and the P-vas, and the distribution pattern the same in both tissues. The α1b mRNA positive site was scarcely detectable in both vas portions.
  4. In a functional study, l-phenylephrine produced concentration-dependent contraction in the E-vas (Emax=2.24±0.70 g; pD2=5.32±0.09) and the P-vas (Emax=2.46±0.46 g; pD2=5.07±0.12). KMD-3213, a novel α1A-adrenoceptor-selective antagonist, caused parallel rightward shifts of the concentration–response curves for l-phenylephrine. Apparent pKB values were 9.90±0.16 for the E-vas and 9.71±0.17 for the P-vas. There was no significant difference in Emax, pD2 or pKB estimates between the two portions.
  5. We have found that α1a mRNA is predominant in the human vas deferens, and confirmed that contraction of this organ is mediated by the α1A-adrenoceptor.
Keywords: α1-Adrenoceptor subtype mRNA, human vas deferens, RNase protection assay, in situ hybridization

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