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J Neurophysiol. 2005 May;93(5):2841-8. Epub 2004 Dec 1.

Roles of M2 and M4 muscarinic receptors in regulating acetylcholine release from myenteric neurons of mouse ileum.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Pharmacology, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Science, Osaka Prefecture University, 1-1 Gakuen-cho, Sakai Osaka 599-8531, Japan.


We investigated the subtype of presynaptic muscarinic receptors associated with inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh) release in the mouse small intestine. We measured endogenous ACh released from longitudinal muscle with myenteric plexus (LMMP) preparations obtained from M1-M5 receptor knockout (KO) mice. Electrical field stimulation (EFS) increased ACh release in all LMMP preparations obtained from M1-M5 receptor single KO mice. The amounts of ACh released in all preparations were equal to that in the wild-type mice. Atropine further increased EFS-induced ACh release in the wild-type mice. Unexpectedly, atropine also increased, to a similar extent, EFS-induced ACh release to the wild-type mice in all M1-M5 receptor single KO mice. In M2 and M4 receptor double KO mice, the amount of EFS-induced ACh release was equivalent to an atropine-evoked level in the wild-type mouse, and further addition of atropine had no effect. M2 receptor immunoreactivity was located in both smooth muscle cells and enteric neurons. M4 receptor immunoreactivity was located in the enteric neurons, being in co-localization with M2 receptor immunoreactivity. These results indicate that both M2 and M4 receptors mediate the muscarinic autoinhibition in ACh release in the LMMP preparation of the mouse ileum, and loss of one of these subtypes can be compensated functionally by a receptor that remained. M1, M3, and M5 receptors do not seem to be involved in this mechanism.

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