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Br J Pharmacol. 1984 Sep;83(1):113-24.

Lack of a causal relationship between the vasodilator effect of papaverine and cyclic AMP production in the dog basilar artery.


The effects of papaverine and isoprenaline on smooth muscle cells of the dog basilar artery were investigated using radioimmunoassay, electrophysiological and isometric tension recording methods. For comparative purposes, the actions of these drugs on the guinea-pig basilar artery were also examined. Papaverine and isoprenaline (1 microM and 10 microM) increased the amount of cyclic AMP in both dog and guinea-pig basilar arteries. Papaverine (up to 100 microM) and isoprenaline (up to 1 microM) had no effect on the membrane potential and membrane resistance measured by recording the amplitudes of the electrotonic potentials in smooth muscle cells of the dog and guinea-pig basilar arteries. The action potential evoked by outward current pulses after pretreatment with tetraethylammonium chloride (5-10 mM) was inhibited by papaverine (greater than 1 microM) but not by isoprenaline (up to 10 microM) in smooth muscle cells of the dog and guinea-pig basilar arteries. In the dog basilar artery, papaverine (greater than 1 microM) consistently inhibited the contractions evoked by excess concentrations of [K]o (greater than 20.2 mM) or 5-hydroxytryptamine (10 nM-10 microM), dose-dependently. Isoprenaline (1 microM) had only slight effects on the contraction evoked by low concentrations of 5-hydroxytryptamine (10 nM). In the Ca2+-free solution containing EGTA (2 mM), the contraction evoked by 5-hydroxytryptamine (10 microM) or caffeine (10 mM) was dose-dependently inhibited by papaverine (greater than 1 microM). However, isoprenaline (1 microM) had no effect on these contractions. These results indicate that the vasodilator actions of papaverine on the dog basilar artery are mainly due to inhibition of the voltage-dependent influx of Ca2+ and also to inhibition of the receptor-activated release of Ca2+ stored in the cell. Since isoprenaline increased the cyclic AMP to the same extent as papaverine but had no effect on the electrical and mechanical responses, the inhibitory actions of papaverine on this tissue may not be causally related to the increased levels of cyclic AMP induced by inhibition of phosphodiesterase.

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