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Eur J Pharmacol. 1999 Feb 5;366(2-3):309-17.

Effects of dotarizine and flunarizine on chromaffin cell viability and cytosolic Ca2+.

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Servicio de Farmacología Clínica e Instituto de Gerontología, Hospital de la Princesa, Madrid, Spain.


Dotarizine (a novel piperazine derivative with antimigraine properties) and flunarizine (a Ca2+ channel antagonist) were compared concerning: first, their ability to cause chromaffin cell damage in vitro; second, the possible correlation of their octanol/water partition coefficients and those of another 28 compounds (i.e., Ca2+ channel antagonists, blockers of histamine H1 receptors, antimycotics, beta-adrenoceptor antagonists, neuroleptics), with their ability to cause cell damage; third, their capacity to protect the cells against the damaging effects of veratridine; and fourth, their capabilities to enhance the basal cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in fura-2-loaded single chromaffin cells, or to modify the pattern of [Ca2+]i oscillations elicited by veratridine. After 24-h exposure to 1-30 microM dotarizine, the viability of bovine adrenal chromaffin cells (measured under phase contrast or as lactate dehydrogenase, released into the medium) was similar to that of control, untreated cells; at 100 microM, 80% lactate dehydrogenase release was produced. At 1-3 microM flunarizine caused no cell damage; however 10 microM caused 20% lactate dehydrogenase release and 30 and 100 microM over 90% lactate dehydrogenase release. The time course of cell damage was considerably faster for flunarizine, in comparison to dotarizine. Out of 30 molecules tested (at 10 microM), having different octanol/water partition coefficients (log P), dotarizine was among the molecules causing no cell damage; flunarizine caused 20% cell loss, lidoflazine and verapamil over 50% cell loss, and penfluridol, draflazine, astemizole or nifedipine over 80% cell loss. No correlation was found between log P and cytotoxicity. Both dotarizine (10-30 microM) and flunarizine (3-10 microM) provided protection against veratridine-induced cell death; however, at 30 microM dotarizine afforded a pronounced protection while flunarizine enhanced the cytotoxic effects of veratridine. Dotarizine (30 microM) (but not flunarizine) caused a prompt transient elevation of the basal [Ca2+]i. Both compounds abolished the K+-induced increases of [Ca2+]i as well as the oscillations of [Ca2+]i induced by veratridine. The blocking effects of dotarizine were readily reversed after washout, while those of flunarizine were long-lasting. These differences might be relevant to the clinical use of dotarizine as an antimigraine drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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