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Biochem Pharmacol. 2001 Feb 1;61(3):337-42.

Muscarinic receptor subtypes and calcium signaling in Fischer rat thyroid cells.

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Departamento de Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Malaga, 29080, Malaga, Spain.


A specific and saturable binding site for [3H]N-methyl-scopolamine ([3H]NMS) was observed in plasma membrane of Fischer rat thyroid (FRT) cells with an equilibrium dissociation constant (K(d)) of 0.11 +/- 0.02 nM and a concentration of receptor sites (B(max)) of 14.1 +/- 3.9 fmol/mg protein. Pharmacological characterization of this binding site using pirenzepine, himbacine, (11(2-diethyl-amino)methyl)-1-piperidinylacetyl-5-11-dihydro-6H-pyrido(14) benzodiazepine (AF-DX 116), dicyclomine, 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide (4-DAMP), and hexahydro-sila-difenidol (HHSD) showed clear differences, in terms of affinities, between these muscarinic receptor antagonists. The order of potency for inhibiting [3H]NMS binding was HHSD = dicyclomine > 4-DAMP > pirenzepine = himbacine > AF-DX 116. These findings suggest that the muscarinic receptors found in FRT cells belong to the M3 subtype. Stimulation of FRT cells with carbachol produced a biphasic and dose-dependent increase in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), which was blocked in pretreated cells with atropine and almost abolished by a low concentration of 4-DAMP and HHSD. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ from the incubation medium reduced the initial transient peak and completely abolished the plateau phase, while the transient phase was markedly reduced by the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122. These data indicate that [Ca2+]i results from both Ca2+ influx across Ca2+ channels and mobilization of Ca2+ from intracellular Ca2+ stores. The present data showed the presence of the M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype in plasma membrane of FRT cells, which may influence cellular function via modulation of [Ca2+]i.

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