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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2001 Apr;53(4):487-96.

Inhibition of field stimulation-induced contractions of rabbit vas deferens by muscarinic receptor agonists: selectivity of McN-A-343 for M1 receptors.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacology, Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, UK.


Inhibition of the field stimulation-induced twitch responses of the rabbit vas deferens by the muscarinic receptor agonist, McN-A-343, has been attributed to presynaptic muscarinic receptors of the M1 subtype located on noradrenergic nerve terminals. Stimulation of these receptors causes inhibition of transmitter release and inhibition of the contractile response. However, the selectivity of McN-A-343 for M1 receptors has been questioned and this throws doubt on whether the prejunctional receptors of the rabbit vas deferens are of the M1 subtype. In this study we have undertaken a comprehensive re-evaluation of the inhibition of prostatic and epididymal portions of the rabbit isolated field-stimulated vas deferens by several agonists, including McN-A-343, and quantified the antagonism by M1-selective antagonists, pirenzepine and telenzepine. Prostatic and epididymal portions of vasa deferentia from New Zealand White rabbits were immersed in a low Ca2+ Krebs solution at 32+/-0.5 degrees C gassed with 5% CO2 in oxygen. Yohimbine (1.0mM) was present throughout to block prejunctional alpha2-adrenoceptors. Field stimulation was applied by repeated application of single pulses (30 V, 0.05 Hz, 0.5 ms) and isometric contractions recorded. Carbachol and oxotremorine initially potentiated the epididymal contractions but at higher concentrations there was inhibition. In the prostatic portion, oxotremorine only inhibited. McN-A-343 produced inhibitory responses only in both epididymal and prostatic portions. Pirenzepine shifted the concentration-response curves forthe inhibitory responses to oxotremorine to the right. However, the potentiation of the twitches also became more apparent with the lower concentrations of oxotremorine. Schild plots for the antagonism by pirenzepine yielded pA2 values of 7.96+/-0.004 and 7.7+/-0.02 for the epididymal and prostatic portions, respectively. The concentration-response curves for the inhibition of twitches by McN-A-343 were displaced to the right in a parallel manner by pirenzepine in both prostatic and epididymal portions with no potentiation of the twitches. The Schild plot for this antagonism generated pA2 values of 7.68+/-0.01 and 8.07+/-0.01, respectively. Telenzepine caused parallel shifts of the McN-A-343 concentration-response curves to the right in prostatic portions, the pA2 value being 8.70+/-0.13. Telenzepine (10(-7) M) abolished the inhibitory effect of carbachol to reveal only concentration-dependent potentiation of the contractions. The Schild plot for antagonism of this contractile effect yielded a pA2 value (7.07+/-0.09) that was significantly less by almost two orders of magnitude (1.70) than the value for the antagonism by telenzepine of the McN-A-343-induced inhibitory response. The pA2 values of pirenzepine and telenzepine against the inhibitory responses of the rabbit vas deferens are consistent with the involvement of M1 receptors. This leads to the conclusion that McN-A-343 causes inhibition through this receptor type. The doubts concerning the selectivity of McN-A-343 for M1 receptors are therefore unfounded. The fact that McN-A-343 does not display a selective binding profile suggests that its selectivity does not arise from affinity differences but probably resides in its intrinsic efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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