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Br J Pharmacol. 1978 Oct;64(2):293-300.

Pharmacological characterization of the presynaptic alpha-adrenoceptors regulating cholinergic activity in the guinea-pig ileum.


1 The presynaptic alpha-adrenoceptors located on the terminals of the cholinergic nerves of the guineapig myenteric plexus have been characterized according to their sensitivities to alpha-adrenoceptor agonists and antagonists.2 Electrical stimulation of the cholinergic nerves supplying the longitudinal muscle of the guinea-pig ileum caused a twitch response. Clonidine caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of the twitch response; the maximum inhibition obtained was 80 to 95% of the twitch response. Oxymetazoline and xylazine were qualitatively similar to clonidine but were about 5 times less potent. Phenylephrine and methoxamine also inhibited the twitch response but were at least 10,000 times less potent than clonidine.3 The twitch-inhibitory effects of clonidine, oxymetazoline and xylazine, but not those of phenylephrine or methoxamine, were reversed by piperoxan (0.3 to 1.0 mug/ml).4 Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) inhibited the twitch response, but also increased the basal tone of the ileum. Mepyramine prevented the increase in tone but did not affect the inhibitory action of LSD. Piperoxan or phentolamine only partially antagonized the inhibitory effect of LSD.5 Phentolamine, yohimbine, piperoxan and tolazoline were potent, competitive antagonists of the inhibitory effect of clonidine with pA(2) values of 8.51, 7.78, 7.64 and 6.57 respectively.6 Thymoxamine was a weak antagonist of clonidine; it also antagonized the twitch-inhibitory effect of morphine. Thus, its effect against clonidine is probably not mediated specifically at presynaptic alpha-adrenoceptors.7 Labetalol, itself, depressed the twitch response but did not antagonize the inhibitory effect of clonidine on the residual twitch.8 The results demonstrate that the presynaptic alpha-adrenoceptors in the guinea-pig ileum are of the same type as those located presynaptically in sympathetically innervated tissues. They are alpha(2)-adrenoceptors and are different from those located postsynaptically.

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