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Br J Pharmacol. 1996 Jul;118(5):1308-16.

Analysis of the effects of alpha 1-adrenoceptor antagonists on noradrenaline-mediated contraction of rat small mesenteric artery.

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Department of Analytical Pharmacology, King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rayne Institute, London.


1. In this study, we examined the interaction between noradrenaline (NA) and phenylephrine (PE) with seven antagonists (prazosin, tamsulosin, phentolamine, WB-4101, 5-methylurapidil, spiperone and HV 723) in an attempt to characterize the alpha 1-adrenoceptor population of the rat isolated small mesenteric artery (SMA) preparation. 2. Six of the seven antagonists investigated produced concentration-dependent, parallel, rightward shift of the NA concentration-effect (E/[A]) curves. The exception was tamsulosin, which produced significant decrease of the upper asymptote. In the case of 5-methylurapidil and HV723, the Schild plot slope parameters were not significantly different from unity over the range of concentrations used. However, the Schild plot slopes obtained for the other antagonists were all significantly greater than unity, inconsistent with expectations for simple competitive antagonism. 3. HV723, prazosin and tamsulosin were also tested using PE as an agonist. All three antagonists produced concentration-dependent, parallel, rightward shifts of the PE curves and Schild analysis yielded slope parameters not significantly different from unity. The pKB estimates obtained for tamsulosin and prazosin were not significantly different from the pA2 values obtained when NA was used as agonist. In the case of HV723, the 95% confidence intervals for the pKB values yielded with NA and PE did not overlap (pKB = 8.80-9.13 and 8.15-8.77 for NA and PE, respectively). 4. In the absence of evidence to indicate that the steep Schild plots were due to failure to satisfy the basic criteria for quantitative analysis in a one-receptor system, we considered the possibility that the complexity was caused by an action of NA at inhibitory D1 receptors. The selective D1 receptor antagonists, SCH-23390 (10 nM), had no significant effect on the NA E/[A] control curve, but the apparent potency of 100 nM prazosin was reduced by approximately 3.5 fold. 5. This study indicates that the steep Schild plots obtained from the interaction between NA and alpha 1-adrenoceptor antagonists were due to the simultaneous activation of inhibitory D1 receptors by NA. Notwithstanding this complexity, our explanatory model of the system (see Appendix) suggests that the antagonist affinity values estimated in the absence of D1 receptor block were not significantly affected by this other action of NA. The low affinity estimate obtained for prazosin suggests that the pharmacologically-defined alpha IL-subtype operates in the SMA.

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