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Br J Pharmacol. 1996 Mar;117(5):799-804.

Oxytocin receptors expressed and coupled to Ca2+ signalling in a human vascular smooth muscle cell line.

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Institute for Drug Discovery Research, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Ibaraki, Japan.


1. In a human vascular smooth muscle cell line (HVSMC), binding experiments with [3H]-arginine8-vasopressin (AVP) have shown the existence of a homogeneous population of binding sites with affinity (Kd value) of 0.65 nM and a maximum number of binding sites (Bmax) of 122 fmol mg-1 protein. 2. Nonlabelled compounds compete for [3H]-AVP binding in the HVSMC membrane with an order of potency of oxytocin > lyspressin > or = AVP > Thr4, Gly7-oxytocin > (beta-mercapto-beta-beta-cyclopentamethylenepropionyl-O-Me Tyr2, Arg8) vasopressin > desmopressin > OPC21268 > OPC31260. This order was markedly different from that observed in rat vascular smooth muscle cells (A10), a well-established V1A receptor system. 3. In HVSMC both oxytocin and AVP increased inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) production and [Ca2+]i response, but the efficacy of the responses was greater for oxytocin than AVP. 4. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay detected only oxytocin receptor but not V1A or V2 receptors in HVSMC, whereas only V1A receptors were found in A10 cells. 5. In conclusion, in HVSMC only oxytocin receptors are expressed among the vasopressin receptor family, and they coupled to phosphatidyl inositol (PI) turnover/Ca2+ signalling. This unexpected observation should provide new insight into the functional role of the oxytocin receptor in a human vascular smooth muscle cell line.

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