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Br J Pharmacol. 1998 Dec;125(7):1413-20.

Functional effects of the muscarinic receptor agonist, xanomeline, at 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptors.

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Neurosciences Research, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Harlow, Essex, UK.


Xanomeline [3(3-hexyloxy-1,2,5-thiadiazol-4-yl)-1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-1-me thylpyridine] has been reported to act as a functionally selective muscarinic partial agonist with potential use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. This study examined the functional activity of xanomeline at 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptors in native tissue and/or human cloned receptors. Xanomeline had affinity for muscarinic receptors in rat cortical membranes where the ratio of the displacement affinity of [3H]-Quinuclidinyl benzilate vs that of [3H]-Oxotremorine-M was 16, indicative of partial agonist activity. Radioligand binding studies on human cloned receptors confirmed that xanomeline had substantial affinity for M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 receptors and also for 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptor subtypes. Carbachol and xanomeline stimulated basal [35S]-GTPgammaS binding in rat cortical membranes with micromolar affinity. The response to carbachol was attenuated by himbacine and pirenzepine with pA2 of 8.2, 6.9 respectively consistent with the response being mediated, predominantly, via M2 and M4 receptors. Xanomeline-induced stimulation of [35S]-GTPgammaS binding was inhibited by himbacine with an apparent pKb of 6.3, was not attenuated by pirenzepine up to 3 microM and was inhibited by the selective 5-HT1A antagonist WAY100635 with an apparent pKb of 9.4. These data suggest the agonist effect of xanomeline in this tissue is, in part, via 5-HT1A receptors. Similar studies on human cloned receptors confirmed that xanomeline is an agonist at human cloned 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors. In studies using the fluorescent cytoplasmic Ca2+ indicator FLUO-3AM, xanomeline induced an increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration in SH-SY5Y cells expressing recombinant human 5-HT2C receptors. Atropine antagonized this response, consistent with mediation via endogenously-expressed muscarinic receptors. In the presence of atropine, xanomeline antagonized 5-HT-induced cytoplasmic changes in Ca2+ concentration in cells expressing h5-HT2A, h5-HT2B and h5-HT2c receptors with potencies similar to its affinity at these receptors. These studies indicate that xanomeline is a potent agonist at 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors and an antagonist at 5-HT2 receptor subtypes.

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