Endogenous modulation of alpha-adrenergic contraction in canine tracheal muscle

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1986 Aug;61(2):464-71. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1986.61.2.464.


We studied the effect of passive stretch on the contraction of canine tracheal smooth muscle (TSM) to alpha-adrenergic agonists and acetylcholine (ACh) in 211 epithelium-free TSM strips from 42 dogs in vitro. Passive stretch at a resting tension of 100 g/cm2 caused a time-dependent decrease in the contractile response to alpha-adrenergic agonists after beta-adrenergic blockade with propranolol. Initial contraction elicited by 10(-3) M phenylephrine (PE) and clonidine (CLO) decreased at 2 h by 31 and 100%, respectively. Decrease in alpha-adrenergic contractility did not result from tachyphylaxis; no contraction was elicited by PE or CLO given for the first time after 4-h passive stretch at 100 g/cm2. The TSM response to ACh was unchanged over the same time in the same strips. When TSM strips were incubated at zero resting tension for 6 h, some attenuation of the alpha-adrenergic contractile still occurred but was not substantial. Similarly, when strips were incubated with 10(-6) M indomethacin (INDO) or 10(-5) M mefenamic acid (MEF) at 100 g/cm2 resting tension, time-dependent attenuation of the response to PE and CLO was reduced for at least 6 h, and initial contraction elicited by PE was augmented. Response of TSM to ACh was not affected by prostaglandin synthetase inhibition with INDO. We conclude that passive stretch of canine TSM in vitro leads to decreased responsiveness to alpha-adrenergic stimulation that can be prevented with INDO or MEF. These data are consistent with the synthesis of an inhibitory eicosanoid in epithelium-free canine TSM that may be activated by mechanical deformation of the muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth / enzymology
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiology*
  • Parasympathomimetics / pharmacology
  • Tachyphylaxis
  • Trachea / drug effects
  • Trachea / enzymology
  • Trachea / physiology*


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Parasympathomimetics