Interaction of the neuromuscular blocking drugs alcuronium, decamethonium, gallamine, pancuronium, ritebronium, tercuronium and d-tubocurarine with muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the heart and ileum

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1985 Apr;329(2):176-81. doi: 10.1007/BF00501209.


Neuromuscular blocking drugs have a high affinity for muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the heart atria and ileal smooth muscle. In experiments on homogenates, alcuronium, gallamine, pancuronium, tercuronium and ritebronium inhibited the binding of the muscarinic antagonist (3H)quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) to rat heart atria with IC50 values of 0.15-0.53 mumol X 1(-1) and to ileal longitudinal muscles with IC50 values of 0.12-0.45 mumol X 1(-1). d-Tubocurarine and decamethonium inhibited (3H)QNB binding to these tissues with IC50 values of 6.2-8.5 mumol X 1(-1). For each neuromuscular blocking drug, the IC50 values were virtually identical for (3H)QNB displacement in the homogenates of the atria and of the ileal muscle. Alcuronium and gallamine differed from the other blocking agents in that they produced less steep (3H)QNB displacement curves both in the atria and the ileal muscle; Hill coefficients for the binding of alcuronium and gallamine to atrial and ileal homogenates were lower than unity. On isolated atria, gallamine, pancuronium, ritebronium and tercuronium antagonized the inhibition of tension development caused by the muscarinic agonist, methylfurmethide, with Kd values which were of the same order of magnitude as the IC50 values for the displacement of (3H)QNB binding to homogenates; the Kd of alcuronium was 12.5 times higher. d-Tubocurarine and decamethonium did not antagonize the effects of methylfurmethide at concentrations up to 100 mumol X 1(-1). On isolated ileal longitudinal muscle, gallamine and pancuronium antagonized the effects of methylfurmethide with Kd values that were 53 times and 100 times higher than their respective Kd values in the atria.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Alcuronium / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive / drug effects
  • Decamethonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gallamine Triethiodide / pharmacology
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Ileum / drug effects
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / metabolism
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / pharmacology*
  • Pancuronium / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / metabolism
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / metabolism
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Quinuclidinyl Benzilate
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / drug effects*
  • Tubocurarine / pharmacology


  • Decamethonium Compounds
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • ritetronium
  • terkuronii
  • Quinuclidinyl Benzilate
  • Pancuronium
  • Gallamine Triethiodide
  • Alcuronium
  • Tubocurarine