Central alpha 2-autoreceptors: agonist dissociation constants and recovery after irreversible inactivation

Br J Pharmacol. 1993 Feb;108(2):370-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1993.tb12811.x.


1. Rats received an intraperitoneal injection of 1.6 mg kg-1 N-ethoxycarbonyl-2-ethoxy-1,2-dihydroquinoline (EEDQ) to achieve an irreversible inactivation of presynaptic release-modulating alpha 2-autoreceptors. Cerebral cortex slices were prepared at different times after the injection (24, 48, 96, 192, 336, 774 h), incubated with [3H]-noradrenaline ([3H]-NA), superfused and stimulated electrically with 4 pulses at 100 Hz (= autoinhibition-free condition). Overflow of radioactivity was used to measure release. Furchgott analysis was used to estimate agonist dissociation constants (KA) and pool size of resynthesized receptors (q). 2. The KA values of the three alpha 2-autoreceptor agonists, bromoxidine (UK-14304), clonidine and noradrenaline (NA) were 187 nM, 72 nM, and 1202 nM, respectively. 3. The release-inhibiting effects of the agonists returned considerably faster than the receptor pool. The calculated half-lives for the recovery of the maximal release-inhibiting effects of bromoxidine, clonidine and NA were 30.7, 63.6 and 20.8 h, respectively, whereas the half-life for the recovery of the receptor pool was 445 h. 4. The data indicate a large receptor reserve at presynaptic alpha 2-autoreceptors for the agonists used and validate the use of EEDQ as a tool for the determination of agonist dissociation constants.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / metabolism*
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Quinolines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tritium


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Quinolines
  • Tritium
  • EEDQ