Characterization of the prejunctional muscarinic receptors mediating inhibition of evoked release of endogenous noradrenaline in rabbit isolated vas deferens

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1994 Jan;349(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/BF00178199.


The aim of the present study was to characterize the prejunctional modulation of evoked release of endogenous noradrenaline in rabbit vas deferens by the use of muscarinic receptor agonists and subtype-preferring antagonists. Vasa deferentia of the rabbit were stimulated electrically by trains of 120 pulses delivered at 4 Hz or trains of 30 pulses at 1 Hz. The inhibition by muscarinic agonists of the stimulation-evoked overflow of endogenous noradrenaline in the absence and presence of antagonists was used to determine affinity constants for antagonists. These values were compared with those observed at putative M1 receptors inhibiting neurogenic twitch contractions in the rabbit vas deferens and with affinity data obtained at M1(m1)-M4(m5) receptors in functional studies and binding experiments. The evoked overflow of noradrenaline from sympathetic nerves was enhanced by the A1 receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX), the P2 purinoceptor antagonist pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid (PPADS) and indomethacin, indicating a tonic inhibition by endogenous A1 and P2 purinoceptor agonists and prostanoids, respectively. The stimulation-evoked overflow at 4 Hz was not sensitive to inhibition by the muscarinic agonists methacholine or 4-(4-chlorophenylcarbamoyloxy)-2-butynyltrimethylammonium iodide (4-Cl-McN-A-343). In contrast, at a stimulation frequency of 1 Hz the evoked noradrenaline release was decreased by muscarinic agonists (EC50): arecaidine propargyl ester (0.062 microM), 4-Cl-McN-A-343 (0.32 microM), 4-(4-fluorophenylcarbamoyloxy)-2-butynyl-N-methyl-pyrrolidinium tosylate (4-F-PyMcN+; 0.48 microM) and methacholine (0.86 microM). The affinity constants of most of the muscarinic antagonists [atropine: pKB = 9.47; (R)-trihexyphenidyl: pKB = 9.18; pirenzepine: pA2 = 7.68; methoctramine: pKB = 6.90] are consistent with estimates of these antagonists at M1(m1) receptors determined in various functional and binding studies. The high antagonistic potency of pirenzepine and (R)-trihexyphenidyl and the agonistic activity of 4-F-PyMcN+ argue for the involvement of M1, and against that of M2 and M3 receptors in the inhibition of evoked noradrenaline overflow. However, the high apparent pKB of 8.30 for himbacine is not in accordance with an M1 receptor; by contrast, it would be compatible with the presence of M2 or M4 receptors. The potencies of the tested muscarinic agonists and antagonists largely agree with those obtained for the inhibition of neurogenic twitch responses (0.05 Hz) in the rabbit vas deferens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Antagonists*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / ultrastructure*
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism*
  • Rabbits
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / drug effects
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / physiology*
  • Vas Deferens / drug effects*
  • Vas Deferens / metabolism*
  • Vas Deferens / ultrastructure


  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Norepinephrine