N-type, omega-conotoxin-sensitive Ca2+ channels mediate electrically evoked release of ACh in guinea pig trachea

Am J Physiol. 1993 Jun;264(6 Pt 1):L581-6. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1993.264.6.L581.


To determine whether N- or L-type Ca2+ channels mediate acetylcholine (ACh) release from airway parasympathetic nerve endings, we compared the effects of omega-conotoxin (N-type inhibitor) and nifedipine (L-type inhibitor) on electrically evoked release of ACh in guinea pig trachea. Reconnected segments of guinea pig trachea were mounted in organ baths containing Krebs-Henseleit buffer, indomethacin (10 microM) to inhibit cyclooxygenase, neostigmine (1 microM) to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, and atropine (0.3 microM) to inhibit muscarinic autoreceptors, as well as phentolamine and propranolol to inhibit adrenergic receptors. After electrical field stimulation (EFS), aliquots of buffer were removed, and ACh was measured directly by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Tracheas were stimulated for 10-min periods at a frequency of 5 Hz, and ACh release was measured for five separate periods (S1-S5) after treatment with increasing concentrations of omega-conotoxin or vehicle alone (acetic acid). Thirty minutes was allowed between stimulation periods. We found that EFS-evoked release of ACh was inhibited by omega-conotoxin in a concentration-dependent manner [mean effective concentration (EC50) approximately 8 nM] but was unaffected by vehicle treatment. In other experiments, ACh release was measured for two separate periods (S1 and S2), and between periods tracheas were treated with omega-conotoxin (1 microM), nifedipine (10-100 microM), tetrodotoxin (TTX), or buffer containing low (0.8 mM) Ca2+. ACh release was 12 +/- 2 (mean +/- SE) and 3 +/- 0.3 pmol.mg protein-1.min-1 before and during omega-conotoxin (n = 5, P < 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology*
  • Calcium Channels / drug effects
  • Calcium Channels / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Guinea Pigs
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology
  • Trachea / metabolism*
  • omega-Conotoxins*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calcium Channels
  • Peptides
  • omega-Conotoxins
  • Conus magus toxin
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Nifedipine
  • Acetylcholine
  • Calcium