The effects of brucine and alcuronium on the inhibition of [3H]acetylcholine release from rat striatum by muscarinic receptor agonists

Br J Pharmacol. 1998 Jul;124(6):1213-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0701966.


1. Radioligand binding experiments indicate that the affinity of muscarinic receptors for their agonists may be enhanced by allosteric modulators. We have now investigated if brucine can enhance the inhibitory effects of muscarinic receptor agonists on the electrically evoked release of [3H]acetylcholine ([3H]ACh) from superfused slices of rat striatum. 2. The evoked release of [3H]ACh was inhibited by all agonists tested (i.e., furmethide, oxotremorine-M, bethanechol and oxotremorine). 3. Brucine enhanced the inhibitory effects of furmethide, oxotremorine-M and bethanechol on the evoked [3H]ACh release without altering the inhibitory effect of oxotremorine. 4. Alcuronium was applied for comparison and found to diminish the inhibitory effect of furmethide on the evoked [3H]ACh release. 5. The results demonstrate that it is possible both to enhance and diminish the functional effects of muscarinic receptor agonists by allosteric modulators. 6. The direction of the observed effects of brucine and alcuronium on [3H]ACh release fully agrees with the effects of these modulators on the affinities of human M4 receptors for furmethide, oxotremorine-M, bethanechol and oxotremorine, as described by Jakubik et al. (1997). This supports the view that the presynaptic muscarinic receptors responsible for the autoinhibition of ACh release in rat striatum belong to the M4 muscarinic receptor subtype.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Acetylcholine / metabolism
  • Alcuronium / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Bethanechol / pharmacology
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Oxotremorine / pharmacology
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Strychnine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Strychnine / pharmacology
  • Tritium


  • Muscarinic Agonists
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Bethanechol
  • Tritium
  • Oxotremorine
  • brucine
  • furtrethonium
  • Strychnine
  • Acetylcholine
  • Alcuronium