The effects of nifedipine on alpha 2-adrenoceptor-mediated contractions in several isolated blood vessels from the rabbit

Dunn, W.R., Daly, C.J. , McGrath, J.C. and Wilson, V.G. (1991) The effects of nifedipine on alpha 2-adrenoceptor-mediated contractions in several isolated blood vessels from the rabbit. British Journal of Pharmacology, 103(2), pp. 1493-1499. (doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1991.tb09816.x)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


1. The effects of the dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, nifedipine, on noradrenaline-induced contractile responses have been examined in several isolated blood vessels from the rabbit, with particular emphasis on responses mediated via postjunctional alpha 2-adrenoceptors. 2. In the isolated renal vein, ear vein, distal saphenous artery, saphenous vein and plantaris vein, 0.1 microM and 1 microM nifedipine reduced responses elicited by 54 mM KCl by more than 70%. The remaining responses were abolished by alpha-adrenoceptor blockade, suggesting the involvement of noradrenaline released from neurones activating a dihydropyridine-resistant mechanism. 3. In the renal vein (alpha 1-), ear vein (predominantly alpha 2-), distal saphenous artery (alpha 1- greater than alpha 2-), saphenous vein and plantaris vein (alpha 2- greater than alpha 1-), 0.01 microM and 0.1 microM nifedipine produced concentration-related reductions in the maximum response to noradrenaline. However, 1 microM nifedipine was no more effective than 0.1 microM nifedipine and the reduction in the maximum varied from 10-25% of the control response. Thus, a sizeable component of the alpha-adrenoceptor-mediated response in all blood vessels is resistant to dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers and this appears to be unrelated to the alpha-adrenoceptor subtype involved. 4. Following irreversible inactivation of alpha 1-adrenoceptors and isolation of functional alpha 2-adrenoceptors in the saphenous vein, plantaris vein and distal saphenous artery (the latter requiring the presence of angiotensin II), the effect of nifedipine on responses to noradrenaline was increased. However, a component of the alpha 2-adrenoceptor response in each preparation was present even after the concentration of nifedipine was increased to 1 microM. 5. In the saphenous vein, a preparation in which it has been demonstrated previously that alpha 2-adrenoceptor-mediated responses are highly dependent upon the presence of extracellular calcium ions, partial depolarization with 20mM KCl failed to increase the inhibitory effect of 0.1 microM nifedipine. This suggests the involvement of dihydropyridine-resistant Ca2+ channels. The possible relationship between these dihydropyridine-resistant Ca2+ channels, alpha-adrenoceptor subtypes and 'receptor-operated' Ca2 + channels is discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGrath, Professor John and Daly, Professor Craig
Authors: Dunn, W.R., Daly, C.J., McGrath, J.C., and Wilson, V.G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of Pharmacology
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISSN (Online):1476-5381
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record