Regional differences in relaxation of electric field-stimulated canine airway smooth muscle by verapamil, isoproterenol and prostaglandin E2

D. H. Moore, P. W. Abel, G. A. Rinard, A. M. Puckett, J. B. Walter

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7 Scopus citations


Regional differences in contraction produced by methacholine and electric field stimulation (EFS) and in relaxation produced by isoproterenol, prostaglandin E2 and verapamil were studied in isolated canine airway smooth muscle in vitro. Low-frequency EFS (3 Hz, 0.5 msec, 50 V) contracted thoracic trachealis to 43% of maximal EFS response, whereas cervical trachealis contracted to only 14% of maximum. EFS at 10 Hz produced 75% of the maximal response in both regions of the trachea. These EFS responses were abolished by 0.1 μM tetrodotoxin and 1.0 μM atropine. Contraction produced by EFS was also matched in each tissue by contraction with methacholine. The concentrations of methacholine that matched EFS at 10 Hz were 52 ± 7, 378 ± 84 and 66 ± 11 nM for cervical and thoracic trachealis and lobar bronchi, respectively. Both EFS and matched methacholine contractions of cervical trachealis and lobar bronchi were completely relaxed by isoproterenol, whereas thoracic trachealis relaxed maximally to only 60% of induced tone. When verapamil was used to relax EFS and matched methacholine contractions, cervical trachealis was completely relaxed whereas thoracic trachealis relaxed to 15% of induced tone. Although there was a regional difference in the relaxant potency of isoproterenol and, to some extent, verapamil, there was no difference in isoproterenol or verapamil EC50 values for EFS vs. matched methacholine contrast within each region. In contrast, EFS contractions of thoracic trachealis were more sensitive to prostaglandin E2-induced relaxation than were matched methacholine contractions. These data demonstrate marked differences in cholinergic and beta adrenergic receptor-mediated responses between regions of the tracheobronchial tree. The authors have also shown that isoproterenol and verapamil relax airways by a direct action on the muscle cells, whereas prostaglandin E2 selectively inhibits EFS-induced contraction in thoracic trachealis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 18 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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