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1. The effects of seven muscarinic receptor antagonists were used to characterize the receptors which mediate carbachol-evoked contractions of intertaenial circular and taenial longitudinal muscle in human isolated colon. The effects of these antagonists were studied upon colon contractions induced by cumulatively added carbachol which had mean EC50 values of 11.7 +/- 2.3 microM (n = 8) and 12.6 +/- 2.3 microM (n = 8) respectively upon circular and longitudinal smooth muscle. 2. All antagonists displaced concentration-response curves to carbachol to the right in a parallel manner. The maximum concentration of each antagonist added (30 nM-10 microM) did not significantly suppress the maximum response. 3. In circular muscle, the M3 muscarinic receptor antagonists, 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide (4-DAMP), hexahydrosiladiphenidol (HHSiD) and para-fluoro-hexahydrosiladiphenidol (p-F-HHSiD) inhibited responses with pA2 values of 9.41 +/- 0.23, 7.17 +/- 0.07, 6.94 +/- 0.18 respectively. The M2 muscarinic receptor antagonist, AF-DX 116, the M2/M4 muscarinic receptor antagonist, himbacine, and the M1 muscarinic receptor antagonist, pirenzepine, yielded pA2 values of 7.36 +/- 0.43, 7.47 +/- 0.14 and 7.23 +/- 0.48 respectively. The non-selective antagonist, atropine, had a pA2 of 8.72 +/- 0.28. 4. In longitudinal muscle 4-DAMP, HHSiD, p-F-HHSiD, AF-DX 116, himbacine and pirenzepine gave pA2 values of 9.09 +/- 0.16, 7.45 +/- 0.43, 7.44 +/- 0.21, 6.44 +/- 0.1, 7.54 +/- 0.40, 6.87 +/- 0.38 respectively. Atropine yielded a pA2 value of 8.60 +/- 0.08. 5. The pharmacological profile of antagonist affinities at the muscarinic receptor population responding to muscarinic agonist-evoked contraction is similar to that widely accepted as characterizing the activation of an M3 muscarinic receptor subtype, although pA2 values of some antagonists are lower than that seen in other investigations.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





1518 - 1524


Alkaloids, Atropine, Carbachol, Carcinoma, Colon, Colonic Neoplasms, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Furans, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Muscarinic Antagonists, Muscle Contraction, Muscle, Smooth, Naphthalenes, Piperidines, Pirenzepine