INVESTIGATION OF THE ROLE OF CALCIUM IN THE SUPER‐SENSITIVITYPRODUCED BY COCAINE IN CAT SPLEEN STRIPS

R. J. SUMMERS, JANET TILLMAN

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Abstract

Cocaine (2 × 10−6m and 10−5m) produced 2 and 7 fold shifts to the left of the dose‐response curve to (—)‐noradrenaline recorded isotonically in isolated splenic capsular strips of the cat. The same concentrations of cocaine also produced increases in the maximum response of the tissue to 117% and 126.7% of control. Desmethylimipramine (DMI, 10 −7 to 10−6m) produced no significant potentiation of the response of cat spleen strips to (—)‐noradrenaline. At 10−5 M DMI decreased the maximum response. Cocaine (10−5m) produced a 3.3 fold shift to the left of the dose‐response curve whereas DMI (10−6m) had no effect on the dose‐response curve to oxymetazoline in cat splenic capsular strips. Cocaine (10−5m) in the presence of phentolamine (10−6m) produced a shift to the left and an increase in the maximum response to K+, an agonist which is believed to produce muscle contraction by increasing the membrane calcium flux. Cocaine (10−5m) had no effect on the dose‐response curve to angiotensin which is believed to contract vascular muscle by releasing calcium from intracellular storage sites. The potentiating effect of cocaine (10−5m) on responses of spleen strips to (—)‐noradrenaline was blocked by the calcium flux inhibitor SKF 525A (2.65 × 10−5m). It is concluded that the results are compatible with the view that cocaine enhances the influx of calcium across the cell membrane during responses to agonists that utilize the extracellular pool of calcium and that this effect is responsible for a large part of the potentiation of the response. 1979 British Pharmacological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-699
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Volume65
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1979

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