Effects of dihydropyridine calcium channel blocking drugs on rat brain muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic receptors

S A Thayer, M Welcome, A Chhabra, A S Fairhurst
Biochemical Pharmacology 1985 January 15, 34 (2): 175-80
The dihydropyridine (DHP) Ca2+ channel blocking drugs nicardipine, nitrendipine, nimodipine, felodipine, nifedipine and nisoldipine were examined for activity in inhibiting specific (-)-[3H] QNB and [3H]WB4101 binding to the muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic receptors, respectively, of rat brain. Muscarinic receptor binding was affected most by nicardipine, with felodipine having less activity; the other DHP drugs were essentially inactive at 3 X 10(-5) M. The (+)-stereoisomer nicardipine (KI = 4.07 X 10(-7) M) was 27 times more potent than the (-)-isomer in inhibiting [3H]QNB binding, and this inhibition was found to be competitive. This inhibitory effect of nicardipine was not mediated via interaction with the high-affinity DHP binding site assumed to be associated with a Ca2+ channel. (+)-Nicardipine inhibited the binding of [3H]nitrendipine to this DHP binding site of brain, with a K1 of 9.01 X 10(-11) M, and was 10 times more potent than the (-)-isomer. Thus, the muscarinic receptor was 4200 times less sensitive to (+)-nicardipine than was this DHP binding site. Nicardipine was also the most potent DHP drug inhibiting [3H]WB4104 binding to the alpha-adrenergic receptor, although the other drugs were also somewhat active, in the rank order sequence listed above. This effect of nicardipine on the adrenergic receptor was also stereoselective, with (+)-nicardipine (KI = 3.46 X 10(-7) M) being about 3 times more potent than the (-)-isomer, in producing competitive inhibition of radioligand binding. These data suggest that the effects on brain receptors occur as a result of direct, stereospecific effects of DHP drugs on these receptors and are not due to Ca2+ channel blocking activity of these drugs.

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