Indexed on: 10 Aug '06Published on: 10 Aug '06Published in: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
: 1. Centrally acting imidazoline antihypertensive agents clonidine and moxonidine also act peripherally to contract blood vessels. While these agents act at both I(1)-imidazoline and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors centrally, the receptor types by which they mediate contraction require further definition. We therefore characterized the receptor subtype by which these agents mediate contraction of proximal rat-tail artery. 2. Dose-response curves were determined for phenylephrine and for several imidazoline ligands, using endothelium denuded, isolated ring segments, of tail arteries from adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Ring segments were mounted on a force transducer with platinum wires and immersed in a tissue bath containing Krebs solution, to which drugs could be added. Signals were digitized and recorded by a computer. 3. Tail artery contractions expressed as a percent of contraction to 106 mM potassium were phenylephrine (96%), moxonidine (88%), clonidine (52%), and UK14304 (30%). Neither rilmenidine nor harmane caused contraction. Contraction of tail artery to moxonidine or clonidine could be blocked by alpha 1 antagonist urapidil or prazosin, and also by alpha 1A subtype selective antagonist WB4101. Schild plots were generated and a calculated pA2 value of 9.2 for prazosin in the presence of clonidine confirms clonidine as an agonist at alpha 1A receptors in proximal segments of rat-tail artery. 4. Our work suggests that clonidine and moxonidine are promiscuous compounds at micromolar concentrations and that harmane and rilmenidine are more selective compounds for in vivo imidazoline research.