Loperamide: novel effects on capacitative calcium influx

Research paper by J. W. Daly, J. Harper

Indexed on: 01 Jan '00Published on: 01 Jan '00Published in: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences


Loperamide is a widely used antidiarrheal that primarily acts at nanomolar concentrations through activation of opioid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. At somewhat higher concentrations, loperamide blocks calmodulin activity, calcium channels, N-methyl-d-aspartate-receptor channels, and maitotoxin-elicited calcium influx. Loperamide at micromolar concentrations has now been shown to have a remarkable stimulatory effect on the capacitative calcium influx that is triggered in many cells by depletion of the inositol-trisphosphate-sensitive stores of calcium in the endoplasmic reticulum. The mechanism whereby loperamide enhances levels of intracellular calcium elevated by capacitative calcium influx is, as yet, undefined.