We tested the effect of cholinergic drugs on the concentration of intracellular free calcium in rat melanotropes. Acetylcholine, muscarine, carbachol, and nicotine resulted in a significant rise in this parameter. Effect of acetylcholine was reduced by atropine (non-selective muscarinic antagonist), pirenzepine (M1 muscarinic antagonist), and 4-DAMP (M3 > M1 muscarinic antagonist), but exposure to the M1 muscarinic agonist McN-A 343 resulted in a significantly smaller calcium-response than that seen in response to acetylcholine or to muscarine. This suggests the involvement of both M1 and M3 muscarinic receptors in the acetylcholine-induced calcium-rise. On the other hand, in the presence of atropine the acetylcholine-induced calcium-rise was not eliminated: this fact indicates that nicotinic receptors are also involved in the acetylcholine-induced intracellular calcium-rise. The acetylcholine-, and nicotine-induced calcium-rise was significantly reduced in presence of the neuronal-type nicotinic antagonist, mecamylamine. This suggests the involvement of a neuronal-type nicotinic receptor in the acetylcholine-induced intracellular calcium-response. Moreover, because in a further experiment almost 80% of the cells investigated responded to muscarine as well as nicotine, we conclude that both functionally active muscarinic and nicotinic receptors are present on the same cell. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Cytosolic free Calcium
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