Evidence that there is no direct correlation between alpha2-adrenoceptor antagonism and inhibition of voltage-dependent sodium channels

I. Zimanyi, A. Lajtha, E. S. Vizi, E. Wang, M. E.A. Reith

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Electrophysiological and biochemical evidence suggests that the voltage-dependent sodium channel is the site of local anesthetic action, and that there is pharmacological similarity between α-adrenoceptors and Na+-channels. Yohimbine, a non-selective α2-adrenoceptor antagonist, with a structure similar to that of cocaine affects the sodium channel by a mechanism different from that of other local anesthetics including cocaine. Some structural analogues of yohimbine -berbane compounds- were found to be potent and selective α2-adrenoceptor antagonists. In this work the local anesthetic properties of two berbane compounds (6c and 6d (CH-38083) from the paper of Vizi, Toth, Somogyi, Szabo, Harsing and Szantay, 1987) were examined and compared to those of yohimbine in vitro on scorpion venom-enhanced specific binding of [3H]batrachotoxinin A 20-α-benzoate ([3h]BTX-B) to the voltage-sensitive sodium channel and on the veratridine-induced depolarization measured by the uptake of [3H]trimethylphenylphosphonium ion ([3H]TPMP+) in mouse brain cortex. Both of the compounds Inhibited the [3H]BTX-B binding with an IC50 of (approximately) 150 uM, which is more than four orders of magnitude higher than the concentration required for antagonism of a presynaptic α2-adrenoceptor (7 nM). They are 15 times less potent in inhibiting [3H]BTX-B binding and 2.5 times less potent in inhibiting veratridine-induced depolarization than yohimbine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1208
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1988



  • Alpha-adrenoceptors
  • Sodium channels
  • Yohimbine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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