The roles of α2-adrenoceptor subtypes in the control of cervical resistance in the late-pregnant rat

Adrienn Gál, Eszter Ducza, Renáta Minorics, Anna Klukovits, Márta Gálik, George Falkay, Róbert Gáspár

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The roles of the α2-adrenoceptor subtypes in the regulation of cervical resistance have previously not been investigated. The aim of the present study was to identify these receptors in the late-pregnant cervix and determine their functions in vitro in the rat. The expressions of the α2-adrenoceptor subtypes were determined by means of RT-PCR and Western blotting techniques. The changes in cervical resistance due to subtype-selective antagonists were investigated in stretching tests. The cyclic AMP immunoassay technique was used to detect the level of cyclic AMP following stimulation of the α2-adrenoceptors with or without pertussis toxin. On pregnancy days 18, 20, 21 and 22, the RT-PCR and Western blotting studies revealed the expressions of all three α2-adrenoceptor subtype mRNAs and proteins. On days 18 and 20, noradrenaline increased and decreased the resistance, respectively. Its effect was blocked by each of the antagonists used, except ARC 239 on both days. On day 21, noradrenaline again increased the resistance, this effect being maintained only in the presence of spiroxatrine. Noradrenaline was ineffective on day 22. These results were supported by the changes in cyclic AMP levels. Pertussis toxin pretreatment eliminated the changes in the cyclic AMP level on days 18 and 21. We presume that the α2A- and α2C-adrenoceptors play predominant roles in the regulation of cervical resistance on days 18-21. Depending on the day of pregnancy, stimulation of these α2-adrenoceptors could even result in opposite effects. This fluctuation can be explained by the changes in the Gi/Gs-coupling of the α2A- and α2C-adrenoceptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2009


  • (Rat)
  • Cervical resistance
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Pregnancy
  • Subtype-selective antagonist
  • α-adrenoceptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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