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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The purinergic component of human vas deferens contraction.

OBJECTIVE: To examine purinergic signaling in human vas deferens. DESIGN: To study contractile responses of the scrotal vas deferens. SETTING: Research department of a university teaching hospital. PATIENT(S): Undergoing vasectomy or orchidectomy (aged 27-88 years, n = 14). INTERVENTION(S): Vasectomy or orchidectomy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Strips of vas deferens were suspended in an organ bath and subjected to electrical stimulation to establish frequency-response curves. These stimulations were repeated in the presence of pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid (PPADS, P2 receptor antagonist), prazosin (adrenergic alpha1 antagonist), and tetrodotoxin. Concentration-response curves were constructed to noradrenaline and the P2X agonists ATP and alpha,beta-methylene ATP (alpha,beta-meATP). The P2X receptor subtype distribution was assessed by immunohistochemistry using specific antibodies. RESULT(S): The response at 32 Hz in the presence of PPADS was reduced by 40% and in the presence of prazosin by 80%. Noradrenaline caused concentration-dependent contractions (EC50 = 11.8 microM). Contractions to ATP and alpha,beta-meATP (EC50 = 6.27 microM) suggested that the functional receptor was P2X1 and/or P2X3. However, immunohistochemistry demonstrated P2X1, but not P2X3, receptor immunoreactivity on the smooth muscle cells. CONCLUSION(S): This study demonstrated that ATP is a co-transmitter with noradrenaline in the contraction of the human vas deferens predominantly acting through the P2X1 receptor.[1]


  1. The purinergic component of human vas deferens contraction. Banks, F.C., Knight, G.E., Calvert, R.C., Thompson, C.S., Morgan, R.J., Burnstock, G. Fertil. Steril. (2006) [Pubmed]
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