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

Pharmacological activity of N-methyl-carbamylcholine, a novel acetylcholine receptor agonist with selectivity for nicotinic receptors.

N-Methyl-carbamylcholine (also called N-methyl-carbachol) is an analogue of the mixed muscarinic-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, carbachol. Previous studies have provided evidence that radiolabelled N-methyl-carbachol can bind selectively to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in rat brain. To determine whether N-methyl-carbachol acts as an agonist or an antagonist at nicotine and/or muscarinic receptor sites, the present study examined the pharmacological activity of this compound on some cholinergically innervated tissues. N-Methyl-carbachol, like carbachol, depolarized rat isolated sympathetic ganglia and these effects were inhibited by a nicotinic antagonist, d-tubocurarine, but not by a muscarinic antagonist, atropine. Exposure of rat sympathetic ganglia to N-methyl-carbachol blocked the compound action potential generated in ganglia by stimulation of the pre-ganglionic trunk; this effect of N-methyl-carbachol was likely due to desensitization of the nicotinic response. N-Methyl-carbochol, like carbachol, stimulated the release of [3H]noradrenaline from cultured adrenal medullary cells that had been pre-loaded with [3H]noradrenaline; these effects were largely inhibited by a nicotinic antagonist, mecamylamine, while atropine produced less blockade. N-Methyl-carbachol contracted the frog isolated rectus abdominis muscle and the effect was completely blocked by d-tubocurarine. By contrast, contracture of the rectus abdominis produced by carbachol was partially inhibited by either atropine or d-tubocurarine. N-Methyl-carbachol, like carbachol, contracted the rat isolated ileum and these effects were completely blocked by atropine; however, N-methyl-carbachol was about 42 times less potent than carbachol for this effect. Intravenous injection of N-methyl-carbachol, like nicotine, to the rat produced a transient decrease followed by a more sustained rise in blood pressure while carbachol produced only a sustained decrease in blood pressure. The effects of N-methyl-carbachol and nicotine on blood pressure were blocked by pretreatment of the animal with a nicotinic antagonist, hexamethonium. N-methyl-carbachol, like nicotine, stimulated the release of [3H]dopamine from rat striatal synaptosomes, pre-loaded with [3H]dopamine; release induced by either N-methyl-carbachol or nicotine was inhibited by mecamylamine but not by atropine. In rat cerebral cortical slices pre-loaded with [3H]inositol, carbachol, but not N-methyl-carbachol, stimulated the accumulation of [3H]inositol-1-phosphate, an effect blocked by atropine but not by mecamylamine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. Pharmacological activity of N-methyl-carbamylcholine, a novel acetylcholine receptor agonist with selectivity for nicotinic receptors. Boksa, P., Quik, M., Mitchell, J.B., Collier, B., O'Neil, W., Quirion, R. Eur. J. Pharmacol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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