Prejunctional inhibition of norepinephrine release caused by acetylcholine in the human saphenous vein.
We performed experiments to determine whether or not acetylcholine exerts a prejunctional inhibitory effect on adrenergic neurotransmission in the human blood vessel wall. Rings of human greater saphenous veins were prepared 2 to 15 hours after death and mounted for isometric tension recording in organ chambers filled with Krebs-Ringer solution. Acetylcholine depressed contractile responses to electric activation of the sympathetic nerve endings significantly more than those to exogenous norepinephrine; the relaxations caused by the cholinergic transmitter were antagonized by atropine. Helical strips were incubated with [3H]norepinephrine and mounted for superfusion. Electric stimulation augmented the fractional release of labeled norepinephrine. Acetylcholine caused a depression of the evoked 3H release which was antagonized by atropine but not by hexamethonium. These experiments demonstrate that, as in animal cutaneous veins, there are prejunctional inhibitory muscarinic receptors on the adrenergic nerve endings in the human saphenous vein. By contrast, the human vein also contains postjunctional inhibitory muscarinic receptors.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association