PubMed 499345

Title: The effect of apamin on the smooth muscle cells of the guinea-pig taenia coli.

Authors: A J Maas, A den Hertog

Journal, date & volume: Eur. J. Pharmacol., 1979 Sep 15 , 58, 151-6

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The polypeptide apamin caused a small depolarization of the muscle cell membrane of the guinea-pig taenia coli accompanied by enhancement of spike activity and a concomitant muscle contration. The membrane hyperpolarization evoked by intramural stimulation of the non-adrenergic inhibitory nerves (inhibitory junction potential) was reduced by apamin; the antagonism being non-competitive in nature. The rebound depolarization and contraction following the inhibitory junction potential was enhanced by apamin. The membrane hyperpolarization induced by the purinergic compound ATP and by the sympathomimetic adrenaline was converted to a depolarization in the presence of apamin. This depolarization resulted in an increased spike activity and muscle contraction. This was followed by membrane hyperpolarization and muscle relaxation after washout of the drugs. These findings indicate that apamin is a non-competitive, non-specific antagonist of the non-adrenergic inhibitory transmitter and that the inhibitory junction potential and the rebound are mutually independent phenomena.