Effects of leukotriene D4 on the mechanical and electrical properties of guinea-pig isolated trachealis
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1. The effects of leukotriene D4 (LTD4) on mechanical and electrical activity were examined in guinea-pig isolated trachealis muscle and compared with two other bronchoconstrictors, methacholine and potassium chloride (KCl). 2. LTD4 elicited concentration-dependent increases in tension in trachealis muscle which were slower in time course than responses induced by either methacholine or KCl. The maximum response to LTD4 was approximately 85% of the methacholine maximum. 3. At a concentration close to the EC50 for tension changes, LTD4 had no significant effect on either transmembrane potential or slow wave activity recorded in single trachealis cells. 4. At a concentration close to the EC90 for tension changes, LTD4 caused significant membrane depolarization, transiently reduced the amplitude and increased the frequency of slow wave discharge and ultimately abolished slow wave discharge. LTD4-induced depolarization was less marked, and developed more slowly, than that evoked by either methacholine or KCl. 5. These results show that LTD4 can elicit substantial increases in tension without altering transmembrane potential and are consistent with the view that LTD4 initiates contraction mainly through potential-independent mechanisms. However, at high concentrations the depolarization evoked by LTD4 allows the possibility that potential-dependent mechanisms may contribute to the spasm.
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