Tetrandrine potentiates caffeine-induced contraction but inhibits phenylephrine-induced contraction in perfused rat mesenteric artery
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Effects of tetrandrine (TET), a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid, on the contractile responses of perfused rat mesenteric arteries to phenylephrine (PE) and caffeine were investigated. TET concentration-dependently (1-30 micro M) attenuated phenylephrine-induced responses but potentiated the contractile responses to caffeine (5-40 mM) in the presence and absence of Ca(2+). Berbamine (BER), a structural analogue of TET, elicited a relatively smaller inhibitory effect on the responses to PE due to Ca(2+) release or Ca(2+) influx. However, both TET and BER elicited a comparable potentiating effect on caffeine-induced contraction. Cyclopiazonic acid (CPA; 10 micro M), a selective sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase pump inhibitor, mimicked the potentiating effect of TET when added 5 min prior to caffeine in Ca(2+)-free medium. However, CPA did not augment and might even inhibit the caffeine-induced response when it was preincubated with the tissue for 25 min prior to the addition of caffeine. We propose that TET elicits differential effects on PE- and caffeine-induced responses in perfused rat mesenteric arterial bed. The inhibitory effect of TET on PE-induced responses is probably due to its direct interactions with alpha-adrenoceptors and PE-sensitive Ca(2+)-channels. The augmentation of caffeine-induced responses by TET, particularly in Ca(2+)-free medium, is likely to be due to its partial inhibition of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase pump.
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