The effect of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), BIMU 8 (endo-N-(8-methyl-8-azabicyclo [3.2.1.] oct-3-yl)-2,3-dihydro-3-(1-methyl)ethyl-2-oxo-1H-benzimidazole-1-carboxamide hydrochloride) and cisapride was studied on the electrically-induced neurogenic cholinergic twitch contractions in the guinea pig ileum circular muscle. These compounds caused a concentration-dependent increase in the amplitude of submaximal twitch contraction with the following rank order of potency: 5-HT > BIMU 8 = cisapride. The effect of 5-HT was competitively antagonized by tropisetron (ICS 205-930) (apparent pA2 value: 6.4), suggesting an interaction at 5-hydroxytryptamine4 (5-HT4) receptors. The novel benzimidazolone derivative DAU 6285 (endo-6-methoxy-8-methyl-8-azabicyclo [3.2.1] oct-3-yl-2,3-dihydro-2-oxo-1H-benzimidazole-1-carboxylate hydrochloride), antagonized the effect of 5-HT, BIMU 8 and cisapride with apparent pA2 values in the range 7.1-7.3. Our findings demonstrate that cholinergic neurones innervating the circular coat are endowed with excitatory 5-HT4 receptors. DAU 6285 is approximately 5-9-fold more potent than tropisetron as antagonist at these receptors.
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