Correlation between desipramine levels and (-) noradrenaline uptake and chronotropic effect in isolated atria of rats

A. Babulova, S. R. Bareggi, A. Bonaccorsi, S. Garattini, P. L. Morselli, C. Pantarotto

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The uptake of unlabelled and [ 14 C ] desipramine was studied in rat isolated atria incubated in a medium containing concentrations of desipramine ranging from 200 pg / ml to 2 μg / ml. The uptake was found to be dose and time dependent. Equilibrium was not reached after 2 to 3 hr of incubation unless concentrations of desipramine higher than 1 μg / ml were used. The washout curves of atria previously loaded with desipramine showed that the drug is slowly released and that this release is not influenced by its initial tissue concentration. The binding appeared to be at non specific sites and not at sites where noradrenaline is stored since atria taken from rats treated with 6 hydroxy dopamine accumulated the drug at the same rate as control atria. The inhibition of ( - ) noradrenaline uptake and the potentation of the chronotropic response to ( - ) noradrenaline is correlated with the concentration of desipramine in atria for tissue levels of the drug ranging from 0.01 to 1 μg / g. Higher tissue levels show less potentiation of the effect of ( - ) noradrenaline or even inhibition of the maximal response to ( - ) noradrenaline. These concentrations of desipramine ( > 7 μg / g ) markedly depressed the atrial rate. The results show that despite the accumulation of desipramine by unspecific sites, concentrations of desipramine in the tissue are correlated with the pharmacological response. Furthermore a gradual shift from potentiation to inhibition of noradrenaline response can be obtained with the same bath concentrations of desipramine by increasing the time of incubation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBRIT.J.PHARMACOL.
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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