Functional studies were performed to evaluate the effects of methoctramine at the neuromuscular junction of the mouse. The presynaptic control of acetylcholine release and the postsynaptic activation of the nicotinic receptor have been analysed by means of the extracellular recording with an EPC7 Patch Clamp amplifier. This electrophysiological method revealed a dose-related inhibitory effect of methoctramine on the studied parameters. The dramatic reduction of the kinetics of the quantal conductance change indicates an action at the postsynaptic level. The effects of methoctramine have been compared with those of the muscarinic agonist oxotremorine. Concentration/response curves for the two drugs were obtained and the apparent ec50 values calculated. The effects of oxotremorine were not antagonized by 1 μM methoctramine. These findings suggest an interaction of some muscarinic agents on the postsynaptic receptor-ion-channel complex at the mouse neuromuscular junction.
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