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Saturday 01 March 2003

Muscarinic blockers potentiate beta-adrenergic relaxation of bovine iris sphincter.

By: Barilan A, Nachman-Rubinstein R, Oron Y, Geyer O.

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2003 Mar;241(3):226-31

BACKGROUND: beta-Adrenergic relaxation of iris sphincter has been described in many species, including human. It is generally accepted that the size of the pupil is mainly controlled by muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic tonus. This study was undertaken to investigate the interactions between muscarinic and beta-adrenergic drugs in the relaxation of bovine iris sphincter. METHODS: Intact bovine iris sphincters were incubated in an organ bath and challenged with appropriate beta-adrenergic agonists and/or muscarinic antagonists. Tension was measured by a force transducer. RESULTS: Isolated bovine iris sphincter responded to muscarinic stimulation by contraction and to beta-adrenergic stimulation by relaxation. The beta-adrenergic agonists isoproterenol (ISO) and salbutamol (SAL) each caused marked relaxation of sphincters pre-contracted with the muscarinic agonist carbamylcholine. Sphincters pre-treated with the muscarinic antagonists atropine (0.1 micro M) or ipratropium bromide (10 micro M) and challenged 5 min later with either isoproterenol (0.3 nM) or salbutamol (10 nM) exhibited approximately twofold potentiation of beta-adrenergic relaxation. Adding the drugs in the reverse order did not produce any potentiation over the effect of beta-adrenergic stimulation alone. The dose-response curve to isoproterenol in naive sphincters or sphincters pre-treated with atropine indicated that muscarinic blockade decreased the EC(50) rather than potentiated maximal beta-adrenergic relaxation. CONCLUSION: Muscarinic antagonists potentiate beta-adrenergic relaxation of the sphincter by affecting the apparent potency of beta-adrenergic agonists and not by antagonizing the intrinsic tonus produced by endogenously released acetylcholine.

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