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Cholinergic submandibular effects and muscarinic receptor expression in blood vessels of the rat.

Journal article
Authors Anders Ryberg
Hanna Selberg
Ondrej Soukup
Kathryn Gradin
Gunnar Tobin
Published in Archives of oral biology
Volume 53
Issue 7
Pages 605-16
ISSN 0003-9969
Publication year 2008
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 605-16
Language en
Subject categories Pharmacology


In order to functionally characterise the muscarinic vasodilator responses, effects of cholinergic agonists were studied on isolated preparations of the rat submandibular artery and vein and carotid and jugular vessels. Tentatively, a cholinergic regulatory mechanism having different effects on the arterial and venous vessels would enhance vascular fluid recruitment for the secretory response. In vitro functional findings were correlated to the expression and cellular location of the different receptors that were assessed by immunohistochemistry. In order to find in vivo correlates to the in vitro findings, the influence of muscarinic receptors on permeability was studied on the vasculature of the submandibular gland in anaesthetised rats. Staining for muscarinic M1 receptors occurred in the endothelium, and muscarinic M5 receptors, and possibly M3 also, were detected in the arterial smooth muscle. In venous endothelium, muscarinic M1 and M4 receptors occurred. In the jugular smooth muscle layer, staining for M1, and possibly also for M3, appeared. Muscarinic agonists caused arteries to relax and veins to contract. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor Nomega-nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA; 10(-4)M) markedly reduced the cholinergic-evoked relaxation of pre-contracted carotid arterial preparations. In the presence of 4-DAMP (10(-7)M), the relaxation to cholinergic agonists was inhibited. Pirenzepine (10(-5)M) did not only inhibit the relaxatory effects, but even reversed the effects, while it in the jugular vein abolished the cholinergic effects. The arterial nitric oxide-dependent response to muscarinic receptor stimulation consisted of two parts-one sensitive to pirenzepine and 4-DAMP and the other to 4-DAMP only. Inhibition of the former part only, resulted in cholinergic arterial contraction. Also, the submandibular artery and vein responses to muscarinic receptor stimulation show a resemblance with those of the carotid and jugular vessels, i.e. a pronounced arterial relaxation and a contractile component in the venous response. In vivo examination of submandibular glandular vasculature by studying glandular permeability to Evans blue, confirmed the in vitro observations indicating muscarinic M1 receptors preserving perfusion pressure during the secretory process.

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