Pharmacological profile of the 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor that mediates relaxation of rat oesophageal smooth muscle
1. The pharmacological profile of the inhibitory 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptor in rat oesophageal smooth muscle has been characterized by means of a series of agonists active at 5-HT1-, 5-HT2-, 5-HT3- and 5-HT4-receptor sites, and a broad range of antagonists. The possible involvement of cyclic nucleotides in the 5-HT response was also examined. 2. Under conditions of tone induced by muscarinic receptor activation, the upper two-thirds (proximal segment) of the oesophageal smooth muscle tunic was more sensitive to the inhibitory effects of 5-HT receptor agonists when compared with the distal region. 3. The inhibitory response to 5-HT was blocked by MDL 72222 (5-HT3 antagonist) and ICS 205-930 (5-HT3/5-HT4 antagonist) but not by antagonists active at 5-HT1- or 5-HT2-receptors. 4. The phosphodiesterase inhibitor, 3-isobutyl-methyl-xanthine (IBMX) enhanced oesophageal smooth muscle inhibitory response to 5-HT, isoprenaline and forskolin, but not that elicited by the potassium channel opener, BRL 34915. 5. 5-HT increased tissue cyclic AMP content over basal levels in proximal and distal segments of oesophageal smooth muscle. However, 5-HT had no significant effect on basal cyclic GMP levels in both segments. 6. We conclude that the inhibitory 5-HT receptor in rat oesophageal smooth muscle may represent a high affinity subtype which is sensitive to 5-HT3/5-HT4 antagonists and is coupled to the cyclic AMP pathway.