Evidence that cannabinoid-induced inhibition of electrically evoked contractions of the myenteric plexus: longitudinal muscle preparation of guinea-pig small intestine can be modulated by Ca2+ and camp

Angela Alice Coutts, Roger Guy Pertwee

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Cannabinoid receptor agonists inhibit electrically evoked isometric contractions of the myenteric plexus - longitudinal muscle preparation of the guinea-pig small intestine (MPLM), probably by reducing release of acetylcholine (ACh) through the activation of prejunctional CB1 receptors. As CB1 receptors are thought to be negatively coupled through G(i/o) proteins to both N-type Ca2+ channels and adenylate cyclase, we have now further investigated the involvement of CB1 receptors by monitoring the effects of forskolin, 8-bromo-cAMP, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), and extracellular Ca2+ on the ability of the cannabinoid agonist, (+)-WIN 55212 To inhibit electrically evoked contractions of the MPLM (0.1 Hz, 0.5.ms, and 110% maximal voltage). Some experiments were performed with normorphine instead of (+)-WIN 55212. At 10(-7) M, forskolin, 8-bromo-cAMP, and IBMX were found to reduce significantly the maximum inhibitory response to (+)-WIN 55212 by 49.4, 48.4, and 40.2%, respectively, without affecting control contractions or responses to exogenous ACh. Low external Ca2+ (0.64 mM) significantly increased the maximum response to (+)-WIN 55212 and shifted the curve slightly leftwards, whereas high external Ca2+ (5.08 mM) reduced the maximum response by 27.2%. The concentration-response curve to normorphine, which also reduces evoked contractions of this preparation as a result of a presynaptic inhibition of ACh release via opioid mu receptors, was affected similarly. These results support the hypothesis that cannabinoid-induced inhibition in the MPLM is mediated by CB1 receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


  • cannabinoid
  • myenteric
  • calcium
  • cAMP
  • normorphine
  • CB1

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