PMID: 2879597Nov 1, 1986Paper

Nicotinic antagonists produce differing amounts of tetanic fade in the isolated diaphragm of the rat

British Journal of Pharmacology
A J Gibb, I G Marshall


The effects of nicotine antagonists on single twitches, trains of four twitches and tetanic contractions of the isolated diaphragm of the rat were examined. Different drugs were found to produce different amounts of tetanic fade relative to depression of twitch tension. The order of activity from most able, to least able to produce fade was: hexamethonium greater than trimetaphan=atracurium=tubocurarine greater than pancuronium greater than erabutoxin b. The effect of erabutoxin b was distinctive for its almost complete lack of tetanic fade. 3,4-Diaminopyridine increased tetanic fade produced by tubocurarine, atracurium and hexamethonium, but not that produced by erabutoxin b. It is concluded that nicotinic antagonists act at more than one site at the neuromuscular junction. Assuming block of the postjunctional acetylcholine receptor produces tension depression, a second or third site must be involved in producing tetanic fade. The possibility that tetanic fade results from block of the ion channel associated with the postjunctional acetylcholine receptor or from the block of a prejunctional nicotinic receptor is discussed.


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