Receptors for 5-hydroxytryptamine and noradrenaline in rabbit isolated ear artery and aorta

British Journal of Pharmacology
E ApperleyG P Levy


5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is thought to be implicated in the vascular disturbances of the external carotid artery bed associated with migraine. As part of a study of the pharmacology of some 5-HT antagonists used in the treatment of migraine we have examined the interactions of these drugs with 5-HT and noradrenaline in rabbit isolated ear artery and aortic strip. The results provide new information on the distribution of 5-HT-receptors in these preparations. In the aorta, 5-HT and noradrenaline were of similar potency in producing contractions. Methysergide produced very small contractions and was about 1000 times less potent than the other two agonists. In the ear artery noradrenaline produced monophasic vasoconstrictor responses, whereas 5-HT and methysergide produced prolonged biphasic responses. 5-HT was about 700 times less potent and methysergide about 4500 times less potent than noradrenaline. Methysergide was a better agonist in the ear artery than in the aorta. Biphasic responses to 5-HT and methysergide were also obtained in ear arteries from reserpine-treated rabbits indicating that neither agonist was acting by releasing endogenous noradrenaline. Pizotifen, cyproheptadine and phentolamine had no agonistic actions ...Continue Reading


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