Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 323, Issue 2, pp 149-154

First online:

Yohimbine and rauwolscine inhibit 5-hydroxytryptamine-induced contraction of large coronary arteries of calf through blockade of 5 HT2 receptors

  • A. J. KaumannAffiliated withLehrstuhl für Klinische Physiologie, Physiologisches Institut der Universität Düsseldorf

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5-Hydroxytryptamine (5 HT)-induced contractions were investigated on cocaine-treated strips of bovine large coronary arteries.
  1. 1.

    The α2-adrenoceptor blockers rauwolscine and yohimbine antagonized competitively 5 HT-induced contractions. The estimated equilibrium dissociation constantsK B (−log mol/l) were 7.1 for rauwolscine and 7.3 for yohimbine. The affinity of yohimbine for the receptors mediating the response to 5HT appears to be 10 times higher than for postsynaptic α1-adrenoceptor but 10 times lower than for postsynaptic vascular α2-adrenoceptor.

  2. 2.

    (−)-Noradrenaline and the α2-adrenoceptor agonist B-HT 920 caused maximum contractions amounting to only 20% and 2%, respectively, of the maximum 5 HT effects. Neither 60 μmol/l B-HT 920 nor 1 μmol/l prazosin antagonized the 5 HT effect.

  3. 3.

    Ketanserin was a competitive antagonist (K B=9.2 (−log mol/l)) of the effects of 5 HT. Combinations of rauwolscine or yohimbine with ketanserin antagonized the 5 HT effects as expected from competition of the 4 drugs for a single class of receptor.

  4. 4.

    The evidence is consistent with an interaction of 5 HT, ketanserin, rauwolscine and yohimbine with 5 HT2 receptors. α-Adrenoceptors only play a minor role in large coronary arteries and appear not to be involved in the 5 HT-induced contractions. A possible clinical involvement of 5 HT in coronary artery spasm is discussed.


Key words

5 HT2 receptors Large coronary arteries Yohimbine Rauwolscine Ketanserin