Smooth Muscle pp 629-636 | Cite as

Measurement of Adenine Nucleotides

  • G. Burnstock


Classically the autonomic nervous system consists of two components, adrenergic and cholinergic nerves. There have been a number of reports of a third nerve component in the autonomic nervous system which is neither adrenergic nor cholinergic and evidence has been presented that the transmitter released from these nerves, at least in the gastrointestinal tract, is a purine nucleotide, probably ATP. Thus, these nerves have been tentatively termed “purinergic” (Burnstock, 1971) for the same reasons put forward by Dale (1933) when introducing the terms “adrenergic” and “cholinergic,” namely “to assist clear thinking, without committing us to precise chemical identifications, which may be long in coming.” A detailed account of the evidence for purinergic nerves has been presented in a review by Burnstock (1972) and will not be described here; the emphasis in this chapter will be on the techniques used for measuring purine nucleotides and nucleosides in extracts of tissues and in perfusates following stimulation of nerves.


Adenine Nucleotide Adenosine Triphosphate Purine Nucleotide Cholinergic Nerve Forearm Muscle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Burnstock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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