The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

Comparison of serotoninergic to muscarinic cholinergic stimulation of phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C in rat brain cortical membranes.

PMID 2175801


Stimulation of phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C (PLC) by muscarinic cholinergic and serotoninergic agonists was measured in rat brain cortical membranes by using exogenously supplied substrates. Serotonin, tryptamine, 5-fluorotryptamine and 5-methyltryptamine stimulated PLC with EC50 values of 1.7, 11.2, 15.0, and 29.4 microM, respectively. Maximal PLC stimulation by serotoninergic agonists, which were all equally efficacious, was about 30% of that attained by carbachol. Ketanserin blocked serotoninergic but not cholinergic activation of PLC, whereas, conversely, atropine blocked the latter but not the former response. The rank order of potency for muscarinic agonists was oxotremorine-M greater than pilocarpine = arecoline greater than carbachol = bethanecol. Unlike the case with tissue slices, all of these muscarinic agonists exhibited full efficacy in this assay of PLC stimulation. Activation of PLC by the neurotransmitters or their analogs was dependent on the addition of guanosine 3'-O-thiotriphosphate (GTP gamma S). Stimulation of PLC by GTP gamma S alone or in combination with 5-methyltryptamine had an apparent EC50 of about 0.4 microM. However, when carbachol or other muscarinic agonists were used, the EC50 for GTP gamma S was significantly lower. We have previously shown that dopamine working through D1 receptors inhibits the PLC response to carbachol by preventing this shift in the apparent EC50 for GTP gamma S. Dopamine did not have a similar effect on 5-methyltryptamine stimulation of PLC. The results indicate that the postreceptor mechanisms of PLC activation are distinct for muscarinic as opposed to serotoninergic agonists in brain cortex.