Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology

Studies on the mechanism of positive inotropic activity of Ro 13-6438, a structurally novel cardiotonic agent with vasodilating properties.

PMID 6202981


We investigated the possible mechanisms involved in the positive inotropic activity of Ro 13-6438 (R-6-chloro-1,5-dihydro-3- methylimidazo -[2,1-b] quinazolin -2[ 3H]-one), a structurally novel cardiotonic agent with vasodilating properties. The positive inotropic response to Ro 13-6438 of the isolated guinea pig papillary muscle was accompanied by inhibition of myocardial phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity and elevation of intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels Ro 13-6438 had no effect on Na+,K+-stimulated or Ca2+-stimulated ATPase activity and did not influence the rate of 45Ca uptake in cardiac membrane vesicles. Ro 13-6438 caused a concentration-dependent increase in the upstroke velocity, overshoot, and duration of slow action potentials evoked in partially depolarized papillary muscles. Pretreatment of guinea pigs with reserpine did not prevent the effects of Ro 13-6438 on slow action potentials, but slightly decreased its positive inotropic activity. The muscarinic agonist carbachol reversed the Ro 13-6438-induced enhancement of contractility and changes in the slow action potential in an atropine-sensitive manner. These results indicate that the positive inotropic effects of Ro 13-6438 are correlated with PDE inhibition, increased cAMP levels, and an increase of the slow action potential in ventricular myocardium. It is suggested that the elevated cAMP levels resulting from the Ro 13-6438-induced inhibition of PDE enhance the slow inward Ca2+ current.

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