Pharmacological studies on the bungarotoxins: an analysis of the site of action of nicotinic agonists

William F. Dryden, Alan L. Harvey, Ian G. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The possibility that nicotinin agonists may exert an indirect action by releasing endogenous acetylcholine from nerve terminals has been examined by the use of nerve-free cultured muscle, and by the use of the specifically prejunctionally active β-type bungarotoxins. In cultured muscle the depolarizations produced by acetylcholine and carbachol were not greatly affected by treatment of the cultures with β-type bungarotoxins for 60 min. In the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparations dose-response curves to acetylcholine, carbachol, dimethylphenylpiperazinium and nicotine were not affected even after abolition of responses to nerve stimulation by the β-types toxins. As the responses to nicotinic agonists were obtainable in nerve-free muscle and were unimpaired in the chick biventer after elimination of nerve function by β-type bungarotoxins, we conclude that such agonists exert a direct action on the postjunctional acetylcholine receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1974


  • bungarotoxins
  • chich biventer cervicis muscle
  • cultured muscle
  • nicotinic agonists
  • site of action
  • 1,1 dimethyl 4 phenylpiperazinium
  • acetylcholine
  • alpha bungarotoxin
  • beta bungarotoxin
  • carbachol
  • cholinergic receptor
  • drug receptor
  • nicotinic receptor
  • venom
  • dose response
  • drug interaction
  • in vitro study
  • nerve stimulation


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