Studies on the pharmacology of skeletal muscle in culture: site of action of nicotinic agonists

Alan L. Harvey, William F. Dryden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The hypothesis that nicotinic agonists other than acetylcholine act by releasing endogenous acetylcholine was examined using nerve-free cultures of chick embryonic skeletal muscle. All nicotinic agonists tested (acetylcholine, carbachol, DMPP, tetramethylammonium and nicotine) depolarized the cultured skeletal muscle fibres. The depolarization was antagonised by triethylcholine, hemicholinium-3, tetraethylammonium and hexamethonium, substances that have been suggested to act by preventing agonists acting on nerve terminals. The results confirm that triethylcholine, hemicholinium-3, tetraethylammonium and hexamethonium have postjunctional blocking actions. We conclude that nicotinic agonists act directly on cholinoreceptors and do not require the presence of endogenous acetylcholine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1974


  • acetylcholine receptors
  • cultered skeletal muscle
  • ganglion-blocking drugs
  • hemicholinium-like drugs
  • site of action
  • 1,1 dimethyl 4 phenylpiperazinium
  • 1,1 dimethyl 4 phenylpiperazinium iodide
  • carbachol
  • cholinergic receptor
  • ganglion blocking agent
  • hemicholinium 3
  • hexamethonium
  • tetramethylammonium
  • drug antagonism
  • in vitro study
  • membrane depolarization
  • muscle fiber culture


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