The prejunctional inhibitory effect of suramin on neuromuscular transmission in vitro

R.H. Henning, E.G. Rowan, M.F.M. Braga, A. Nelemans, A.L. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The P2 purinoceptor antagonist suramin reverses skeletal muscle paralysis evoked by non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agents in vitro and in vivo. To further study the action of suramin on neuromuscular transmission, (miniature) endplate potentials ((m.), motor nerve terminal currents and the release of radiolabeled acetylcholine was measured in isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In preparations paralysed by low Ca2+/high Mg2+ conditions, suramin (10 μM-1 mM) induced a concentration-dependent decrease in quantal content of the without affecting Suramin reversed neuromuscular block by d-tubocurarine in these preparations. In erabutoxin paralysed preparations, suramin (40 μM-1 mM) inhibited the motornerve terminal currents related to Ca2+ influx concentration-dependently, but did not affect Na+ currents. Suramin-induced inhibition of Ca2+ currents was not antagonized by ATPγS. Suramin (300 μM) reduced [14C]acetylcholine outflow in non-paralysed rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparations by 32%. As suramin did not chelate Ca2+, these results indicate that suramin inhibits neuromuscular transmission by blocking prejunctional Ca2+ channels, thereby decreasing acetylcholine release upon nerve stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 1996


  • neuromuscular transmission
  • suramin
  • P-2 purinoceptor
  • non-depolarizing neuromuscular relaxant
  • Ca2+ channel


Dive into the research topics of 'The prejunctional inhibitory effect of suramin on neuromuscular transmission in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this