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The role of alpha 2-adrenoceptors in the vasculature of the rat tail.

By W S Redfern, M R MacLean, R U Clague and J C McGrath


1. The effects of alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonists and antagonists on rat tail skin temperature (tts), an indicator of local cutaneous blood flow, were studied in conscious and anaesthetized rats and in the isolated, Krebs perfused, vascular bed of the rat tail. 2. In conscious rats, at an ambient temperature of 18.5-20 degrees C, tts was 21.0 +/- 0.2 degrees C and core (rectal) temperature (tc) was 38.2 +/- 0.04 degrees C (n = 126). The alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonist, delequamine (RS-15385-197; 1 mg kg-1, s.c., n = 6), produced a rapid elevation in tts to 29.1 +/- 0.7 degrees C (P < 0.001 vs. saline-treated control group), attained 10 min after injection. tc fell slightly, by 1.0 +/- 0.1 degrees C. The tts response was dose-related over the dose-range tested (0.01-1 mg kg-1, s.c.), with an ED50 of 17 micrograms kg-1, s.c. (n = 6 per dose). 3. The maximum increases in tts in response to a dose of 1 mg kg-1, s.c. of alpha 2-adrenoceptor antagonists were as follows (n = 6 per drug): delequamine (+9.6 +/- 0.8 degrees C) > yohimbine (+9.0 +/- 1.0 degrees C) > WY-26703 (+7.9 +/- 1.3 degrees C) > piperoxan (+5.6 +/- 1.7 degrees C) > idazoxan (+4.6 +/- 1.3 degrees C) > imiloxan (+4.1 +/- 1.3 degrees C) > SKF 104078 (+2.0 +/- 1.9 degrees C) > BDF-6143 (+1.3 +/- 0.8 degrees C). 4. Prazosin (0.3 mg kg-1, s.c.), hydralazine (10 mg kg-1, s.c.) and nifedipine (3 mg kg-1, s.c.) did not increase tts, whereas propranolol (10 mg kg-1, s.c.) evoked a small increase in tts (+2.9 +/- 1.0 degrees C). Pentolinium (2-10 mg kg-1, s.c.) elicited a dose-related increase in tts, which was elevated by 4.4 +/- 1.3 degrees C after a dose of 10 mg kg-1; tc was reduced in a dose-related manner. Drug vehicles (1 ml kg-1, s.c.) had no effect on tts or tc.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS

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