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Acetylcholine (ACh) has been shown to induce nasal congestion via vasorelaxation of intranasal posterior collecting veins (PCV) coupled with vasocontraction of extranasal outflow veins (dorsal nasal vein [DNV] and sphenopalatine vein [SPV]). The aim of this study was to characterize the muscarinic receptor subtype(s) involved in ACh-induced relaxation and contraction in canine nasal veins. PCV, DNV, and SPV were isolated from the canine nose. In vitro isometric tension of segments from these veins was monitored to reflect vascular reactivity. ACh concentration-response curve was studied in the presence of muscarinic receptor subtype inhibitors. Immunohistochemical localization of M(1)-M(5) receptor subtypes in the veins was performed. ACh-induced relaxation in PVC was inhibited by pertussis toxin (PTX; inhibitor of G-protein that couples M(2)/M(4) receptors), methoctramine (selective M(2) muscarinic receptor inhibitor), muscarinic toxin 7 (MT-7; selective M(1) muscarinic receptor inhibitor), and 4-diphenylacetoxy-methylpiperidine methiodide (4-DAMP; selective M(3) muscarinic receptor inhibitor). ACh-induced contraction in SPV and DNV was potentiated by PTX and methoctramine but was inhibited by MT-7 and 4-DAMP. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of five muscarinic receptor subtypes in the endothelium of nasal veins, with staining of M(3) > M(1) > M(5) > M(2) = M(4) in PVC but M(2) = M(4) > M(3) > M(1) > M(5) in outflow veins. M(1) and M(3) receptor subtypes were localized in the smooth muscles of both types of veins. The results show that ACh relaxes intranasal veins and contracts extranasal veins primarily via M(1) and M(3) muscarinic receptor subtypes, implying the therapeutic value of M(1)/M(3)-specific or highly selective anticholinergics on nasal congestion.


Mary A Lung. M1 and M3 muscarinic receptors mediate relaxation and contraction in canine nasal veins. American journal of rhinology & allergy. 2011 Mar-Apr;25(2):e60-5

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PMID: 21679501

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