Recently, the β-adrenoceptor agonist terbutaline was shown to have α-adrenolytic activity in mouse isolated pulmonary arteries in vitro and to lower pulmonary artery pressure in anaesthetised mice. The aim of our study was to determine the α-adrenoceptor antagonist activity of terbutaline and its structurally close resorcinol, orciprenaline, in rat isolated small mesenteric arteries set up for myography. Their α-adrenoceptor antagonist potency was then compared with their potency as β-adrenoceptor agonists. Concentration-response curves to methoxamine were competitively antagonised by terbutaline (30-300 μM) or orciprenaline (30-300 μM) with a pK of 4.70 ± 0.09 or 4.79 ± 0.17, respectively. Both terbutaline and orciprenaline fulfilled the criteria for simple, silent competitive antagonism. Terbutaline (30-300 μM) had no effect on endothelin-1 concentration-contraction curves. Our findings suggest that after oral dosing of terbutaline, the maximum plasma levels would NOT reach levels to show α-adrenoceptor antagonist activity. In conclusion, our work has provided additional quantitative evidence that terbutaline and orciprenaline are weak competitive α-adrenoceptor antagonists, but this additional property is probably not therapeutically important in the clinical treatment of asthma or pulmonary artery hypertension with these more potent β-adrenoceptor agonists.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.