Letter | Published:

Mechanism of the Antagonism by Tetraethylammonium of Neuromuscular Block due to d-Tubocurarine or Calcium Deficiency

Naturevolume 199pages702703 (1963) | Download Citation



TETRAETHYLAMMONIUM salts (TEA) can antagonize the neuromuscular block caused by either calcium insufficiency or by d-tubocurarine1. The release of acetylcholine from motor nerve endings appears to be dependent on the presence of calcium ions2,3, and neuromuscular block produced by calcium deficiency would appear to be caused by a reduced transmitter output. In this way the block differs sharply from that produced by d-tubocurarine, which does not affect acetylcholine release4. On the basis of indirect evidence Stovner5 suggested that the ‘decurarizing’ action of tetraethylammonium salts may be the result of an increased liberation of acetylcholine from the motor nerve endings. That tetraethylammonium salts may have such an action is supported by the results of Koketsu6 and Frank7. The study reported here provides quantitative evidence to support this theory.

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  1. Department of Pharmacology, University of Leeds

    • B. COLLIER
    •  & K. A. EXLEY


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