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Dihydropyridine BAY-K-8644 activates chromaffin cell calcium channels


Douglas and Rubin1 suggested that “the role of acetylcholine as a transmitter at the adrenal medulla is to cause some brief change in medullary cells which allows Ca ions to penetrate them and trigger the catecholamine ejection process”. The Ca2+-channel blocking agents, verapamil, nifedipine and nitrendipine, have been used widely to investigate the properties of slow Ca2+ channels in a variety of tissues2, including the adrenomedullary chromaffin cell3,4. Recently, small modifications to the nifedipine molecule produced a derivative, BAY-K-8644(methyl-l,4-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-3-nitro-4-(2-trifluoromethylphenyl)-pyridine-5-carboxylate), that in contrast to the Ca2+-channel blocking agents, stimulated cardiac and vascular smooth muscle contractility5. We have tested whether this compound behaves as a Ca2+-channel activator at the chromaffin cell membrane as shown by Schramm et al.5 in smooth muscle cells. The experiments described here strongly suggest that it does so.

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García, A., Sala, F., Reig, J. et al. Dihydropyridine BAY-K-8644 activates chromaffin cell calcium channels. Nature 309, 69–71 (1984).

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