Antagonism by cholinomimetic drugs of the turning induced by intrastriatal pirenzepine in mice
Previous work in our laboratory has shown that the aziridinium ion of BM 123 (N-[4(2-chloroethylmethylamino)-2-butynyl]-2 pyrrolidone) is a potent and selective muscarinic agonist and binds irreversibly to muscarinic receptors (mAChR). The present series of experiments was designed to study the effects of BM 123 on behavioral and physiological variables known to be sensitive to manipulations of the cholinergic neurotransmitter system. BM 123 was injected into the tail vein of Sprague-Dawley rats, reducing mAChR to approximately 10% of normal as judged by [3H](−)QNB binding. Oxotremorine was injected IV for purposes of comparison. Behavioral and physiological variables were measured daily for 26 days. Physiological variables (e.g., tremor, chromodacryorrhea, salivation, and temperature) showed effects in less than 5 min after injection and returned to their pretreatment baselines within minutes. Nociceptive thresholds, dependent on sensory-perceptual processes, showed peak changes of approximately +230% and returned to normal within hours. Motoric responses, i.e., drinking and general activity, recovered in 3–4 days. Learned responses and those requiring temporal discrimination took 8–11 days to recover and were the only responses paralleling the return of the mAChRs to their normal levels. Changes elicited by oxotremorine recovered more rapidly than those elicited by BM 123. The results suggest that the different variables measured are dependent on different densities of functional receptors. Implications for a theoretical model are discussed.