alpha(1A)-adrenoceptors mediate sympathetically evoked pupillary dilation in rats

Yongxin Yu, Michael C Koss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence suggests that in some species (cats, rabbits, and possibly humans) alpha-adrenoceptors in the iris dilator muscle are "atypical" in that they cannot be readily classified by conventional criteria. This study was undertaken in an attempt to characterize the alpha-adrenoceptor subtype(s) mediating sympathetically elicited mydriasis in rats. Frequency-response pupillary dilator curves were generated by stimulation of the preganglionic cervical sympathetic nerve (1-32 Hz) in pentobarbital-anesthetized rats. Evoked responses were inhibited by systemic administration of nonselective alpha-adrenergic antagonists, phentolamine (0.3-10 mg/kg) and phenoxybenzamine (0.03-1 mg/kg). The selective alpha(1)-adrenergic antagonist, prazosin (0.01-1 mg/kg), also was effective, although alpha(2)-adrenergic antagonism with rauwolscine (0.1-1 mg/kg) was not. alpha(1A)-Adrenoceptor-selective antagonists, 2-([2,6-dimethoxyphenoxyethyl]aminomethyl)-1,4-benzodioxane (WB-4101; 0.1-1 mg/kg) and 5-methylurapidil (0.1-1 mg/kg), as well as the alpha(1D)-adrenoceptor-selective antagonist 8-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-8-azaspiro[4.5]decane-7,9-dione (BMY-7378; 1-3 mg/kg), were used to determine the subtype(s) involved. Evoked mydriasis was significantly antagonized by both WB-4101 and 5-methylurapidil but not by BMY-7378. These results suggest that, unlike some other species, adrenoceptors in the rat iris dilator mediating neurogenic mydriasis are "typical" and, in addition, can be characterized as being primarily of the alpha(1A)-adrenoceptor subtype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-5
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Mydriatics
  • Pupil
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1
  • Sympathetic Nervous System


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