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Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists inhibit chick scleral chondrocytes

, : Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists inhibit chick scleral chondrocytes. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 39(12): 2217-2231

PURPOSE. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) have been implicated in the control of myopia in humans and in animal models. This study was conducted to determine whether mAChRs influence the growth of the chick sclera and, if so, which mAChR subtypes are involved. METHODS. Sclera and scleral chondrocytes from normal and form-deprived eyes of 10- to 14-day-old chicks were treated with a total of seven ligands: two agonists, carbachol (nonselective) and McN-A-343 (selective for the Ml mAChR subtype); and five antagonists, atropine (nonselective), pirenzepine and telenzepine (M1), gallamine (M2), and 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide (4-DAMP; M1 and M3). Incorporation of sulfate into glycosaminoglycans and of thymidine into DNA were quantified and normalized to sample DNA content. Possible toxicity of ligands at high doses was examined by analysis of cell number (by cell counting), viability (by trypan blue exclusion), and cellular metabolic activity (by dehydrogenase activity). RESULTS. Cellular proliferation and extracellular matrix production were inhibited by atropine in whole sclera and in its cartilaginous layer. Sulfate incorporation by chondrocytes from normal and form-deprived eyes was inhibited by mAChR antagonists with a rank order of potency (atropine > pirenzepine = 4-DAMP mchgt gallamine) consistent with regulation by Ml, rather than M3 or M2 mAChR subtypes. Pirenzepine inhibited sulfate incorporation by chondrocytes from form-deprived eyes more effectively than those from normal eyes. Chondrocyte cultures were not viable when grown in high doses of any of the ligands used except gallamine. CONCLUSIONS. In chick scleral chondrocytes, synthesis of DNA and glycosaminoglycans was inhibited by mAChR antagonists. This inhibition was probably mediated by the Ml subtype mAChR. Therefore in vivo the sclera may be a site of action for the mAChR antagonists previously used to influence myopia. Although at high concentrations mAChR antagonists tested seemed to be toxic to chondrocytes, at lower doses inhibition occurred without toxic effects.


PMID: 9804129

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