Effects of muscarinic agents on cultured human trabecular meshwork cells

Debra L. Shade, Abbot F. Clark, Iok Hou Pang

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24 Scopus citations


Intracellular calcium measurements were performed in cultured human trabecular meshwork cells preloaded with the cell permeant dye fura 2-AM. Fluctuations in calcium levels were then monitored with microscope-based ratio fluorometry. Carbachol increased intracellular calcium in a dose-dependent manner; as did oxotremorine-M, aceclidine, and pilocarpine. Carbachol's effect was blocked by the nonselective muscarinic antagonist atropine, as well as by muscarinic receptor subtype-selective antagonists such as pirenzepine (M1-selective), p-fHHSiD (M3-selective), and 4-DAMP (M1, M3 subtypes). Rank order of potencies for the antagonists' effects was atropine = 4-DAMP > p-fHHSiD > pirenzepine, a profile suggesting that the M3 receptor subtype is essential in the carbachol effect. Phospholipase C activity was estimated via measurement of total production of inositol phosphates in cultured human trabecular meshwork cells pre-exposed to 3H-myoinositol. In these cells, carbachol also stimulated phosphoinositide production in a dose-dependent manner, and an antagonist profile similar to that seen for calcium response was obtained when carbachol was used as the effector. The data indicate that muscarinic effects on cultured human trabecular meshwork calcium mobilization and phospholipase C activity are mediated by an M3-like receptor subtype. Therefore, the muscarinic M3 receptor may play a role in trabecular meshwork cell function(s).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996


  • Human trabecular meshwork cells
  • Intracellular calcium mobilization
  • M receptors
  • Muscarinic agents
  • Phospholipase C


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