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A novel antimuscarinic agent, pirenzepine, has been proposed to distinguish at least two subtypes of muscarinic receptor. M1 receptors have been designated as those displaying a high affinity for pirenzepine. Both functional and binding studies have revealed a prevalence of M1 receptors in sympathetic ganglia while autonomic effector tissues have only low densities of M1 receptors. In the present study, in vitro autoradiographic procedures have been used to localize specifically high affinity binding sites for pirenzepine (M1 receptors) in sections of guinea-pig ileum, rat superior cervical ganglion and rat submaxillary gland. The overall localization of muscarinic receptors was also studied using the non-selective antagonist, [3H]N-methylscopolamine. The highest densities of M1 receptors were found in superior cervical ganglion, sympathetic nerve bundles, myenteric ganglia and mucous secreting cells of the submaxillary gland, while lower densities were found in smooth muscle and serous secreting cells of the submaxillary gland. No area found to possess muscarinic receptors was devoid of M1 receptors.


Journal article


Brain Res

Publication Date





83 - 91


Animals, Autoradiography, Benzodiazepinones, Brain, Ganglia, Autonomic, Ganglia, Sympathetic, Guinea Pigs, Ileum, Kinetics, Myenteric Plexus, Pirenzepine, Rats, Receptors, Muscarinic, Submandibular Gland