Cocaine selectively inhibits beta-adrenergic receptor binding in pregnant human myometrium.
OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the in vitro effects of cocaine on the binding characteristics of alpha- and beta-adrenergic receptors from pregnant human myometrium. STUDY DESIGN: By means of membrane fractions from myometrium obtained from 26 women at term undergoing cesarean section, equilibrium binding assays were performed with tritiated dihydroergocryptine for alpha-adrenergic receptors and iodine 125-cyanopindolol for beta-adrenergic receptors. Equilibrium competition curves were determined with and without cocaine. Results were compared by one-way analysis of variance. RESULTS: Cocaine inhibited beta-adrenergic receptor binding (inhibition constant = 132 mumol/L) but had little effect on alpha-adrenergic receptor binding (inhibition constant = 1.63 mmol/L). Benzoylecgonine, a stable metabolite of cocaine, had no effect on binding to either receptor. CONCLUSION: Cocaine selectively inhibits myometrial beta-adrenergic receptor binding. This may alter the contractile equilibrium of the pregnant uterus and could explain, in part, the association of cocaine abuse with premature delivery.
Hurd, WW; Gauvin, JM; Dombrowski, MP; Hayashi, RH
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