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Central and peripheral alpha-adrenoceptor actions of amitraz in the dog

Cullen, L.K. and Reynoldson, J.A. (1990) Central and peripheral alpha-adrenoceptor actions of amitraz in the dog. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 13 (1). pp. 86-92.


The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of alpha 2- and alpha 1-adrenoceptor agonist activity of the formamidine, amitraz, on peripheral circulation in the dog. Intra-arterial injections of amitraz (0.25-5.0 micrograms/kg) produced a dose-dependent increase in perfusion pressure in the autoperfused hind limbs of methoxyflurane-anaesthetized dogs. A constant blood flow to the hind limbs was maintained using a peristaltic pump. Intravenous phentolamine (0.5 mg/kg), prazosin (35 micrograms/kg) and yohimbine (10 micrograms/kg) in separate experiments antagonized the vasoconstrictor actions of amitraz and produced a parallel shift to the right of the amitraz dose-response curve. Cumulative doses of amitraz (0.5-15 micrograms/kg) given by intracisterna magna (i.c.m.) injections reduced mean arterial pressure and heart rate in a dose-dependent manner. Similar responses were produced by intravenous amitraz but at much higher doses. In separate experiments amitraz-induced hypotension (doses up to 25 micrograms/kg i.c.m.) was prevented by pre-treatment with yohimbine (30 micrograms/kg i.c.m.) but not prazosin (20 micrograms/kg i.c.m.). Both antagonists partially inhibited the bradycardia produced by amitraz. It is concluded that amitraz stimulates alpha 1- and alpha 2-adrenoceptors to produce vascular constriction. The central hypotensive action of amitraz appears to be mediated by alpha 2-adrenoceptors; however, both receptor subtypes appear to be stimulated to produce bradycardia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
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