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Vascular adrenergic receptor responses in skeletal muscle in myotonic dystrophy

Mechler, F. and Mastaglia, F.L. (1981) Vascular adrenergic receptor responses in skeletal muscle in myotonic dystrophy. Annals of Neurology, 9 (2). pp. 157-162.

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The pharmacological responses of vascular adrenergic receptors to intravenously administered epinephrine, phentolamine, and propranolol were assessed by measuring muscle blood flow (MBF) changes in the tibialis anterior muscle using the xenon 133 clearance technique and were compared in 8 normal subjects and 11 patients with myotonic dystrophy. In cases with advanced involvement of the muscle, the resting MBF was reduced and was not significantly altered by epinephrine before or after α- or β-receptor blockade. In patients in whom the tibialis anterior muscle was normal or only minimally affected clinically, a paradoxical reduction in the epinephrine-induced increase in MBF was found after a blockade by phentolamine, and the epinephrine-induced MBF increase was not completely blocked by propranolol as in the normal subjects. These findings point to a functional alteration in the properties of vascular adrenergic receptors in muscle in myotonic dystrophy. While this may be another manifestation of a widespread cell membrane defect in the disease, the possibility that the changes are secondary to the myotonic state cannot be excluded.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 1981 American Neurological Association
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