1. Intracellular recordings were made from neurones of the guinea-pig submucosal plexus. The effects of several 5-hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists on depolarizations produced by ionophoretic application of 5-HT and acetylcholine, as well as on fast excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fast e.p.s.ps) produced by nerve stimulation were examined. 2. ICS 205-930, GR 38032F, MDL 72222, cocaine and curare all inhibited the fast e.p.s.p. as well as the depolarizations in response to 5-HT and acetylcholine (ACh) ionophoresis in a dose-dependent fashion. 3. IC50 values for ICS 205-930, GR 38032F, MDL 72222, cocaine and curare in inhibiting the 5-HT mediated depolarizations were 12 nM, 100 nM, 3 microM, 3 microM and 20 microM, respectively. 4. IC50 values for ICS 205-930, GR 38032F, MDL 72222, cocaine and curare in inhibiting the nicotinic depolarizations were 4 microM, 12 microM, 11 microM, 6 microM and 17 microM, respectively. Similar IC50 values were obtained for inhibition of the fast e.p.s.ps by these antagonists. 5. The nicotinic receptor blocker, hexamethonium, inhibited the nicotinic depolarization and the fast e.p.s.p. with IC50 values of 10 microM. Hexamethonium (10 microM-5 mM) did not alter the depolarization induced by 5-HT. 6. These results demonstrate that the pharmacological profile of 5-HT3 receptors present on submucosal neurones is identical to that of 5-HT3 receptors on myenteric neurones and, thus, provide evidence that the enteric neuronal 5-HT3 receptor forms a receptor subtype distinct from that characterized in other parts of the autonomic nervous system.
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