1994 年 104 巻 3 号 p. 251-262
Desensitization of the m3-muscarinic acetylcholine-receptor in the smooth muscle of the digestive tract is discussed together with the changes in intracellular signal transduction. Isolated single cells that show an all-or-none contractile response to acetylcholine were desensitized by treatment with 0.1 mM acetylcholine for 10 min, resulting in an increase in the threshold concentration of acetylcholine for contraction, but without changing any of the binding characteristics. Permeabilized cells showed that the desensitization is via uncoupling between the receptor and G-protein. Secretory cells (rat basophil leukemia-2H3 cells) transfected with human m3-receptor showed desensitization when treated with 0.1 mM carbachol for 30 min. The coupling between the receptor and G-protein was not impaired, but some unknown Ca2+-independent mechanism may be involved. Smooth muscle tissue was tested for its time-course of desensitization, and a novel transient resensitization was found at 1 min of incubation with 0.1 mM carbachol. This resensitization, and the desensitization prior to it, were accompanied with changes in binding affinity. However, the affinity was not changed, in parallel with desensitization afterwords, but the positive feedback loop of Ca2+-influx caused by alkalization via receptor-stimulation was suppressed. After a 30-min treatment, a Ca2+-independent mechanism caused the uncoupling and affinity decrease. Treatment for 3 hr increased the number of binding sites without recovery of the response. The desensitizing process is very diverse to achieve selectivity, but its purpose is in unity.