• Journal Article

Characterization of the hypothermic effects of imidazoline I(2) receptor agonists in rats


Thorn, D. A., An, X. F., Zhang, Y., Pigini, M., & Li, J. X. (2012). Characterization of the hypothermic effects of imidazoline I(2) receptor agonists in rats. British Journal of Pharmacology, 166(6), 1936-1945. DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01894.x


Background and purpose. Imidazoline I(2) receptors have been implicated in several central nervous system disorders. Although several I(2) receptor agonists have been described, no simple and sensitive in vivo bioassay is available for studying I(2) receptor ligands. This study examined I(2) receptor agonist-induced hypothermia as a functional in vivo assay of I(2) receptor agonism. Experimental approach. Different groups of rats were used to examine the effects of I(2) receptor agonists on the rectal temperature and locomotion. The pharmacological mechanisms were investigated by combining I(2) receptor ligands and different antagonists. Key Results. All the selective I(2) receptor agonists examined (2-BFI, diphenyzoline, phenyzoline, CR4056, tracizoline, BU224 and S22687, 3.2-56 mg/kg, i.p) dose-dependently and markedly decreased the rectal temperature (hypothermia) in rats, with varied duration of action. Pharmacological mechanism of the observed hypothermia was studied by combining the I(2) receptor agonists (2-BFI, BU224, tracizoline and diphenyzoline) with imidazoline I(2 ) receptor/alpha(2) adrenoceptor antagonist idazoxan, selective I(1) receptor antagonist efaroxan, alpha(2) adrenoceptor antagonist/serotonergic 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist yohimbine. Idazoxan but not yohimbine or efaroxan attenuated the hypothermic effects of 2-BFI, BU224, tracizoline and diphenyzoline, supporting the I(2) receptor mechanism. In contrast, both idazoxan and yohimbine attenuated the alpha(2) adrenoceptor agonist clonidine induced hypothermia. Among all the I(2) receptor agonists studied, only S22687 markedly increased the locomotor activity in rats. Conclusions and Implications. Imidazoline I(2) receptor agonists can produce hypothermic effects, which are primarily mediated by I(2) receptors. These data suggest that I(2) receptor agonist induced hypothermia is a simple and sensitive in vivo assay for studying I(2) receptor ligands. (c) 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology (c) 2012 The British Pharmacological Society