Nonadrenergic, Noncholinergic (NANC) Neuronal Inhibitory Interactions with Smooth Muscle

  • E. E. Daniel
Part of the Contemporary Biomedicine book series (CB, volume 5)


Nonadrenergic, noncholinergic nerves innervating smooth muscle were first clearly recognized in the guinea-pig taenia caecum by Burnstock et al. (22), Holman and Hughes (90), Bennett et al. (14), and Bennett and Burnstock (12). These nerves were inhibitory, causing hyperpolarization of the membrane potential and relaxation of contractile activity, and were not susceptible to atropine or other muscarinic cholinergic antagonists, to adrenergic antagonists of either alpha- or beta-receptor effects, or to adrenergic neuronal blocking agents such as guanethidine, to antagonists of serotonin, histamine, or inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis. The definition of nonadrenergic, noncholinergic nerves was one of exclusion, based on absence of evidence for a particular transmitter. Subsequently, Burnstock and his colleagues (for review, see refs. 19,20) have marshalled evidence for ATP or another purine as transmitter whereas others (e.g., 65 and 75) have suggested the existence of a peptidergic transmission, usually with VIP as the putative transmitter in this subset of NANC nerves. As will become apparent, there is reason to remain skeptical of both identifications, and we shall retain the negative term, nonadrenergic, noncholinergic, and abbreviate it as NANC.


Lower Esophageal Sphincter Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Airway Smooth Muscle Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Circular Muscle 
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