Joachim Neumann, Wilhelm Hußler, Britt Hofmann, Ulrich Gergs

Contractile effects of amphetamine, pseudoephedrine, nor-pseudoephedrine (cathine) and cathinone on atrial preparations of mice and humans

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Amphetamine derivatives are used worldwide legally or illegally and intoxications may be accompanied by cardiac arrhythmias. Here, we tested contractile effects of cumulative applied (±)-amphetamine, pseudoephedrine, nor-pseudoephedrine (cathine) and cathinone in electrically stimulated (1 Hz) human right atrial preparations (HAP) and mouse left atrial preparations (LA) as well as in spontaneously beating mouse right atrial preparations (RA). In mouse atrial preparations, amphetamine increased force of contraction and beating rate in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, starting at 1 µM in LA to 157.1 ± 3.0 % and RA to 146.6 ± 9.8 % at 10 µM, respectively (means ± SEM; n=5; p<0.05). Pseudoephedrine, cathine or cathinone alone were ineffective in mouse atrial preparations but after pre-incubation with the phosphodiesterase IV inhibitor rolipram (0.1 µM), a positive inotropic effect was noted (means ± SEM: Pseudoephedrine: 112.3 ± 9.8 %; cathine: 109.0 ± 4.3 %; cathinone: 138.3 ± 21.2 %). The effects of all drugs were greatly attenuated by 10 µM cocaine or 10 µM propranolol treatments. However, In HAP, not only amphetamine (to a mean ± SEM of 208 ± 32 %) but also pseudoephedrine (to a mean ± SEM of 287 ± 60 %), cathine (to a mean ± SEM of 234 ± 52 %) and cathinone (to a mean ± SEM of 217 ± 65 %) increased force of contraction without the need of phosphodiesterase inhibition. The contractile effects in HAP were attenuated by 10 µM cocaine and antagonized by 10 µM propranolol. We conclude that amphetamine, pseudoephedrine, cathine and cathinone act probably via release of noradrenaline from cardiac stores as indirect sympathomimetic agents in mouse and more pronounced in human atrial preparations.

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