Clentiazem is an 8-chloro-substituted derivative of diltiazem. We compared the relative potency of clentiazem with that of diltiazem, verapamil, nifedipine, and nimodipine in isolated rabbit right atria and vascular smooth muscle removed from various arterial beds. In experiments with isolated right atria, calcium channel blockers were added cumulatively to study relative cardiodepressive potencies (as compared with vascular effects) with the following results: verapamil ≥ diltiazem < clentiazem ≥ nimodipine ≥ nifedipine. The aorta, pulmonary, renal, mesenteric, coronary, and basilar arteries were removed, cut helically in strips, and mounted in isolated tissue baths to measure isometric force. Vessels were contracted with either 40 mM KCl (opening voltage-operated calcium channels) or 1 × 10-5M norepinephrine (NE, opening receptor-operated calcium channels). Cumulative dose-response curves were generated for relaxation with each calcium channel blocker. All compounds were more potent at relaxing potassium-induced contractions than NE-induced contractions. In vessels precontracted with KCl, neither diltiazem, verapamil, or nifedipine showed selectivity for basilar artery as compared with the mesenteric artery. Both clentiazem and nimodipine were selective (6− and 30-fold, respectively) for basilar artery in blocking potassium-induced contractions. When NE was used to contract the arteries, clentiazem (12-fold), diltiazem (8-fold), verapamil (8-fold), and nifedipine (153-fold) were all more potent in relaxing the contraction in basilar artery than in mesenteric artery. Nimodipine failed to demonstrate selectivity for basilar artery as compared with mesenteric artery contracted with NE. In summary, only clentiazem was selective for basilar artery at both voltage- and receptor-operated calcium channels. Clentiazem was also more selective in relaxing KCl contractions in coronary artery than in mesenteric artery. These results suggest that clentiazem may be useful in treatment of angina or cerebral vascular disorders, such as ischemia or subarachnoid hemorrhage, in which vasospasm involves both voltage- and receptor-operated mechanisms.
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