Anoctamin 1 antagonism potentiates conventional tocolytic-mediated relaxation of pregnant human uterine smooth muscle

Hyuga, Shunsuke; Parry, Robert C.; Danielsson, Jennifer; Vink, Joy; Fu, Xiao W.; Wu, Amy; Dan, William; Yim, Peter D.; Gallos, George

Currently available tocolytic agents are not effective treatment for preterm labor beyond 48 h. A major reason is the development of maternal side effects which preclude the maintenance of an effective steady-state drug concentration. One strategy that can mitigate these side effects is utilizing synergistic drug combinations to reduce the drug concentrations necessary to elicit a clinical effect. We have previously shown that three anoctamin 1 (ANO1) antagonists mediate potent relaxation of precontracted human uterine smooth muscle (USM). In this study, we aimed to determine whether a combination of sub-relaxatory doses of tocolytic drugs in current clinical use [the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) blocker, nifedipine (NIF); and the β2-adrenergic (β2AR) agonist, terbutaline (TRB)] will potentiate USM relaxation with two ANO1 antagonists [benzbromarone (BB) and MONNA (MN)].

This study sought to examine the synergistic potency and mechanistic basis of two ANO1 antagonists with currently available tocolytic drugs. Functional endpoints assessed included relaxation of pre-contracting pregnant human USM tissue, inhibition of intracellular calcium release, and reduction of spontaneous transient inward current (STIC) recordings in human uterine smooth muscle cells.

Human myometrial strips and primary human USM cells were used in organ bath and calcium flux experiments with different combinations of sub-threshold doses of ANO1 antagonists and terbutaline or nifedipine to determine if ANO1 antagonists potentiate tocolytic drugs.

The combination of sub-threshold doses of two ANO1 antagonists and current tocolytic drugs demonstrate a significant degree of synergy to relax human pregnant USM compared to the effects achieved when these drugs are administered individually.

A combination of sub-threshold doses of VGCC blocker and β2AR agonist with ANO1 antagonists potentiates relaxation of oxytocin-induced contractility and calcium flux in human USM ex vivo. Our findings may serve as a foundation for novel tocolytic drug combinations.


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Also Published In

The Journal of Physiological Sciences

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Published Here
December 20, 2022


ANO1, Calcium-activated chloride channel, TMEM16A, Uterine smooth muscle, Tocolytics