1. In the autoperfused hind limb of the dog prazosin (10μg/kg intravenously) markedly antagonized responses to lumbar sympathetic stimulation, whereas responses to injected nor-adrenaline were largely unaffected.
2. In β-adrenoreceptor- and ganglion-blocked animals, the hind limb pressor responses to phenylephrine were antagonized to a greater degree by prazosin than responses to injected noradrenaline.
3. Rauwolscine, a selective α2-adrenoreceptor-blocking agent, antagonized responses to the α2-adrenoreceptor agonist guanabenz, but not those to phenylephrine.
4. Hind limb pressor responses to noradrenaline were significantly inhibited by rauwolscine and further reduced by prazosin.
5. These results demonstrate that in this vascular bed α1- and α2-adrenoreceptors are located postsynaptically. Furthermore the results suggest that neuronally released noradrenaline acts mainly upon α1-adrenoreceptors, whereas exogenous noradrenaline acts upon α1- and α2-adrenoreceptors.
6. It is suggested that this selectivity of prazosin in blocking the vasoconstriction to neuronally-released noradrenaline may in part explain the effectiveness of this drug as an antihypertensive agent.