Effects of the quinoline derivatives quinine, quinidine, and chloroquine on neuromuscular transmission

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The quinoline derivatives quinine, its stereoisomer quinidine, and chloroquine may worsen or provoke disorders of neuromuscular transmission. In this study, we investigate effects of these drugs on neuromuscular transmission by conventional microelectrode as well as patch-clamp techniques. At 5 x 10-5 M, quinine, quinidine, and chloroquine reduced the quantal content of the end-plate potential by 37-45%. Between 10-6 and 10-4 M, all 3 drugs progressively decreased the amplitude and decay time constant of miniature end-plate potential (MEPP) and miniature end-plate current (MEPC); at 5 x 10-3 M, the MEPP became undetectable. The effect on the MEPP was not reversed by 1 μg/ml neostigmine. Single-channel patch-clamp analysis of the effects of quinine showed that this agent causes a long-lived open-channel as well as a closed-channel block of AChR. Tests for competitive inhibition or desensitization of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) by quinine in concentrations that had a marked effect on the MEPC and on single-channel open and closed intervals were negative. Because quinoline drugs adversely affect both presynaptic and postsynaptic aspects of neuromuscular transmission at concentrations close to those employed in clinical practice, they should not be used, or used with caution, in disorders that compromise the safety margin of neuromuscular transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 18 1996


  • acetylcholine receptor
  • channel block
  • chloroquine
  • neuromuscular transmission
  • patch-clamp analysis
  • quinidine
  • quinine
  • transmitter release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of the quinoline derivatives quinine, quinidine, and chloroquine on neuromuscular transmission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this