To further analyze functionally important cholinergic receptors on lymphocytes, we studied the binding of the muscarinic antagonist Quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) to murine splenic lymphocytes. Studies of displacement of [3H]QNB by unlabelled QNB on lymphocytes revealed at least two binding sites. Scatchard analysis of equilibrium binding isotherms also distinguished two sites with apparent Kds of 480 nM and 16 μM. There was greater specific QNB binding to B cell-enriched lymphocyte fractions than to T cell fractions. Lymphocyte binding demonstrated temperature-dependent dissociability, and specific binding occurred on isolated lymphocyte membranes as well. Both muscarinic and nicotinic ligands competed for QNB binding to lymphocytes with low and nearly equal affinity. Therefore, QNB binding sites on lymphocytes appear to be of low affinity and of mixed muscarinic and nicotinic character.
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