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Life Sci. 2002 Sep 27;71(19):2207-15.

Transgenic studies of alpha(1)-adrenergic receptor subtype function.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cell Pharmacology, National Center for Child Health and Development Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


Mice with altered alpha(1)-adrenergic receptor (AR) genes have become important tools in elucidating the subtype-specific functions of the three alpha(1)-AR subtypes because of the lack of sufficiently subtype-selective pharmacological agents. Mice with a deletion (knockout, KO) or an overexpression (transgenic, TG) of the alpha(1A)-, alpha(1B)-, or alpha(1D)-AR subtypes have been generated. The alpha(1)-ARs are the principal mediators of the hypertensive response to alpha(1)-agonists in the cardiovascular system. Studies with these mice indicate that alpha(1A)-AR and alpha(1B)-AR subtypes play an important role in cardiac development and/or function as well as in blood pressure (BP) response to alpha(1)-agonists via vasoconstriction. The alpha(1B)- and alpha(1D)-subtypes also appear to be involved in central nervous system (CNS) processes such as nociceptive responses, modulation of memory consolidation and working memory. The ability to study subtype-specific functions in different mouse strains by altering the same alpha(1)-AR in different ways strengthens the conclusions drawn from these studies. Although these genetic approaches have limitations, they have significantly increased our understanding of the functions of alpha(1)-AR subtypes.

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