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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1991 Jun;257(3):1189-97.

The relative efficiency of beta adrenoceptor coupling to myocardial inotropy and diastolic relaxation: organ-selective treatment for diastolic dysfunction.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacology, Glaxo Research Institute, Glaxo Inc., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.


The relative effects of drugs which elevate cytosolic cyclic AMP on inotropy and diastolic relaxation (lusitropy) of guinea pig atria were quantified in vitro. There was a temporal difference between these responses in that inotropy reached peak response considerably faster than lusitropy. Also, although the relaxation response was sustained to an elevated steady state, the inotropic responses to beta adrenoceptor agonists were transient and returned to base line over 90 min. However, the inotropic responses to forskolin and dibutyryl cyclic AMP (cAMP) were sustained. For all of the drugs tested, the lusitropic response was at least 4 times more sensitive than the inotropic response (i.e., the concentration response curve for relaxation was shifted to the left of the curve for inotropy). In the case of beta adrenoceptor agonists, these differences were greater, presumably because of the fading inotropic response over 90 min. It was found that although high efficacy beta adrenoceptor agonists such as isoproterenol (and the direct activator of adenylate cyclase forskolin) produced both inotropy and lusitropy, lower efficacy agonists produced predominant lusitropy. The low efficacy agonist prenalterol produced insignificant inotropy but 60% maximal lusitropy. These data were modeled mathematically by a "differential coupling model" which assumed that a uniform cytosolic level of elevated cAMP activated two biochemical processes of differing sensitivity. Thus, the lusitropic response (phosphorylation of phospholamban) was coupled more efficiently to the cAMP response than the inotropic response (phosphorylation of calcium channels). A second model ("differential messenger concentration model") which calculated the effects of a compartmentalization of cAMP concentration within the cardiac cell by restricted diffusion and/or selective degradation by phosphodiesterases also was used.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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