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Cell Tissue Res. 2006 Nov;326(2):541-51. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Adrenoceptors and signal transduction in neurons.

Author information

1
Institut für Exp. und Klin. Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität Freiburg, Albertstrasse 25, 79104 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. lutz.hein@pharmakol.uni-freiburg.de

Abstract

The adrenergic system is an essential regulator of neuronal, endocrine, cardiovascular, vegetative, and metabolic functions. The endogenous catecholamines epinephrine and norepinephrine activate G-protein-coupled receptors to transmit their signal across the plasma membrane. These adrenoceptors can be divided into three different groups: the alpha(1)-receptors (alpha(1A), alpha(1B), alpha(1D)), alpha(2)-receptors (alpha(2A), alpha(2B), alpha(2C)), and beta-receptors (beta(1), beta(2), beta(3)). This review summarizes recent findings in the field of adrenoceptor signaling in neurons and includes a discussion of receptor-associated proteins, receptor dimerization, subcellular trafficking, and fluorescence optical methods for studying the kinetics of adrenergic signaling. Spatio-temporal imaging may become an important future tool for identifying the physiological significance of these complex signaling mechanisms in vivo. Gene-targeted mouse models carrying deletions in alpha(2)-adrenoceptor have provided detailed insights into specific neuronal functions of the three alpha(2)-receptor subtypes.

PMID:
16896948
DOI:
10.1007/s00441-006-0285-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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