Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010 Jul;34(7):1171-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01194.x. Epub 2010 May 12.

Up-regulation and functional effect of cardiac β3-adrenoreceptors in alcoholic monkeys.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine-Cardiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.



Recent studies link altered cardiac beta-adrenergic receptor (AR) signaling to the pathology of alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM). However, the alteration and functional effect of beta(3)-AR activation in ACM are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that chronic alcohol intake causes an up-regulation of cardiac beta(3)-AR, which exacerbates myocyte dysfunction and impairs calcium regulation, thereby directly contributing to the progression of ACM.


We compared myocyte beta(3)- and beta(1)-AR expression and myocyte contractile ([Ca(2+)](i)), transient ([Ca(2+)](iT)), and Ca(2+) current (I(Ca,L)) responses to beta- and beta(3)-AR stimulation in myocytes obtained from left ventricle (LV) tissue samples obtained from 10 normal control (C) and 16 monkeys with self-administered alcohol for 12 months prior to necropsy: 6 moderate (M) and 10 heavy (H) drinkers with group average alcohol intakes of 1.5 +/- 0.2 and 3.3 +/- 0.2 g/kg/d, respectively.


Compared with control myocytes (C), in alcoholic cardiomyocytes, basal cell contraction (dL/dt(max), -39%, H: 69.8 vs. C: 114.6 microm/s), relaxation (dR/dt(max), -37%, 58.2 vs. 92.9 microm/s), [Ca(2+)](iT) (-34%, 0.23 vs. 0.35), and I(Ca,L) (-25%, 4.8 vs. 6.4pA/pF) were all significantly reduced. Compared with controls, in moderate and heavy drinkers, beta(1)-AR protein levels decreased by 23% and 42%, but beta(3)-AR protein increased by 46% and 85%, respectively. These changes were associated with altered myocyte functional responses to beta-AR agonist, isoproterenol (ISO), and beta(3)-AR agonist, BRL-37344 (BRL). Compared with controls, in alcoholic myocytes, ISO (10(-8) M) produced significantly smaller increases in dL/dt(max) (H: 40% vs. C: 71%), dR/dt(max) (37% vs. 52%), [Ca(2+)](iT) (17% vs. 37%), and I(Ca,L) (17% vs. 27%), but BRL (10(-8) M) produced a significantly greater decrease in dL/dt(max) (H: -23% vs. C: -11%), [Ca(2+)](iT) (-30% vs. -11%), and I(Ca,L) (-28% vs. -17%).


Chronic alcohol consumption down-regulates cardiac beta(1)- and up-regulates beta(3)-ARs, contributing to the abnormal response to catecholamines in ACM. The up-regulation of cardiac beta(3)-AR signaling enhances inhibition of LV myocyte contraction and relaxation and exacerbates the dysfunctional [Ca(2+)](i) regulation and, thus, may precede the development of ACM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center