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Front Pharmacol. 2018 Nov 27;9:1313. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01313. eCollection 2018.

Bidirectional Role of β2-Adrenergic Receptor in Autoimmune Diseases.

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Key Laboratory of Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Medicine, Ministry of Education, Collaborative Innovation Center of Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Medicine, Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
Department of Emergency Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.


Disorder of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is closely related to the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases (ADs). Catecholamine triggered beta2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) signaling is important in creating a bidirectional response in the progression of ADs due to factors including diverse expression patterns, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), biased signals, and desensitization of β2-AR, as well as different subtypes of Gα binding to β2-AR. In this review, we summarize the actions of β2-AR signaling in regulating the functions of immunocytes and in the pathogenesis of ADs, and the application of β2-AR agonists or antagonists in treating major types of ADs is also discussed. We suggest that restoring the immune balance via a soft regulation of the expression or activation of β2-AR is one of the promising therapeutic strategies for systematic ADs.


autoimmune diseases; immune response; single nucleotide polymorphisms; soft regulation; β2-adrenergic receptor

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