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Neurochem Res. 1993 Aug;18(8):869-74.

Octopamine receptor subtypes and their modes of action.

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AFRC Laboratory of Molecular Signalling, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK.


Octopamine receptor subclasses were first proposed to explain differences in the pharmacological profiles of a range of physiological responses to octopamine obtained in the extensor-tibiae neuromuscular preparation of the locust. Thus, OCTOPAMINE1 receptors which inhibit an endogenous myogenic rhythm, increase intracellular calcium levels. Also OCTOPAMINE2 receptors which modulate neuromuscular transmission in this preparation, increase the level of adenylate cyclase activity. The current status of this classification is reviewed by examining the pharmacology of responses to octopamine in a range of preparations. It is concluded that the distinction between OCTOPAMINE1 and OCTOPAMINE2 receptor types is still valid, but that OCTOPAMINE2 receptors exhibit some tissue specific variations. Studies on a cloned Drosophila octopamine/tyramine (phentolamine) receptor are discussed and illustrate many of the difficulties presently encountered in making a definitive classification of octopamine receptors. These include the possibilities that single receptors may activate multiple second messenger systems and that different agonists may differentially couple the same receptor to different second messenger systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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