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Adrenergic and cholinergic receptors 

Adrenergic and cholinergic receptors
Chapter:
Adrenergic and cholinergic receptors
Author(s):

Mike Schachter

and P. A. van Zwieten

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198566342.003.0006
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date: 10 April 2020

Since the discovery of the neurohumoral phenomena associated with the autonomic nervous system there has been a great deal of interest in the receptors that are the targets of the endogenous neurotransmitters, in particular noradrenaline/adrenaline in the sympathetic nervous system and acetylcholine in the parasympathetic nervous system. This field is of particular interest in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes involving virtually all organ systems. Much of our present, detailed knowledge of autonomic receptors has been obtained using pharmacological methods resulting from the availability of a large number of experimental compounds, which are more or less selective agonists or antagonists with respect to the numerous receptor subtypes associated with the autonomic nervous system. Conversely, the more detailed knowledge of the various receptor types has also allowed the discovery of new and more specific therapies for a variety of diseases, predominantly those involving the cardiovascular system. The adrenergic system and its receptors have been studied with great intensity, and a wealth of valuable information has been obtained during the past 2–3 decades. More recently, the field of cholinergic receptors has also received a strong impetus from the discovery that muscarinic receptors are heterogeneous and therefore should be subdivided into different subtypes with different spectra of biological functions and agonists/antagonists....

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