The proliferation of receptor subtypes based on differences in amino acid sequence does not necessarily coincide with functional differences. The number of a2-adrenoceptor subtypes, as defined by ligand-binding and molecular studies, has been increasing in the past few years, which suggests the possibility of distinct physiological and pathological pathways that could be targeted by new selective drugs. However, the evidence from functional studies has been less convincing. This could be due to the lack of sufficiently selective ligands or to the similarity between the activated state of receptor subtypes. Species differences and the local receptor environment are also important determinants of the pharmacological profile of a particular subtype. The pharmacology of the putative subtypes of a2-adrenoceptors and their function are discussed in this review by Alison MacKinnon, Mike Spedding and Christine Brown.
|Number of pages
|Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
|Published - 1994