Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 326, Issue 2, pp 541–551

Adrenoceptors and signal transduction in neurons



The adrenergic system is an essential regulator of neuronal, endocrine, cardiovascular, vegetative, and metabolic functions. The endogenous catecholamines epinephrine and norepinephrine activate G-protein-coupled receptors to transmit their signal across the plasma membrane. These adrenoceptors can be divided into three different groups: the α1-receptors (α1A, α1B, α1D), α2-receptors (α2A, α2B, α2C), and β-receptors (β1, β2, β3). This review summarizes recent findings in the field of adrenoceptor signaling in neurons and includes a discussion of receptor-associated proteins, receptor dimerization, subcellular trafficking, and fluorescence optical methods for studying the kinetics of adrenergic signaling. Spatio-temporal imaging may become an important future tool for identifying the physiological significance of these complex signaling mechanisms in vivo. Gene-targeted mouse models carrying deletions in α2-adrenoceptor have provided detailed insights into specific neuronal functions of the three α2-receptor subtypes.


Adrenoceptors Epinephrine G-protein-coupled receptors Norepinephrine Transgenic mice 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Exp. und Klin. Pharmakologie und ToxikologieUniversität FreiburgFreiburg im BreisgauGermany

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