Radioreceptor assays in toxicology R. F. METCALFE

  • R. F. Metcalfe


Neurotransmitters and many other hormones have long been known to produce their physiological effects by binding to specific receptor proteins on cell surface membranes. More recently, many drugs and toxic compounds have been shown to act both selectively and competitively at these same specific receptor sites. However, it is only with the demonstration of specific receptors in tissues for a wide range of drug classes, with the concomitant stimulation of commercial production of appropriate radioligands of high specific activity, that radioreceptor assays have become possible. Thus the existence of specific receptors for opiate analgesics such as morphine was reported (Pert and Snyder, 1973) before the endogenous peptide transmitters at these sites had been discovered. More recently a specific receptor for benzodiazepines has been reported (Möhler and Okada, 1977; Squires and Braestrup, 1977).


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