Adrenoceptors are ubiquitously expressed on the surface of the numerous cell types that comprise or move through the mammalian lung. These adrenoceptors may indirectly exert influences over airways smooth muscle by modulating processes such as neurotransmission, degranulation of metachromatic cells and regulating the microcirculation. This chapter, however, deals strictly with the nature of adrenoceptors and their functions when located on airways smooth muscle. Extraordinary advances have been made in understanding adrenergic mechanisms in recent years, particularly since the application of molecular biology techniques to the study of adrenoceptor structural biology. Adrenoceptors are consequently amongst the best understood of all receptor and signal transduction systems. Unfortunately, little of this information has been acquired directly from studies of airways smooth muscle: general principles will therefore be dealt with in each section before discussing the specific state of knowledge of these processes in airways smooth muscle. Several excellent reviews in this area have been published in recent years [1–5].


Adenylyl Cyclase Airway Smooth Muscle Airway Smooth Muscle Cell BKca Channel Tracheal Smooth Muscle 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary P. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Asthma Research GroupCiba-Geigy PharmaceuticalsBaselSwitzerland

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