In vitro desensitization of beta adrenergic receptors in human neutrophils. Attenuation by corticosteroids.


Journal Article

The receptor alterations involved in catecholamine-induced desensitization of adenylate cyclase in human neutrophils have been investigated as has the ability of hydrocortisone to modify such alterations. Incubation of human neutrophils with isoproterenol for 3 h in vitro resulted in an 86% reduction in the ability of isoproterenol to stimulate cyclic AMP accumulation in the cells. Two types of receptor alterations were documented. There was a 40% reduction in the number of beta adrenergic receptors (42 vs. 25 fmol/mg protein, P < 0.005) present after desensitization as assessed by [(3)H]dihydroalprenolol ([(3)H]DHA) binding. In addition the receptors appeared to be relatively uncoupled from adenylate cyclase. This uncoupling was assessed by examining the ability of the agonist isoproterenol to stabilize a high-affinity form of the receptor, detected by computer modelling of competition curves for [(3)H]DHA binding. Desensitized receptors were characterized by rightward-shifted agonist competition curves. When hydrocortisone was added to the desensitizing incubations (combined treatment) there was a statistically significant attenuation in the desensitization process as assessed by the ability of isoproterenol to increase cyclic AMP levels in the cells. Although combined treatment did not prevent the decline in receptor number, it did attenuate the uncoupling of the receptors. Combined treatment resulted in competition curves intermediate between the control and the rightward-shifted desensitization curves. Prednisolone was similar to hydrocortisone in attenuating isoproterenol-induced uncoupling. Thus, steroids appeared to attenuate agonist-induced desensitization of the beta adrenergic receptor-adenylate cyclase system by dampening the ability of agonists to uncouple receptors without modifying their ability to promote down-regulation of beta adrenergic receptors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davies, AO; Lefkowitz, RJ

Published Date

  • March 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 565 - 571

PubMed ID

  • 6298279

Pubmed Central ID

  • 6298279

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1172/jci110801


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States