The present review focuses on some new concepts as they relate specifically to autonomic receptors in the heart. Reference will be made to results of binding assays in other organs or model systems only as required to explain or elaborate on observations in the heart. For a more general coverage, the reader is referred to several other excellent reviews regarding autonomic receptor-binding assays. Similarly, the physiological and biochemical consequences that result from activation of cardiac autonomic receptors will not be dealt with in detail in this review. Excellent reviews of these subjects are listed in references. The reader is reminded that the first successful radioligand-binding assay for β-adrenergic receptors in cardiac tissue was not published until 1974, and for cardiac α-adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors, not until 1977. In spite of the very short history of development of these assays, much information has been collected already, and it is reasonable to assume that additional knowledge will continue to accrue at ever-faster rates. In the hope of achieving maximal currency and relevance, in this review, we will cover not only established concepts which have already resulted from analyses based on radioligand-binding assays, but will also review some very recent data (some published only in the form of abstracts or preliminary communications), in an attempt to provide a useful background for future directions of research on cardiac autonomic receptors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine