Hepatic α-adrenergic receptors. Identification and subcellular localization using [3H]dihydroergocryptine

W. R. Clarke, L. R. Jones, R. J. Lefkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


Recently, several workers have shown that adrenergic control of hepatic carbohydrate metabolism has the characteristics of an α-receptor-mediated process. Using the rat liver membrane preparation of Neville (Neville, D, (1968) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 154, 540-552), α-adrenergic receptors have been identified using the ligand [3H]dihydroergocryptine. The receptors are saturable and of high affinity. Scatchard analysis yields a K(D) of 1.8 nM with 1.7 ± 0.55 pmol of sites/mg of protein. Competition of dihydroergocryptine binding with various pharmacologic agents yields the typical (α-adrenergic potency series: (-)-epinephrine > (-)-norepinephrine > (-)-isoproterenol. (-)-Isomers are more potent than (+)-isomers. The α-blocker phentolamine is 3.4 orders of magnitude more potent than the β-blocker propranolol. To determine subcellular localization of α-adrenergic receptors, livers were fractionated into a crude homogenate, a 1500 x g pellet, and the purified membrane preparation used previously for binding. Specific dihydroergocryptine binding, ouabain-inhibitable (Na,K)-ATPase, and F--stimulated adenylate cyclase activities, were followed in these fractions. Specific binding was enriched, relative to that in the crude homogenate, 2.88-fold in the pellet and 6.28-fold in the membranes. Similarly, (Na,K)-ATPase activity was enriched 2.6-fold in the pellet and 7.1-fold in the membranes while adenylate cyclase activity was enriched 2.9-fold in the pellet and 3.5-fold in the membranes. It is concluded that hepatic α-adrenergic receptors are likely concentrated in the plasma membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5975-5979
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 1 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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