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April 1962

Adrenergic Mechanisms

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(4):495-496. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620160121024

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This Ciba Foundation Symposium held in 1960 is a most comprehensive and up-to-date presentation of adrenergic mechanisms. The opening address by Dale gives the historical setting in which the concept of the adrenergic mechanism was formulated by Elliott in 1904. "Adrenalin might then be the chemical stimulant liberated on each occasion when the (nerve) impulse arrives at the periphery." Dale had early recognized that "the reproduction of sympathetic actions of adrenaline was incomplete, in the sense that adrenaline tended to exaggerate the inhibitor at the expense of the augmentor components of such actions." Dale's findings that noradernaline (then a synthetic chemical curiosity) was more accurately sympathomimetic than adrenaline itself, was ironically a reason for his hesitation in accepting Elliott's transmission theory.

Since the Symposium comprises some 50 papers presented at 10 different sessions, a brief review must be incomplete. Current thought holds that adrenaline acts mainly as a hormone, noradernaline

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