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November 1966

Clinical Importance of the Adrenergic Receptors

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospitals, Iowa City.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(5):418-421. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290170006002

THE CONCEPT that cellular receptor mechanisms mediate the actions of drugs has been accepted for many years. Although the physicochemical and morphological properties of receptors in general are still poorly understood, a very active interest in the adrenergic receptors which subserve the actions of sympathomimetic amines has developed within the last decade. The increasing number of reports dealing with adrenergic receptors demonstrates that not only physiologists and pharmacologists but also internists and clinical investigators are preoccupied with this timely subject. A main reason for this sudden popularity is the recent discovery of compounds which block selectively certain cardiovascular and metabolic effects of the sympathomimetic amines leaving other effects of the amines unmodified. To the basic scientist the new blockers meant a better understanding of the mechanisms of action of adrenergic stimuli, and to the clinician they facilitated a clearer view of the pathophysiology of certain cardiovascular problems and permitted