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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mepacrine blocks beta-adrenergic agonist-induced desensitization in astrocytoma cells.

C6 astrocytoma cells contain beta-adrenergic receptors coupled to adenylate cyclase. A 2-hr exposure to l-isoproterenol results in an 80% decrease in cyclic AMP production in response to a subsequent challenge by l-isoproterenol (desensitization). This loss in responsiveness is paralleled by a 20-30% decrease in the apparent number of beta-adrenergic receptors and by increased release of arachidonic aciid into the medium. The increased release of arachidonic acid is caused by the action of phospholipase A2 (phosphatide 2-acylhydrolase, EC and corresponds to increased turnover of methylated phospholipids. Mepacrine and tetracaine, both inhibitors of this phospholipase A2, are able to block l-isoproterenol-induced desensitization of cyclic AMP production and the decrease in beta-adrenergic receptors. Mellitin and phorbol ester, two activators of phospholipase A2, when preincubated with the cells cause a decreased cyclic AMP response of the cells to l-isoproterenol. These results suggest that the activation of phospholipase A2 in the local domain of the beta-adrenergic receptor may be involved in desensitization.[1]


  1. Mepacrine blocks beta-adrenergic agonist-induced desensitization in astrocytoma cells. Mallorga, P., Tallman, J.F., Henneberry, R.C., Hirata, F., Strittmatter, W.T., Axelrod, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1980) [Pubmed]
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