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

Beta-adrenergic signal transduction following carvedilol treatment in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy.

OBJECTIVE: Treatment with the beta-blocker carvedilol leads to an improvement of outcome and ejection fraction in heart failure. These effects occur without affecting the number of beta-adrenergic receptors, as determined in right ventricular biopsies from patients with heart failure. This study was aimed at investigating the effects of carvedilol on beta-adrenergic signal transduction alterations in a model of left ventricular pressure overload, which is characterized by sympathetic activation and a desensitized beta-adrenergic signal transduction. METHODS: Transgenic rats with overexpression of renin [TG(mREN2)27] were treated with carvedilol (30 micrograms/kg) or held under control conditions and were compared with Sprague-Dawley rats. Myocardial beta-adrenoceptors (125I-labeled iodocyanopindolol binding), Gi alpha (pertussis toxin labeling), Gs alpha-activity (reconstitution into cyc--S49 membranes) and adenylyl cyclase activity were measured. Blood pressure and heart rate, increase in heart rate during sacrifice and pressure rate products were determined. RESULTS: beta-Adrenoceptors were downregulated and Gi alpha-protein levels were significantly increased, producing a desensitization of basal, isoprenaline- and guanine nucleotide-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity compared to controls. Carvedilol reduced heart rate, blood pressure and pressure rate product in TG(mREN2)27. Carvedilol did not restore biochemical alterations, but even further reduced beta-adrenoceptor numbers and adenylyl cyclase. It exhibited a two affinity state, guanine nucleotide-sensitive binding to cardiac beta-adrenergic receptors similar to isoprenaline but different from metoprolol. CONCLUSIONS: Carvedilol did not restore beta-adrenergic signal transduction at concentrations producing antiadrenergic effects in vivo. This effect might be due to an atypical guanine nucleotide-dependent interaction with beta-adrenergic receptors. Thus, ancillary properties could explain the recently reported beneficial effects in patients with heart failure independent from an upregulation of beta-adrenergic receptors.[1]


  1. Beta-adrenergic signal transduction following carvedilol treatment in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy. Böhm, M., Ettelbrück, S., Flesch, M., van Gilst, W.H., Knorr, A., Maack, C., Pinto, Y.M., Paul, M., Teisman, A.C., Zolk, O. Cardiovasc. Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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