α-Adrenoceptors mediate responses to activation of both peripheral sympathetic nerves and central noradrenergic neurons. They also serve as autoreceptors that modulate the release of norepinephrine (NE) and other neurotransmitters. There are two major classes of a-adrenoceptors, the α1-and α2. Each class is subdivided into three subtypes: α1A, α1B, α1D, and α2A, α2B, α2C. Described in this unit are in vitro isolated tissue methods used to study a-adrenoceptor functions and to identify novel ligands for these receptors. Detailed protocols describing use of isolated tissues to study the various a1-and a2-adrenoceptor subtypes are provided.
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