Relaxation of Isolated Human Myometrial Muscle by beta2-Adrenergic Receptors but Not beta1-Adrenergic Receptors

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OBJECTIVE: Human myometrium contains both beta1-adrenergic and beta2-adrenergic receptors. This study was designed to assess the importance of each beta-adrenergic receptor subtype in relaxation of human myometrial muscle strips. STUDY DESIGN: Radioligand binding studies were used to establish the presence of each beta-adrenergic receptor subtype, whereas highly selective beta1-antagonists and beta2-antagonists were used to assess the contribution of beta-adrenergic receptor subtypes to myometrial relaxation after exposure to (-)-isoproterenol. RESULTS: Membranes prepared from myometrium contained 82% +/- 4% beta2-adrenergic receptors. After contraction produced by exposure to potassium chloride (35 mmol/L), isoproterenol produced relaxation with half maximal effect at 0.02 micromol/L and a maximal relaxation of 52% +/- 3%. Beta1-antagonist CGP-20712A had no significant effect, whereas beta2-antagonist ICI-118551 produced a characteristic rightward shift of the isoproterenol concentration-relaxation relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Although both beta1-adrenergic receptors and beta2-adrenergic receptors are present in human myometrial tissue at term, relaxation by nonselective beta-agonist isoproterenol is mediated exclusively by beta2-adrenergic receptors.