We have tested the beta adrenergic receptor theory of bronchial asthma by determining the number and affinity of binding sites of the beta adrenergic radioligand [3H]dihydroalprenolol (DHA) and the activity of adenylate cyclase in broken cell preparations of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). We studied 31 control subjects (group 1), 30 asthmatics receiving no systemic adrenergic medication (group 2), and 17 asthmatics receiving adrenergic agonists systemically (group 3). Control subjects and asthmatics taking no adrenergic drugs bound similar amounts of DHA at 0.5 nM and 30 nM DHA and had about 900 binding sites per PMN. In contrast, asthmatics receiving adrenergic agonists had a >70% decrease in their number of DHA binding sites per PMN (254±57). In a subset of our three groups of subjects (eight from group 1, six from group 2, and five from group 3) we measured DHA binding at several DHA concentrations and found similar values (0.4-0.7 nM) for the dissociation constant of DHA among these subjects.
Stanley P. Galant, Lakshmi Duriseti, Sharon Underwood, Sandra Allred, Paul A. Insel