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Michael T. Piascik


The 1-adrenoceptors (1-ARs) serve as an interface between the sympathetic nervous system and the cardiovascular system where they are mediators of systemic arterial blood pressure, initiators of positive inotropy, and regulators of cellular growth responses. There are three subtypes: 1A-, 1B-, and 1D-ARs. This dissertation research investigated the trafficking properties of the 1-ARs at the cellular level as well as physiological relevance of the 1-ARs at the tissue level. In vitro studies using transiently transfected 1-AR/GFP subtypes revealed distinct basal localization patterns and different agonist-mediated activation and desensitization properties. The 1A- and the 1B-AR/GFP subtypes displayed agonist-mediated receptor redistribution, in which rate and degree of redistribution differed. Additionally, redistribution of either of these two receptor subtypes required arrestin-1, a protein often associated with receptor internalization. In contrast, the 1D-AR/GFP did not require arrestin-1 for maintaining the basal receptor orientation pattern. Although these data increase our knowledge of trafficking properties of the 1-AR subtypes, it is of equal importance to determine the role(s) that each subtype contributes to cardiovascular function. The lack of subtype-selective 1-AR pharmacological agents prompted the use of genetically manipulated mouse models with a systemic overexpression of a constitutively active 1B-AR. Echocardiographic analysis of transgenic hearts indicated both an enlarged left ventricular chamber in the absence of hypertrophy and a depressed cardiac function. From isolated transgenic hearts, experimental results suggested a role for the 1B-AR in attenuating the inotropic responses. However, experiments using isolated thoracic aortae from transgenic animals suggested that the 1B-AR does not participate in vascular smooth muscle contractile responses. Additional studies investigated the role of 1D-AR in cardiovascular function by using animals systemically lacking the 1D-AR subtype. Experimental data suggested an 1D-AR participation in vascular smooth muscle function since the deficiency of the 1D-AR subtype affected vasoconstriction in the coronary arteries but not inotropy in the heart. The data presented in this dissertation research suggest subtype specific differences of 1-ARs in cellular localization, signal regulation, and trafficking. Additionally, the data provide an investigation into the physiologic significance of both the 1B- and the 1D-ARs in cardiovascular tissue.



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