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Medicina 2004; 40 (5) 407-413

Structure and function of β3-adrenergic receptors

Vytenis Arvydas Skeberdis

Institute of Cardiology, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania

Key words: β3-adrenergic receptor, structure, function, pharmacology, human heart.

Summary. β-adrenergic receptors have been subdivided into three types: β1-, β2- and β3-adrenergic receptors. β1-adrenergic receptors are predominant in the heart, β2-adrenergic receptors – in the respiratory system, and β3-adrenergic receptors – in the adipose tissues. However, since 1989, when β3-adrenergic receptor was cloned, numerous biochemical and functional studies have confirmed its presence in various species and tissues, including the heart. Unlike β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors, it has been shown that β3-adrenergic receptors possess the cardiodepressant effects in human ventricles, what did not fit to its stimulatory properties of adenylyl cyclase in other tissues. In this regard, the role of β3-adrenergic receptors in the regulation of cardiac function may be of great importance in pathological conditions and remains undetermined, so far. In this review brief characterization of β3-adrenergic receptors, concerning their structure, function and possible pathophysiological role is provided.

Correspondence to V. A. Skeberdis, Institute of Cardiology, Sukilėlių 17, 50157 Kaunas, Lithuania E-mail:;

Received 5 February 2004, accepted 30 March 2004