Down-regulation and desensitization of the β-adrenergic receptor system of human lymphocytes after cardiac surgery
Cardiac Surgical Procedures
Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
We used the beta-adrenergic receptor (beta AR) system of human lymphocytes as a model to examine perioperative adrenergic regulation in 12 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting and 12 patients undergoing mitral or aortic valve replacement. beta AR function was assessed by measuring cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production in the unstimulated state and in response to maximal stimulation by isoproterenol and prostaglandin E1. Receptor number and dissociation constant (KD) were assessed with [125I]iodopindolol. In the valve surgery patients, basal, isoproterenol-stimulated, and prostaglandin E1-stimulated cAMP production were significantly decreased postoperatively, by 39%, 55%, and 24%, respectively. beta AR number decreased from a mean of 1333 +/- 143 sites/cell to 897 +/- 56 sites/cell postoperatively, whereas the KD increased from 12.9 +/- 1.1 pM to 37.0 +/- 7.3 pM. In the coronary artery bypass graft patients, there were no significant alterations in cAMP production or receptor number, but the KD increased from 19.8 +/- 2.9 pM to 57.5 +/- 11.8 pM. These findings suggest that cardiac surgery and/or cardiopulmonary bypass may result in significant down-regulation and desensitization of the beta AR system of lymphocytes, which may parallel alterations in other organ systems.