Crosstalk between beta-2-adrenoceptor and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the airway

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The M3 and M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and beta-2-adrenoceptors (β2ARs) are important regulators of airway cell function, and drugs targeting these receptors are among the first line drugs in the treatment of the obstructive lung diseases asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). Cross-regulation or crosstalk between mAChRs and β2ARs in airway smooth muscle (ASM) helps determine the contractile state of the muscle, thus airway diameter and resistance to airflow. In this review we will detail mAChR and β2AR-signaling and crosstalk, focusing on events in the ASM cell but also addressing the function of these receptors in other cell types that impact airway physiology. We conclude by discussing how recent advances in GPCR pharmacology offer a unique opportunity to fine tune mAChR and β2AR signaling and their crosstalk, and thereby produce superior therapeutics for obstructive lung and other diseases.

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