Differential desensitization of homozygous haplotypes of the β2-adrenergic receptor in lymphocytes

Jaap Oostendorp, Dirkje S. Postma, Haukeline Volders, Hajo Jongepier, Henk F. Kauffman, H. Marike Boezen, Deborah A. Meyers, Eugene R. Bleecker, S. Adriaan Nelemans, Johan Zaagsma, Herman Meurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the β2-adrenergic receptor gene and its 5′ promoter have been associated with differences in receptor function and desensitization. Linkage disequilibrium may account for inconsistencies in reported effects of isolated polymorphisms. Therefore, we have investigated the three most common homozygous haplotypes of the β2-adrenergic receptor (position 19 [Cys/Arg] of the 5′ leader cistron and positions 16 [Arg/Gly] and 27 [Gln/Glu] of the receptor) for putative differences in agonist-induced desensitization. Lymphocytes of well defined nonasthmatic, nonallergic subjects homozygous for the haplotype CysGlyGln, ArgGlyGlu, or CysArgGln were isolated. Desensitization of (-)-isoproterenol-induced cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) accumulation and β2-adrenergic receptor sequestration and downregulation were measured in relation to β2-adrenergic receptor-mediated inhibition of IFN-γ and interleukin-5 production. We observed that lymphocytes of individuals bearing the CysGlyGln haplotype were more susceptible to desensitization of the β-agonist-induced cAMP response than those of individuals with the ArgGlyGlu or CysArgGln haplotype. The haplotype-dependent desensitization of β-agonist-induced cAMP response was not associated with haplotype-dependent β2-adrenergic receptor sequestration or downregulation. In addition, our data suggest reduced inhibition, in lymphocytes of subjects with the CysGlyGln haplotype, of interleukin-5 production induced by treatment with antibodies to the T-cell receptor-CD3 complex and to costimulatory molecule CD28 (αCD3/αCD28). This is the first study demonstrating haplotype-related differences in agonist-induced β2-adrenergic receptor desensitization in primary human cells. This haplotype-related desensitization of the β2-adrenergic receptor in lymphocytes might have consequences regarding the regulation of helper T-cell type 2 inflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • 5′ leader cistron
  • Cytokine production
  • Sequestration and downregulation
  • Single-nucleotide polymorphism
  • cAMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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