Jan 1, 1976

Ahlquist and the development of beta-adrenoceptor antagonists

Postgraduate Medical Journal
J W Black


The power and fecundity of Ahlquist's original concept of alpha- and beta-receptors can now be seen in dramatic contrast to the obfuscation and sterility of the then contemporary theory of two "sympathins". But when his famous paper appeared in 1948, pharmacologists apparently were not ready for the new idea. Receptor theory was perhaps too esoteric (Dale, one of the great pharmacologists of his time, studiously ignored it) and pharamacological taxonomy was virtually non-existent. The relationship of the new idea to Ehrlich's older ones, with consequent utilitarian implications, was overlooked.

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Mentioned in this Paper

History of Medicine
Adrenergic Receptor
Adrenergic beta-Antagonists

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