Broncodilatatore

A livello polmonare sono presenti recettori adrenergici β2 e recettori muscarinici M3. Queste proteine dimostrano effetti opposti sull'apparato respiratorio se stimolate dai legandi fisiologici (rispettivamente adrenalina e acetilcolina) o da opportune molecole di sintesi.
I recettori adrenergici vengono attivati dall'adrenalina rilasciata dalla midollare del surrene (non esiste, infatti, innervazione simpatica sui polmoni), determinando broncodilatazione e diminuzione delle secrezioni bronchiali.
I recettori colinergici, al contrario, rispondono agli stimoli del sistema parasimpatico inducendo broncocostrizione e aumentando le secrezioni.
Hanno azione adrenergica β2 anche derivati terpenici, quali il limonene, il pinene e l'eucaliptolo.
Si ricorda che, nonostante si parli di azione selettiva β2 a livello polmonare, alcuni di questi farmaci erano o sono usati per altri scopi, tra cui rilassare la muscolatura uterina ed inibire le contrazioni in caso di parto prematuro. (fonte: Wikipedia)
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