Definition: reactive components of effector tissues, most of which are innervated by adrenergic postganglionic fibers of the sympathetic nervous system. Such receptors can be activated by norepinephrine and/or epinephrine and by various adrenergic drugs; receptor activation results in a change in effector tissue function, such as contraction of arteriolar muscles or relaxation of bronchial muscles; adrenergic receptors are divided into a-receptors and ß-receptors, on the basis of their response to various adrenergic activating and blocking agents.
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