Isoprenaline, previously known only to stimulate adenylate cyclase via the stimulatory G-protein, Gs, activates turkey erythrocyte ghost phospholipase C (PLC) in a dose-dependent manner when GTP or guanosine 5′-[gamma-thio]triphosphate (GTP[S]) is present. The effect is specific in that it is abolished by beta-adrenergic-receptor antagonists. Stimulation of adenosine receptors, which also couple to adenylate cyclase via Gs in turkey erythrocytes, does not activate PLC, indicating that the stimulation observed in the presence of isoprenaline is not due to Gs activation. Furthermore, the stimulation seen is independent of cyclic AMP production. Purified turkey erythrocyte PLC is activated in an adenosine 5′-[beta-thio]diphosphate (ADP[S]; a P2y-purinergic-receptor agonist)- or isoprenaline-regulated manner when reconstituted with turkey erythrocyte ghosts, demonstrating that a single species of PLC effector enzyme can be regulated by both the purinergic and the beta-adrenergic receptor populations present in turkey erythrocyte membranes. Pretreatment of intact turkey erythrocytes with the P2y agonist ADP[S] causes decreased PLC responsiveness of subsequent ghost preparations to ADP[S] stimulation, although responses to isoprenaline are unaffected (homologous desensitization). In contrast, pretreatment of intact erythrocytes with isoprenaline results in heterologous desensitization of both the P2y and the beta-adrenergic receptors. These effects occur at the level of receptor-G-protein coupling, since PLC stimulation by GTP[S] (which directly activates G-proteins) in the absence of agonists is unaffected.

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