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25 Jun 2009
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£67.00
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9780230554153
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

Humans have long used plant and animal extracts for their medicinal properties but until the end of the 19th century their actions were often explained in a speculative manner. The systematic study of drugs did not begin until the 1860s, and the concept of receptors as the target of their effects in the body only emerged at the end of the 19th century from the brilliant and independent studies of John Newport Langley (1852-1925) and Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915).

This book addresses the people and the key discoveries that led to the development of the receptor concept and its impact on 20th-century medicine: A.J Clark in the 1930s, and later E.J Ariens and R.P Stephenson in the 1950s provided the quantitative basis of drug receptor occupancy theory. R.P Ahlquist's investigations gave rise to the proposal of receptor subtypes in 1948 and facilitated Sir James Black (and subsequently others) to apply the receptor concept to clinical therapy (beta blockers) in the mid 1960s. By the early 1980s, the first (acetylcholine) receptor had been isolated and cloned.

Today, we recognize a large and diverse number of physiological receptors which can be delineated into 'receptor super-families' on the basis of their pharmacology and molecular properties. These receptors are now the focus of a multi-national, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. This book reveals that these successes were by no means foreseeable, since chance, coincidence, competition among scientists, and other factors played important roles in the history of the receptor concept.


Description

Humans have long used plant and animal extracts for their medicinal properties but until the end of the 19th century their actions were often explained in a speculative manner. The systematic study of drugs did not begin until the 1860s, and the concept of receptors as the target of their effects in the body only emerged at the end of the 19th century from the brilliant and independent studies of John Newport Langley (1852-1925) and Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915).

This book addresses the people and the key discoveries that led to the development of the receptor concept and its impact on 20th-century medicine: A.J Clark in the 1930s, and later E.J Ariens and R.P Stephenson in the 1950s provided the quantitative basis of drug receptor occupancy theory. R.P Ahlquist's investigations gave rise to the proposal of receptor subtypes in 1948 and facilitated Sir James Black (and subsequently others) to apply the receptor concept to clinical therapy (beta blockers) in the mid 1960s. By the early 1980s, the first (acetylcholine) receptor had been isolated and cloned.

Today, we recognize a large and diverse number of physiological receptors which can be delineated into 'receptor super-families' on the basis of their pharmacology and molecular properties. These receptors are now the focus of a multi-national, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. This book reveals that these successes were by no means foreseeable, since chance, coincidence, competition among scientists, and other factors played important roles in the history of the receptor concept.


Contents


Introduction
Paul Ehrlich and his Receptor Concept
The Development of the Concept of Drug Receptors in the Physiological Research of J. N. Langley
The Receptors and Scientific Pharmacology I: The Critics of the Receptor Idea and Alternative Theories of Drug Action, c. 1905-1935
The Receptors and Scientific Pharmacology II: The Critics of the Receptor Idea and Alternative Research Strands: The Transmitter Theory, c. 1905-1935
Quantitative Arguments for the Existence of Drug Receptors and the Development of the Receptor Occupancy Theory, c. 1910-1960
The Dual Adrenaline Receptor Theory of Raymond P. Ahlquist (1914-1983) and its Application in Drug Development between
1950 and 1970
The Emergence of Molecular Pharmacology
Conclusions
Archival Sources
Bibliography


Authors


CAY-RÜDIGER PRÜLL is Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Currently he is supervising projects on the history of pharmacology and on the history of German military medicine between 1914 and 1945. Between 2000 and 2003 he was Senior Research Associate at the University of Durham, UK, working on a project on the impact of the receptor concept on modern pharmacology, which was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust. He has published extensively on the history of medicine, pharmacology and pathology including Traditions in Pathology in Western Europe Theories, Institutions and their Cultural Setting.
ANDREAS-HOLGER MAEHLE is Professor of the History of Medicine and Medical Ethics at Durham University, UK, where he directs the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease. He previously held a lectureship at the University of Göttingen, Germany, and was a research fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London. He has published widely on the history of medicine and pharmacology, including Drugs on Trial: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation in the Eighteenth Century.

ROBERT F. HALLIWELL is Professor of Neuropharmacology at the Thomas J Long School of Pharmacy, University of the Pacific, in California. He previously held a lectureship in neuroscience at the University of Durham, UK and a research fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. His work focuses on the pharmacological properties of nerve cell receptors and ion channels.