What are adrenoreceptors?

Adrenoreceptors are organic receptors that couple to catecholamines. They work in different functions of the sympathetic nervous system.

These receptors can be found in many cells throughout the human body. Upon contact with catecholamines, stimulation of the nervous system occurs.

There are two types of adrenergic receptors in the body, each of which consists of subtypes.

  • Alpha-adrenergic receptors: subdivided into alpha 1 and alpha 2.
  • Beta-adrenergic receptors: subdivided into beta 1, beta 2 and beta 3.

How adrenoreceptors work

These receptors become active when activated by catecholamines, which include adrenaline, dopamine, cortisol, noradrenaline and epinephrine.

How do they influence fat accumulation?

Adrenergic receptors located in adipocytes can be of several types, but the main ones are beta-2 and alpha-2.

In a standard adipocyte, we would have an equal amount of alpha 2 and beta 2 receptors. However, there are adipocytes with more receptors of one type than another, making fat loss sequential.

When catecholamines bind to the beta-2 receptor, they activate lipolysis. When beta-2 receptors are activated, triglycerides stored in fat cells are broken down.

In this way, the glycerol molecule is released, fatty acids are released into the bloodstream, these are used as a source of energy and fat oxidation increases.

Whereas, when they bind to alpha-2 receptors, they activate lipogenesis.

The areas of the body where we accumulate the most fat are those where there is the highest concentration of alpha-2 receptors. That is why it is so difficult to eliminate this fat, although it is possible with caloric deficit, high intensity exercise and the use of substances that activate organic lipolysis.