The catecholamines can play an important role in the short-term regulation of plasma potassium levels. Stimulation of hepatic a-adrenoceptors will result in the release of potassium from the liver. In contrast, stimulation of ( 2-adrenoceptors, particularly in skeletal muscle, will lead to the uptake of potassium into this tissue. The (2-adrenoceptors are linked to the enzyme Na+, K+ adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase). Excessive stimulation of these (2-adrenoceptors may produce hy-pokalemia, which in turn can be a cause of cardiac arrhythmias.
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