lookingforlissa

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Agonist vs. Antagonist: Lost Opportunities for Metaphor

Posted by Lissa on March 25, 2019

I am having such a hard time keeping my mouth shut right now!

My professor is giving us a Pharmacodynamics lecture and explaining the difference between an agonist and an antagonist. Basically, an agonist binds to a receptor and produces a response that mimics a natural body response; an antagonist binds to a receptor and prevents that natural response from occuring. Both have an affinity for the receptor site but one acts, the other prevents action.

A few slides before this, my prof greatly amused herself (and us) by explaining the concept of intrinsic activity as follows:

“So, you know, you meet someone, and sometimes the hormones are just like PING! That’s like what a drug with intrinsic activity does when it binds to a receptor – it’s going to elicit an intense response! So think when you and that person biiiiiiiiiiiind” (wink wink) “there could be fireworks! Or, you know, someone who doesn’t have that ability to activate the receptor after binding . . . womp womp, not such an intense response. Too bad so sad, maybe next time you should just Netflix and chill.”

What does this have to do with agonists and antagonists?

I am DYING to explain antagonists as follows:

“Ever heard of a cockblocker? The hot chick’s friend who hangs out at her side all night and keeps sketchy guys from scoring? That’s an antagonist! She’s not actively making it with the hot chick, but she’s blocking any dick from getting entrance.”

Super scientific and easy to remember, if I do say so myself!

 

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