To determine whether beta-adrenergic receptor agonist activation influences guanosine 5'-triphosphate-binding protein (G-protein) expression and beta-adrenergic receptor kinase activity in the heart, we examined the effects of chronic beta 1-adrenergic receptor antagonist treatment (bisoprolol, 0.2 mg/kg per d i.v., 35 d) on components of the myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor-G-protein-adenylyl cyclase pathway in porcine myocardium. Three novel alterations in cardiac adrenergic signaling associated with chronic reduction in beta-adrenergic receptor agonist activation were found. First, there was coordinate downregulation of Gi alpha 2 and Gs alpha mRNA and protein expression in the left ventricle; reduced G-protein content was also found in the right atrium. Second, in the left ventricle, there was a twofold increase in beta-adrenergic receptor-dependent stimulation of adenylyl cyclase and a persistent high affinity state of the beta-adrenergic receptor. Finally, there was a reduction in left ventricular beta-adrenergic receptor kinase activity, suggesting a previously unrecognized association between the degree of adrenergic activation and myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor kinase expression. The heart appears to adapt in response to chronic beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist administration in a manner that would be expected to offset reduced agonist stimulation. The mechanisms for achieving this extend beyond beta-adrenergic receptor upregulation and include alterations in G-protein expression, beta-adrenergic receptor-Gs interaction, and myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor kinase activity.