In order to discover the meaning of the term agonist that we are dealing with now, it is interesting that we begin by knowing what its etymological origin is. In this case, we can expose that it is a word of Greek origin, since it derives from “agonists”, which can be translated as “fighter”.
More specifically, we can still determine that it is the sum of two components of said language:
-The noun “agon”, which is synonymous with “combat”.
-The suffix “-ista”, which can be translated as “office”.
In the field of biochemistry, the component that has the capacity to increase the activity of another substance is classified as an agonist.
Agonists function from their ability to dock with a cell-like receptor. In this way, they manage to generate a certain action in the cell. The antagonist, however, are compounds that cause the opposite to the join the recipient, causing a blockage.
According to the effect they cause, agonists can be classified as partial or complete. Furthermore, depending on the origin, agonists are artificial or natural. One can also speak of irreversible agonists (their adhesion to the receptor is permanent and therefore produces their constant activation) and inverse agonists (an agonist that binds to the same receptor as another agonist, but drives an action that is opposite).
An example of an agonist is the alpha-1 agonist, which is classified as an adrenergic agonist since it generates the same or similar effect as that caused by adrenaline. Where appropriate, alpha-1 agonist activity can stimulate an enzyme called phospholipase C. This molecule (phospholipase C) causes constriction of the blood vessels and dilation of the pupils.
In the field of anatomy, the agonist muscles are those that perform a movement opposite to that developed by the antagonist muscle. In other words: if the agonist makes a contraction, the antagonist proceeds to relax.
Other important facts about agonist muscles are these:
-In order to carry out a movement they always start by contracting. This differentiates them in a remarkable way from the antagonists, since these make them stretch and lengthen.
-It is interesting to know that in order for an agonist muscle to allow a part of the body to return to its initial position, it will have to “become” an antagonist.
-When the arm is bent, what happens is that the biceps come to function as an agonist while the triceps act as antagonists. On the contrary, when the arm is extended, the roles of those muscles are interchanged, that is, the biceps become antagonists and the triceps become agonists.
Within the scope of the literature, the term agonist that we are addressing is also used. Specifically, in this it is used to refer to the character who is totally antagonistic to another, who faces that other.