The bovine polymorphonuclear leukocyte (neutrophil) is a central component of the acute inflammatory response, and is capable of reacting to a myriad of pro-inflammatory chemical signals that have been characterized in the context of bovine respiratory disease (BRD). Human neutrophils and bovine macrophages are known to react to pro-inflammatory signals as well; however, they are also capable of responding to anti-inflammatory signals from the autonomic nervous system. In particular, activation of the beta2-adrenergic receptor on these cells decreases several aspects of inflammatory activity, including reactive oxygen species production, chemotaxis, degranulation, and inflammatory mediator production. Dysfunction of beta-adrenergic receptors is known to contribute to the pathophysiology of numerous diseases in both people and animals. For example, congestive heart failure, asthma, cystic fibrosis, atopic dermatitis, pheochromocytoma, myasthenia gravis, hypertension, and sepsis have all been linked to decreased beta1- / beta2-adrenergic receptor density (depending on the cell type) and / or uncoupling of the respective receptor from its effector enzyme, adenylyl cyclase. Dysfunction of the beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism has also been described in pulmonary airway and vascular smooth muscle tissue from cattle, sheep, and rats exposed to Manheimia haemolytica, which provides insight into the pathophysiology of BRD. Despite the prominent role of the bovine neutrophil in the acute inflammatory stage of BRD, and despite the potential for dysfunction following excessive exposure to inflammatory stimuli, there are no reports that describe the presence of the beta2-adrenergic receptor on bovine neutrophils, nor function of the components responsible for its signal transduction cascade. Without complimentary work with bovine neutrophils, using data from human neutrophils to examine treatment options for the acute inflammatory stage of BRD is unrealistic. For this reason, the present dissertation proposed that 1) bovine neutrophils possess the beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism, 2) components of the beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism work in concert to increase bovine neutrophil adenosine 3,5-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) levels and suppress superoxide anion production, and 3) the beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism is dysfunctional following exposure to inflammatory stimuli. Using the nonselective beta1- / beta2-adrenergic receptor antagonist [3H]CGP-12177 we observed a maximum specific binding density (Bmax) value of 0.19 fmol per 100,000 bovine neutrophils. Although this value is approximately equal to what we observed with dairy cow neutrophils, human neutrophil Bmax values with this radioligand are anywhere from five to ten-fold greater, which suggests a significant species difference. We further defined the adrenergic receptor population on bovine neutrophils to be dominated by the beta2-subtype. Next, we characterized the function of beta2-adrenergic receptors by stimulating cAMP production with the beta2-adrenergic receptor agonist, terbutaline. The role of the beta2-subtype was confirmed when the terbutaline-mediated effect was negated by ICI-118,551, a beta2-adrenergic receptor antagonist. Also, the role of the phosphodiesterase enzyme in cAMP recycling in bovine neutrophils was illustrated, as the terbutaline-mediated rise in cAMP concentration was dependent upon phosphodiesterase inhibition by 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). This study confirms the anti-inflammatory nature of the beta2-adrenergic receptor on bovine neutrophils by demonstrating the ability of terbutaline and IBMX to decrease superoxide anion production in a dose-dependent manner. The synthetic cAMP analog, 8-bromo-cAMP also decreased superoxide anion production, but the effect was time-dependent because of its need to diffuse across the cell membrane. Moreover, IBMX exaggerated the terbutaline-mediated effect on superoxide anion production, while cAMP exaggerated the IBMX-mediated effect on superoxide anion, demonstrating that the beta2-adrenergic receptor acts in concert with adenylyl cyclase, while the phosphodiesterase enzyme functions to decrease their signal. By increasing the dose of the inflammatory stimulant opsonized zymosan eight-fold, we were able to eliminate the ability of various concentrations of terbutaline and IBMX to reduce superoxide anion production. We sought to provide a more specific demonstration of this phenomenon by activating protein kinase C (PKC) via phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) administration. However, preincubation with PMA actually increased terbutaline-mediated cAMP production, in a dose and time-dependent manner. At this time, we cannot explain why increasing the dose of opsonized zymosan and PMA had opposite effects on beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism function. The answer may reside in the many reported functions of PKC isoforms. Additional studies that identify the PKC isoform repertoire in bovine neutrophils may illustrate the potential for selective inhibition, and may lead to more specific identification and treatment of beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism dysfunction. Also, it remains to be seen how the various components of the bovine neutrophil beta2-adrenergic receptor mechanism function in-vivo during the acute inflammatory stage of BRD.