There are so many hormones/cytokines/neurotransmitters and receptors, all of which act through about 4-5 second-messenger systems. So if one particular cell has receptors for say, two different hormones which act via the same second messenger, is there any way that the cell can distinguish the two stimuli? I’m guessing there must be some distinguish between the two, otherwise, wouldn’t the effect of both the hormones be the same?
For example, in a hepatocyte, beta-adrenergic receptors and glucagon receptors both act via Gs-coupled receptors, downstream of which, cAMP is increased. Since the cAMP is the same, the changes it would make are also the same. So does it to the hepatocyte, make no difference if the first messenger was epinephrine or glucagon?
I’m assuming the receptors would make a difference, but aren’t the coupled G-proteins (Gs) also the same? Is there a difference of amplitude?
Note: I understand that it is not necessary for the hormones to produce an exclusively different effect. I also understand that systemic effects can be different because of differential distribution of receptors. My question pertains to the effects on a single cell.