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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 915057, 10 pages
Review Article

Biochemical and Molecular Aspects of Vascular Adrenergic Regulation of Blood Pressure in the Elderly

Portland VA Medical Center and Research Service—RD 26, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 1034, Portland, OR 97201, USA

Received 14 July 2011; Accepted 28 July 2011

Academic Editor: Blas Gil Extremera

Copyright © 2012 William E. Schutzer and Scott L. Mader. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, arterial insufficiency, and atherosclerosis are common disorders in the elderly that lead to significant morbidity and mortality. One common factor to these conditions is an age-related decline in vascular beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated function and subsequent cAMP generation. Presently, there is no single cellular factor that can explain this age-related decline, and thus, the primary cause of this homeostatic imbalance is yet to be identified. However, the etiology is clearly associated with an age-related change in the ability of beta-adrenergic receptor to respond to agonist at the cellular level in the vasculature. This paper will review what is presently understood regarding the molecular and biochemical basis of age-impaired beta-adrenergic receptor-mediated signaling. A fundamental understanding of why β-AR-mediated vasorelaxation is impaired with age will provide new insights and innovative strategies for the management of multiple clinical disorders.