Influence of age on arterial baroreflex inhibition of sympathetic nerve activity in healthy adult humans. Journal Article uri icon



  • Resting levels of muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) increase markedly with age in healthy adult humans. An age-related reduction in arterial baroreflex inhibition of MSNA could contribute to these elevations. To test this hypothesis, we measured MSNA using peroneal microneurography in young (age, 25 +/- 1 yr; n = 8) and older (69 +/- 1 yr; n = 7) healthy normotensive men before (baseline control) and during graded constant infusion of phenylephrine hydrochloride (0.5-2.0 microgram . kg-1. min-1) that produced a sustained approximately 10-mmHg increase in arterial blood pressure. Central venous pressure was controlled at baseline levels (+/-1 mmHg) using lower body negative pressure. Resting MSNA was approximately 95% higher in the older compared with the young subjects (43 +/- 5 vs. 22 +/- 3 bursts/min; P < 0.05). However, arterial baroreflex MSNA inhibitory responsiveness was similar in the older compared with the young subjects (254 +/- 112 vs. 259 +/- 40 arbitrary integration units/mmHg, respectively), although the percent reduction in MSNA was smaller in the older men (8.9 +/- 0.7 vs. 5.2 +/- 1.1%/mmHg), due to their elevated baseline levels. The reflex increase in the R-R interval was not different in the two groups (13 +/- 10 vs. 16 +/- 7 ms/mmHg). In summary, our findings suggest that arterial baroreflex inhibition of MSNA is preserved with age in healthy normotensive adult humans. As such, this mechanism does not appear to contribute to the age-related rise in tonic MSNA.

publication date

  • November 1, 1998

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • September 9, 2013 9:27 AM

Full Author List

  • Davy KP; Tanaka H; Andros EA; Gerber JG; Seals DR

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9513

Additional Document Info

start page

  • H1768

end page

  • H1772


  • 275


  • 5