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Elevated Muscle Sympathetic Nerve Activity Contributes to Central Artery Stiffness in Young and Middle-Age/Older Adults.


Maximus Peto’s Commentary

I think I may have reported on this phenomenon before; this group concluded that muscle sympathetic nerve activity may have some influence on both central and peripheral arterial stiffness. Basically, it appears that sympathetic nerve activity increases with aging, and this activity also affects blood vessel constriction. I wonder how to tease apart the relative contributions of glycation and sympathetic nerve activity during human aging; perhaps there is some way to temporarily negate or eliminate the sympathetic nervous system’s contribution to arterial stiffness to get a less-confounded measurement of other contributors to age-related arterial stiffness.


Elevated Muscle Sympathetic Nerve Activity Contributes to Central Artery Stiffness in Young and Middle-Age/Older Adults.
Hypertension. 2019 May;73(5):1025-1035.
Holwerda SW, Luehrs RE, DuBose L, Collins MT, Wooldridge NA, Stroud AK, Fadel PJ, Abboud FM, Pierce GL
DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12462
PubMed publication date (edat): 3/25/2019

Abstract

Muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) influences the mechanical properties (ie, vascular smooth muscle tone and stiffness) of peripheral arteries, but it remains controversial whether MSNA contributes to stiffness of central arteries, such as the aorta and carotids. We examined whether elevated MSNA (age-related) would be independently associated with greater stiffness of central (carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity [PWV]) and peripheral (carotid-brachial PWV) arteries, in addition to lower carotid compliance coefficient, in healthy men and women (n=88, age: 19-73 years, 52% men). We also examined whether acute elevations in MSNA without increases in mean arterial pressure using graded levels of lower body negative pressure would augment central and peripheral artery stiffness in young (n=15, 60% men) and middle-age/older (MA/O, n=14, 43% men) adults. Resting MSNA burst frequency (bursts·min-1) was significantly correlated with carotid-femoral PWV ( R=0.44, P<0.001), carotid-brachial PWV ( R=0.32, P=0.004), and carotid compliance coefficient ( R=0.28, P=0.01) after controlling for sex, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and waist-to-hip ratio (central obesity), but these correlations were abolished after further controlling for age (all P>0.05). In young and MA/O adults, MSNA was elevated during lower body negative pressure ( P<0.001) and produced significant increases in carotid-femoral PWV (young: Δ+1.3±0.3 versus MA/O: Δ+1.0±0.3 m·s-1, P=0.53) and carotid-brachial PWV (young: Δ+0.7±0.3 versus MA/O: Δ+0.7±0.5 m·s-1, P=0.92), whereas carotid compliance coefficient during lower body negative pressure was significantly reduced in young but not MA/O (young: Δ-0.04±0.01 versus MA/O: Δ0.001±0.008 mm2·mm Hg-1, P<0.01). Collectively, these data demonstrate the influence of MSNA on central artery stiffness and its potential contribution to age-related increases in stiffness of both peripheral and central arteries. Comment in * Sympathetic System-Related Artery Stiffness. [Hypertension. 2019] PMID: 30905199
Free Full-Text: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12462

Maximus Peto

Max Peto is a longevity researcher and founder of Long Life Labs. A biochemist by training, he studies the biochemistry of aging and longevity and has worked with research organizations such as SENS Research Foundation, Methuselah Foundation, BioAge Labs, Life Extension Foundation, and Ichor Therapeutics. His work at Long Life Labs is focused on empowering people to understand and manage the most critical factors for better health and longer life.

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