Current Hypertension Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 38–45 | Cite as

Disorders of Blood Pressure Regulation—Role of Catecholamine Biosynthesis, Release, and Metabolism

  • Gemma Currie
  • E. Marie Freel
  • Colin G. Perry
  • Anna F. DominiczakEmail author
Pathogenesis of Hypertension: Genetic and Environmental Factors (DT O’Connor, Section Editor)


Catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) are synthesised and produced by the adrenal medulla and postganglionic nerve fibres of the sympathetic nervous system. It is known that essential hypertension has a significant neurogenic component, with the rise in blood pressure mediated at least in part by overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Moreover, novel therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing sympathetic activity show promise in the treatment of hypertension. This article reviews recent advances within this rapidly changing field, particularly focusing on the role of genetic polymorphisms within key catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes, cofactors, and storage molecules. In addition, mechanisms linking the sympathetic nervous system and other adverse cardiovascular states (obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia) are discussed, along with speculation as to how recent scientific advances may lead to the emergence of novel antihypertensive treatments.


Epinephrine Norepinephrine Sympathetic nervous system Hypertension Catecholamines Chromogranins Catestatin Reactivity TRPM4 Target organ effects 



Conflicts of Interest: G. Currie: none; E.M. Freel: none; C.G. Perry: none; A. Dominiczak: payment for manuscript preparation from Servier International.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gemma Currie
    • 1
  • E. Marie Freel
    • 2
  • Colin G. Perry
    • 1
  • Anna F. Dominiczak
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyWestern InfirmaryGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  3. 3.College of Medical, Veterinary and Life SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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