Altered Autonomic Modulation of Cardiovascular Function with Adult Aging: Perspectives from Studies Ranging from Man to Cells

  • E. G. Lakatta
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 49)


Cardiovascular performance is determined by the integrated function of multiple interdependent variables (Fig. 1). In addition to coronary blood flow, these include: heart rate; the load or stretch on the myocardial fibers prior to excitation (preload or end-diastolic filling volume); the load during shortening (afterload) which is multifactual and depends not only on aortic pressure but on other determinants of vascular input impedance and also on the ventricular radius; and the effectiveness of myocardial excitation-activationcontraction coupling, sometimes referred to as myocardial “contractility” or the “inotropic” or “contractile state.” Because of the high degree of integration among these multiple determinants of cardiovascular function, a deficit or enhancement of one factor can be compensated for by adjustments in others in order to maintain overall cardiovascular performance within a narrow range to meet the flow or pressure required by the organism at a given moment.


Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Autonomic Modulation Dibutyryl cAMP Contraction Duration Increase Stroke Volume 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. G. Lakatta
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiovascular Section, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on AgingNational Institutes of HealthBaltimoreUSA

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