A new study has found the nerve and neurotransmitter influence on the dilation of arteries to be noticeably impaired in older mice. With heart disease the focus has been on inflammation and its effect on blood vessels (i.e., arterial plaque) but these findings help us to paint a more complete picture of what may be going on.
From the press release of the study:
The younger arteries dilated as expected,” Boerman said. “However, when we performed the same stimulation to the arteries of older mice, the vessels did not dilate. When we examined the presence of sensory nerves, we noted a 30 percent decrease in the amount surrounding the older arteries compared to the younger arteries.
See the following studies for more information:
Matthew J. Socha, Erika M. Boerman, Erik J. Behringer, Rebecca L. Shaw, Timothy L. Domeier, Steven S. Segal. Advanced age protects microvascular endothelium from aberrant Ca2 influx and cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide. The Journal of Physiology, 2015; 593 (9): 2155 DOI: 10.1113/JP270169
Erika M. Boerman, Steven S. Segal. Depressed perivascular sensory innervation of mouse mesenteric arteries with advanced age. The Journal of Physiology, 2015; DOI: 10.1113/JP270710