Role of β-adrenoceptor desensitization in heart failure
Heart failure is characterized by left ventricular dysfunction associated with a complex of symptoms that relate to inadequate perfusion of tissues and pulmonary congestion. When the heart is damaged by an insult, compensatory mechanisms mediated through activation of the sympathetic nervous system are involved to stabilize myocardial performance. Although these mechanisms can sustain cardiac function for a short time, chronic activation of sympathetic activity has adverse biological effects. This review will focus on the changes that occur in the β-adrenergic receptor pathway in the failing heart and will discuss novel approaches to therapy through manipulation of this pathway.