Aging and the control of human skin blood flow

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2010 Jan 1;15:718-39. doi: 10.2741/3642.


Human exposure to cold and heat stimulates cutaneous vasoconstriction and vasodilation via distinct sympathetic reflex and locally mediated pathways. The mechanisms mediating cutaneous vasoconstriction and vasodilation are impaired with primary aging, rendering the aged more vulnerable to hypothermia and cardiovascular complications from heat-related illness, respectively. This paper highlights recent findings discussing how age-related decrements in sympathetic neurotransmission contribute directly to thermoregulatory impairments, whereas changes in local intracellular signaling suggest a more generalized age-associated vascular dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Skin / innervation
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology
  • Vasodilation / physiology