Alpha-1-adrenergic receptors: targets for agonist drugs to treat heart failure

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011 Oct;51(4):518-28. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2010.11.014. Epub 2010 Nov 28.


Evidence from cell, animal, and human studies demonstrates that α1-adrenergic receptors mediate adaptive and protective effects in the heart. These effects may be particularly important in chronic heart failure, when catecholamine levels are elevated and β-adrenergic receptors are down-regulated and dysfunctional. This review summarizes these data and proposes that selectively activating α1-adrenergic receptors in the heart might represent a novel and effective way to treat heart failure. This article is part of a special issue entitled "Key Signaling Molecules in Hypertrophy and Heart Failure."

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1 / genetics
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1 / metabolism*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical


  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Agonists
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-1