Alteration of the beta-adrenergic signaling pathway in human heart failure

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2012 Oct;13(13):2522-31.


Heart failure is characterized by elevated circulating catecholamine levels and extensive abnormalities in β-adrenergic receptor signaling. Under physiological conditions, sympathetic modulation via catecholamines induces positive inotropic, chronotropic and lusitropic responses. Well established in heart failure patients is a pronounced activation of the sympathetic system, accompanied by downregulation and desensitization of β-adrenergic receptors, leading to a markedly diminished β-adrenergic contractile response. In this review, we will discuss the normal β-adrenergic receptor signaling pathway in the heart and focus on the pathphysiological alterations of β-adrenergic receptor signaling and contractile proteins in heart failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Down-Regulation
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Myocardial Contraction / drug effects
  • Myofibrils / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta