Evidence of functional β-adrenoceptors in the cutaneous vasculature

C. G. Crandall, R. A. Etzel, J. M. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


During a hyperthermic challenge, skin blood flow (SkBF) increases primarily through activation of the cutaneous active vasodilator system. However, mechanisms through which activation of this system elevates SkBF remain unknown. In this project, we sought to identify whether functional β- adrenoceptors exist on cutaneous vessels and, if present, whether these receptors play an important role in elevating SkBF during a hyperthermic challenge. In protocol 1, SkBF was assessed over two intradermal microdialysis probes. Initially, both probes were perfused with lactated Ringer solution. Probe A was then perfused with a 200 μM solution of the β- adrenoceptor agonist isoproterenol while probe B was perfused with a 1.7 mM solution of the β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol. Isoproterenol perfusion significantly increased SkBF from 17.7 ± 2.4 to 70.8 ± 13.2 perfusion units (PU; P < 0.05), whereas propranolol perfusion did not significantly affect SkBF (23.4 ± 6.5 to 27.0 ± 6.8 PU; P > 0.05). After this period, the solutions perfusing the probes were switched. Isoproterenol did not significantly change SkBF at the propranolol-treated site (27.0 ± 6.8 to 26.4 ± 7.5 PU; P > 0.05). In protocol 2, SkBF was assessed over two microdialysis probes during indirect whole body heating. One probe was perfused with Ringer solution while the other probe was perfused with 1.7 mM propranolol. The degree of elevation in SkBF during heat stress at the propranelol-treated site (10.4 ± 1.5 to 35.8 ± 3.1 PU) was similar to the elevation in SkBF at the Ringer solution site (11.6 ± 1.0 to 35.0 ± 1.2 PU). These data demonstrate the presence of functional β-adrenoceptors in the skin; however, these receptors play no significant role in mediating cutaneous vasodilation during indirect whole body heating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1038-H1043
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 42-2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Intradermal microdialysis
  • Isoproterenol
  • Laser-Doppler flowmetry
  • Laser-Doppler imaging
  • Propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence of functional β-adrenoceptors in the cutaneous vasculature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this