Open Access
Aging and the control of human skin blood flow
Lacy A Holowatz1,Caitlin Thompson-Torgerson1,W Larry Kenney1
Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, Noll Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
DOI: 10.2741/3642 Volume 15 Issue 2, pp.718-739
Published: 01 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in thermoregulation research)

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.

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Lacy A Holowatz, Caitlin Thompson-Torgerson, W Larry Kenney. Aging and the control of human skin blood flow. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2010. 15(2); 718-739.