Background To maintain the balance between the demand of the body and supply (cardiac output), cardiac performance is tightly regulated via the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. In heart failure, cardiac output (supply) is decreased due to pathologic remodeling of the heart. To meet the demands of the body, the sympathetic system is activated and catecholamines stimulate β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) to increase contractile performance and cardiac output. Although this is beneficial in the acute phase, chronic β-ARs stimulation initiates a cascade of alterations at the cellular level, resulting in a diminished contractile performance of the heart.
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