The Arg16/Gly β2-adrenergic receptor polymorphism is associated with altered cardiovascular responses to isometric exercise

John H. Eisenach, Antonio M. McGuire, Rachel M. Schwingler, Stephen T. Turner, Michael J. Joyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


A polymorphism in the gene encoding the β2-adrenergic receptor (arginine or glycine at amino acid position 16) is associated with altered vasodilator responses to β2-agonists, which may modulate the pressor response to endogenous catecholamines during stress. To test the hypothesis that the Arg16/Gly polymorphism is associated with differences in acute pressor responses to sympathoexcitation, we measured mean arterial pressure (MAP, Finapres) and heart rate (HR, ECG) during mental stress (MS), cold pressor test (CPT), and handgrip (HG) to fatigue in 31 healthy, nonobese, normotensive adults (mean age ± SE: 31 ± 1; 16 females). Subjects were homozygous for Gly16 (n = 16) or Arg16 (n = 15). Both groups had similar baseline MAP (Arg16, 86 ± 3 mmHg; Gly16, 89 ± 2 mmHg; P = 0.4) and HR (Arg16, 68 ± 2 beats/min; Gly16, 65 ± 3 beats/min; P = 0.3). For MS and CPT, MAP and HR did not differ between genotype groups. Handgrip also produced similar increases in MAP; however, the change in HR was greater in the Gly16 homozygotes (PANOVA = 0.001, genotype-by-time interaction). During HG, peak HR at fatigue was 100 ± 4 beats/min for Gly16 (54% increase from rest) vs. 93 ± 3 beats/min for Arg16 (37% increase). We conclude that the cardiovascular responses to MS and CPT. do not differ between Gly16 and Arg16 homozygotes. However, the greater HR response to exercise in the Gly16 homozygotes may serve to maintain the pressor response (increased cardiac output) in the face of augmented peripheral vasodilation (decreased total peripheral resistance) in this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiological Genomics
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Genomics
  • Handgrip
  • Mental stress
  • Pressor response
  • Vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


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