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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The importance of presynaptic beta receptors in Raynaud's disease.

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of atenolol, a beta 1-selective blocker, along with flunarizine, a calcium antagonist, in the management of Raynaud's disease. Forty patients with Raynaud's disease were randomized into a trial in which atenolol (50 mg daily) was given with flunarizine (10 mg daily). During the trial all patients were subjected to finger photoplethysmography and were given a diary to note daily the number and duration of the crises and presence or absence of pain and paresthesia. The association of atenolol with flunarizine caused an 80% reduction in the number of vasospastic crises, a significant increase (p less than 0.001) in the photoplethysmographic wave amplitude, and complete disappearance of pain and paresthesia. These results were not observed in patients treated with a placebo. Flunarizine reinforces the action of atenolol in causing a decrease in vasoconstriction in patients with Raynaud's disease, as observed previously by us, in that it acts directly on the beta-presynaptic receptors or on the calcium slow channels connected to the beta-receptors. The present study confirms that the principal role in the physiopathologic progression of Raynaud's disease seems to be played by a modification of the beta-presynaptic receptors in the nerve endings of the peripheral vessels.[1]


  1. The importance of presynaptic beta receptors in Raynaud's disease. Brotzu, G., Falchi, S., Mannu, B., Montisci, R., Petruzzo, P., Staico, R. J. Vasc. Surg. (1989) [Pubmed]
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