1. The present review discusses evidence in support of the concept that alterations in sympathetic neurotransmitter release might contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension.
2. Studies suggest that changes in sympathetic nervous activity in both the central and peripheral nervous systems participate in blood pressure control.
3. In the periphery increased release of norepinephrine from vascular adrenergic neurons might lead to the enhanced vasoconstrictor responses and thus to an elevation in systemic blood pressure.
4. The amount of neurotransmitter release from sympathetic nerve endings can be regulated by autoregulatory systems by presynaptic receptors located on nerve terminals.
5. It has been proposed that alterations to sympathetic nervous activity of hypertension might be partially due to abnormalities in presynaptic modulation of neurotransmitter release in central and peripheral tissues.
6. This article summarizes the results of studies to evaluate presynaptic receptor functions and sympathetic neurotransmitter release in hypertension.