Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Looks For Genetic Predictors Of Hypertension

Date:
June 20, 2006
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
Whether genes responsible for a rare disorder that dramatically elevates blood pressure holds clues for identifying many people at risk for hypertension is the focus of a new study.

Dr. Yanbin Dong, molecular geneticist and cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia. (Phil Jones photo)

Whether genes responsible for a rare disorder that dramatically elevates blood pressure holds clues for identifying many people at risk for hypertension is the focus of a new study.

Related Articles


The rare disorder is Liddle syndrome, first reported in 1963 in a 15-year-old Alabama girl diagnosed with a blood pressure of 180/110 mmHg, says Dr. Yanbin Dong, molecular geneticist and cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia.

Interestingly, an inexpensive diuretic worked best to manage her problem. Tests years later found the reason was that genes involved in the channel that recycles sodium from food into the body were drastically mutated. “This mutation enables sodium to come back into the body like a flood,” says Dr. Dong.

Today he is looking at sodium channel genes implicated in Liddle syndrome to identify less severe changes that could be used to screen for hypertension risk in the general population.

“My hypothesis is if Liddle syndrome is caused by these nasty, drastic mutations, maybe the majority of hypertension can be caused by milder, less nasty polymorphisms or variations in the same genes,” says Dr. Dong who received a $1.43 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to see if he is correct.

He’s recruiting 300 healthy blacks ages 15 to 19 with normal blood pressure to a Georgia Prevention Institute study that first measures sodium-handling following environmental stress, then analyzes the genes of those who don’t handle it well.

Dr. Dong is exploring findings by Dr. Gregory A. Harshfield, director of the Georgia Prevention Institute, showing that some healthy youths, particularly black youths, continue to retain sodium after the stress that drove up their blood pressure is gone. This impaired stress-induced pressure natriuresis occurs in about 36 percent of healthy black youths and 25 percent of healthy white youths, according to Dr. Harshfield’s studies.

The body naturally increases blood pressure during stress, immediately by constricting blood vessels and longer term by directing the kidneys to retain more sodium and so increase blood volume, says Dr. Harshfield, a co-investigator on Dr. Dong’s latest grant. His own studies have shown the importance of the interaction between salt and stress in regulating blood pressure.

The new study should provide additional insight into the relationship between salt and stress as well as diet and genetics, Dr. Dong says.

Study participants will be on a salt-restricted diet for four days, then come to the GPI on the fifth day to rest for an hour, play competitive video games and rest again. Blood pressure and sodium excretion will be measured before games are played, immediately afterward, then two hours later.

The five genes – alphaENaC, betaENaC, gamma ENaC, SGK-1 and Nedd4-2 – taken from blood samples will be analyzed so specific variations can be correlated with variations in a youth’s ability to excrete sodium after stress has passed. Gene-to-gene interactions also will be studied.

Researchers say poor sodium-handling is a major player in hypertension and that a youth’s reduced ability to excrete salt following stress is a sign of what’s to come.

If Dr. Dong’s hypothesis holds, young people with risky genetic variations could have advance warning of their increased hypertension risk and make changes such as salt intake restriction and stress reduction management to ideally avoid the problem.

The body needs sodium but doesn’t produce it, Dr. Dong notes. Still most people get adequate sodium in their diets without adding salt to food.

Other co-investigators are Dr. Haidong Zhu, molecular geneticist; Dr. Harold Snieder, genetic epidemiologist; and Dr. David Ludwig, biostatistician.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Study Looks For Genetic Predictors Of Hypertension." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060620082252.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2006, June 20). Study Looks For Genetic Predictors Of Hypertension. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060620082252.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Study Looks For Genetic Predictors Of Hypertension." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060620082252.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins