Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension discovered

Date:
November 9, 2010
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A hormone already responsible for increasing blood pressure by prompting the kidneys to retain salt appears to moonlight as a major stimulator of the brain centers that control the vascular system and blood pressure.

A hormone already responsible for increasing blood pressure by prompting the kidneys to retain salt appears to moonlight as a major stimulator of the brain centers that control the vascular system and blood pressure.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center studied patients who overproduce aldosterone to see whether the hormone had any effect on sympathetic nerve activity responsible for blood pressure increases.

"Between 10 percent and 20 percent of patients with high blood pressure who are resistant to treatment have elevated aldosterone hormones," said Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. "Previous studies in animals showed that this hormone can affect many parts of the brain that control the cardiovascular system. We wanted to understand whether aldosterone also increases the nerve activity that causes constriction of blood vessels, which elevates blood pressure in humans.

"Since aldosterone can cause high blood pressure by affecting multiple systems and not just the kidneys, this study sheds light on why blood pressure is so difficult to control in patients with high aldosterone levels."

Aldosterone is an essential hormone that regulates electrolytes in the body. Created by the adrenal glands, it is responsible for re-absorption of sodium and water into the bloodstream and for regulating potassium. High levels of aldosterone can cause high blood pressure, muscle cramps and weakness.

Dr. Vongpatanasin and her team studied 14 hypertensive patients who overproduced aldosterone, a condition known as primary aldosteronism, and compared them with 20 hypertensive patients and 18 patients with normal blood pressure.

The data showed that in humans, aldosterone does increase activity in a part of the nervous system that raises blood pressure. Such activity contributes to the onset of hypertension. Furthermore, when the nerve activity was measured in patients who had adrenal surgery to remove tumors that produced this hormone, both nerve activity and blood pressure decreased substantially.

"Our study also suggested that treatment of hypertension in these patients not only requires targeting the kidneys but also the sympathetic nervous system that controls blood pressure," Dr. Vongpatanasin said. "Since our study shows that patients with high aldosterone levels have high nerve activity, future studies are needed to determine how we could prevent effects of aldosterone on the brain."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the George M. O'Brien Kidney Research Center, the Lincy Foundation and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Other UT Southwestern researchers who contributed to the study included senior author Dr. Andrew Kontak, postdoctoral researcher in internal medicine; Dr. Zhongyun Wang, research associate in internal medicine; Debbie Arbique, advance practice nurse in internal medicine; Beverley Adams-Huet, assistant professor of clinical sciences; Dr. Richard Auchus, professor of internal medicine; and Dr. Shawna Nesbitt, associate professor of internal medicine. Other researchers included Dr. Ronald Victor of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. C. Kontak, Z. Wang, D. Arbique, B. Adams-Huet, R. J. Auchus, S. D. Nesbitt, R. G. Victor, W. Vongpatanasin. Reversible Sympathetic Overactivity in Hypertensive Patients with Primary Aldosteronism. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2010; 95 (10): 4756 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2010-0823

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Key link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109172346.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2010, November 9). Key link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109172346.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Key link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109172346.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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