Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skin and immune system influence salt storage and regulate blood pressure

Date:
September 8, 2012
Source:
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Summary:
High blood pressure is responsible for many cardiovascular diseases. High salt intake has long been considered a risk factor, but not every type of high blood pressure is associated with high salt intake. New findings now show that the skin and the immune system play an important role in the regulation of the sodium balance and hypertension, as he reported at a symposium in Berlin.

High blood pressure is responsible for many cardiovascular diseases that are the leading cause of death in industrialized countries. High salt intake has long been considered a risk factor, but not every type of high blood pressure is associated with high salt intake. This has puzzled scientists for a long time. However, new findings by Professor Jens Titze (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA and the University of Erlangen) now point to previously unknown mechanisms.

Accordingly, the skin and the immune system play an important role in the regulation of the sodium balance and hypertension, as he reported at the 1st ECRC "Franz-Volhard" Symposium of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin on September 7, 2012 in Berlin-Buch.

The water and salt balance of the body is of great importance for blood pressure. The decisive factor is the kidney, which regulates how much water is retained in the body and how much is excreted. In this way it regulates the volume of blood and thus influences blood pressure. However, new findings by Professor Titze, one of the leading experts in the field, show that organs and systems of the body that hitherto were not associated with water and salt balance have an influence on blood pressure: the skin and the immune system.

Professor Titze showed that sodium can be stored in the connective tissue of the skin. "The sodium concentration can be higher in the skin than in blood. This means that not only the kidney regulates sodium balance but that there must be additional mechanisms," the researcher explained. His research group demonstrated that the immune system plays an important role in this mechanism: A specific type of immune cells, the macrophages -- literally "big eaters" in Greek -- recognize high sodium levels in the skin. They subsequently activate a gene that in turn ensures that the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) is released in large amounts into the skin. VEGF-C controls the growth of lymphatic vessels that transport fluid and sodium. If this factor is released in higher amounts, lymphatic vessels grow into the skin and ensure that the stored sodium can be transported away again.

In animal experiments Professor Titze's research team blocked this mechanism. As a result, the rats and mice in the experiment developed high blood pressure. "The immune cells apparently regulate salt balance and blood pressure," Professor Titze said. "In addition, data from a first clinical study showed that large amounts of salt are stored in the skin of patients with high blood pressure."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. "Skin and immune system influence salt storage and regulate blood pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120908081613.htm>.
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. (2012, September 8). Skin and immune system influence salt storage and regulate blood pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120908081613.htm
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. "Skin and immune system influence salt storage and regulate blood pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120908081613.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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