Dietary salt intake and obesity are two important risk factors in the development of high blood pressure. Each packs its own punch, but when combined, they deliver more damage to the heart and kidneys than the sum of their individual contributions.
Discovering the molecular mechanisms behind this lethal synergy has presented a challenge to scientists, but research led by Toshiro Fujita, MD, professor and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and chief of the Department of Nephrology and Endocrinology at the University of Tokyo, suggests that high dietary salt intake and obesity work together to trigger an abnormal activation of a cellular protein called Rac1.How Obesity and a High-Salt Diet Team Up
The team made the discovery when attempting to treat the obese, hypertensive rats with drugs designed to block MR activation and inhibit Rac1. When Rac1 inhibitors were successful in lowering the rats’ blood pressure, the team knew they had discovered a mechanism by which obesity and a high-salt diet team up to wreak havoc on blood pressure and the kidneys.Importance of the Findings
NOTE TO EDITORS: For an abstract of Dr. Fujita’s presentation, “Aberrant Rac1-MR Pathway in Salt-Sensitive Hypertension and Metabolic Syndrome,” or to request an interview, please contact Donna Krupa at 301.634.7209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease. The American Physiological Society has been an integral part of the discovery process since it was established in 1887. To keep up with the science, follow @Phyziochick on Twitter.
Donna Krupa | Newswise Science News
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