Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover important link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension

10.11.2010
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.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/endocrinology to learn more about clinical services in endocrinology at UT Southwestern.

This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html

To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via e-mail, subscribe at www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews

LaKisha Ladson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>