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 Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>