Does the body’s synthesis of certain substances affect the relationship between obesity and blood pressure?
The number of overweight Americans has reached record levels, and obesity now affects almost one in three citizens. Published findings from the 1999-2000 report of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the definitive measure for weight matters in the United States, show that 59 million (31 percent) of adults are obese. One third of adult women are obese (33 percent), a rate slightly above men (28 percent). While there is little difference in obesity rates among men across racial/ethic lines, obesity rates for African-American, Mexican-American and white female are 50, 40 and 30 percent, respectively.
One reason obesity is considered a serious health problem is because it is an important factor for essential hypertension (high blood pressure with no identifiable cause). The exact mechanisms for obesity to cause essential hypertension are not fully understood, but it has been linked to the kidneys. These organs play a key role in regulating blood pressure and other substances which affect renal salt and water excretion, are important modulators of hypertension.
These results demonstrate that high fat diet causes the down regulation of CYP4A and CYP2C23 in renal tubules, and these proteins are responsible for renal 20-HETE and EETs formation. Since 20-HETE and EETs are known to inhibit sodium transport in the nephron, the downregulation of the synthesis of these eicosanoids can result in an increase of sodium reabsorption and sodium retention, which is responsible for the elevation of blood pressure.
Significance of the Findings
This study is the first to demonstrate that the synthesis of these eicosanoids and the expression of enzymes that catalyze their formation are altered in the renal tubular sites after the treatment of high fat diet. The change of the synthesis of these eicosanoids is associated with the elevation of blood pressure in HF rats. The study calls attention to the possibility that decreased synthesis of these eicosanoids at tubular sites during the treatment of HF diet impacts on the regulation of renal function and blood pressure.
The study also sets the basis for understanding the change of the synthesis of these eicosanoids in the renal tubular sites of fat rats, and the researchers will continue to pursue the regulatory mechanisms of this change in this animal model. Ultimately, additional knowledge can uncover new therapeutic targets and provide new information for the control and treatment of obesity-induced hypertension.
The American Physiological Society (APS) is one of the worlds most prestigious organizations for physiological scientists. These researchers specialize in understanding the processes and functions by which animals live, and thus ultimately underlie human health and disease. Founded in 1887 the Bethesda, MD-based Society has more than 11,000 members and publishes 3,800 articles in its 14 peer-reviewed journals each year.
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