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New Discovery May Revolutionize Hypertension Treatment


New Discovery May Revolutionize Hypertension Treatment

(ePharmaNews) - Scientists have identified what could be a biological tipping point in the development of high blood pressure, in a discovery that could one day lead to new treatment.

 

Researchers from St George’s, University of London have discovered that reduced activity of a protein involved in keeping arteries relaxed – a potassium channel called Kv7.4 – may be a fundamental step in the development of high blood pressure. They found that this channel is present in the main artery supplying blood to the kidney – the renal artery – and believe that reduced levels of activity here could kick-start a chain reaction inside the body that is known to increase blood pressure. 
 
Kv7.4 channels allow the passage of potassium out of the muscle cells in blood vessels and they have to be open and closed at the right times so that the vessel muscles can contract or relax when required. They are most commonly recognised for their role in instructing the blood vessels to expand in reaction to triggers, such as adrenaline, to allow more blood and oxygen to travel to the tissues when needed.
 
Dr Iain Greenwood from St George’s, University of London, who led the study, said: 
 
“Although we did not study how kidneys responded to arteries that are constricted due to deactivated Kv7.4 channels as part of this study, we do know that under-perfused kidneys, or more simply put, those that do not receive sufficient blood, respond by secreting an enzyme called renin. Once this has been produced, it travels around the body instructing blood vessels to constrict and consequently raising blood pressure.”
 
Although the researchers emphasize that more investigations are needed before treatment can be developed from their findings, they explain that this is a shift in how high blood pressure is known to develop and that this type of information could be the cornerstone of new treatment.
Dr Iain Greenwood said: 
 
“As deaths from cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke resulted in 50,000 premature deaths in the UK alone in 2008 and the financial burden is approximately £30billion, a better understanding of how these conditions develop is crucial.
 
“If the Kv7.4 channels dilate arteries to lower blood pressure in the way we think they do then the identification that they underlie the relaxation caused by naturally occurring hormones such as adrenaline means that, eventually, we may be able to target these channels to influence blood pressure. More investigations are needed before this will become a reality.”
 
This research are published in the April edition of the journal Hypertension.

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Laila Nour
Translated by: Awss Zidan


Source :

ePharmaNews






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