Many of the 75 million Americans with essential hypertension also develop diabetes and other complications in addition to their high blood pressure, and researchers have discovered a common molecular mechanism in a strain of rat that explains why such metabolic disorders arise together in mammals.
The bioengineering researchers at UC San Diegos Jacobs School of Engineering also showed that a drug developed for unrelated purposes in humans was effective in counteracting the underlying molecular mechanism in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), a strain predisposed to develop high blood pressure.
In a paper published June 30 in the online version of Hypertension, Frank DeLano, a research scientist at UC San Diego, and Geert Schmid-Schnbein, a professor of bioengineering, describe how they successfully reversed the SHR animals symptoms of high blood pressure, a pre-diabetes condition called insulin resistance, and immune suppression.
H. Glenn Bohlen, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at Indiana University Medical School, wrote in an accompanying editorial in Hypertension that the new study will likely be important to people suffering from obesity as well as hypertension. With the national and international emphasis on obesity and its attendant cardiovascular problems, there is a tendency to forget that essential hypertension affects about the same percentage of humans as does serious obesity and an even higher percentage of the population than does type 2 diabetes mellitus, wrote Bohlen. The elegant study by Delano and Schmid-Schnbein points to a potentially very important overlap of an insulin resistance mechanism with hypertension in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR).
The SHR strain is a model for essential hypertension in humans because both the rodent and many humans with hypertension also develop a variety of other metabolic complications when high blood
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University of California - San Diego