Navigation Links
Size really does not matter when it comes to high blood pressure

Removing one of the tiniest organs in the body has shown to provide effective treatment for high blood pressure. The discovery, made by University of Bristol researchers and published in Nature Communications, could revolutionise treatment of the world's biggest silent killer.

The carotid body a small nodule (no larger than a rice grain) found on the side of each carotid artery appears to be a major culprit in the development and regulation of high blood pressure.

Researchers, led by British Heart Foundation (BHF)-funded researcher Professor Julian Paton, found that by removing the carotid body connection to the brain in rodents with high blood pressure, blood pressure fell and remained low.

Professor Paton, from Bristol's School of Physiology and Pharmacology, said: "We knew that these tiny organs behaved differently in conditions of hypertension but had absolutely no idea that they contributed so massively to the generation of high blood pressure; this is really most exciting."

Normally, the carotid body acts to regulate the amount of oxygen and carbon-dioxide in the blood. They are stimulated when oxygen levels fall in your blood as occurs when you hold your breath. This causes a dramatic increase in breathing and blood pressure until blood oxygen levels are restored. This response comes about through a nervous connection between the carotid body and the brain.

Professor Paton commented: "Despite its small size the carotid body has the highest blood flow of any organ in the body. Its influence on blood pressure likely reflects the priority of protecting the brain with enough blood flow."

The team's work on carotid body research started in the late 1990's and their recent discovery has since led to a human clinical trial at the Bristol Heart Institute of which the results are expected at the end of the year.

Professor Paton added: "This is an extremely proud moment for my research team as it is rare that this type of research can so quickly fuel a human clinical trial. I am delighted that Bristol was chosen as a site for this important trial."

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, which part-funded the research, said: "For around one in fifty people with high blood pressure, taking pills does not help their condition. This research, in rats, has found that blocking special nerve endings in the neck significantly reduces blood pressure.

"This breakthrough has already kicked-off a small trial to find out whether this treatment is safe and effective in people with high blood pressure resistant to medication. This potential new treatment has real promise to help this hard-to-treat group of patients."


Contact: Caroline Clancy
University of Bristol

Related biology news :

1. Which Prostate Cancers Really Need Treatment?
2. Genomic data are growing, but what do we really know?
3. Deodorants: Do we really need them?
4. Thermodynamics really from scratch -- in a new textbook
5. What is really causing the child obesity epidemic?
6. Are we really a nation of animal lovers?
7. Family matters: Evolutionary relationships among species of magic mushrooms shed light on fungi
8. Learning to recycle: Does political ideology matter?
9. Cat and mouse: A single gene matters
10. Age matters to Antarctic clams
11. Study: Environmental policies matter for growing megacities
Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/20/2017)... WASHINGTON , July 20, 2017 Delta (NYSE: ... to board any Delta aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics ... Delta,s ... Delta Sky Club is now integrated into the boarding process to ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Janice Kephart , former 9/11 ... Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the following ... March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting the ... be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the reactivation ... applications are suspended by until at least July ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the ... of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in ... Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based Advanced Space Technology ... in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs is a technology ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia ... be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” ... pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro ... of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results ...
Breaking Biology Technology: