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Gene therapy to lower blood pressure just enough

a gene regulatory system turned on by the drug mifepristone.

Using this vector, O'Malley and his colleagues were able to introduce the ANP gene into the cells of mice. Then tiny doses of drug turned on the regulatory system, which controlled the amount of ANP made so that blood pressure remained at healthy levels for 125 days - 74 days longer than in any previous gene therapy study. Other studies indicate that the therapy could reduce the heart-weight/body-weight ratio. For this reason it has promise in reducing some of the organ damage that occurs as a result of high blood pressure.

One question that remains is whether the body will accept repeated injections of the viral vector or whether its immune system eventually react against it, said O'Malley.


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Source:Baylor College of Medicine


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