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New stress-related gene modulates high blood pressure in mice and men
Date:11/25/2009

Does stress increase blood pressure? This simple question has been the focus of intense research for many years. New Stress-related gene Modulates High Blood Pressure in Mice & Men

Does stress increase blood pressure? This simple question has been the focus of intense research for many years. Now new research has for the first time established a link between a novel gene, phosducin, and the blood pressure response to stress in mice as well as humans. The studies were directed by scientists at the University of Freiburg and Muenster in Germany, and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, in collaboration with other institutions in Europe and Canada. The results are published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in advance of the print publication. (http://www.jci.org/articles/view/38433).

The German team, led by Lutz Hein M.D., in collaboration with Monika Stoll, Ph.D., generated mice lacking the phosducin gene and compared them with normal mice. The mice lacking this gene developed high blood pressure under various conditions of stress. The mechanism of this gene's action appears to be directly involved with specific sympathetic nerve cells The cells show a distinct increase in their activity translating into an increase in blood pressure.

The findings were then tested using DNA from 342 African Americans enrolled in an ongoing high blood pressure study at the Medical College, and 810 French Canadians at the University of Montreal. The volunteers were then asked to perform certain standardized stress-related activities which confirmed the beneficial action of the gene in humans. In African Americans as well as French Canadians, certain phosducin DNA variants serve as markers and can identify patients with an increase blood pressure response, for example when taking a math test. Additional cohorts from Europe also confirm this relationship with regard to blood p
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Contact: Toranj Marphetia
toranj@mcw.edu
414-456-4744
Medical College of Wisconsin
Source:Eurekalert

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