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Study uncovers why anti-rejection drugs for transplant patients cause hypertension
Date:10/7/2011

s for transplant patients who have hypertension and potassium problems due to the antirejection drugs they're taking. That's because the drugs that can combat the elevation of the natural protein are generally the cheapest hypertensive drugs available but many physicians have not been prescribing them for the side effects because they believed the problems were caused by changes outside the kidney.

"These findings should allow physicians to prescribe these simple drugs much more often and provide help to many, many more transplant patients who are suffering from these side effects," said David Ellison, M.D., head of OHSU's Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and the senior author of the study.

Ellison said the research points the way toward the next question he is planning to look at taking a deeper look at the mechanism of how the antirejection drugs work. More research in that area might help scientists develop a drug that suppresses the body's attempt to reject a transplanted organ, but produces none of the hypertension and other side effects, he said.

"That's my new grant proposal to take it to the next step," Ellison said.

The lead investigators on the study were a nephrology trainee from Erasmus University in The Netherlands who worked for six months in Ellison's laboratory, and an honorary senior lecturer from UCL. Scientists from Charit University in Berlin, Germany, also contributed substantially.

"This was a great example of team science," Ellison said. "It was fun to have people from around the world collaborate to produce something that none of them was capable of producing alone."


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Contact: Todd Murphy
murphyt@ohsu.edu
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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