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Hormone-based Heart Pill to Control High Blood Pressure

ion leads to buildup of toxins in the blood that can disable a person -- and progress to kidney failure that requires lifelong dialysis, or an organ transplant.

Mayo Clinic researchers created a hybrid molecule they describe as safe and efficient -- called a chimera -- that may provide the basis for a new treatment which could be infused into a patient to treat both heart and kidney impairment in the setting of acute heart failure. The Mayo Clinic team started with a cluster of amino acids called C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). CNP has properties important for heart health, such as resisting cell proliferation and promoting dilation of blood vessels without causing low blood pressure. However, CNP had no effect on increasing kidney filtration. But another peptide, called D-type natriuretic peptide (DNP), did. The Mayo Clinic solution was to synthesize a hybrid between CNP and DNP that preserved DNP’s capacity to promote kidney filtration. In this way, the team designed a novel chimeric peptide and defined its heart-kidney action by testing it in laboratory animals. Results showed that Mayo’s chimeric peptide had the desirable attributes of increasing salt excretion in the urine, as well as increasing urine production.

Says Dr. Burnett, "This finding is important because our chimera has minimal negative side effects, while promoting beneficial kidney actions such as increased filtration rate. This is a high clinical priority because it may suggest a highly safe and efficacious base for creating new therapies for heart and kidney diseases."



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