The Link Between Kidney and High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major health concern that can lead to severe conditions like heart disease and strokes.
One of the main organs involved in regulating blood pressure is the kidney. Researchers at The University of Manchester decided to delve deeper into understanding the kidney’s role in this process.
A Unique Research Approach: The Human Kidney Tissue Resource
The research benefited significantly from the Human Kidney Tissue Resource. This collection, located at The University of Manchester, is the world’s largest repository of human kidney samples.
These samples are usually collected either after surgeries or biopsies conducted in the lead-up to transplantations.
From this massive resource and other studies, the team analyzed nearly 800 kidney samples.
Their approach was comprehensive: they extracted both DNA and RNA from each sample and used advanced computational methods to combine this information with data from other large-scale blood pressure studies.
ENPEP: A Game Changer for Blood Pressure Treatment?
From their analysis, the researchers identified numerous genes in the kidney that influence blood pressure. The standout among them was an enzyme called glutamyl aminopeptidase, or ENPEP.
This enzyme plays a pivotal role in the body’s hormonal system that regulates blood pressure, making it a promising target for potential treatments.
Earlier beliefs suggested that reducing ENPEP levels in the brain could help lower blood pressure. However, a clinical trial of a drug called Firibastat did not produce the expected results.
Instead, the research from The University of Manchester showed that increasing ENPEP levels in the kidney might be the key to reducing blood pressure.
The Way Forward
Professor Maciej Tomaszewski, who led the study, unveiled these groundbreaking findings at a prestigious international cardiology conference.
He stressed the importance of developing new treatments for high blood pressure, noting the last major medication in the UK was introduced nearly 15 years ago. Meanwhile, treatments for other health conditions, like diabetes, have continued to advance rapidly.
In his words: “We need more choices of blood pressure-lowering medications for our hypertensive patients.”
And based on the results from this study, kidney ENPEP offers a promising avenue for new treatments in the future.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about Detective scientists solve the mystery of high blood pressure and findings of Fast-acting blood pressure treatment helps prevent stroke.
For more information about blood pressure health, please see recent studies about High blood pressure drug may protect kidneys from damage in diabetes and results showing that High blood pressure drug linked to higher risk of deadly heart disease.
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