Study leads to better understanding of blood pressure regulation, atherosclerosis

September 02, 2020

A new University of Kentucky College of Medicine study provides insight into how a protein called angiotensinogen (AGT) contributes to blood pressure regulation and atherosclerosis.

AGT is a member of the renin-angiotensin system, a hormone system in the human body that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance. AGT produces angiotensin II, which regulates blood pressure and contributes to atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

When forming angiotensin II, amino acids are "clipped off" of the AGT protein. The study, co-led by Saha Cardiovascular Research Center researchers Hong Lu and Alan Daugherty, found that replacing the amino acids in AGT did not affect blood pressure or atherosclerosis in mice.

The findings may mean that these amino acids in AGT that were thought of as critical regulators of blood pressure and atherosclerosis may not be as critical as initially thought. A better understanding of the peptide that causes blood pressure changes may provide insight into future drug development, Daugherty says.

"High blood pressure is an extremely common manifestation that is very difficult to treat, The more that is known about the structure of AGT and how it functions can potentially change the way high blood pressure is managed and lessen the chronic disease effects of increasing blood pressure and atherosclerosis," said Daugherty.

The study used a unique mouse model that lacked AGT in the liver and used a state-of-the-art technique to change the amino acids of the protein in the liver. These tools enabled the team to study whether changes of amino acids in AGT influence blood pressure and atherosclerosis.

The research team is continuing to look at different sequences that are thought to have functional importance to learn more about how the body handles AGT to affect blood pressure.
In addition to Lu and Daugherty, the research team includes Lisa A. Cassis from the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, as well as Saha Cardiovascular Research Center researchers Chia-Hua Wu, Congqing Wu, Deborah A. Howatt and Jessica J. Moorleghen.

The study was published in the September issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. This work was supported by funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute from the National Institutes of Health.

University of Kentucky

Related Blood Pressure Articles from Brightsurf:

Children who take steroids at increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots
Children who take oral steroids to treat asthma or autoimmune diseases have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood clots, according to Rutgers researchers.

High blood pressure treatment linked to less risk for drop in blood pressure upon standing
Treatment to lower blood pressure did not increase and may decrease the risk of extreme drops in blood pressure upon standing from a sitting position.

Changes in blood pressure control over 2 decades among US adults with high blood pressure
National survey data were used to examine how blood pressure control changed overall among U.S. adults with high blood pressure between 1999-2000 and 2017-2018 and by age, race, insurance type and access to health care.

Transient increase in blood pressure promotes some blood vessel growth
Blood vessels are the body's transportation system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and whisking away waste.

Effect of reducing blood pressure medications on blood pressure control in older adults
Whether the amount of blood pressure medications taken by older adults could be reduced safely and without a significant change in short-term blood pressure control was the objective of this randomized clinical trial that included 534 adults 80 and older.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.

New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.

Read More: Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to