Genetics of Salt-Sensitive Hypertension

Abstract

The assessment of salt sensitivity of blood pressure is difficult because of the lack of universal consensus on definition. Regardless of the variability in the definition of salt sensitivity, increased salt intake, independent of the actual level of blood pressure, is also a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and kidney disease. A modest reduction in salt intake results in an immediate decrease in blood pressure, with long-term beneficial consequences. However, some have suggested that dietary sodium restriction may not be beneficial to everyone. Thus, there is a need to distinguish salt-sensitive from salt-resistant individuals, but it has been difficult to do so with phenotypic studies. Therefore, there is a need to determine the genes that are involved in salt sensitivity. This review focuses on genes associated with salt sensitivity, with emphasis on the variants associated with salt sensitivity in humans that are not due to monogenic causes. Special emphasis is given to gene variants associated with salt sensitivity whose protein products interfere with cell function and increase blood pressure in transgenic mice.

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Disclosure

Conflicts of Interest: H. Sanada: none; J.E. Jones: none; P.A. Jose: Board membership and stock ownership in Hypogen, Inc., which owns the patent for GRK4; grants NHLBI-R37HL02308 (GRK4 and development of salt sensitivity) and NHLBI-R02HL092196 (Renal dopamine receptor regulation and function).

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Correspondence to Pedro A. Jose.

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Sanada, H., Jones, J.E. & Jose, P.A. Genetics of Salt-Sensitive Hypertension. Curr Hypertens Rep 13, 55–66 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-010-0167-6

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Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Salt sensitivity
  • Sodium
  • Genes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Low-salt diet
  • Proteins
  • Renin-angiotensin system
  • Renal sodium transport