Saturday, June 19, 2010

Scientists identify link between obesity, salt-sensitivity, BP

Medical College of Georgia researchers documented a chain of events in which excess inflammatory factors resulting from excess fat cause the body to retain more sodium and, consequently, more fluid and higher blood pressure.

Dr. Yanbin Dong, geneticist and cardiologist at MCG's Georgia Prevention Institute found that a biomarker in the urine could help identify the most effective therapy for these patients. Dong's team outlined the process that appears to start with fat producing more inflammatory factors, such as interleukin-6, or IL-6.

IL-6 in mice increased production of prostasin, and when it cut fellow protein ENaC it increased its activity and so salt reabsorption. ENaC determines how much sodium to excrete.

Dong said, "It's very special; there are not too many proteases like that. We found that in cells fed IL-6, ENaC gets activated and the cells take in more sodium. It is the last step of your salt reabsorption."...

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