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Mordecai P Blaustein

Mordecai P Blaustein

School of Medicine


School of Medicine

Program in Neuroscience

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Publication Detail

The publication detail shows the title, authors (with indicators showing other profiled authors), information on the publishing organization, abstract and a link to the article in PubMed. This abstract is what is used to create the fingerprint of the publication. If any grants are referenced by the publication, they will be listed here as well.

How NaCl raises blood pressure: a new paradigm for the pathogenesis of salt-dependent hypertension.

Mordecai P Blaustein; Frans H H Leenen; Ling Chen; Vera A Golovina; John M Hamlyn; Thomas L Pallone; James W Van Huysse; Jin Zhang; W Gil Wier (Profiled Authors: W Gil Wier; Jin Zhang; Mordecai P Blaustein; Ling Chen; John M Hamlyn; Thomas L Pallone)

Dept. of Physiology, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine, 655 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD, 21201, USA. mblaustein@som.umaryland.edu
American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology 2012;302(5):H1031-49.


Excess dietary salt is a major cause of hypertension. Nevertheless, the specific mechanisms by which salt increases arterial constriction and peripheral vascular resistance, and thereby raises blood pressure (BP), are poorly understood. Here we summarize recent evidence that defines specific molecular links between Na(+) and the elevated vascular resistance that directly produces high BP. In this new paradigm, high dietary salt raises cerebrospinal fluid [Na(+)]. This leads, via the Na(+)-sensing circumventricular organs of the brain, to increased sympathetic nerve activity (SNA), a major trigger of vasoconstriction. Plasma levels of endogenous ouabain (EO), the Na(+) pump ligand, also become elevated. Remarkably, high cerebrospinal fluid [Na(+)]-evoked, locally secreted (hypothalamic) EO participates in a pathway that mediates the sustained increase in SNA. This hypothalamic signaling chain includes aldosterone, epithelial Na(+) channels, EO, ouabain-sensitive α(2) Na(+) pumps, and angiotensin II (ANG II). The EO increases (e.g.) hypothalamic ANG-II type-1 receptor and NADPH oxidase and decreases neuronal nitric oxide synthase protein expression. The aldosterone-epithelial Na(+) channel-EO-α(2) Na(+) pump-ANG-II pathway modulates the activity of brain cardiovascular control centers that regulate the BP set point and induce sustained changes in SNA. In the periphery, the EO secreted by the adrenal cortex directly enhances vasoconstriction via an EO-α(2) Na(+) pump-Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger-Ca(2+) signaling pathway. Circulating EO also activates an EO-α(2) Na(+) pump-Src kinase signaling cascade. This increases the expression of the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger-transient receptor potential cation channel Ca(2+) signaling pathway in arterial smooth muscle but decreases the expression of endothelial vasodilator mechanisms. Additionally, EO is a growth factor and may directly participate in the arterial structural remodeling and lumen narrowing that is frequently observed in established hypertension. These several central and peripheral mechanisms are coordinated, in part by EO, to effect and maintain the salt-induced elevation of BP.

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