Local researcher discovers hypertension-causing enzyme

2 years 7 months 1 week ago Tuesday, May 05 2015 May 5, 2015 Tuesday, May 05, 2015 5:02:00 PM CDT May 05, 2015 in News
By: Hannah Shaw, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Obesity is a problem affecting one-third of American adults who are also at a higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases like hypertension. 

"Hypertension is a very serious problem with the obese population," said professor of medical pharmacology and physiology at the MU School of Medicine and lead researcher William Durante. 

Hypertension is caused when blood vessels are exposed to high pressure, which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the tissue. The disease can cause blood vessels to burst and kidney and organ failure. 

Durante led a study funded by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health which identified the enzyme that is responsible for hypertension in obese individuals. 

The enzyme, arginase, is found primarily in the liver working to break down ammonia; however, the problem comes when the enzyme is found in blood. Arginase depletes blood and blood vessels of arginine, which is needed to produce nitric oxide. 

"Nitric oxide is a very important gas that's formed by arginine that dilates blood vessels and in turn lowers blood pressure," Durante said. 

The study was first conducted on obese rats. Scientists treated the first group with the amino acid L-arginine to replace what was being lost, while they gave the second group drugs to block the activity of arginase. In both circumstances, the treatments reversed hypertension in the obese rats. 

"We went on to show that if we could correct the deficiency of argenine in the animals, we could reduce their blood pressure," Durante said. 

Now, researchers said they can relate their findings to humans and work toward finding a way to prevent hypertension in obese patients.

"In this study we identified arginase as a critical mediator of hypertension. In future studies, we want to translate this finding to the clinic by developing drugs that can specifically block the activity of arginase, and this will treat either the development of hypertension in obese patients or normalize hypertension in obese patients," Durante said. 

Researchers also hope the findings may lead to new information and treatment options for obese patients with high blood pressure. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Thursday marked the five year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting. In 2012, Adam Lanza opened fire... More >>
20 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police now have 75 kits with the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, which is also known as Narcan.... More >>
31 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:39:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The former administrator of the Pettis County Ambulance District has admitted embezzling more than $227,000... More >>
55 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a former St. Louis-area Husch Blackwell lawyer to the... More >>
59 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is praising Missouri's revamped Clean Water Commission for allowing two new... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (AP) — Two St. Louis-area police officers have been shot in the chest, but bulletproof vests apparently saved... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:04:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
OLATHE, Kan (AP) — A third man has been convicted in the killing of a suburban Kansas City gun... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:46:29 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said it concluded a three-month long investigation into a... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:54:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Mid-Missouri could be gaining its second, fully-accredited Montessori school. Tonight Woodland Montessori will put forward its... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:53:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
UPDATE: The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed they have arrested 36-year-old Audrey Griffith in Audrain County in connection with... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:49:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday evening, Columbia Police Officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of Carpenter Drive in reference to... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:20:46 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Officers responded to the 1500 block of Vandiver Drive in reference to a reported home invasion... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:28:42 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Update: Columbia Police Officers have made an arrest in regards to Wednesday morning's incident in the 1500 block of Fir... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:50:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The director of the Missouri Veterans Commission has resigned amid complaints about care at the St.... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
SALINE COUNTY - Former Columbia Police officer Rob Sanders will head back to the courtroom in May 2018 as he... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. The deal is pending a physical. ... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:41:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Today the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a plan to repeal net neutrality and librarians worry this... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:44:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Continuous News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The man who was found on Audrain Road 913 Tuesday next to a crashed car died of... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
3pm 34°
4pm 34°
5pm 33°
6pm 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld