New way to regulate BP24th August 2007
A team from King's College London have found a "new way to regulate blood pressure." The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs to target stroke and heart attack prevention.
A quarter of adults in the UK have high blood pressure. Current medication still leaves many people unable to meet the desirable targets for the condition.
The study, published in the Science journal, looked closely at the oxidation process. Oxidation had, until this research was carried out, normally been associated with causing damage to cells.
The body's tissues contain a protein called Protein kinase G (PKG) which helps to regulate blood pressure. Blood vessels also make nitric oxide in order to control blood pressure levels.
The researchers have discovered a new way of regulating PKG separately from nitric oxide. The team found that oxidants were able to make a link between two amino acids. This caused PKG to activate and blood pressure to drop.
Dr Philip Eaton, the team's leader, said: "The research could lead to the development of drugs which activate this new pathway."
The team now intend to look at how the new pathway affects what happens in the body before a heart attack.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, said: "This research is exciting....the team's novel discovery opens up opportunities for the design of new drugs to combat high blood pressure."
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Title: New way to regulate BP
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3889
Date Added: 24th Aug 2007