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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Macrophage link to hypertension

Thursday January 17th, 2019

Macrophages in the immune system may have a key role in hypertension, according to a project in Edinburgh, UK.

The immune system components play a key role in maintaining levels of the hormone endothelin – which helps keep blood pressure stable, researchers say.

The findings could lead to a new risk factor for hypertension being developed, according to the researchers at Edinburgh University.

The research started with a study of laboratory mice, finding that reduced levels of macrophages was associated with an increase in blood pressure.

The researchers also studied patients treated for an immune system disorder with medication that reduces macrophage levels. This showed an association with increased blood pressure rates in patients receiving the treatment.

The findings are published in the European Heart Journal today.

Researcher Professor Matthew Bailey said: “Our discovery sheds light on risk factors, and crucially, opens routes to investigate new drugs that could help patients.

“Our next steps will be to investigate the role of macrophages in people living with hypertension.”

Professor Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation, added: “This study shows for the first time that macrophages – a type of cell that helps regulate our immune responses – can be involved in the control of blood pressure. More research is needed but these cells could be a new target for drugs to treat the condition.”

European Heart Journal 17 January 2019

Tags: Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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