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via .ORGWorld News
Researcher Reveals Clues to Immunity as a Cause of High Blood Pressure A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) researcher has shed light on the role of immune cells inside the kidneys in the development of salt-sensitive high blood pressure, publishing his findings in Nature Communications. “High blood pressure is very common, and this salt-sensitive version is present in about 40-50 percent of cases of hypertension initially and becomes worse as the disease progresses,” said Shengyu Mu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UAMS College of Medicine. “For many years, the recommendation for heart health has been to eat less salt. But studies have shown that while it does lower blood pressure; too little salt also increases the rate of cardiovascular events and mortality in patients, which is all the more reason for us to develop a better understanding of the causes of salt-sensitivity.” Specifically, Mu’s work uncovered the interaction of a particular type of white blood cell with kidney cells. Scientists suspected that these cells – T lymphocytes, or T cells –demonstrating that too many T cells in the kidneys might be the cause of salt sensitivity of high blood pressure. Read more Funding: This study was supported by American Heart Association Beginning Grant-in-Aid and financial support from Dr. Philip Palade and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Foundation. The researchers are also funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and a VA Merit Award. Raise your voice in support of expanding federal funding for life-saving medical research by joining the AAMC’s advocacy community. Via