Can high blood pressure be treated with genetic engineering?

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High blood pressure with genetic engineering

In the future, high blood pressure can be treated with genetic engineering skin grafts? American and German researchers have successfully regulated blood pressure in mice with genetically engineered skin grafts.

The scientists from the US health institutes NIH, the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda (Maryland), the Universities of Giessen and Marburg and the Japanese Keio University published their sensational study in the well-known US “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” .

However, the two transplanted pieces were grown from human skin. Genes were inserted into these that contained an antihypertensive hormone (atrial natriuretic peptide ANP) and hormones that can be used to regulate the release of antihypertensive ANP. The hormone is usually released when the atrium wall on the heart becomes overstretched. Then the organism tries to reduce the pressure of the blood here, which i.a. happens through the ANP.

The researchers led by Jean-Philippe Therrien, Jonathan Vogel and Wolfgang Pfützner were able to keep the blood pressure constant in the test mice with their genetically modified skin transplants, even if they were given very salty food (which would normally increase the blood pressure). In 2008 the three had already published an article about their treatment approach in the specialist magazine “Toxicologic Pathology” and have now provided evidence.

It is revolutionary, on the one hand, that genetically modified skin transplants produce hormones and, on the other hand, that it seems possible in future to treat high blood pressure and possibly other internal or systemic diseases through transplantation of genetically modified skin. This could be a sensible alternative for people for whom the cause of the disease cannot be clarified or treated and who have to take medication on a permanent basis.
The question now is whether these results can be transferred to humans. If the results are extrapolated to our organism, then the scientists estimate that at present the skin graft should be about the size of a DIN A5 sheet. (Thorsten Fischer naturopath osteopathy, January 11, 2010)

Additional information

Publication of the study "A gene therapy approach for long-term normalization of blood pressure in hypertensive mice by ANP-secreting human skin grafts" in Proceedings

Article on the Treatment Approach in Toxicologic Pathology

Author and source information

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