According to a recent study, UVA researchers find essential blood pressure discovery after more than 60 years. Learn how it can benefit you.
After eluding scientists for more than 60 years, University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have found something important. According to their study in Circulation Research, they have determined the location of natural blood-pressure barometers inside the body.
These barometers work as cellular sensors that detect subtle blood pressure changes and adjust hormone levels accordingly. While scientists suspected that they existed in specialized kidney cells, no one has been able to locate them until now.
The team consisted of Dr. Maria Luisa Sequeira-Lopez (UVA’s Department of Pediatrics and UVA’s Child Health Research Center) and colleagues. They found the location of the barometers, how they work, and how they can help prevent hypertension and hypotension.
“It was exhilarating to find that the elusive pressure-sensing mechanism, the baroreceptor, was intrinsic to the renin cell,” says Sequeira-Lopez. “[It] has the ability to sense and react, both within the same cell. So the renin cells are sensors and responders.”
Blood Pressure Sensors
The first mention of a pressure sensor inside the renin cells was in 1957. However, scientists at the time couldn’t find the exact location of these cellular barometers.
To solve this problem, Sequeira-Lopez and her team used a combination of innovative lab models. They found that the baroreceptor is a mechanotransducer inside renin cells that detects pressure changes outside the cell. Afterward, it transmits mechanical signals to the cell nucleus.
Furthermore, the researchers found that applying pressure to renin cells in lab dishes triggers changes within the cells. It also decreases the activity of the renin gene, Ren1. They also compared the differences in gene activity in kidneys when they’re exposed to lower and higher pressure.
Effects on Blood Pressure
When these baroreceptors detect too much pressure outside the renin cell, it restricts renin production. Conversely, too low blood pressure increases the production of renin. These mechanisms are essential to the body’s ability to maintain healthy blood pressure.
“I feel really excited about this discovery, a real tour de force several years in the making,” says Sequeira-Lopez. “I am also excited with the work to come, to unravel the signaling and controlling mechanisms of this mechanotransducer and how we can use the information to develop therapies for hypertension.”
Researchers Find Essential Blood Pressure Discovery
Researchers are hoping their discovery will help improve blood pressure treatments in the future. In the meantime, there are certain things you can do at home to take care of your blood pressure health.
For example, you can exercise regularly, eat healthily, and take heart supplements like L-arginine Plus. This supplement contains l-arginine, l-citrulline, and key vitamins and minerals that boost nitric oxide production.
As a result, nitric oxide will help relax your blood vessels and naturally improve your circulation and blood flow. Try L-arginine Plus along with exercise and healthy eating if you want to efficiently support your health.