Italian, Swiss team finds link to hypertension
Little-understood protein also tied to kidney disease04 November, 15:27
Secreted in human and mammalian urine, uromodulin was isolated in 1952 and has been linked to some rare forms of kidney disease. Comparing kidney biopsies and urine samples from people with normal arterial pressure and kidney functions, the team noticed that uromodulin levels vary according to DNA.
But they also found that high levels of uromodulin was linked to elevated risks of high blood pressure and kidney damage. ''Our hypothesis is that this protein aids salt and water reabsorption in the kidneys, via a mechanism we have partially identified,'' said team leader Luca Rampoldi, from the San Raffaele Institute in Milan.
For nephrologist Paolo Manunta from San Raffaele University, this research shows how ''genetics can help us choose targeted treatment for arterial hypertension, one that is more effective and has fewer side effects''.
Also on the team are Olivier Devuyst from Zurich University and Maria Pia Rastaldi from Milan's Policlinico Hospital.