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Hypertension. 1999 May;33(5):1169-74.

The Lys198Asn polymorphism in the endothelin-1 gene is associated with blood pressure in overweight people.

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  • 1INSERM U525, 17 rue du Fer à Moulin, 75005 Paris, France.


There is accumulating evidence that endothelin-1 plays an important role in vascular pathophysiology. Our objective was to examine whether molecular variations at the endothelin-1 locus were involved in susceptibility to myocardial infarction and variation in blood pressure. The entire coding sequence and 1.4 kb of the 5' flanking region were screened. Five polymorphisms were detected, which were genotyped in the ECTIM (Etude Cas-Témoin de l'Infarctus du Myocarde) Study, a multicenter study comparing 648 male patients who had survived a myocardial infarction and 760 population-based controls. The polymorphisms were not associated with myocardial infarction, nor did they contribute to blood pressure levels in the population at large. However, a G/T polymorphism predicting an Lys/Asn change (ET1/C198) strongly interacted (P<0.001) with body mass index in the determination of blood pressure levels. There was a steeper increase of blood pressure with body mass index in carriers of the T allele than in GG homozygotes. As a consequence, the T allele was associated with an increase of blood pressure in overweight subjects (body mass index >/=26 kg/m2), while no significant effect was observed in lean subjects (body mass index <26 kg/m2). To determine whether this finding could be replicated, the ET1/C198 was genotyped in the Glasgow Heart Scan Study, a population-based study including 619 men and 663 women. Subjects homozygous for the T allele had higher resting blood pressure levels than others (P<0.05). A similar interaction between the T allele and body mass index was observed on the maximum blood pressure achieved during a treadmill exercise test (P<0.001). In conclusion, results from 2 independent studies suggest that the ET1/C198 polymorphism is associated with blood pressure levels in overweight people.

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