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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2001 Jan;10(1):71-9.

Molecular genetics of essential hypertension: recent results and emerging strategies.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, and Veterans Administration Medical Center, 92161, USA.


Efforts to identify hypertension-predisposition genetic loci have focused largely on candidate gene strategies, in which specific candidates have been tested for linkage and association with blood pressure or the diagnosis of hypertension. A variety of candidate genes have been investigated, including loci involving the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, sodium epithelial channel, catecholaminergic/adrenergic function, renal kallikrein system, alpha-adducin, and others involving lipoprotein metabolism, hormone receptors, and growth factors. These studies, and more recently, several genome-wide scans, have yielded highly promising results suggesting a number of potential candidate genes and genomic regions that may contribute to blood pressure variation. The results also point to the need for more robust phenotypes that are intermediate in the pathogenetic development of high blood pressure. Additional methods and strategies for improving genetic studies of human hypertension include comparative genomics, in which results from animal studies are used to target potential blood pressure loci, the use of newly developed quantitative tests of linkage and association, comprehensive single-nucleotide polymorphism discovery in candidate loci, and the use of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in cladistic/haplotype analyses and genome-wide searches.

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