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J Altern Complement Med. 2018 May;24(5):486-504. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0053. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Specific Transcriptome Changes Associated with Blood Pressure Reduction in Hypertensive Patients After Relaxation Response Training.

Author information

1
1 Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital , Boston, MA.
2
2 Division of Interdisciplinary Medicine and Biotechnology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center , Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
3
3 BIDMC Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center , Boston, MA.
4
4 Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA.
5
5 Department of Medicine, Corrigan-Minehan Heart Center, Cardiology Division, Section on Hypertension, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA.
6
6 Integrative Health Research Center, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing , Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN.
7
7 Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Mind-body practices that elicit the relaxation response (RR) have been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure (BP) in essential hypertension (HTN) and may be an adjunct to antihypertensive drug therapy. However, the molecular mechanisms by which the RR reduces BP remain undefined.

DESIGN:

Genomic determinants associated with responsiveness to an 8-week RR-based mind-body intervention for lowering HTN in 13 stage 1 hypertensive patients classified as BP responders and 11 as nonresponders were identified.

RESULTS:

Transcriptome analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells identified 1771 genes regulated by the RR in responders. Biological process- and pathway-based analysis of transcriptome data demonstrated enrichment in the following gene categories: immune regulatory pathways and metabolism (among downregulated genes); glucose metabolism, cardiovascular system development, and circadian rhythm (among upregulated genes). Further in silico estimation of cell abundance from the microarray data showed enrichment of the anti-inflammatory M2 subtype of macrophages in BP responders. Nuclear factor-κB, vascular endothelial growth factor, and insulin were critical molecules emerging from interactive network analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings provide the first insights into the molecular mechanisms that are associated with the beneficial effects of the RR on HTN.

KEYWORDS:

blood pressure; gene expression; hypertension; microarray; mindfulness; relaxation response

PMID:
29616846
PMCID:
PMC5961875
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2017.0053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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