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Genetic analysis of genes causing hypertension and stroke in spontaneously hypertensive rats

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Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and stroke-prone SHR (SHRSP) are frequently used as model rats not only in studies of essential hypertension and stroke, but also in studies of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) are normally used as controls in these studies. In this study, using these rats, we aimed to identify the genes causing hypertension and stroke, as well as the genes involved in ADHD. Since adrenal gland products can directly influence cardiovascular, endocrine and sympathetic nervous system functions, gene expression profiles in the adrenal glands of the 3 rat strains were examined using genome-wide microarray technology when the rats were 3 and 6 weeks of age, a period in which the rats are considered to be in a pre-hypertensive state. Gene expression profiles were compared between SHR and WKY and between SHRSP and SHR. A total of 353 genes showing more than a 4-fold increase or less than a 4-fold decrease in expression were isolated and candidate genes were selected as significantly enriched genes. SHR-specific genes isolated when the rats were 3 weeks of age contained 12 enriched genes related to transcriptional regulatory activity and those isolated when the rats were 6 weeks of age contained 6 enriched genes related to the regulation of blood pressure. SHRSP-specific genes isolated when the rats were 3 weeks of age contained 4 enriched genes related to the regulation of blood pressure and those isolated when the rats were 6 weeks of age contained 4 enriched genes related to the response to steroid hormone stimulus. Ingenuity pathway analysis of enriched SHR-specific genes revealed that 2 transcriptional regulators, cAMP responsive element modulator (Crem) and Fos-like antigen 1 (Fosl1), interact with blood pressure-regulating genes, such as neurotensin (Nts), apelin (Apln) and epoxide hydrolase 2, cytoplasmic (Ephx2). Similar analyses of SHRSP-specific genes revealed that angiotensinogen (Agt), one of the blood pressure-regulating genes, plays pivotal roles among SHRSP-specific genes. Moreover, genes associated with ADHD, such as low density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr) and Crem, are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Advanced Medical Sciences, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8501, Japan 2: DNA-Chip Development Center for Infectious Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 5650871, Japan 3: Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8501, Japan 4: Department of Genome Informatics, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 5650871, Japan 5: Hirakata General Hospital for Developmental Disorders, Hirakata, Osaka 573-0122, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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