Essential hypertension research faces daunting hurdles in gene identification and elucidating mechanisms underlying gene-gene interactions and genome regulations. Recent discoveries in experimental models of polygenic hypertension have revealed the genetic architecture and a functional hierarchy of genes influencing BP. These findings are potentially shedding new conceptual lights on complex genetic mechanisms controlling essential hypertension. Seemingly ‘ conflicting ’ results in association studies of candidate genes with essential hypertension may be interpreted by their inherent genetic property of population specificity. A lack of detection of genes demonstrating major BP effects may be attributed to the masking and compounding effects of genetic heterogeneity, among other factors, present among human subjects. The future research can be greatly benefited from combining animal model studies with human population-based analyses, i.e. translating the discovery in experimental models into humans, and conversely, validating human findings via animal model investigations.
Keywords: quantitative trait loci, BP-decreasing alleles, ADRB2, Single nucleotide polymorphisms, essential hypertension
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