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Monday 07 January 2008

Epigenetic control of 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 gene promoter is related to human hypertension.

By: Friso S, Pizzolo F, Choi SW, Guarini P, Castagna A, Ravagnani V, Carletto A, Pattini P, Corrocher R, Olivieri O.

Atherosclerosis 2008 Jan;(): [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND: Lower activity of 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11beta-HSD2) classically induces hypertension by leading to an altered tetrahydrocortisol- versus tetrahydrocortisone-metabolites (THFs/THE) shuttle. Recent cell culture and animal studies suggest a role for promoter methylation, a major epigenetic feature of DNA, in regulation of HSD11B2 expression. Little is known, however, of human HSD11B2 epigenetic control and its relationship with the onset of hypertension. OBJECTIVE: To explore the possible relevance of HSD11B2 promoter methylation, by examining human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA and urinary THFs/THE ratio as a biochemical indicator of 11beta-HSD2 activity, in blood pressure control. METHODS: Twenty-five essential hypertensives and 32 subjects on prednisone therapy were analyzed, the latter to investigate 11beta-HSD2 function in the development of hypertension. RESULTS: Elevated HSD11B2 promoter methylation was associated with hypertension developing in glucocorticoid-treated patients in parallel with a higher urinary THFs/THE ratio. Essential hypertensives with elevated urinary THFs/THE ratio also showed higher HSD11B2 promoter methylation. CONCLUSIONS: These results show a clear link between the epigenetic regulation through repression of HSD11B2 in PBMC DNA and hypertension.

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