September 10, 2012
Salt Storage, Blood Pressure Influenced By Skin And Immune System
High blood pressure is responsible for many cardiovascular diseases that are the leading cause of death in industrialized countries. High salt intake has long been considered a risk factor, but not every type of high blood pressure is associated with high salt intake. This has puzzled scientists for a long time. However, new findings by Professor Jens Titze (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA and the University of Erlangen) now point to previously unknown mechanisms. Accordingly, the skin and the immune system play an important role in the regulation of the sodium balance and hypertension, as he reported at the 1st ECRC “Franz-Volhard” Symposium of the Max DelbrÃ¼ck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and CharitÃ© — UniversitÃ¤tsmedizin Berlin on September 7, 2012 in Berlin-Buch.
The water and salt balance of the body is of great importance for blood pressure. The decisive factor is the kidney, which regulates how much water is retained in the body and how much is excreted. In this way it regulates the volume of blood and thus influences blood pressure. However, new findings by Professor Titze, one of the leading experts in the field, show that organs and systems of the body that hitherto were not associated with water and salt balance have an influence on blood pressure: the skin and the immune system.
In animal experiments Professor Titze´s research team blocked this mechanism. As a result, the rats and mice in the experiment developed high blood pressure. “The immune cells apparently regulate salt balance and blood pressure,” Professor Titze said. “In addition, data from a first clinical study showed that large amounts of salt are stored in the skin of patients with high blood pressure.”
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