Pathogenetic mechanisms in essential hypertension. Analogies between a rat model and the human disease

Daniele Cusi, Elena Alberghini, Piera Pati, Grazia Tripodi, Cristina Barlassina, Roberto Colombo, Tiziana Cova, Enrico Niutta, Giuseppe Vezzoli, Giuseppe Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Essential hypertension is a genetic disease. Its phenotypic expression depends on the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. In prehypertensive rats of the Milan hypertensive strain (MHS) a genetically inherited increase of tubular reabsorption was found, which causes the increase of blood pressure. Studies of ion transport systems in these rats have shown that the NaK cotransport activity is increased both in erythrocytes and in tubular cells of MHS rats compared with their normotensive controls (MNS) and that this alteration is genetically linked to the transmission of high blood pressure levels. Also, in young human normotensives prone to develop essential hypertension there is an abnormal pattern of renal function which could be in agreement with a primitive increase in tubular reabsorption. Studies of erythrocyte ion transport systems in these subjects suggest that at least in a subgroup of humans predisposed to develop essential hypertension a pathogenetic mechanism similar to the one proposed for the MHS rat can be at work.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • Erythrocyte
  • Essential hypertension
  • Genetic
  • Kidney function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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