High blood pressure caused by specific signaling in the brain

dangerous blood pressure
Image: Associate Professor Andrew Murphy is the Director of the Immunometabolism Program at the Baker Institute of Diabetes and Heart and Director of Hematopoiesis and Leukocyte Biology. Credit: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

High blood pressure caused by specific signaling in the brain

About 6 million Australians aged 18 years and older have hypertension or high blood pressure.  More than two-thirds of them had unmanaged or uncontrolled high blood pressure or hypertension (not taking medication), which represented almost 4 million adult Australians. 

High blood pressure caused by specific signaling from the brain promotes heart disease

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is considered to be one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The process in which high blood pressure or hypertension causes cardiovascular disease is not fully understood. An atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease produces cholesterol plaque in the walls of the arteries, which inhibit the blood flow. But now scientists from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute have found that high blood pressure promotes heart disease by changing stem cells with bone marrow due to specific signaling from the brain. 
The study report that was published in Haematologica shows how a highly active sympathetic nervous system that causes hypertension or elevated blood pressure can give instructions to bone marrow stem cells to produce more white blood cells, which hide blood vessels.
Andrew Murphy, an associate professor, and the director of the Immunometabolism Program at the Baker Institute of Diabetes and Heart and director of Hematopoiesis and Leukocyte Biology says the findings represent a new era of heart disease research. Hypertension or elevated blood pressure is a major, independent risk factor for atherosclerosis of cardiovascular disease, but we need more information to determine that this phenomenon is a result of heart attack and stroke. We now know that significant changes in the immune system make important contributions to the heart's disease. Our aim was to determine how the sympathetic nervous system through the brain promotes atherosclerosis in the setting of high blood pressure".

"We have found that this form of hypertension is often associated with stress, due to the change in the bone marrow, which increases the white blood cells spread through our vessels. This is important because the general view of hypertension is that it is mainly a disease of blood vessels, which means that other cardiovascular events are missed", said Andrew Murphy in his statement.

The team is now searching for specific molecules involved, which can be highlighted about why some existing treatments are ineffective. They also suggest that management of stress, anxiety, and pain is likely to help control this form of hypertension and control the effect on body bone marrow stem cells.

Journal Reference:
Annas Al-Sharea, Andrew J Murphy. Camilla Bertuzzo Veiga,  Karen L Andrews, Alexandra Whillas, Waled Shihata, Danielle Michell, Michael J Kraakman, Gavin Lambert,  Alyce J Nicholls, Man K. S. Lee, Olivia D Cooney, Ann-Maree Jefferis, Kristy Jackson, Prabhakara R Nagareddy, Geoff A Head, Connie H. Y Wong, Jaye Chin-Dusting. "Chronic sympathetic driven hypertension promotes atherosclerosis by enhancing hematopoiesis"Haematologica, 2018; Haematol.2018.192898 DOI: 10.3324/haematol.2018.192898

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