Blood pressure response to potassium supplementation is associated with genetic variation in endothelin 1 and interactions with E selectin in rural Chinese

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ObjectiveAlthough beneficial effects of potassium intake on blood pressure (BP) are well established, little is known about genetic factors that underlie interindividual variability in BP response to dietary potassium. In a previous study, we reported the first evidence for significant heritabilities for BP response in a dietary intervention study in rural Chinese. In this report, we extend our genetic studies to examine associations with polymorphisms in genes in vascular endothelial pathways.MethodsWe genotyped study participants for 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in endothelin 1 (EDN1), nitric oxide synthase 3, and E selectin (SELE). We tested 17 of these SNPs for associations with BP response to potassium supplementation in 1843 participants. Association tests used population-based [generalized estimation equation (GEE)] and family-based (quantitative transmission disequilibrium test) methods, as well as tests for gene-by-gene (GxG) interaction (generalized multifactor dimensionalilty reduction and GEE).ResultsSingle SNP analysis identified significant associations for several SNPs in EDN1 with multiple measures of BP response to potassium supplementation. The cumulative effects of the minor EDN1 alleles that showed significant associations were to reduce measures of BP response by 0.5–0.9 mmHg. We found significant evidence for effects of GxG interactions between EDN1 and SELE, even in the absence of individual associations with SELE variants.ConclusionOur results implicate variability in EDN1 and SELE as genetic factors that influence BP response to potassium intake. Although such epidemiological studies do not allow direct determination of physiologic mechanisms, our findings of joint effects identify EDN1 and SELE as targets for functional studies to determine their interactions in BP response to potassium intake.

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