Angiotensinogen M235T variant and salt sensitivity in young normotensive caucasians

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Abstract

Background and aims

A single-nucleotide variant of the angiotensinogen gene (AGT 235T) has been associated with essential hypertension and increased plasma levels of angiotensinogen. This variant may also serve as a genetic marker for the increased blood pressure response to dietary salt intake, but the relationship between AGT genotype and salt sensitivity has not been studied until now. We therefore examined the relationship between the AGT 235T genotype and the blood pressure response to short-term dietary salt restriction in young normotensive men.

Subjects and methods

A total of 187 young normotensive men were characterized for family history of hypertension, salt sensitivity, plasma parameters of the renin angiotensin system under high- and low-salt diets, and the AGT 235T genotype.

Results

While the T allele was significantly associated with a positive family history of hypertension (X2 = 7.0; P < 0.03) and higher plasma angiotensinogen levels (P < 0.015) and renin activity (P < 0.037), blood pressure under both diets was not significantly affected by the AGT genotype. When the subjects were classified into salt-resistant and salt-sensitive groups, genotypic distribution was nearly identical between both groups (frequency of T allele: 0.45 versus 0.46).

Conclusion

Our findings demonstrate that the AGT 235T allele is significantly associated with a positive family history of hypertension, but is not an important determinant of the blood pressure response to dietary salt intake in young normotensive subjects. It is therefore unlikely that the AGT 235T genotype can serve as an early genetic marker of salt sensitivity.

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