Thioredoxin reverses age-related hypertension by chronically improving vascular redox and restoring eNOS function

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The incidence of high blood pressure with advancing age is notably high, and it is an independent prognostic factor for the onset or progression of a variety of cardiovascular disorders. Although age-related hypertension is an established phenomenon, current treatments are only palliative but not curative. Thus, there is a critical need for a curative therapy against age-related hypertension, which could greatly decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disorders. We show that overexpression of human thioredoxin (TRX), a redox protein, in mice prevents age-related hypertension. Further, injection of recombinant human TRX (rhTRX) for three consecutive days reversed hypertension in aged wild-type mice, and this effect lasted for at least 20 days. Arteries of wild-type mice injected with rhTRX or mice with TRX overexpression exhibited decreased arterial stiffness, greater endothelium-dependent relaxation, increased nitric oxide production, and decreased superoxide anion (O2•−) generation compared to either saline-injected aged wild-type mice or mice with TRX deficiency. Our study demonstrates a potential translational role of rhTRX in reversing age-related hypertension with long-lasting efficacy.

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