Researchers, led by principal investigator Zhongjie Sun, tested the effect of an anti-aging gene called klotho on reducing hypertension. They found that by increasing the expression of the gene in laboratory models, they not only stopped blood pressure from continuing to rise, but succeeded in lowering it. Perhaps most impressive was the complete reversal of kidney damage, which is associated with prolonged high blood pressure and often leads to kidney failure.
“One single injection of the klotho gene can reduce hypertension for at least 12 weeks and possibly longer. Klotho is also available as a protein and, conceivably, we could ingest it as a powder much like we do with protein drinks,” said Sun, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiovascular expert at the OU College of Medicine.
Would this work for humans?
The decline in klotho protein seen with age might play a contributing role with rising hypertension and kidney damage.
Scientists have been working with the klotho gene and its link to aging since 1997 when it was discovered by Japanese scientists. This is the first study showing that a decline in klotho protein level may be involved in the progression of hypertension and kidney damage, Sun said. With age, the klotho level decreases while the prevalence of hypertension increases.
A lot of problems with age seem to come in cascades. In this case the level of a protein goes down causing hypertension which in turn damages the kidneys. Lots of other cascades of failure are building up in all of use. We need the biotechnologies which can stop and reverse these cascades of failure.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 August 24 10:29 PM Biotech Heart Cardiovascular|