Researchers have identified a new mechanism for the regulation of blood pressure, which paves the way for advances in treating cardiovascular disease (CVD).
According to the study, the researcher Martin Fronius at University of Otago in New Zealand, identified a new mechanism that contributes to "flow-mediated dilation", which is the dilation of an artery when blood flow increases in that artery.
"Our research identified a new mechanism that contributes to flow-mediated dilation, revealing how force sensation occurs at the molecular level in cells. The ability of cells to sense mechanical cues is important for touch and pain sensation, related to hearing but also important for blood pressure regulation," Fronius said.
"Our understanding of how cells in our body sense mechanical cues related to blood flow and pressure is scarce," Fronius added.
For the findings, published in the journal PNAS, study researcher Fronius collaborated with colleagues from the University of Otago together with researchers from Germany and Spain.
By studying a mechanosensitive ion channel, the researchers identified that force sensation involved a physical connection of the channel to parts outside of the cells, such as connective tissue, via molecules that act as tethers.
The study revealed that this tether-based mechanism is involved in blood pressure regulation.
According to the researchers, such a mechanism has been proposed for 25 years, but has never previously been shown.
"This provides new targets (new venues) for drug discovery to improve treatment of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure," Fronius said. (IANS)