Research ArticleCardiovascular Disease

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

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Science Translational Medicine  08 Feb 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 376, eaaf6094
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf6094

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A radical idea for blood pressure control

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is very common, especially in older adults, and it contributes to a number of other cardiovascular disorders. Although a variety of therapeutic interventions are available for this condition, none of them are specific or long-lasting, and they can all cause side effects, which decrease adherence to treatment. Hilgers et al. discovered that increased expression of thioredoxin, a protein that scavenges free radicals and restores proteins damaged by oxidation, reduced hypertension in mice. Injection of recombinant human thioredoxin also reduced hypertension in mouse models, and its protective effects lasted for weeks, suggesting that it may be possible to adapt this approach for chronic treatment of human patients.

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