Contribution of the genes of the renin-angiotensin system to interindividual differences in blood pressure levels in Caucasians from Rochester, Minnesota
The Renin-Angiotensin system (RAS) regulates blood pressure through its effects on vascular tone, renal hemodynamics, and renal sodium and fluid balance. The genes encoding the four major components of the RAS, angiotensinogen, renin, angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), and angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1), have been investigated as candidate genes in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension. However, studies have primarily focused on small samples of diseased individuals, and, therefore, have provided little information about the determinants of interindividual variation in blood pressure (BP) in the general population. Using data from a large population-based sample from Rochester, MN, I have evaluated the contribution of variation in the region of the RAS genes to interindividual variation in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure in the population-at-large. Marker genotype data from four polymorphisms located within or very near these genes were first collected on 3,974 individuals from 583 randomly ascertained three-generation pedigrees. Haseman-Elston regression and variance component methods of linkage analysis were then carried out to estimate the proportion of interindividual variance in BP attributable to the effects of variation at these four measured loci. A significant effect of the ACE locus on interindividual variation in mean arterial pressure (MAP) was detected in a sample of siblings belonging to the youngest generation. After allowing for measured covariates, this effect accounted for 15-25% of the interindividual variance in MAP, and was even greater in a subset with a positive family history of hypertension. When gender-specific analyses were carried out, this effect was significant in males but not in females. Extended pedigree analyses also provided evidence for an effect of the ACE locus on interindividual variation in MAP, but no difference between males and females was observed. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the ACE gene itself may be responsible for the observed effects on BP, although the possibility that other genes in the region may be at play cannot be excluded. No definitive evidence for an effect of the renin, angiotensinogen, or AT1 loci on interindividual variation in BP was obtained in this study, suggesting that the impact of these genes on BP may not be great in the Caucasian population-at-large. However, this does not preclude a larger effect of these genes in some subsets of individuals, especially among those with clinically manifest hypertension or coronary heart disease, or in other populations.
Fornage, Myriam, "Contribution of the genes of the renin-angiotensin system to interindividual differences in blood pressure levels in Caucasians from Rochester, Minnesota" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732766.