Membrane Controls Blood Pressure - Medical Innovation
Breakthrough Research by Oregon Health and Science University
New research by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland reveals the 3-dimensional structure of a membrane that controls blood pressure. The membrane is called the human epithelial sodium channel. It has never been so precisely isolated and detailed as that done by the OHSU researchers.
Membrane Is Critical to Human Health
Using a cyro-electron microscope, the researchers generated a 3D model of the channel. Besides being critical to controlling blood pressure, it's also impactful on other functions in the body. The channel enables sodium ions to be absorbed into tissue throughout the body including the kidney. As such it's critical to human health by regulating sodium balance, blood volume and blood pressure.
Great Potential for New Therapies
This discovery is expected to lead to new and better blood pressure treatments. Researchers also believe it will enable targeted, customized medication for heart failure, nephrotic syndrome as well as severe hypertension. The breakthrough research was published in the journal eLife.