An enzyme called ACE2 may help offer an alternative therapy for treating some types of hypertension, a new study has found.
The research by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine will appear in the January issue of Hypertension in a paper by lead author Jan Wysocki, a post-doctoral fellow in nephrology at the Feinberg School.
The study was conducted on mice in the laboratory of Daniel Batlle, M.D., professor of medicine at the Feinberg School and staff nephrologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
According to Batlle, while current hypertension therapies such as ACE inhibitors work to block the formation of angiotensin II - a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict and drives blood pressure up - the approach with ACE2 is novel because it focuses on breaking down angiotensin II already in the system.
"This therapeutic approach can also be superior to existing therapies that block the activity of the renin-angiotensin system, but only partially, and therefore, provide a more complete and effective suppression of this system to treat not just hypertension but many other medical conditions where angiotensin 2 overactivity is undesirable," Batlle said.