A new research has indicated that our bodies produce a protein that lowers blood pressure.
Increasing the level of the P450 protein causes the creation of molecules called EETs, which lower blood pressure, according to Craig R. Lee at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
"In particular, we hope that targeted-use of these new therapies in individuals with a poorly functioning P450-EET system will ultimately prove to be an effective treatment for patients with high blood pressure," said Lee.
These findings may influence drug development for other diseases, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, and cancer.
Lee and colleagues discovered this new protein using genetically modified mice with human P450 present in the cells. The scientists found that the P450 caused the mice to produce EETs, which in turn caused the relaxation of blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
When the mice were exposed to substances that increased blood pressure, the P450 mice had lower blood pressure and less damage to the kidneys than the normal mice.
"Whether you're a Type A personality, overweight and out of shape, or genetically wired to have high blood pressure, this research offers real hope," said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.
"Having discovered a pivotal role for the P450-EET system, scientists can now develop a new class of drugs not only for lowering blood pressure, but also for preventing strokes and heart attacks."
The study is published in the October 2010 print issue of The FASEB Journal.