Genetic analysis of essential hypertension in Japanese populations

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000 May:902:8-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2000.tb06296.x.


The reverse genetic approach, which examines genetic factors underlying the root of pathogenesis first, is a powerful tool to clarify the genetic cause of essential hypertension. Using the rat cross model, studies of the genetically hypertensive inbred rat model indicated several candidate loci on the rat chromosome responsible for blood pressure, but failed to identify the exact causal gene. Moreover, it was not certain that the rat data really reflect the human case. Thus, we shifted our focus to human genetics and carried out case control studies using the candidate gene approach. We mainly focused on gene components of the renin-angiotensin system as candidates, finding that angiotensinogen gene polymorphisms are genetic predisposing factors for hypertension. However, the results obtained from case-control studies using Japanese subjects were not consistent, suggesting that there was a problem in control sampling. In our recent study, we recruited more than 5,000 residents of an urban community as a general population and examined the association between genetic factors and their health status. Our results indicate that angiotensin-converting enzyme gene polymorphism is a male-specific genetic risk for essential hypertension. In light of our previous investigations, we present a discussion concerning the design of future studies of the genetics of hypertension.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensinogen / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Asian People / genetics
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Rats
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / genetics


  • Angiotensinogen