Gender-specific genetic determinants of blood pressure and organ weight: pharmacogenetic approach

Physiol Res. 2003;52(6):689-700.


A total genome scan and pharmacogenetic study were designed to search for genetic determinants of blood pressure (BP) as well as heart and kidney weights. Genome scanning was carried out in 266 F(2) intercrosses from Prague hypertensive hypertriglyceridemic rats for phenotypes of organ weights, baseline BP, BP after blockade of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) by losartan, of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) by pentolinium, and of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase by N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. Pharmacogenetic analysis showed that, in males, BP was controlled by two loci on chromosomes 1 and 5 (Chr1, Chr5) through the SNS, and these loci showed a positive contribution for relative kidney weight (KW/BW). On the other hand, baseline BP in females was controlled by two loci on Chr3 and Chr7. The effect of these loci was not mediated by the RAS, SNS or NO system. These loci did not show any effect for KW/BW. Negatively-linked loci for KW/BW and relative heart weight (HW/BW) were identified on Chr2 in both genders. Another negatively-linked locus for KW/BW, located on Chr8 in males, affected BP through the SNS. This locus on Chr8 overlapped with a previously-reported modifier locus for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). In conclusion, this pharmacogenetic study determined two loci for BP and relative organ mass implicating sympathetic overactivity. Concordance of the identified locus for KW/BW and BP through the SNS on Chr8 with the PKD locus revealed the importance of this region for renal complications in various diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / genetics
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology
  • Lod Score
  • Losartan / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Microvascular Angina / genetics
  • Microvascular Angina / physiopathology
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / pharmacology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Organ Size / genetics
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Pentolinium Tartrate / pharmacology
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sex Factors


  • Pentolinium Tartrate
  • Losartan
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester