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Review
. 2016 Jun;67(3):331-7.

Role of Glutathione Metabolism and Glutathione-Related Antioxidant Defense Systems in Hypertension

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  • PMID: 27511994
Free article
Review

Role of Glutathione Metabolism and Glutathione-Related Antioxidant Defense Systems in Hypertension

J Robaczewska et al. J Physiol Pharmacol. .
Free article

Abstract

The risk of developing chronic hypertension increases with age. Among others factors, increased oxidative stress is a well-recognized etiological factor for the development of hypertension. The co-occurrence of oxidative stress and hypertension may occur as a consequence of a decrease in antioxidant defense system activity or elevated reactive oxygen species generation. Glutathione is a major intracellular thiol-disulfide redox buffer that serves as a cofactor for many antioxidant enzymes. Glutathione-related parameters are altered in hypertension, suggesting that there is an association between the glutathione-related redox system and hypertension. In this review, we provide mechanistic explanations for how glutathione maintains blood pressure. More specifically, we discuss glutathione's role in combating oxidative stress and maintaining nitric oxide bioavailability via the formation of nitrosothiols and nitrosohemoglobin. Although impaired vasodilator responses are observed in S-nitrosothiol-deficient red blood cells, this potential hypertensive mechanism is currently overlooked in the literature. Here we fill in this gap by discussing the role of glutathione in nitric oxide metabolism and controlling blood pressure. We conclude that disturbances in glutathione metabolism might explain age-dependent increases in blood pressure.

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