Plasma renin activity (PRA) is a predictive biomarker of blood pressure (BP) response to antihypertensives in European-American hypertensive patients. We aimed to identify the metabolic signatures of baseline PRA and the linkages with BP response to β-blockers and thiazides. Using data from the Pharmacogenomic Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses-2 (PEAR-2) trial, multivariable linear regression adjusting for age, sex and baseline systolic-BP (SBP) was performed on European-American individuals treated with metoprolol (n = 198) and chlorthalidone (n = 181), to test associations between 856 metabolites and baseline PRA. Metabolites with a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05 or p < 0.01 were tested for replication in 463 European-American individuals treated with atenolol or hydrochlorothiazide. Replicated metabolites were then tested for validation based on the directionality of association with BP response. Sixty-three metabolites were associated with baseline PRA, of which nine, including six lipids, were replicated. Of those replicated, two metabolites associated with higher baseline PRA were validated: caprate was associated with greater metoprolol SBP response (β = -1.7 ± 0.6, p = 0.006) and sphingosine-1-phosphate was associated with reduced hydrochlorothiazide SBP response (β = 7.6 ± 2.8, p = 0.007). These metabolites are clustered with metabolites involved in sphingolipid, phospholipid, and purine metabolic pathways. The identified metabolic signatures provide insights into the mechanisms underlying BP response.
Keywords: blood pressure; hypertension; metabolomics; plasma renin activity.