Integrated metabolomics analysis reveals mechanistic insights into variability in blood pressure response to thiazide diuretics and beta blockers

Clin Transl Sci. 2024 May;17(5):e13816. doi: 10.1111/cts.13816.


Hypertensive patients with a higher proportion of genetic West African ancestry (%GWAA) have better blood pressure (BP) response to thiazide diuretics (TDs) and worse response to β-blockers (BBs) than those with lower %GWAA, associated with their lower plasma renin activity (PRA). TDs and BBs are suggested to reduce BP in the long term through vasodilation via incompletely understood mechanisms. This study aimed at identifying pathways underlying ancestral differences in PRA, which might reflect pathways underlying BP-lowering mechanisms of TDs and BBs. Among hypertensive participants enrolled in the Pharmacogenomics Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses (PEAR) and PEAR-2 trials, we previously identified 8 metabolites associated with baseline PRA and 4 metabolic clusters (including 39 metabolites) that are different between those with GWAA <45% versus ≥45%. In the current study, using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), we integrated these signals. Three overlapping metabolic signals within three significantly enriched pathways were identified as associated with both PRA and %GWAA: ceramide signaling, sphingosine 1- phosphate signaling, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase signaling. Literature indicates that the identified pathways are involved in the regulation of the Rho kinase cascade, production of the vasoactive agents nitric oxide, prostacyclin, thromboxane A2, and endothelin 1; the pathways proposed to underlie TD- and BB-induced vasodilatation. These findings may improve our understanding of the BP-lowering mechanisms of TDs and BBs. This might provide a possible step forward in personalizing antihypertensive therapy by identifying patients expected to have robust BP-lowering effects from these drugs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists* / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists* / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure* / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Hypertension* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Metabolomics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Renin / blood
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors* / therapeutic use