Hypertension remains an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Deciphering the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension is critical, as its prevalence continues increasing worldwide. Mitochondria, the primary cellular energy producers, are numerous in parenchymal cells of the heart, kidney, and brain, major target organs in hypertension. These membrane-bound organelles not only maintain cellular respiration but also modulate several functions of the cell including proliferation, apoptosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and intracellular calcium homeostasis. Therefore, mitochondrial damage and dysfunction compromise overall cell functioning. In recent years, significant advances increased our understanding of mitochondrial morphology, bioenergetics, and homeostasis, and in turn of their role in several diseases, so that mitochondrial abnormalities and dysfunction have been identified in experimental models of hypertension. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of the contribution of dysfunctional mitochondria to the pathophysiology of hypertension-induced cardiac damage, as well as available evidence of mitochondrial injury-induced damage in other organs. Finally, we discuss the capability of antihypertensive therapy to ameliorate hypertensive mitochondrial injury, and the potential position of mitochondria as therapeutic targets in patients with hypertension.
- Blood pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine