Background - The renin-angiotensin system regulates blood pressure through its effects on vascular tone, renal hemodynamics, and renal sodium and fluid balance. Methods and Results - Using data from a large population- based sample of 1488 siblings having a mean age of 14.8 years and belonging to the youngest generation of 583 randomly ascertained three-generation pedigrees from Rochester, Minn, we carried out variance components-based linkage analyses to evaluate the contribution of variation in four renin- angiotensin system gene regions (angiotensinogen, renin, angiotensin I- converting enzyme, and angiotensin II receptor type 1) to interindividual variation in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure. We rejected the null hypothesis that allelic variation in the region of the angiotensin- converting enzyme (ACE) gene does not contribute to interindividual blood pressure variability. After conditioning on measured covariates, variation in this region accounted for 0%, 13% (P = 0.04), and 16% (P = 0.04) of the interindividual variance in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures, respectively. These estimates were even greater in a subset of subjects with a positive family history of hypertension (0%, 29% [P = 0.005], and 32% [P < 0.005], respectively). In sex-specific analyses, genetic variation in the region of the ACE gene significantly influenced interindividual blood pressure variation in males (37% for SBP [P = 0.03], 38% for DBP [P = 0.04], and 53% for MAP [P < 0.005]) but not in females. Conclusions - Although it is possible that variation in a gene near the ACE gene may explain the observed results, knowledge about the physiological involvement of ACE in blood pressure regulation supports the proposition that the ACE gene itself influences blood pressure variability in a sex-specific manner.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme
- Blood pressure
- Linkage analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)