The role of the brain peptide adrenomedullin in hypertension

The role of central adrenomedullin in hypertension

David Murphy (lead researcher)

Bristol, University of

Start date: 01 December 2011 (Duration 5 years)

High blood pressure (hypertension) affects around one in three adults in England and Scotland and significantly increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, heart failure and stroke. Scientists have struggled to pinpoint the exact causes of hypertension, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the brain plays an important role. Professor Murphy at the University of Bristol is keen to understand how our brains contribute to high blood pressure and has found that the brains of rats with hypertension are more sensitive to a molecule called adrenomedullin.

He is now exploring adrenomedullin’s role in blood pressure control, in rats and has shown that blocking the adrenomedullin sensors in the brain can reduce blood pressure. This new award will allow Professor Murphy, together with collaborators Professor Julian Paton (University of Bristol) and Professor Benedito Machado (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil), to take a closer look at how adrenomedullin affects blood pressure control.

The collaborative team will use cutting edge technologies to measure cell activity in the brains of animals treated with adrenomedullin and related peptides. They will use genetic techniques to alter the production of adrenomedullin and closely study the effects using equipment that can simultaneously monitor blood pressure and brain activity. This research will provide important new information about blood pressure control and should in future lead to studies in humans that will help identify new medicines to treat high blood pressure.

Project details

Grant amount £892,664
Grant type Programme Grant
Start Date 01 December 2011
Duration 5 years
Reference RG/11/6/28714
Status Complete

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