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Salt Sensitivity and Hypertension: A Paradigm Shift from Kidney Malfunction to Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction

 Hoon Young Choi  ;  Hyeong Cheon Park  ;  Sung Kyu Ha 
 Electrolytes & Blood Pressure, Vol.13(1) : 7-16, 2015 
Journal Title
 Electrolytes & Blood Pressure 
Issue Date
Endothelial dysfunction ; Hypertension ; Kidney malfunction ; Salt ; Sensitivity
Hypertension is a complex trait determined by both genetic and environmental factors and is a major public health problem due to its high prevalence and concomitant increase in the risk for cardiovascular disease. With the recent large increase of dietary salt intake in most developed countries, the prevalence of hypertension increases tremendously which is about 30% of the world population. There is substantial evidence that suggests some people can effectively excrete high dietary salt intake without an increase in arterial BP, and another people cannot excrete effectively without an increase in arterial BP. Salt sensitivity of BP refers to the BP responses for changes in dietary salt intake to produce meaningful BP increases or decreases. The underlying mechanisms that promote salt sensitivity are complex and range from genetic to environmental influences. The phenotype of salt sensitivity is therefore heterogeneous with multiple mechanisms that potentially link high salt intake to increases in blood pressure. Moreover, excess salt intake has functional and pathological effects on the vasculature that are independent of blood pressure. Epidemiologic data demonstrate the role of high dietary salt intake in mediating cardiovascular and renal morbidity and mortality. Almost five decades ago, Guyton and Coleman proposed that whenever arterial pressure is elevated, pressure natriuresis enhances the excretion of sodium and water until blood volume is reduced sufficiently to return arterial pressure to control values. According to this hypothesis, hypertension can develop only when something impairs the excretory ability of sodium in the kidney. However, recent studies suggest that nonosmotic salt accumulation in the skin interstitium and the endothelial dysfunction which might be caused by the deterioration of vascular endothelial glycocalyx layer (EGL) and the epithelial sodium channel on the endothelial luminal surface (EnNaC) also play an important role in nonosmotic storage of salt. These new concepts emphasize that sodium homeostasis and salt sensitivity seem to be related not only to the kidney malfunction but also to the endothelial dysfunction. Further investigations will be needed to assess the extent to which changes in the sodium buffering capacity of the skin interstitium and develop the treatment strategy for modulating the endothelial dysfunction.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Hyeong Cheon(박형천) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1550-0812
Choi, Hoon Young(최훈영) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4245-0339
Ha, Sung Kyu(하성규)
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