Background: Salt-sensitive (SS) hypertension affects >30 million Americans and is often associated with low plasma renin activity. We tested the diagnostic validity of several candidate genes for SS and low-renin hypertension. Methods: In Japanese patients with newly diagnosed, untreated hypertension (n = 184), we studied polymorphisms in 10 genes, including G protein-coupled receptor kinase type 4 (GRK4), some variations of which are associated with hypertension and impair D1 receptor (D 1R)-inhibited renal sodium transport. We used the multifactor dimensionality reduction method to determine the genotype associated with salt sensitivity (≥10% increase in blood pressure with high sodium intake) or low renin. To determine whether the GRK4 genotype is associated with impaired D 1R function, we tested the natriuretic effect of docarpamine, a dopamine prodrug, in normotensive individuals with or without GRK4 polymorphisms (n = 18). Results: A genetic model based on GRK4 R65L, GRK4 A142V, and GRK4 A486V was 94.4% predictive of SS hypertension, whereas the single-locus model with only GRK4 A142V was 78.4% predictive, and a 2-locus model of GRK4 A142V and CYP11B2 C-344T was 77.8% predictive of low-renin hypertension. Sodium excretion was inversely related to the number of GRK4 variants in hypertensive persons, and the natriuretic response to dopaminergic stimulation was impaired in normotensive persons having ≥3 GRK4 gene variants. Conclusions: GRK4 gene variants are associated with SS and low-renin hypertension. However, the genetic model predicting SS hypertension is different from the model for low renin, suggesting genetic differences in these 2 phenotypes. Like low-renin testing, screening for GRK4 variants may be a useful diagnostic adjunct for detection of SS hypertension.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical