A team of Chilean researchers made a discovery that could help mitigate the effects of hypertension.
Hypertension is a chronic disease . It’s an increase in blood pressure in the arteries and it affects almost a third of the Chilean population.
The medical treatment for this condition entails a daily intake of drugs that inhibit the production or action of angiotensin II. As explained by the co-author Mario Chiong, this a molecule that, “is manufactured through a peptide synthesized in the liver called angiotensinogen and subsequently metabolized to angiotensin I “.
“Angiotensin II is generated enzymatically from angiotensin I and directly and indirectly increases blood pressure,” said Chiong, who is a researcher at ACCDiS and a Professor at the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Chile.
Given the above, the ACCDiS researchers approached angiotensin 1-9, which is present in our body.
The professor explained that “Some time ago we described that angiotensin I could be converted into another peptide than angiotensin II, which is angiotensin 1-9. This peptide was long thought to be inactive. However, we discovered that it has biological activity and, most interestingly, an action completely contrary to angiotensin II “
It should be noted that the finding has been the result of more than a decade’s work, led by doctors Maria Paz Ocaranza, Jorge Jalil and Luis Michea, who have studied cardiovascular diseases and in particular hypertension and the damage associated with this disease.
In this sense, and thanks to these investigations, two patents have been filed:
“The first one regarding angiotensin 1-9 as cardioprotective, and the second as a new antihypertensive peptide,” explained doctor Sergio Lavandero, director of ACCDiS and member of the research team.
The team of this project has already carried out the preclinical studies of the molecule to move soon on to clinical trials. This with the aim of pharmacologically arranging angiotensin 1-9.
“What we know is that the drugs that currently lower blood pressure work very well. But even when the pressure is normalized, patients may experience some kind of damage to the organs” Chiong explained.
Only 37% get treated
High blood pressure is a chronic disease that involves an increase in blood pressure in the arteries. In Chile it affects almost a third of the population and increases its prevalence with age, affecting 75% of the elderly of our country. In addition, of all the people who suffer from high blood pressure , 65% are diagnosed and only 37% get treated.