Effects of gender and genotype on the phenotypic expression of nonmodulating essential hypertension
Nonmodulation describes a subset of the normal/high renin essential hypertensive population. It is an inherited trait. This report reviews the genetic and gender data recently available that discuss the modification of the expression of the nonmodulating phenotype. Both the adrenal and the renal blood flow markers for nonmodulation are associated with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the coding region of the angiotensinogen gene at codon 235. Even though the nonmodulating phenotype is associated with a somatic gene, gender modifies its expression. In women, the expression of the nonmodulating phenotype is approximately half of that in men. Additional analysis suggests that this gender difference is almost entirely explained by a difference in the frequency of nonmodulation in younger premenopausal women. In older, likely postmenopausal women, there is no gender difference. This suggests that the expression of the nonmodulating phenotype, presumably secondary to changes in the expression of the angiotensinogen gene, is modulated by female sex hormones.