Genetic Determinants of Nonmodulating Hypertension
We sought to determine whether genes of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system can predict the nonmodulating intermediate phenotype in essential hypertension. Aldosterone responses to angiotensin II were assessed in 298 subjects with hypertension. Subjects were genotyped at the angiotensinogen M235T, angiotensin-converting enzyme I/D, aldosterone synthase C-344 T, renin, angiotensin II type 1 receptor, and adducin loci. The data were analyzed by Student t test, ANOVA, stepwise linear regression and general linear model or GENMOD regression techniques, and chi2 analysis odds ratios (ORs). Aldosterone response varied by genotype for angiotensin and aldosterone synthase but not for the other loci. The combination of angiotensinogen 235 TT and angiotensin-converting enzyme DD showed further reduction (P=0.0377) when compared with angiotensinogen 235 TT alone, an example of genetic epistasis. When the subject was required also to possess the CYP11B2 -344 TT genotype, there was a further substantial reduction. Of these 3 loci, only angiotensinogen 235 TT significantly increased the OR of predicting the nonmodulating hypertensive phenotype (OR, 2.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.152 to 3.51). However, when angiotensin-converting enzyme DD was combined with angiotensinogen 235 TT, the OR nearly doubled to 3.74, with a further increase to 5.36-fold when the subject possessed all 3 genotypes. Thus, the angiotensinogen, angiotensin-converting enzyme, and aldosterone synthase genotypes identified individuals with the nonmodulating phenotype with an increasing degree of fidelity. For this subclass of essential hypertension, it is likely that genotyping can be substituted for complex phenotyping for therapeutic and preventive decision making.