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The natural barometer for healthy blood pressure found


After 60 years:

University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have determined the location of natural blood-pressure barometers inside our bodies that have eluded scientists for more than 60 years.

These cellular sensors detect subtle changes in blood pressure and adjust hormone levels to keep it in check. Scientists have long suspected that these barometers, or “baroreceptors,” existed in specialized kidney cells called renin cells, but no one has been able to locate the baroreceptors until now …

“It was exhilarating to find that the elusive pressure-sensing mechanism, the baroreceptor, was intrinsic to the renin cell, which has the ability to sense and react, both within the same cell,” said Sequeira-Lopez, of UVA’s Department of Pediatrics and UVA’s Child Health Research Center. “So the renin cells are sensors and responders.” …

“I feel really excited about this discovery, a real tour de force several years in the making. We had a great collaboration with Dr. [Douglas] DeSimone from the Department of Cell Biology,” Sequeira-Lopez said. “I am also excited with the work to come, to unravel the signaling and controlling mechanisms of this mechanotransducer and how we can use the information to develop therapies for hypertension.”

University of Virginia Health System, “After 60 years, scientists find the missing link in our body’s blood pressure control” at ScienceDaily

The paper is open access.

Where is Darwinian Nathan Lents, author of Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, when we need him?

See also: Nathan Lents is still wrong about the sinuses but still writing about them.

Baroreceptors have been known and understood for quite a while. They're all over the circulatory system, and they've been known to form a negative feedback loop for blood pressure. (Redundant; since they're alive, they form a feedback loop.) Maybe these tight-loop receptors in the kidney are more immediate controllers, but the overall system is not a new discovery. polistra

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