Hypertension, cardiovascular risk and polymorphisms in genes controlling the cytochrome P450 pathway of arachidonic acid: A sex-specific relation?
Summary, in English
Hypertension is a multifactorial disease in which the interplay of genetic and environmental factors that maintain blood pressure stable throughout life is altered. Cytochrome P450 (CYP)-derived metabolites of arachidonic acid such as epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE), active on vascular tone, endothelial function and renal sodium reapportion, have been identified as candidate mediators in the development of hypertension in several animal models, with remarkable sex-specific effect. Several SNPs, some recognized as functional, in human genes implicated in EETs/20-HETE biosynthesis and metabolism, such as CYP2J2 and CYP4A11, have been tested for association with blood pressure, hypertension and its long-term cardiovascular consequences in different populations, with conflicting results. A sex-specific effect, related to CYP4F2 polymorphisms and expression, has been observed in association studies. This finding indicates that altered 20-HETE bioactivity underlay the excess of hypertension and associated vascular events observed in men with respect to women and is consistent with the results from experimental models. Further epidemiological and mechanistic studies are required to confirm the effect of lipid mediators on blood pressure in humans and define the mechanisms of a putative sex-specific effect.