Salt-Sensitive Hypertension and Cardiac Hypertrophy in Transgenic Mice Expressing a Corin Variant Identified in Blacks
Blacks represent a high-risk population for salt-sensitive hypertension and heart disease, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Corin is a cardiac protease that regulates blood pressure by activating natriuretic peptides. A corin gene variant (T555I/Q568P) was identified in blacks with hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the corin variant contributes to the hypertensive and cardiac hypertrophic phenotype in vivo. Transgenic mice were generated to express wild-type (WT) or T555I/Q568P variant corin in the heart under the control of α-myosin heavy chain promoter. The mice were crossed into a corin knockout (KO) background to create KO/TgWT and KO/TgV mice that expressed WT or variant corin, respectively, in the heart. Functional studies showed that KO/TgV mice had significantly higher levels of proatrial natriuretic peptide in the heart compared with that in control KO/TgWT mice, indicating that the corin variant was defective in processing natriuretic peptides in vivo. By radiotelemetry, corin KO/TgV mice were found to have hypertension that was sensitive to dietary salt loading. The mice also developed cardiac hypertrophy at 12 to 14 months of age when fed a normal salt diet or at a younger age when fed a high-salt diet. The phenotype of salt-sensitive hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in KO/TgV mice closely resembles the pathological findings in blacks who carry the corin variant. The results indicate that corin defects may represent an important mechanism in salt-sensitive hypertension and cardiac hypertrophy in blacks.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.