Marinobufagenin and Cyclic Strain May Activate Endothelial NADPH Oxidase, Contributing to the Adverse Impact of Salty Diets on Vascular and Cerebral Health

In people said to be “salt-sensitive”, a salty diet provokes a temporary fluid overload that is compensated by adrenal secretion of the hormone marinobufagenin (MBG). Although MBG acts on the kidneys to promote sodium and fluid excretion, it also acts on vascular smooth muscle to increase the peripheral resistance to blood flow, raising blood pressure. But the pathogenic impact of salt-sensitive hypertension is greater than can be explained by an increase in hydrostatic pressure alone, and so MBG is suspected to exert additional deleterious effects. MBG is capable of exerting hormone-like effects on certain cells by interaction with the “sodium pump”. It is proposed that one of these hormonal effects is to increase activity of the enzyme NADPH oxidase in the endothelial lining of blood vessels; this might account for the oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory behavior noted in the endothelium of people with salt-sensitive hypertension, and could help to explain the excess vascular risk associated with this disorder.

Published in Medical Hypotheses 2012;78(2):191-6.

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