Author(s): Hamza SM, Dyck JR
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Abstract Hypertension affects over 25\% of the global population and is associated with grave and often fatal complications that affect many organ systems. Although great advancements have been made in the clinical assessment and treatment of hypertension, the cause of hypertension in over 90\% of these patients is unknown, which hampers the development of targeted and more effective treatment. The etiology of hypertension involves multiple pathological processes and organ systems, however one unifying feature of all of these contributing factors is oxidative stress. Once the body's natural anti-oxidant defense mechanisms are overwhelmed, reactive oxygen species (ROS) begin to accumulate in the tissues. ROS play important roles in normal regulation of many physiological processes, however in excess they are detrimental and cause widespread cell and tissue damage as well as derangements in many physiological processes. Thus, control of oxidative stress has become an attractive target for pharmacotherapy to prevent and manage hypertension. Resveratrol (trans-3,5,4'-Trihydroxystilbene) is a naturally occurring polyphenol which has anti-oxidant effects in vivo. Many studies have shown anti-hypertensive effects of resveratrol in different pre-clinical models of hypertension, via a multitude of mechanisms that include its function as an anti-oxidant. However, results have been mixed and in some cases resveratrol has no effect on blood pressure. This may be due to the heavy emphasis on peripheral vasodilator effects of resveratrol and virtually no investigation of its potential renal effects. This is particularly troubling in the arena of hypertension, where it is well known and accepted that the kidney plays an essential role in the long term regulation of arterial pressure and a vital role in the initiation, development and maintenance of chronic hypertension. It is thus the focus of this review to discuss the potential of resveratrol as an anti-hypertensive treatment via amelioration of oxidative stress within the framework of the fundamental physiological principles of long term regulation of arterial blood pressure.
This article was published in Front Physiol
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access