Associations of three erythrocyte cation transport systems with plasma lipids in utah subjects

Steven C. Hunt, Roger R. Williams, Jean B. Smith, K. Owen Ash

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To investigate the pathophysiology of essential hypertension, detailed biochemical and clinical variables were collected and analyzed for 2091 Utah subjects aged 3 to 83 years. Three different measurements of erythrocyte cation transport were obtained: Na+-Li+ countertransport, Li+-K+ cotransport, and furosemide-insensitive Li+ efflux into MgCI2. Total plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were obtained from fasting subjects. Levels of high density lipoprotein subfractions 2 and 3 were also obtained from 350 subjects. Standardized data collection also included blood pressure, height, weight, and presence or absence of a diagnosis or treatment of essential hypertension. In univariate analyses of all 1420 adults, each of the three transport systems showed the same significant correlations with triglyceride levels (r = 0.33-0.35, p < 0.0001), high density lipoprotein concentration (r =-0.19 to-0.21, p < 0.001), and weight (r = 0.22-0.28, p < 0.0001). In multivariate regression analyses, values for each transport system were significantly higher in hypertensive subjects; values for triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, and usually, the high density lipoprotein subfractions continued to have strong significant independent associations with all three transport systems; and weight remained significantly related only to Na+-Li+ countertransport. In separate logistic regressions, plasma triglyceride levels (positively, p < 0.001) and high density lipoprotein subfraction 3 levels (inversely, p < 0.03) were associated with hypertension itself. In multivariate analyses among 671 children, high density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein subfraction 3 levels showed significant (p < 0.05) inverse correlations with Na+-Li+ countertransport and furosemide-insensitive Li+ efflux. These associations of all three cation transport systems with several blood lipids as well as with weight and hypertension suggest that a general relationship exists between blood lipids and membrane cation transport in the pathophysiology of essential hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1986



  • High density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Li-K cotransport
  • Na-Li countertransport
  • Red blood cell membranes
  • Triglycerides
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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