Exclusion of the Na+-H+ antiporter as a candidate gene in human essential hypertension

Richard P. Lifton, Steven C. Hunt, Roger R. Williams, Jacques Pouysségur, Jean Marc Lalouel

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The primary abnormalities that contribute to the pathogenesis of human essential hypertension are unknown. The known genetic contribution to this disorder suggests the possible use of genetic linkage analysis to test whether specific candidate genes contribute to the pathogenesis of either essential hypertension or intermediate phenotypes. Among such phenotypes, elevated erythrocyte Na+-Li+ countertransport (SLC) is the best known, supporting major gene inheritance by pedigree analysis. Striking similarities between SLC and Na+-H+ exchange suggest that mutations at the Na+-H+ antiporter gene locus (APNH) might result in elevated SLC and contribute to the subsequent pathogenesis of hypertension. We have tested these hypotheses by genetic linkage analysis, with APNH as a candidate gene. By determining genotypes at APNH and flanking loci in pedigrees that support major gene segregation of elevated SLC, we have excluded linkage of APNH and the major SLC locus with a LOD score of -5.91, an odds ratio of almost 1,000,000:1 against linkage. In the analysis of 93 hypertensive sibling pairs, we have further demonstrated that APNH explains none of the variance in SLC in hypertensive individuals (r2=6×10-7, p>0.99). Finally, we have directly tested for linkage of APNH to genes predisposing toward hypertension by linkage in hypertensive sibling pairs. Mean allele sharing at APNH is not greater than expected from random assortment in hypertensive siblings (0.92 versus 1.0, p>0.80), and the upper 95% confidence limit of this value (1.04) indicates that mutations at APNH rarely if ever contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension in this population. These concomitant results exclude APNH as a candidate gene and demonstrate the use and power of linkage analysis as a means of testing hypotheses in human hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1991



  • Essential hypertension sodium-lithium countertransport
  • Genetic marker
  • Genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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