Hypertension Research
Online ISSN : 1348-4214
Print ISSN : 0916-9636
Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) as a Potential Index of Severity of Hypertension
Ryuichi MorishitaAtsushi MoriguchiJitsuo HigakiToshio Ogihara
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1999 Volume 22 Issue 3 Pages 161-167

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Abstract

Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) is a mesenchyme-derived pleiotropic factor that regulates cell growth, cell motility, and morphogenesis of various cells, and is thus considered a humoral mediator of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. We previously identified HGF as a novel member of the family of endothelium-specific growth factors. Moreover, the presence of a local HGF system (HGF and its specific receptor, c-met) has been demonstrated in vascular cells both in vitro and in vivo. HGF might contribute to the protection and/or repair of vascular endothelial cells injured by high blood pressure. If so, serum HGF level might be elevated in response to endothelial cell damage. To test this hypothesis, we measured serum levels of HGF in hypertensive and normotensive patients. Serum HGF concentration in hypertensive patients without any complications was significantly higher than that in normal subjects. Interestingly, serum HGF concentration in hypertensive patients with complications was significantly higher than that in either hypertensive patients without complications or normotensive subjects. Of importance, hypertensive patients treated with antihypertensive drugs showed the same level of serum HGF concentration as normotensive subjects. In contrast, serum HGF concentration in diabetic patients without hypertension was significantly lower than that in normal subjects, whereas serum HGF concentration in diabetic patients with hypertension was significantly higher than that in normal subjects. Moreover, serum HGF concentration in diabetic patients with hypertensive complications was even higher than that in diabetics without complications. This review discusses the possibility that HGF may be considered as a new index of the severity of hypertension. (Hypertens Res 1999; 22: 161-167)

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