FRIDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) is not just a secondary marker of inflammatory disease but may be directly associated with hypertension and the metabolic syndrome, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference, held from Sept. 23 to 26 in Chicago.
Michal Pravenec, M.D., of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Videnska, and colleagues studied spontaneously hypertensive rats with or without transgenically expressed human CRP in the liver under control of the apoE promoter.
Compared to control rats, the researchers found that treated rats showed hyperinsulinemia despite similar serum glucose levels, resistance to insulin stimulated non-oxidative glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle, elevated triglycerides, reduced serum adiponectin, and microalbuminuria. They also found evidence that treated rats had increased oxidative tissue damage.
"In addition, the results indicate that humanized CRP transgenic spontaneously hypertensive rats may provide a valuable model for 1) investigating mechanisms whereby human CRP enhances the risk for hypertension, diabetes, and target organ damage and 2) testing the therapeutic effects of new CRP inhibitors being developed for the prevention and treatment of common forms of cardiovascular and metabolic disease," the authors conclude.
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