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The peripheral vascular effects of sulfhydryl-containing antihypertensive pharmacotherapy on microvascular function and vessel remodeling in hypertensive humans

High blood pressure can cause physical changes to the blood vessels of the body (remodeling). If a person who has high blood pressure also has a lot of blood vessel remodeling with their condition, they are more likely to have poor results with medical treatment for hypertension. We examine the impact of different classes of drugs that doctors use to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) on blood vessel remodeling. Some drugs that doctors prescribe for their patients contain a “sulfhydryl group” (a sulfur atom bonded to a hydrogen atom). Drugs that have the sulfhydryl group may reduce blood vessel remodeling more that drugs that do not. For this study, participants who have high blood pressure perform the experiments, take a drug for 16-weeks to lower blood pressure, and repeat the experiments. We randomly assign one of three drugs to participants who have high blood pressure: a diuretic (“water pill”), a drug containing a sulfhydryl group, or a drug that does not contain a sulfhydryl group. Participants who do not have high blood pressure perform the experiments, but do not take any of the drugs. In some of our experiments, we use a technique called “microdialysis” (MD). With MD, we perfuse some research drugs into the skin on the forearm through tiny tubing that mimics capillaries. These MD drugs mimic or block substances the body naturally makes to control the small blood vessels in the skin. The drugs remain in nickel-sized areas around the tubing and do not go into the rest of the body. We also analyze very small skin samples (skin biopsy) obtained from the forearm. Lastly, we use a standard technique called “flow mediated dilation” (FMD) that uses blood pressure cuffs and ultrasound to look at the health of larger blood vessels in the body. FMD includes placing a small tablet of nitroglycerin under the tongue during part of the test.
Susan Slimak at or 814-863-8556
18 year(s) or older
This study is also accepting healthy volunteers
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Inclusion Criteria:
Women and men
40-65 years
May or may not have high blood pressure
Women who are post-menopausal are not taking hormone replacement therapy
· May or may not be taking a drug to lower blood pressure
Exclusion Criteria:
Current medications which could conceivably alter the cardiovascular or thermoregulatory control or responses (e.g. beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers)
Allergy to latex
Use of tobacco products
Use of illegal/recreational drugs
Pregnancy or breastfeeding
Heart & Vascular
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State College, PA