Molecular malfunction may explain the development of high blood pressure, diabetes and immune problems, says a new research report.
Rogue enzymes called proteases wander around the body, clipping off working segments of the receptors that allow insulin to enter cells and do its job, according to a report in the June 30 online issue of Hypertension.
The enzymes’ activity also reduces the immune system's response to infection and raises blood pressure, says the report.
The study authors are hoping that applying a protease inhibitor, can prevent the damage seen in laboratory animals." Proteases function the same in rats and humans, so what has been seen in the laboratory rats likely occurs in people. Scientists are working together to start human trials.
The study is important because it connects information that high blood pressure and insulin resistance have the same cause—damage to receptors.
Researchers think the results might also explain why antioxidants such as vitamins C and E help against inflammation.
In addition to antibiotics such as doxycycline, drugs such as ACE inhibitors are protease inhibitors, DeLano said. Protease inhibitors are also used to control HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.