Pharmacological and Genetic Blockade of Trpm7 in the Carotid Body Treats Obesity-Induced Hypertension

Mi Kyung Shin, Roxana Mitrut, Chenjuan Gu, Lenise J. Kim, Bonnie H.Y. Yeung, Rachel Lee, Luu Pham, Wan Yee Tang, James S.K. Sham, Honggang Cui, Vsevolod Y. Polotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obesity increases levels of an adipocyte-produced hormone leptin, which activates the sympathetic nervous system leading to hypertension. We have recently reported that acute leptin infusion induces hypertension acting via the TRPM7 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 7) cation channel in the carotid bodies. We hypothesize that this mechanism causes hypertension when leptin levels are elevated chronically as observed in diet-induced obesity. We have developed a novel extended release preparation, hydrogel, of a TRPM7 inhibitor FTY720, which was administered to the carotid body area bilaterally and compared with control hydrogel in (1) male lean C57BL/6J mice treated with subcutaneous infusions of leptin; (2) diet-induced obese male C57BL/6J with hyperleptinemia at baseline. In the experiment (3), diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice, in which Trpm7 was silenced in the carotid body areas by transfection with Ad-Trpm7 shRNA, were compared with control mice transfected with Ad-CON-shRNA. All mice were implanted in the left femoral artery with telemetry before the experiments for continuous blood pressure monitoring. In lean mice, leptin increased 24 hours mean arterial pressure from 101.2±1.2 to 112±1.5 mm Hg; Trpm7 inhibitor abolished leptin-induced hypertension. Obese mice had elevated mean arterial pressure of 115.3±1.7 mm Hg, which was lowered by 8.7±1.0 mm Hg on week 2 after Trpm7 inhibitor treatment (P<0.001), and this effect persisted by week 3. Trpm7 shRNA decreased blood pressure from 119.0±2.2 to 109.6±1.4 mm Hg (P<0.01), whereas scrambled shRNA had no effect. In conclusion, our study has shown that inhibition of TRPM7 in carotid bodies abolished leptin-induced hypertension in obese mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-114
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • blood pressure
  • carotid body
  • femoral artery
  • hydrogels
  • leptin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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