Salt sensitivity of blood pressure (SSBP) and hypertension are common, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) degrades angiotensin II (ANGII). We hypothesized that decreasing ERAP1 increases BP via ANGII-mediated effects on aldosterone (ALDO) production and/or renovascular function. Compared with WT littermate mice, ERAP1-deficient (ERAP1+/–) mice had increased tissue ANGII, systolic and diastolic BP, and SSBP, indicating that ERAP1 deficiency leads to volume expansion. However, the mechanisms underlying the volume expansion differed according to sex. Male ERAP1+/– mice had increased ALDO levels and normal renovascular responses to volume expansion (decreased resistive and pulsatility indices and increased glomerular volume). In contrast, female ERAP1+/– mice had normal ALDO levels but lacked normal renovascular responses. In humans, ERAP1 rs30187, a loss-of-function gene variant that reduces ANGII degradation in vitro, is associated with hypertension. In our cohort from the Hypertensive Pathotype (HyperPATH) Consortium, there was a significant dose-response association between rs30187 risk alleles and systolic and diastolic BP as well as renal plasma flow in men, but not in women. Thus, lowering ERAP1 led to volume expansion and increased BP. In males, the volume expansion was due to elevated ALDO with normal renovascular function, whereas in females the volume expansion was due to impaired renovascular function with normal ALDO levels.
Sanjay Ranjit, Jian Yao Wong, Jia W. Tan, Chee Sin Tay, Jessica M. Lee, Kelly Yin Han Wong, Luminita H. Pojoga, Danielle L. Brooks, Amanda E. Garza, Stephen A. Maris, Isis Akemi Katayama, Jonathan S. Williams, Alicia Rivera, Gail K. Adler, Gordon H. Williams, Jose R. Romero