AHA Logo Mothers now seem to genetically pass on high blood pressure to their kids. In a major breakthrough, scientists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Medical University of Vienna in Austria found that high blood pressure is inherited from the female parent due to mitochondrial inheritance. It was suggested that inherited mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in high blood pressure.

The Chinese-led group apparently lays down clinical, genetic, molecular and biochemical evidence revealing that a mitochondrial mutation designated tRNAIle4263A>G relates to inherited high blood pressure. The found DNA substitution may be an adenine-to-guanine switch at position 4263 on the mitochondrial genome (4263A>G). A large family from northern China that consisted of 27 members was examined. Experts noted that 15 family members who descended from the same female ancestor had blood pressures above 140/90 mmHg even after treatment. High blood pressure was reported by 7 of 81 non-maternal relatives

In the course of the study, investigators also compared the family members with 342 Chinese residents of the same northern area to confirm a maternal link. Analysis of the mitochondrial genome of the maternal relatives and other tests pointed out the seeming site of hypertension-related mutation. It supposedly displayed that the mitochondrial genome impairs the mitochondrial respiration chain. This chain seemingly elevates levels of a reactive oxygen species. In conclusion, it was asserted that inherited mitochondrial dysfunction has a strong influence on high blood pressure and enlightens about the maternally transmitted hypertension.

The study is published in the Circulation Research: Journal of the American Heart Association.