Mexican scientist manages to eliminate salt retention in kidneys


 By inhibiting the SPAK protein, María Chavez Canale , a scientist at the Biomedical Research Institute (IIBm) of the UNAM , managed to stop the retention of salt in the kidneys and high blood pressure in the laboratory , one of the most frequent and serious diseases. of our time.

This protein, he explained, is expressed in all tissues, has effects on the regulation of arterial hypertension, and its effects occur when regulating how much salt we urinate or retain. If the activity of SPAK is eliminated, the retention of salt in the kidneys is prevented and this has consequences on blood pressure.

” If we excrete more salt than normal, we will keep blood pressure at low to normal levels .”

The elimination of the SPAK protein, he said, also has consequences on fat storage and body mass index, which can prevent obesity.

For this finding, the researcher attached to the Research Unit in Transnational Medicine of the IIBm, in the National Institute of Cardiology Dr. Ignacio Chávez, obtained the Women’s Scholarship in Science LÓreal-Conacyt-AMC 2019.

“The SPAK protein is expressed in almost all cells of mammals and other species. It is responsible for regulating the intracellular ion concentration, and does so by regulating other proteins that are in the cell membrane, responsible for putting or removing sodium, potassium and chloride ions from the cells. SPAK mainly regulates the transport of these three types of ions, “he added.

In the award-winning project, Chávez investigates what is the mechanism by which SPAK prevents the storage of fat, and why mice that do not have that protein do not develop obesity when fed a high-fat diet. “It seems that the elimination of SPAK has good consequences, but the basic mechanisms of this process need to be understood in detail,” he acknowledged.

The results, still in the experimental phase, could be useful in the future for the clinical treatment of people with obesity and high blood pressure.

“It can be with chemical compounds, via drugs or indirect ways that modify the signaling between the circuits that allow maintaining the metabolism,” he concluded.

Source: la jornada

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