Racial differences in the regulation of Na+, K+, and Ca2+ have been shown both at the systemic and cellular levels. These include a higher incidence of "salt sensitivity," lower urinary K+ excretion, lower plasma renin activity, and higher circulating levels of immunoreactive parathyroid hormone and 1.25 dihydroxyvitamin D in blacks than in whites. Blacks exhibit a higher erythrocyte Na+ concentration, coupled with a lower maximal initial reaction velocity of erythrocyte Na,K-ATPase. Blacks also appear to differ from whites in erythrocyte Na+, K+ cotransport and Na-Li countertransport. Moreover, they show a higher activity of the Na+-H+ antiport in skin fibroblasts and a greater response of cellular Ca2+ signaling to agonists in serum. Mechanisms linking some of these racial differences in ionic metabolism to the increased propensity of blacks to develop essential hypertension are proposed, and the epidemiology and characteristics of this disease in blacks are reviewed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)
- blacks, whites
- essential hypertension
- ion transport