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Recent studies have found that apelin, a new bioactive peptide, and its receptor APJ are involved in blood pressure regulation. In our previous cross-sectional study undertaken in the south-east coastal area of China, we found a negative association between plasma apelin level and hypertension. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the apelin and APJ (apelin receptor) genes and the risk of hypertension in people living in the south-east coastal area of China.
A cross-sectional study involving 1031 participants was performed. Genotypes of the apelin (rs3115757, rs56204867 and rs3761581) and APJ (rs7119375 and rs9943582) genes were determined by the TaqManVR MGB probe method. The latest version of multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) 2.0 software was used to evaluate the gene–gene interactions among the apelin–APJ system’s genes.
For male patients, the frequencies of mutant alleles in the three apelin gene SNPs were significantly different between the hypertension and control groups (all p<0.05), while no significant difference was obtained for frequencies of mutant alleles in the two APJ gene SNPs (p>0.05). For females, the frequencies of mutant alleles in all five SNPs were not significantly different between the hypertension and control groups (all p>0.05). After adjusting for several factors, the risk of developing hypertension increased significantly in patients, regardless of gender, carrying rs3115757-C, rs56204867-C or rs3761581-A allele (all p<0.05). The optimal gene–gene interaction model for both males and females with regard to hypertension was apelin rs3761581–apelin rs3115757–APJ rs7119375.
gene polymorphisms of the apelin-APJ system are associated with susceptibility to hypertension.