LSD1 (lysine-specific demethylase-1) is an epigenetic regulator of gene transcription. LSD1 risk allele in humans and LSD1 deficiency () in mice confer increasing salt-sensitivity of blood pressure with age, which evolves into salt-sensitive hypertension in older individuals. However, the mechanism underlying the relationship between LSD1 and salt-sensitivity of blood pressure remains elusive. Here, we show that LSD1 genotype (in humans) and LSD1 deficiency (in mice) lead to similar associations with increased blood pressure and urine potassium levels but with decreased aldosterone levels during a liberal salt diet. Thus, we hypothesized that LSD1 deficiency leads to an MR (mineralocorticoid receptor)-dependent hypertensive state. Yet, further studies in mice treated with the MR antagonist eplerenone demonstrate that hypertension, kaliuria, and albuminuria are substantially improved, suggesting that the ligand-independent activation of the MR is the underlying cause of this LSD1 deficiency-mediated phenotype. Indeed, while MR and epithelial sodium channel expression levels were increased in mouse kidney tissues, aldosterone secretion from glomerulosa cells was significantly lower. Collectively, these data establish that LSD1 deficiency leads to an inappropriate activation and increased levels of the MR during a liberal salt regimen and suggest that inhibiting the MR pathway is a useful strategy for treatment of hypertension in human LSD1 risk allele carriers.
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