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Metabolomics in hypertension

Nikolic, Sonja B.a; Sharman, James E.a; Adams, Murray J.b; Edwards, Lindsay M.c

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000168

Hypertension is the most prevalent chronic medical condition and a major risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In the majority of hypertensive cases, the underlying cause of hypertension cannot be easily identified because of the heterogeneous, polygenic and multi-factorial nature of hypertension. Metabolomics is a relatively new field of research that has been used to evaluate metabolic perturbations associated with disease, identify disease biomarkers and to both assess and predict drug safety and efficacy. Metabolomics has been increasingly used to characterize risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, and it appears to have significant potential for uncovering mechanisms of this complex disease. This review details the analytical techniques, pre-analytical steps and study designs used in metabolomics studies, as well as the emerging role for metabolomics in gaining mechanistic insights into the development of hypertension. Suggestions as to the future direction for metabolomics research in the field of hypertension are also proposed.

aMenzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Hobart

bSchool of Human Life Sciences, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia

cCentre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences, King's College London, London, UK

Correspondence to Dr Lindsay M. Edwards, Centre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences, King's College London, Room 4.15, Shepherd's House, Guy's Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK.Tel: +44 20 7848 6978; e-mail:

Abbreviations: BP, blood pressure; FFA, free fatty acids; GC, gas chromatography; HDL, high-density lipoprotein; LC, liquid chromatography; LDL, low-density lipoprotein; MS, mass spectrometry; PCA, principal component analysis; RAS, renin–angiotensin system; SHR, spontaneously hypertensive rat; SHRSP, stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat; TOF, time of flight; UPLC, ultra performance liquid chromatography; VLDL, very-low-density lipoprotein; WKY, Wistar–Kyoto

Received 8 August, 2013

Revised 3 December, 2013

Accepted 10 February, 2014

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins