Racial Differences in XO (Xanthine Oxidase) and Mitochondrial DNA Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns in Resistant Hypertension

Academic Article


  • Background: We previously reported increased plasma XO (xanthine oxidase) activity in patients with resistant hypertension. Increased XO can cause mitochondrial DNA damage and promote release of fragments called mitochondrial DNA damage-associated molecular patterns (mtDNA DAMPs). Here, we report racial differences in XO activity and mtDNA DAMPs in Black and White adults with resistant hypertension. Methods: This retrospective study includes 91 resistant hypertension patients (44% Black, 47% female) with blood pressure >140/90 mm Hg on ≥4 medications and 37 normotensive controls (30% Black, 54% female) with plasma XO activity, mtDNA DAMPs, and magnetic resonance imaging of left ventricular morphology and function. Results: Black-resistant hypertension patients were younger (mean age 52±10 versus 59±10 years; P=0.001), with higher XO activity and left ventricular wall thickness, and worse diastolic dysfunction than White resistant hypertension patients. Urinary sodium excretion (mg/24 hour per kg) was positively related to left ventricular end-diastolic volume (r=0.527, P=0.001) and left ventricular mass (r=0.394, P=0.02) among Black but not White resistant hypertension patients. Patients with resistant hypertension had increased mtDNA DAMPs versus controls (P<0.001), with Black mtDNA DAMPS greater than Whites (P<0.001). Transmission electron microscopy of skeletal muscle biopsies in resistant hypertension patients demonstrates mitochondria cristae lysis, myofibrillar loss, large lipid droplets, and glycogen accumulation. Conclusions: These data warrant a large study to examine the role of XO and mitochondrial mtDNA DAMPs in cardiac remodeling and heart failure in Black adults with resistant hypertension.
  • Published In

  • Hypertension  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Butts B; Brown JA; Denney TS; Ballinger S; Lloyd SG; Oparil S; Sanders P; Merriman TR; Gaffo A; Singh J
  • Start Page

  • 775
  • End Page

  • 784
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 4