Urinary metabolites associated with blood pressure on a low- or high-sodium diet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Yuan Cheng
  • Haiying Song
  • Xiaoqing Pan
  • Hong Xue
  • Yifei Wan
  • Tao Wang
  • Zhongmin Tian
  • Entai Hou
  • Ian R. Lanza
  • Pengyuan Liu
  • Yong Liu
  • Purushottam W. Laud
  • Kristie Usa
  • Yongcheng He
  • Mingyu Liang

External Institution(s)

  • The First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University
  • Shenzhen University
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Fudan University
  • Xi'an Jiaotong University
  • Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1468-1480
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatusPublished - Jan 1 2018


Dietary salt intake has significant effects on arterial blood pressure and the development of hypertension. Mechanisms underlying salt-dependent changes in blood pressure remain poorly understood, and it is difficult to assess blood pressure salt-sensitivity clinically. Methods: We examined urinary levels of metabolites in 103 participants of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-Sodium trial after nearly 30 days on a defined diet containing high sodium (targeting 150 mmol sodium intake per day) or low sodium (50 mmol per day). Targeted chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis was performed in 24 h urine samples for 47 amino metabolites and 10 metabolites related to the tricarboxylic acid cycle. The effect of an identified metabolite on blood pressure was examined in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Results: Urinary metabolite levels improved the prediction of classification of blood pressure salt-sensitivity based on race, age and sex. Random forest and generalized linear mixed model analyses identified significant (false discovery rate < 0.05) associations of 24 h excretions of ß-aminoisobutyric acid, cystine, citrulline, homocysteine and lysine with systolic blood pressure and cystine with diastolic blood pressure. The differences in homocysteine levels between low- and high-sodium intakes were significantly associated with the differences in diastolic blood pressure. These associations were significant with or without considering demographic factors. Treatment with β-aminoisobutyric acid significantly attenuated high-salt-induced hypertension in Dahl salt-sensitive rats. Conclusion: These findings support the presence of new mechanisms of blood pressure regulation involving metabolic intermediaries, which could be developed as markers or therapeutic targets for salt-sensitive hypertension.

    Research areas

  • Diet, Hypertension, Metabolomics, Salt

Citation formats


Cheng, Y., Song, H., Pan, X., Xue, H., Wan, Y., Wang, T., ... Liang, M. (2018). Urinary metabolites associated with blood pressure on a low- or high-sodium diet. Theranostics, 8(6), 1468-1480. https://doi.org/10.7150/thno.22018


Cheng, Y, Song, H, Pan, X, Xue, H, Wan, Y, Wang, T, Tian, Z, Hou, E, Lanza, IR, Liu, P, Liu, Y, Laud, PW, Usa, K, He, Y & Liang, M 2018, 'Urinary metabolites associated with blood pressure on a low- or high-sodium diet', Theranostics, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 1468-1480. https://doi.org/10.7150/thno.22018