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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 292803, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/292803
Clinical Study

Associations between High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein and Membrane Fluidity of Red Blood Cells in Hypertensive Elderly Men: An Electron Spin Resonance Study

1Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Center, Kansai University of Health Sciences, Senn-nann-gunn, Kumatori-cho, Wakaba 2-11-1, Osaka 590-0482, Japan
2Division of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama 641-8509, Japan

Received 2 June 2011; Accepted 13 October 2011

Academic Editor: Blas Gil Extremera

Copyright © 2012 Kazushi Tsuda. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Recent evidence indicates that high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), an acute phase of an inflammatory marker, might be associated with atherosclerosis, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases. The present study was performed to assess the possible link between plasma hs-CRP and membrane fluidity (a reciprocal value of membrane microviscosity) in hypertensive elderly men. We measured the membrane fluidity of red blood cells (RBCs) in hypertensive and normotensive elderly men using an electron spin resonance and spin-labeling method. Membrane fluidity of RBCs was decreased in hypertensive elderly men compared with normotensive elderly men. Plasma hs-CRP levels were significantly higher in hypertensive elderly men than in normotensive elderly men. In contrast, plasma nitric-oxide- (NO-) metabolite levels were lower in hypertensive elderly men than in normotensive elderly men. The reduced membrane fluidity of RBCs was associated with increased plasma hs-CRP and decreased plasma NO-metabolite levels. In a multivariate regression analysis, plasma hs-CRP was an independent determinant of membrane fluidity of RBCs after adjustment for general risk factors. The results suggest that CRP might have a close correlation with the rheologic behavior of RBCs and the microcirculation and would contribute, at least in part, to the circulatory dysfunction and vascular complications in hypertensive elderly men.