Back to available technologies

Cytokine Receptors as Targets for Hypertension Therapy

Value Proposition

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a chronic medical condition that arises when blood pressure in the arteries increases beyond the normal threshold. Hypertension is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, kidney diseases, and death. High blood pressure affects one billion people globally. About 75 million American adults aged 18 years (29%) have high blood pressure, that is, 1 in every 3 adults. Hypertension is the primary cause of death in Americans and causes more than 1,100 deaths each day. Despite the high risk associated with hypertension, half of the patients (46%) do not have their condition under control. Additionally, 10-15% of the hypertensive population are insensitive to antihypertensive drugs.


The inventors have identified a novel role for a cytokine receptor. Activation of this receptor leads to high blood pressure. When this receptor is genetically removed from mice, animals are less likely to develop hypertension. Inhibitors can also effectively reduce blood pressure (see figure below) thus providing a new method to control blood pressure. Moreover, removal of the receptor reduces kidney damage. Therefore, inhibiting this receptor can manage raised blood pressure complications such as kidney diseases. Thus with this invention, a novel therapeutic for antihypertension can be developed to control blood pressure and minimize organ damage.


  • Promising results in preclinical studies with animal models
  • A novel therapeutic target
  • Effective in relieving multiple symptoms such as reducing hypertensive damages to the heart and kidney.

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Crowley, Steven "Steven"
  • Zhang, Jian-Dong


  • Zhang J, et al. (2016) Interleukin-1 receptor activation potentiates salt reabsorption in angiotensin II-induced hypertension via the NKCC2 Co-transporter in the nephron. Cell Metab. 23(2):360–8.

For more information please contact


School of Medicine (SOM)