Chromogranin A (CHGA) and its derived peptides, which are stored and released from dense-core secretory granules of neuroendocrine cells, have been implicated as playing multiple roles in the endocrine, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. In this issue of the JCI, Mahapatra et al. present in vivo evidence for 2 important functions of CHGA: the regulation of catecholamine-containing dense-core chromaffin granule biogenesis in the adrenal gland and the control of blood pressure. Obliteration of CHGA expression in a KO mouse model led to decreased size and number of chromaffin granules as well as hypertension in these animals. Transgenic expression of human Chga and exogenous injection of human catestatin, a CHGA-derived nicotinic cholinergic antagonist, restored normal blood pressure in these mice. These results suggest a coupled relationship between CHGA-mediated chromaffin granule biogenesis, necessary for catecholamine storage, and catestatin-induced inhibition of cholinergic-stimulated catecholamine release, which regulates autonomic control of blood pressure.
Taeyoon Kim, Y. Peng Loh