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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2010 Mar;298(3):H938-44. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00707.2009. Epub 2009 Dec 31.

Immune regulation and vascular inflammation in genetic hypertension.

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Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Immune cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension. We hypothesized that under the influence of chromosome (chr)2, T lymphocytes contribute to vascular inflammation in genetic salt-sensitive hypertension. Normotensive (Brown Norway), hypertensive (Dahl salt-sensitive), and consomic rats (SSBN2; in which chr2 has been transferred from Brown Norway to Dahl rats) were studied. Systolic blood pressure, measured by tail cuff, and aortic preproendothelin mRNA, measured by quantitative RT-PCR, were elevated in Dahl rats compared with Brown Norway rats and were reduced in SSBN2 rats compared with Dahl rats (P < 0.01). Compared with Brown Norway rats, Dahl rats exhibited increased inflammatory markers and mediators such as nuclear translocation of the aortic p65 subunit of NF-kappaB as well as VCAM-1, ICAM-1, chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 5, and CD4 mRNA, all of which were reduced in SSBN2 rats. Aortic CD8 mRNA was equally increased in Dahl and SSBN2 rats relative to Brown Norway rats. CD4(+) T cell infiltration in the aorta of SSBN2 rats was reduced compared with Dahl rats, whereas the aortic protein expression of Foxp3b and immunosuppressors transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta(1) and IL-10, the three markers associated with the regulatory T cell lineage, were enhanced in SSBN2 rats. Activation in vitro of T cells demonstrated that CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD8(+)CD25(+) cells (Tregs) produce IL-10 in SSBN2 rats. Thus, increased vascular inflammatory responses and hypertension in a genetic salt-sensitive hypertensive rodent model are reduced by transfer of chr2 from a normotensive strain, and this is associated with enhanced levels of immunosuppressive mediators.

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