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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2011 Apr;11(2):156-61. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2010.12.001. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

The central nervous system and inflammation in hypertension.

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Divison of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine and the Atlanta Veteran Administration Hospital, Atlanta, GA, USA.


In recent years a major research effort has focused on the role of inflammation, and in particular adaptive immunity, in the genesis of hypertension. Hypertension stimulates the accumulation of inflammatory cells including macrophages and T lymphocytes in peripheral tissues important in blood pressure control, such as the kidney and vasculature. Angiotensin II modulates blood pressure via actions on the central nervous system (CNS) and the adaptive immune system. Recent work suggests that the central actions of angiotensin II via the circumventricular organs lead to activation of circulating T-cells and vascular inflammation. The neuro-immune system plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of hypertension and further understanding of this relationship could lead to the development of new treatment strategies.

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