Some interesting observations have been made on how immune system can modulate blood pressure. First, Guzik et al reported that mice deficient in B and T cells (RAG1-/-) have attenuated blood pressure response to angiotensin II infusion. This group further defined, by adoptive transfer, that T cells mediate the hypertensive response to angiotensin II. Similarly, Crowley et al reported a similar reduction in blood pressure to angiotensin II in mice with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). Furthermore, he showed SCID mice are able to excrete more sodium in the urine during angiotensin II infusion.These intriguing results could offer a role for anti-inflammatory modulation in the treatment of hypertension in the future.
As you can see the field of hypertension research continues to expand. I only highlighted a few of the novel studies that are being investigated in the research community. Other areas of intensive investigation are in the vascular system, adrenal, oxidative stress, cardiovascular and renal to name a few. When all of the exciting research , hopefully new treatments for hypertension will be developed soon.
Matthew Sparks, MD