Immune mechanisms in hypertension

Avshalom Leibowitz, Ernesto L. Schiffrin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Innate and adaptive immune response may contribute to this process. The mechanisms implicating immune response in hypertension are still elusive. To date, the evidence originates in three major areas of data: cytokine production, central nervous system (CNS) stimulation, and kidney damage. The cytokine microenvironment can become proinflammatory and propagate low-grade inflammation, which may contribute to vascular injury and end-organ damage in hypertension. In addition, stimulation of the CNS by some stimuli (e.g., angiotensin II) causes mild hypertension that may modulate peripheral immune responses leading to aggravation of blood pressure elevation. The immune response can induce kidney injury and also interfere with sodium excretion, further contributing to elevation of blood pressure. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent data regarding the contribution of the different immune cell subsets and their response and mechanism of action in promoting hypertension and target-organ damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
CIHR/Government of Canada
Canada Fund for Innovation
Canadian Institutes of Health Research102606, 37917, 82790


    • Adaptive and innate immune responses
    • Cytokines
    • Hypertension
    • Immune response
    • Inflammation
    • Interferon
    • Interleukins
    • Macrophages
    • Mechanisms
    • T effector and T regulatory (Treg) lymphocytes
    • Tumor necrosis factor


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