Role of the immune system in hypertensive target organ damage


  • H. Kvakan
  • F.C. Luft
  • D.N. Mueller


  • Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine


  • Trends Cardiovasc Med 19 (7): 242-246


  • Recent advances in our understanding of cardiovascular diseases clearly show that inflammation and activation of immunity are central features in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, ischemic myocardial injury, and also in hypertension-induced target organ damage. However, the idea that special immune cells could regulate immune responses in these conditions in favor of minimizing disease is a novel concept. Regulatory T cells have unique immune modulatory properties that offer an attractive alternative to common immunosuppressant drugs. Their application in animal models of autoimmunity and neoplastic conditions offers exciting therapeutic avenues. Thus, with the use of regulatory T cells in hypertension-induced target organ damage enables new insights into the pathophysiologic mechanisms and widen our knowledge of the role of the immune system in cardiovascular disease. The aim of this review was to summarize and discuss some of the most recent insights and put them into a perspective based on well-known interactions between immunity and hypertensive damage.