Publications & Reports

Differential phenotypes of tissue-infiltrating T cells during angiotensin II-induced hypertension in mice.

Zihui Wei, Iresha Spizzo, Henry Diep, Grant R Drummond, Robert E Widdop, Antony Vinh
Department of Pharmacology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Hypertension remains the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Experimental hypertension is associated with increased T cell infiltration into blood pressure-controlling organs, such as the aorta and kidney; importantly in absence of T cells of the adaptive immune system, experimental hypertension is significantly blunted. However, the function and phenotype of these T cell infiltrates remains speculative and undefined in the setting of hypertension. The current study compared T cell-derived cytokine and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production from normotensive and hypertensive mice. Splenic, blood, aortic, kidney and brain T cells were isolated from C57BL/6J mice following 14-day vehicle or angiotensin (Ang) II (0.7 mg/kg/day, s.c.) infusion. T cell infiltration was increased in aorta, kidney and brain from hypertensive mice. Cytokine analysis in stimulated T cells indicated an overall Th1 pro-inflammatory phenotype, but a similar proportion (flow cytometry) and quantity (cytometric bead array) of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-4 and IL-17 between vehicle- and Ang II- treated groups. Strikingly, elevated T cell-derived production of a chemokine, chemokine C-C motif ligand 2 (CCL2), was observed in aorta ( approximately 6-fold) and kidney in response to Ang II, but not in brain, spleen or blood. Moreover, T cell-derived ROS production in aorta was elevated approximately 3 -fold in Ang II-treated mice (n = 7; P<0.05). Ang II-induced hypertension does not affect the overall T cell cytokine profile, but enhanced T cell-derived ROS production and/or leukocyte recruitment due to elevated CCL2, and this effect may be further amplified with increased infiltration of T cells. We have identified a potential hypertension-specific T cell phenotype that may represent a functional contribution of T cells to the development of hypertension, and likely several other associated vascular disorders.


  • Journal: PloS One
  • Published: 11/12/2014
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 12
  • Pagination: e114895