Primary or secondary activation of immune mechanisms has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many forms of hypertension. Changes in serum immunoglobulin levels, alterations in both humoral and cellular immune functions, and inherited abnormalities of the complement system have been identified in patients with essential hypertension. In addition, many models of spontaneous hypertension (such as the Okamoto and Lyon strains of hypertensive rats and the hypertensive New Zealand Black mouse) have identifiable abnormalities in immune function that are associated with their hypertensive disease. Other models (such as partial renal infarct hypertension, post-mineralocorticoid-salt hypertension, and hypertension induced by repeated injections of angiotensin II) also may have primary or secondary immunologic factors contributing to their etiology. Although there is a strong association between alterations in immune function and hypertension, the specific immunologic mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of hypertension are not known. Therefore, further investigation will be necessary to elucidate these mechanisms.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association