Reversal of Vascular Macrophage Accumulation and Hypertension by a CCR2 Antagonist in Deoxycorticosterone/Salt-Treated Mice
Infiltration of macrophages into the artery wall plays detrimental roles during hypertension by promoting vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, and it occurs via a chemo-attractant action of chemokines on macrophage cytokine receptors. We sought to identify the key chemokine receptors associated with macrophage infiltration into the vascular wall during deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)/salt-induced hypertension in mice and to evaluate the impact of pharmacological inhibition of these receptors on blood pressure and leukocyte accumulation. Mice treated with DOCA/salt for 21 days displayed markedly elevated systolic blood pressure (158±2 versus 114±5 mm Hg in sham group; P<0.0001). Polymerase chain reaction screening via a gene array of 20 chemokine receptors indicated an increased expression of CCR2 in aortas of DOCA/salt-treated mice. Real-time polymerase chain reaction confirmed mRNA upregulation of CCR2 in aortas from DOCA/salt-treated animals and of the CCR2 ligands CCL2, CCL7, CCL8, and CCL12 (all >2-fold versus sham; P<0.05). Flow cytometry revealed 2.9-fold higher macrophage numbers (ie, CD45+ CD11b+ F4/80+ cells) in the aortic wall of DOCA/salt versus sham-treated mice. Intervention with a CCR2 antagonist, INCB3344 (30 mg/kg per day, IP), 10 days after the induction of hypertension with DOCA/salt treatment, reduced the aortic expression of CCR2 mRNA and completely reversed the DOCA/salt-induced influx of macrophages. Importantly, INCB3344 substantially reduced the elevated blood pressure in DOCA/salt-treated mice. Hence, our findings highlight CCR2 as a promising therapeutic target to reduce both macrophage accumulation in the vascular wall and blood pressure in hypertension.
- Received June 28, 2012.
- Revision received July 22, 2012.
- Accepted August 27, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.