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Lab Reports
November 5, 2014

Hypertension May Be an Autoimmune Disease

JAMA. 2014;312(17):1729. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14883

New research suggests that oxidation and inflammation may cause alterations in self-proteins that activate an immune response, leading to blood pressure elevation (Kirabo A et al. J Clin Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI74084 [published online September 17, 2014]).

Using mouse models of hypertension, a team led by investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville found that proteins oxidatively modified by molecules called isoketals activate antigen-presenting dendritic cells of the immune system. These cells in turn stimulate T cells to produce cytokines that promote hypertension. Compounds that scavenge isoketals prevented these hypertension-associated events.

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