What is it about?

Hypertension is a multifactorial pathology is one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors, affecting up to 30-40% of the general population. Complex immune responses are involved in the inflammatory mechanism of hypertension, with evidence pointing to increased inflammatory mediators even in prehypertensive patients. Chronic inflammation triggers endothelial dysfunction through proinflammatory cytokines. Increased serum level of proinflammatory cytokines in hypertensive patients has been associated with either increased blood pressure values and/or end-organ damage. Moreover, some cytokines (i.e., IL-6) seem to determine a hypertensive response to angiotensin II, regardless of blood pressure values.

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Why is it important?

Understanding hypertension as an inflammatory-based pathology gives way to new therapeutic targets. As such, conventional cardiovascular drugs (statins, calcium channels blockers, and ACEIs/ARBs) have shown additional anti-inflammatory effects that could be linked to their blood pressure-lowering properties. Moreover, anti-inflammatory drugs (mycophenolate mofetil) have been shown to decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients or prevent its development in normotensive individuals. Further research is needed to evaluate whether drugs targeting hypertensive-linked proinflammatory cytokines, such as monoclonal antibodies, could become a new therapeutic option in treating arterial hypertension.

Perspectives

Treating hypertension is not limited to blood pressure control. One of the most important goals is preventing/ counteracting end-organ damage. Taking into consideration that inflammation plays an important role in developing/ maintaining both hypertension and its subsequent endorgan damage, hypertensive patients may benefit from immunosuppressive therapies as a new therapeutic option. Future prospective trials are required to assess the impact of monoclonal antibodies targeting specific interleukins on blood pressure values, end-organ damage, and systemic inflammation in hypertensive patients.

Evelina Maria Gosav

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This page is a summary of: Arterial Hypertension and Interleukins: Potential Therapeutic Target or Future Diagnostic Marker?, International Journal of Hypertension, May 2019, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, DOI: 10.1155/2019/3159283.
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