Autoimmunity: An Underlying Factor in the Pathogenesis of Hypertension
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- Mathis, K.W., Broome, H.J. & Ryan, M.J. Curr Hypertens Rep (2014) 16: 424. doi:10.1007/s11906-014-0424-1
One in every three adults in the United States has hypertension, and the underlying cause of most of these cases is unknown. Therefore, it is imperative to continue the study of mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Decades ago, studies speculated that elements of an autoimmune response were associated with the development of hypertension based, in part, on the presence of circulating autoantibodies in hypertensive patients. In the past decade, a growing number of studies have been published supporting the concept that self-antigens and the subsequent activation of the adaptive immune system promote the development of hypertension. This manuscript will provide a brief review of the evidence supporting a role for the immune system in the development of hypertension, studies that implicate both cell-mediated and humoral immunity, and the relevance of understanding blood pressure control in an autoimmune disease model with hypertension.