: Hypertension is a growing health concern worldwide. Established hypertension is a causative factor of heart failure, which is characterized by increased vascular resistance and intractable uncontrolled blood pressure. Hypertension and heart failure have multiple causes and complex pathophysiology but cellular immunity is thought to contribute to the development of both. Recent studies showed that T cells play critical roles in hypertension and heart failure in humans and animals, with various stimuli leading to the formation of effector T cells that infiltrate the cardiovascular wall. Monocytes/macrophages also accumulate in the cardiovascular wall. Various cytokines (e.g. interleukin-6, interleukin-17, interleukin-10, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interferon-γ) released from immune cells of various subtypes promote vascular senescence and elastic laminal degradation as well as cardiac fibrosis and/or hypertrophy, leading to cardiovascular structural alterations and dysfunction. Recent laboratory evidence has defined a link between inflammation and the immune system in initiation and progression of hypertension and heart failure. Moreover, cross-talk among natural killer cells, adaptive immune cells (T cells and B cells), and innate immune cells (i.e. monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells) contributes to end-cardiovasculature damage and dysfunction in hypertension and heart failure. Clinical and experimental studies on the diagnostic potential of T-cell subsets revealed that blood regulatory T cells, CD4 cells, CD8 T cells, and the ratio of CD4 to CD8 T cells show promise as biomarkers of hypertension and heart failure. Therapeutic interventions to suppress activation of these cells may prove beneficial in reducing end-organ damage and preventing consequences of cardiovascular failure, including hypertension of heart failure.

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PubMed