Abstract 379: Circulating T Regulatory Lymphocytes and Microvascular Structural Alterations in Hypertensive Patients and Normotensive Subjects

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Background and Methods. Different components of the immune system, including innate immunity and adaptive immunity (T effector lymphocytes and T regulatory lymphocytes: Tregs) may be involved in the development of hypertension. In addition, it was recently demonstrated that Tregs may prevent angiotensin II-induced vascular injury/inflammation, while Th1, Th2 and Th17 may play a role in the progression of vascular remodeling. However, no data are available in human beings about relationships between T-lymphocyte subtypes and microvascular structure.

In the present, preliminary study, we enrolled 7 normotensive subjects and 3 hypertensive patients undergoing an election surgical intervention. No sign of local or systemic inflammation was present in any subjects or patients. All patients underwent a biopsy of subcutaneous fat during surgery. Subcutaneous small resistance arteries were dissected and mounted on a wire myograph, morphological parameter were measured, in particular media to lumen ratio (M/L) was calculated. A peripheral blood sample was obtained before surgery for assessment of T lymphocytes subpopulations by flow cytometry.

Results are summarized in the Table. RTE: recent thymus emigrant; naïve: no contact with antigens, TDEM: highly antigen-experienced cells that assume pro-apoptotic properties. Additional significant positive correlations were observed between M/L and Th17 effector lymphocytes: r=0.67, p<0.05).

Conclusion Our data suggest that some lymphocytes subpopulations may be related to microvascular remodeling, and open the possibility to regress small artery remodeling in human by specific drug modulation of lymphocyte subtypes.

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