Lead Researcher, Professor Tomasz Guzik, explains, “The aim of the project was to identify key alterations of the immune system in patients with hypertension. These were first studies comprehensively characterising immunity and inflammation, and human hypertension.”
Using tests looking at multiple cytokine levels circulating in plasma, along with studies characterising immune cells using flow cytometry techniques, Prof. Guzik identified how immune cells are attracted by vessels and kidneys in hypertension. “We identified that targeting chemokines, such as chemokine RANTES, may provide a potential therapy. We can use the same medications that are used in treatment of AIDS.”
But, as ever, there is no magic bullet. Hypertension is a disease of complex and multifactorial pathogenesis, so not all patients with hypertension have identical involvement of the immune system in pathology. “We identified that about 30 % of hypertensive patients have strong immune phenotype,” says Prof. Guzik.