Could targeting our immune responses help in the fight against hypertension? | Result In Brief | CORDIS

To muddy the waters further, many patients are treated with potent medications that can alter the inflammatory profile. For example, the researchers found that patients receiving angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, exhibit a reduced inflammatory signature, which may in part explain their beneficial effects.

The identification of immune/inflammatory mechanisms of human hypertension is only the first step towards successful therapeutic use, or their use as biomarkers. “Many cardiologists are reluctant to consider immune targeted medications in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, for fear of side effects, so we need to identify specific hypertension related mechanisms that can be used for development of safer treatments.”

These studies indicate that development of novel therapies targeting inflammation is feasible and should be launched in the near future. “Another interesting finding is that targeting chronic inflammatory processes in the body – for example in the mouth (like periodontitis, gum inflammation), or in the skin (psoriasis) – may be essential in improving the control of blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The latter may indicate that dentists for example could help in the treatment of hypertension.”

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