Natural killer cells, gamma delta T cells and classical monocytes are associated with systolic blood pressure in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA)

Joseph A.C. Delaney*, Nels C. Olson, Colleen M. Sitlani, Alison E. Fohner, Sally A. Huber, Alan L. Landay, Susan R. Heckbert, Russell P. Tracy, Bruce M. Psaty, Matt Feinstein, Margaret F. Doyle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Hypertension is a major source of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent evidence from mouse models, genetic, and cross-sectional human studies suggest increased proportions of selected immune cell subsets may be associated with levels of systolic blood pressure (SBP). Methods: We assayed immune cells from cryopreserved samples collected at the baseline examination (2000–2002) from 1195 participants from the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). We used linear mixed models, with adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, exercise, body mass index, education, diabetes, and cytomegalovirus titers, to estimate the associations between 30 immune cell subsets (4 of which were a priori hypotheses) and repeated measures of SBP (baseline and up to four follow-up measures) over 10 years. The analysis provides estimates of the association with blood pressure level. Results: The mean age of the MESA participants at baseline was 64 ± 10 years and 53% were male. A one standard deviation (1-SD) increment in the proportion of γδ T cells was associated with 2.40 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.34–3.42] higher average systolic blood pressure; and for natural killer cells, a 1-SD increment was associated with 1.88 mmHg (95% CI 0.82–2.94) higher average level of systolic blood pressure. A 1-SD increment in classical monocytes (CD14++CD16) was associated with 2.01 mmHG (95% CI 0.79–3.24) lower average systolic blood pressure. There were no associations of CD4+ T helper cell subsets with average systolic blood pressure. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the innate immune system plays a role in levels of SBP whereas there were no associations with adaptive immune cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Adaptive immunity
  • Cryopreserved cells
  • Innate immunity
  • Longitudinal cohort study
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes
  • Systolic blood pressure
  • Γδ T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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