Splenocyte transfer from hypertensive donors eliminates premenopausal female protection from ANG II-induced hypertension

Megan A. Sylvester, Dennis P. Pollow, Caitlin Moffett, Wendy Nunez, Jennifer L. Uhrlaub, Janko Nikolich-Zugich, Heddwen L. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Premenopausal females are protected from angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced hypertension following the adoptive transfer of T cells from normotensive donors. For the present study, we hypothesized that the transfer of hypertensive T cells (HT) or splenocytes (HS) from hypertensive donors would eliminate premenopausal protection from hypertension. Premenopausal recombination-activating gene-1 (Rag-1)-/- females received either normotensive (NT) or hypertensive cells 3 wk before ANG II infusion (14 days, 490 ng/kg/min). Contrary to our hypothesis, no increase in ANG II-induced blood pressure was observed in the NT/ANG or HT/ANG groups. Flow cytometry demonstrated that renal FoxP3þ T regulatory cells were significantly decreased, and immunohistochemistry showed an increase in renal F4/80þ macrophages in the HT/ANG group, suggesting a shift in the renal inflammatory environment despite no change in blood pressure. Renal mRNA expression of macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), endothelin-1 (ET-1), and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor-1 (GPER-1) was significantly decreased in the HT/ANG group. The adoptive transfer of hypertensive splenocytes before ANG II infusion (HS/ANG) eliminated premenopausal protection from hypertension and significantly decreased splenic FoxP3þ T regulatory cells compared with females that received normotensive splenocytes (NS/ANG). Expression of macrophage inflammatory protein 1a/chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 3 (MCP-1/CCL3), a potent macrophage chemokine, was elevated in the HS/ANG group; however, no increase in renal macrophage infiltration occurred. Together, these data show that in premenopausal females, T cells from hypertensive donors are not sufficient to induce robust ANG II-mediated hypertension; in contrast, transfer of hypertensive splenocytes (consisting of T/B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages) is sufficient. Further work is needed to understand how innate and adaptive immune cells and estrogen signaling coordinate to cause differential hypertensive outcomes in premenopausal females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F245-F257
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Dendritic cell
  • Macrophage
  • Menopause
  • Sex differences
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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