Sex-Specific Mechanisms in Inflammation and Hypertension

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2019 May 23;21(7):53. doi: 10.1007/s11906-019-0959-2.


Purpose of review: Despite enhanced screening and therapeutic management, hypertension remains the most prevalent chronic disease in the United States and the leading cause of heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and stroke in both men and women. It is widely accepted that hypertension is a pro-inflammatory disease and that the immune system plays a vital role in mediating hypertensive outcomes and end organ damage. Despite known discrepancies in the risk of hypertension development between men and women, preclinical models of immune-mediated hypertension were historically developed solely in male animals, leading to a lack of sex-specific clinical practice guidelines or therapeutic targets.

Recent findings: Following the NIH policy on the consideration of sex as a biological variable in 2015, significant advancements have been made into sex-specific disease mechanisms in inflammation and hypertension. This review article serves to critically evaluate recent advancements in the field of sex-specific immune-mediated hypertension.

Keywords: Antigen presenting cells; Cytokine; Inflammasome; Menopause; Sex differences; T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / immunology
  • Inflammation*
  • Male
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic*
  • Sex Factors
  • United States