Lymphatic vessels are vital for the trafficking of immune cells from the interstitium to draining lymph nodes during inflammation. Hypertension is associated with renal infiltration of activated immune cells and inflammation, however it is unknown how renal lymphatic vessels change in hypertension. We hypothesized that renal macrophage infiltration and inflammation would cause increased lymphatic vessel density in hypertensive rats. Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) that exhibit hypertension and renal injury (SHR-A3 strain) had significantly increased renal lymphatic vessel density and macrophages at 40 weeks of age compared to Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) controls. SHR rats that exhibit hypertension but minimal renal injury (SHR-B2 strain) had significantly less renal lymphatic vessel density compared to WKY rats. The signals for lymphangiogenesis, VEGF-C and its receptor VEGF-R3, and pro-inflammatory cytokine genes increased significantly in the kidneys of SHR-A3 rats but not in SHR-B2 rats. Fischer 344 rats exhibit normal blood pressure but develop renal injury as they age. Kidneys from 24-month and/or 20-month old Fischer rats had significantly increased lymphatic vessel density, macrophage infiltration, VEGF-C and VEGF-R3 expression, and pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression compared to 4-month old controls. These data together demonstrate that renal immune cell infiltration and inflammation causes lymphangiogenesis in hypertension and aging associated renal injury.
- lymphatic endothelial cells
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology