Open Access

Connexin 43 in splenic lymphocytes is involved in the regulation of CD4+CD25+ T lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production in hypertensive inflammation

  • Authors:
    • Hai-Chao Zhang
    • Zhong-Shuang Zhang
    • Liang Zhang
    • Ai Wang
    • He Zhu
    • Li Li
    • Jun-Qiang Si
    • Xin-Zhi Li
    • Ke-Tao Ma
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: October 20, 2017     https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2017.3201
  • Pages:13-24
  • Copyright: © Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

Chronic inflammation promotes the development of hypertension and is associated with increased T cell infiltration and cytokine production in impaired organs. Gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43), is ubiquitously expressed in immune cells and plays an important role in T cell proliferation and activation, and cytokine production. However, the correlation between Cx43 in T cells and the hypertensive inflammatory response remains unknown. Thus, in this study, we wished to examine this correlation. First, our results revealed that hypertension caused significant thickening of the vascular wall, inflammatory cell infiltration into part of the renal interstitium and glomerular atrophy, and it increased the tubular damage scores in the kidneys of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Moreover, the SHRs exhibited stenosis in the central artery wall ofthe spleen with increased serum levels of interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-6 compared with normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. The spleens of the SHRs exhibited a significantly decreased percentage of CD4+CD25+ (Treg) T cells. However, the percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cell and the levels of CD4+Cx43 and CD8+Cx43 did not differ significantly between the SHRs and WKY rats. In cultured lymphocytes from the SHRs and WKY rats, low percentages of Treg cells and reduced cytokine (IL-2 and IL-6) mRNA expression levels were observed in the lymphocytes obtained from the SHRs and WKY rats treated with the connexin blocker, Gap27, or concanavalin A (ConA) plus Gap27. The effects of ConA and Gap27 differed between the SHRs and WKY rats. On the whole, our findings demonstrate that the splenic Treg cell-mediated suppression in SHRs may be involved in hypertensive inflammatory responses. Cx43 in the gap junctional channel may regulate lymphocyte activation and inflammatory cytokine production.

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January 2018
Volume 41 Issue 1

Print ISSN: 1107-3756
Online ISSN:1791-244X

2016 Impact Factor: 2.341
Ranked #21/128 Medicine Research and Experimental
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APA
Zhang, H., Zhang, Z., Zhang, L., Wang, A., Zhu, H., Li, L. ... Ma, K. (2018). Connexin 43 in splenic lymphocytes is involved in the regulation of CD4+CD25+ T lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production in hypertensive inflammation. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, 41, 13-24. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2017.3201
MLA
Zhang, H., Zhang, Z., Zhang, L., Wang, A., Zhu, H., Li, L., Si, J., Li, X., Ma, K."Connexin 43 in splenic lymphocytes is involved in the regulation of CD4+CD25+ T lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production in hypertensive inflammation". International Journal of Molecular Medicine 41.1 (2018): 13-24.
Chicago
Zhang, H., Zhang, Z., Zhang, L., Wang, A., Zhu, H., Li, L., Si, J., Li, X., Ma, K."Connexin 43 in splenic lymphocytes is involved in the regulation of CD4+CD25+ T lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production in hypertensive inflammation". International Journal of Molecular Medicine 41, no. 1 (2018): 13-24. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2017.3201