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T cells contribute to development of high blood pressure but their role in salt-sensitive hypertension is less clear. Liu et al. show that CD8+ T cells upregulate and activate Na-Cl co-transporter NCC in distal convoluted tubules via direct cell-cell contact and ROS-Src activation, leading to Na+ retention and salt-sensitive hypertension.
The underlying cause of hypertension is unknown in the vast majority of patients with high blood pressure. This Perspectives article discusses the role of T cells in renal inflammation and how autoimmunity, mediated by heat shock proteins, leads to salt-sensitive hypertension.