M2 macrophage accumulation in the aortic wall during angiotensin II infusion in mice is associated with fibrosis, elastin loss, and elevated blood pressure Academic Article uri icon


  • Macrophages accumulate in blood vessels during hypertension. However, their contribution to vessel remodeling is unknown. In the present study, we examined the polarization state of macrophages (M1/M2) in aortas of mice during hypertension and investigated whether antagonism of chemokine receptors involved in macrophage accumulation reduces vessel remodeling and blood pressure (BP). Mice treated with ANG II (0.7 mg·kg−1·day−1, 14 days) had elevated systolic BP (158 ± 3 mmHg) compared with saline-treated animals (122 ± 3 mmHg). Flow cytometry revealed that ANG II infusion increased numbers of CD45+CD11b+Ly6Chi monocytes and CD45+CD11b+F4/80+ macrophages by 10- and 2-fold, respectively. The majority of macrophages were positive for the M2 marker CD206 but negative for the M1 marker inducible nitric oxide synthase. Expression of other M2 genes (arginase-1, Fc receptor-like S scavenger receptor, and receptor-1) was elevated in aortas from ANG II-treated mice, whereas M1 genes [TNF and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 2] were unaltered. A PCR array to identify chemokine receptor targets for intervention revealed chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2) to be upregulated in aortas from ANG II-treated mice, while flow cytometry identified Ly6Chi monocytes as the main CCR2-expressing cell type. Intervention with a CCR2 antagonist (INCB3344; 30 mg·kg−1·day−1), 7 days after the commencement of ANG II infusion, reduced aortic macrophage numbers. INCB334 also reduced aortic collagen deposition, elastin loss, and BP in ANG II-treated mice. Thus, ANG II-dependent hypertension in mice is associated with Ly6Chi monocyte and M2 macrophage accumulation in the aorta. Inhibition of macrophage accumulation with a CCR2 antagonist prevents ANG II-induced vessel fibrosis and elevated BP, highlighting this as a promising approach for the future treatment of vessel remodeling/stiffening in hypertension.

publication date

  • 2015