Despite its well-known antithrombotic properties, the effect of aspirin on blood pressure (BP) and hypertension pathology is unclear. The hugely varying doses used clinically have contributed to this confusion, with high-dose aspirin still commonly used due to concerns about the efficacy of low-dose aspirin. Because prostaglandins have been shown to both promote and inhibit T-cell activation, we also explored the immunomodulatory properties of aspirin in hypertension. Although the common preclinical high dose of 100 mg/kg/d improved vascular dysfunction and cardiac hypertrophy, this effect was accompanied by indices of elevated adaptive immunity, renal T-cell infiltration, renal fibrosis, and BP elevation in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats and in angiotensin II-induced hypertensive mice. The cardioprotective effects of aspirin were conserved with a lower dose (10 mg/kg/d) while circumventing heightened adaptive immunity and elevated BP. We also show that low-dose aspirin improves renal fibrosis. Differential inhibition of the COX-2 isoform may underlie the disparate effects of the 2 doses. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of low-dose aspirin in treating a vast array of cardiovascular parameters and suggest modulation of adaptive immunity as a novel mechanism underlying adverse cardiovascular profiles associated with COX-2 inhibitors. Clinical studies should identify the dose of aspirin that achieves maximal cardioprotection with a new awareness that higher doses of aspirin could trigger undesired autoimmunity in hypertensive individuals. This work also warrants an evaluation of high-dose aspirin and COX-2 inhibitor therapy in sufferers of inflammatory conditions who are already at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.-Khan, S. I., Shihata, W. A., Andrews, K. L., Lee, M. K. S., Moore, X.-L., Jefferis, A.-M., Vinh, A., Gaspari, T., Dragoljevic, D., Jennings, G. L., Murphy, A. J., Chin-Dusting, J. P. F. Effects of high- and low-dose aspirin on adaptive immunity and hypertension in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat.