CCL2 mediates early renal leukocyte infiltration during salt-sensitive hypertension

Ammar J. Alsheikh, John Henry Dasinger, Justine M. Abais-Battad, Daniel J. Fehrenbach, Chun Yang, Allen W. Cowley, David L. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Studies examining mechanisms of Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) hypertension have implicated the infiltration of leukocytes in the kidneys, which contribute to renal disease and elevated blood pressure. However, the signaling pathways by which leukocytes traffic to the kidneys remain poorly understood. The present study nominated a signaling pathway by analyzing a kidney RNA sequencing data set from SS rats fed either a low-salt (0.4% NaCl) diet or a high-salt (4.0% NaCl) diet. From this analysis, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) and chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2) were nominated as a potential pathway modifying renal leukocyte infiltration and contributing to SS hypertension. The functional role of the CCL2/CCR2 pathway was tested by daily administration of CCR2 antagonist (RS-102895 at 5 mg·kg-1 ·day-1 in DMSO) or DMSO vehicle for 3 or 21 days by intraperitoneal injections during the high salt challenge. Blood pressure, renal leukocyte infiltration, and renal damage were evaluated. The results demonstrated that RS-102895 treatment ameliorated renal damage (urinary albumin excretion; 43.4 ± 5.1 vs. 114.7 ± 15.2 mg/day in vehicle, P <0.001) and hypertension (144.3 ± 2.2 vs. 158.9 ± 4.8 mmHg in vehicle, P <0.001) after 21 days of high-salt diet. It was determined that renal leukocyte infiltration was blunted by day 3 of the high-salt diet (1.4 ± 0.1 vs. 1.9 ± 0.2 in vehicle × 106 CD45+ cells/kidney, P =0.034). An in vitro chemotaxis assay validated the effect of RS-102895 on leukocyte chemotaxis toward CCL2. The results suggest that increased CCL2 in SS kidneys is important in the early recruitment of leukocytes, and blockade of this recruitment by administering RS-102895 subsequently blunted the renal damage and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F982-F993
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2
  • Chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2Dahl salt-sensitive rat
  • Hypertension
  • Leukocyte infiltration
  • RS-102895

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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