Dietary Effects on Dahl Salt-Sensitive Hypertension, Renal Damage, and the T Lymphocyte Transcriptome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Medical College of Wisconsin


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-863
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatusPublished - Oct 1 2019


The Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rat is an established model of SS hypertension and renal damage. In addition to salt, other dietary components were shown to be important determinants of hypertension in SS rats. With previous work eliminating the involvement of genetic differences, grain-fed SS rats from Charles River Laboratories (SS/CRL; 5L2F/5L79) were less susceptible to salt-induced hypertension and renal damage compared with purified diet-fed SS rats bred at the Medical College of Wisconsin (SS/MCW; 0.4% NaCl, AIN-76A). With the known role of immunity in hypertension, the present study characterized the immune cells infiltrating SS/MCW and SS/CRL kidneys via flow cytometry and RNA sequencing in T-cells isolated from the blood and kidneys of rats maintained on their respective parental diet or on 3 weeks of high salt (4.0% NaCl, AIN-76A). SS/CRL rats were protected from salt-induced hypertension (116.5±1.2 versus 141.9±14.4 mm Hg), albuminuria (21.7±3.5 versus 162.9±22.2 mg/d), and renal immune cell infiltration compared with SS/MCW. RNA-seq revealed >50% of all annotated genes in the entire transcriptome to be significantly differentially expressed in T-cells isolated from blood versus kidney, regardless of colony or chow. Pathway analysis of significantly differentially expressed genes between low and high salt conditions demonstrated changes related to inflammation in SS/MCW renal T-cells compared with metabolism-related pathways in SS/CRL renal T-cells. These functional and transcriptomic T-cell differences between SS/MCW and SS/CRL show that dietary components in addition to salt may influence immunity and the infiltration of immune cells into the kidney, ultimately impacting susceptibility to salt-induced hypertension and renal damage.

    Research areas

  • albuminuria, diet, flow cytometry, hypertension, transcriptome