Indole Propionic Acid Increases T Regulatory Cells and Decreases T Helper 17 Cells and Blood Pressure in Mice with Salt-Sensitive Hypertension. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hypertension affects over a billion adults worldwide and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies have reported that the microbiota and its metabolites regulate hypertension pathophysiology. Recently, tryptophan metabolites have been identified to contribute to and inhibit the progression of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. Indole propionic acid (IPA) is a tryptophan metabolite with reported protective effects in neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases; however, its involvement in renal immunomodulation and sodium handling in hypertension is unknown. In the current study, targeted metabolomic analysis revealed decreased serum and fecal IPA levels in mice with L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME)/high salt diet-induced hypertension (LSHTN) compared to normotensive control mice. Additionally, kidneys from LSHTN mice had increased T helper 17 (Th17) cells and decreased T regulatory (Treg) cells. Dietary IPA supplementation in LSHTN mice for 3 weeks resulted in decreased systolic blood pressure, along with increased total 24 h and fractional sodium excretion. Kidney immunophenotyping demonstrated decreased Th17 cells and a trend toward increased Treg cells in IPA-supplemented LSHTN mice. In vitro, nave T cells from control mice were skewed into Th17 or Treg cells. The presence of IPA decreased Th17 cells and increased Treg cells after 3 days. These results identify a direct role for IPA in attenuating renal Th17 cells and increasing Treg cells, leading to improved sodium handling and decreased blood pressure. IPA may be a potential metabolite-based therapeutic option for hypertension.

published proceedings

  • Int J Mol Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Baranwal, G., Goodlett, B. L., Arenaz, C. M., Creed, H. A., Navaneethabalakrishnan, S., Rutkowski, J. M., Alaniz, R. C., & Mitchell, B. M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Baranwal, Gaurav||Goodlett, Bethany L||Arenaz, Cristina M||Creed, Heidi A||Navaneethabalakrishnan, Shobana||Rutkowski, Joseph M||Alaniz, Robert C||Mitchell, Brett M

publication date

  • May 2023