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Hypertens Res. 2009 Oct;32(10):826-34. doi: 10.1038/hr.2009.135. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Next generation multifunctional angiotensin receptor blockers.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are well-tolerated drugs that are known to be useful for inhibiting activity of the renin-angiotensin (RAS) system, treating hypertension and reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, inhibition of the RAS does not control all pathophysiological mechanisms of hypertension or cardiovascular risk and many patients continue to suffer from cardiovascular events and metabolic disturbances despite being treated with an ARB, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or both, in addition to other standard therapies for cardiovascular disease. Recently, it has become apparent that bifunctional molecules can be designed that do more than just block AT(1) receptors and that can target additional mechanisms of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes besides just increased activity of the renin-angiotensin system. Specifically, next generation ARBs are becoming available that are intended to not only antagonize AT(1) receptors, but also block endothelin receptors, function as nitric oxide donors, inhibit neprilysin activity and increase natriuretic peptide levels, or stimulate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma). In this review, we: (1) discuss the potential importance of multifunctional ARBs that can reduce cardiovascular and metabolic risk through multiple mechanisms that go beyond just inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system and (2) describe specific examples of next generation ARBs in development that are intended to do more than simply block AT(1) receptors.

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