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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013 Jun 1;304(11):R917-28. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00395.2012. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Antioxidant-based therapies for angiotensin II-associated cardiovascular diseases.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA.


Cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and heart failure, are associated with activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and increased circulating and tissue levels of ANG II, a primary effector peptide of the RAS. Through its actions on various cell types and organ systems, ANG II contributes to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases by inducing cardiac and vascular hypertrophy, vasoconstriction, sodium and water reabsorption in kidneys, sympathoexcitation, and activation of the immune system. Cardiovascular research over the past 15-20 years has clearly implicated an important role for elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mediating these pathophysiological actions of ANG II. As such, the use of antioxidants, to reduce the elevated levels of ROS, as potential therapies for various ANG II-associated cardiovascular diseases has been intensely investigated. Although some antioxidant-based therapies have shown therapeutic impact in animal models of cardiovascular disease and in human patients, others have failed. In this review, we discuss the benefits and limitations of recent strategies, including gene therapy, dietary sources, low-molecular-weight free radical scavengers, polyethylene glycol conjugation, and nanomedicine-based technologies, which are designed to deliver antioxidants for the improved treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Although much work has been completed, additional research focusing on developing specific antioxidant molecules or proteins and identifying the ideal in vivo delivery system for such antioxidants is necessary before the use of antioxidant-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases become a clinical reality.


angiotensin; antioxidants; cardiovascular disease; free radical scavengers; oxidative stress; therapy

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