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Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2002 Apr;3(4):569-77.

Angiotensin II as a pro-inflammatory mediator.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610, USA.


Angiotensin II (Ang II), the most important component of the renin-angiotensin system, is usually associated with hypertension and renal failure. Through its pro-inflammatory actions, it also plays an important role in each step of the development of atherosclerotic plaques and plaque rupture. Ang II stimulates the expression of nuclear factor-kappaB (NFkappaB), a transcription factor which regulates gene expression of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Ang II type 1 receptors (AT1) and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) are dramatically increased in atherosclerotic plaques, particularly in monocytes at the fibrous cap. Thus, in multiple ways, Ang II is a critical factor in atherosclerotic plaque formation, inflammation and plaque stability. ACE inhibitors and AT1R inhibitors could therefore be appropriate therapeutic agents in the treatment of atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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