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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;35(6):838-46.

A local pancreatic renin-angiotensin system: endocrine and exocrine roles.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N. T., Hong Kong, PR China.


The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is classically characterized as a circulating hormonal system primarily through the production of the physiologically active product angiotensin II (Ang II) that plays a crucial role in the regulation of blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. In addition to this circulating RAS, numerous tissues and organs have been recently demonstrated to exhibit their own RAS products and activities. Such an intrinsic RAS can modulate the specific local functions of their respective tissues and organs, frequently in a paracrine and autocrine manner. Recent findings from our laboratories and others have made a significant contribution on the expression, localization, regulation, and potential role of a local RAS in the pancreas. Although, it is quite intriguing that components of the local pancreatic RAS are responsive to various physiological and pathophysiological conditions, the crucial role of this system in regulating the exocrine and endocrine functions and ultimately the clinical relevance to pancreatic disease is still largely equivocal. Of particular interest in this context are the actions of pancreatic RAS on the growth, anti-proliferation and free radical generation in the pancreas. The aims of the current article focus on the emerging data on the local pancreatic RAS; its involvement in exocrine acinar and endocrine islet aspects, and the clinical significance in the pancreas are particularly addressed. The target for the local pancreatic RAS may provide a new insight into future management of various clinical conditions including islet transplants, diabetes mellitus, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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