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Circulation. 2003 Aug 19;108(7):785-7. Epub 2003 Aug 11.

Role of a decreased expression of the local renin-angiotensin system in the etiology of cerebral aneurysms.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, 5 Zaifu-cho, Hirosaki, 036-8562 Japan.



Local renin-angiotensin systems (RAS) have been implicated as playing an important role in vascular remodeling. The relationship of this system to the etiology of cerebral aneurysm was investigated.


The aneurysmal wall from patients with a ruptured or unruptured cerebral aneurysm and the cortical cerebral artery in control patients with head trauma or a glioma were taken during surgery for study. Local RAS were evaluated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and/or immunohistochemistry. RT-PCR analysis revealed a significantly decreased expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptor, basic fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor-AA, and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 mRNA in the aneurysmal wall as compared with the control cortical arterial wall. Immunohistochemistry also revealed a decreased expression of ACE, AT1 receptor, and angiotensin II in the aneurysmal wall.


Expression of local RAS was decreased in the aneurysmal wall, which may induce aneurysm formation caused by a lack of vascular remodeling that prevents the arterial wall from thickening under increased hemodynamic stress. This is the first report that suggests that a decreased expression of local RAS plays a part in the pathogenesis of any disease.

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