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Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006 Dec;8(6):479-83.

Urotensin-II and cardiovascular diseases.


Urotensin-II (U-II) is a vasoactive factor with pleiotropic effects. U-II exerts its activity by binding to a G-protein-coupled receptor termed UT. U-II and its receptor are highly expressed in the cardiovascular system. Increased U-II plasma levels have been reported in patients with cardiovascular disease of varying etiologies. We and others have shown that U-II and UT expression is elevated in both clinical and experimental heart failure and atherosclerosis. U-II induces cardiac fibrosis by increasing fibroblast collagen synthesis. In addition, U-II induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and increased vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. We have shown that U-II antagonism using a selective U-II blocker, SB-611812 reduces neointimal thickening and increases lumen diameter in a rat restenosis model of carotid artery angioplasty. These findings suggest an important role for U-II in cardiovascular dysfunction and remodeling.

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