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Peptides. 2011 Oct;32(10):2141-50. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2011.09.010. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

A new look at the renin-angiotensin system--focusing on the vascular system.

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1
Kidney Research Centre, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Abstract

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS), critically involved in the control of blood pressure and volume homeostasis, is a dual system comprising a circulating component and a local tissue component. The rate limiting enzyme is renin, which in the circulating RAS derives from the kidney to generate Ang II, which in turn regulates cardiovascular function by binding to AT(1) and AT(2) receptors on cardiac, renal and vascular cells. The tissue RAS can operate independently of the circulating RAS and may be activated even when the circulating RAS is suppressed or normal. A functional tissue RAS has been identified in brain, kidney, heart, adipose tissue, hematopoietic tissue, gastrointestinal tract, liver, endocrine system and blood vessels. Whereas angiotensinsinogen, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), Ang I and Ang II are synthesized within these tissues, there is still controversy as to whether renin is produced locally or whether it is taken up from the circulation, possibly by the (pro)renin receptor. This is particularly true in the vascular wall, where expression of renin is very low. The exact function of the vascular RAS remains elusive, but may contribute to fine-tuning of vascular tone and arterial structure and may amplify vascular effects of the circulating RAS, particularly in pathological conditions, such as in hypertension, atherosclerosis and diabetes. New concepts relating to the vascular RAS have recently been elucidated including: (1) the presence of functionally active Ang-(1-7)-Mas axis in the vascular system, (2) the importance of the RAS in perivascular adipose tissue and cross talk with vessels, and (3) the contribution to vascular RAS of Ang II derived from immune and inflammatory cells within the vascular wall. The present review highlights recent progress in the RAS field, focusing on the tissue system and particularly on the vascular RAS.

PMID:
21945916
DOI:
10.1016/j.peptides.2011.09.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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