Urotensin-II and cardiovascular diseases

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006 Dec;8(6):479-83. doi: 10.1007/s11906-006-0026-7.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Atherosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Up-Regulation / physiology
  • Urotensins / blood
  • Urotensins / metabolism
  • Urotensins / physiology*


  • Urotensins
  • urotensin II