Angiotensin-(1-7): pharmacological properties and pharmacotherapeutic perspectives

Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):303-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.02.090. Epub 2008 Mar 15.


Therapeutic modulation of the renin-angiotensin system is not complete without taking into consideration the beneficial effects of angiotensin-(1-7) in cardiovascular pathology. Various pharmacological pathways are already exploited to involve this heptapeptide in therapy as both inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers increase its levels. These drugs and administered angiotensin-(1-7) elicit various common effects, and some effects of the drugs are partially mediated by angiotensin-(1-7). The pharmacodynamic profile of angiotensin-(1-7) is rather complex, and in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated a wide palette of effects for angiotensin-(1-7), some of them potentially beneficial for cardiovascular disease. Using various animal models to study cardiovascular physiology and disease it was shown that angiotensin-(1-7) has antihypertensive, antihypertrophic, antifibrotic and antithrombotic properties, all properties that may prove beneficial in a clinical setting. We also observed a novel action of angiotensin-(1-7), namely its capacity to stimulate the proliferation of endothelial progenitor cells. Access of angiotensin-(1-7) to the clinic, however, is restricted due to its unfavorable pharmacokinetic properties. In order to benefit of the therapeutic potential of angiotensin-(1-7) it is crucial to increase its half-life, either by using more stable analogues, which are now under development, or specific delivery methods. We here review the pharmacological characteristics and therapeutic potential of angiotensin-(1-7), implementing the experimental strategies taken to exploit the pharmacological mechanism of this heptapeptide in a clinical setting, and present our contribution to this field of research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin I / pharmacokinetics
  • Angiotensin I / pharmacology*
  • Angiotensin I / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Heart Diseases / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacokinetics
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology*
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects
  • Ventricular Remodeling / drug effects


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Angiotensin I
  • angiotensin I (1-7)