The renin angiotensin aldosterone system in hypertension: roles of insulin resistance and oxidative stress

Med Clin North Am. 2009 May;93(3):569-82. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2009.02.014.


The relationship between HTNand other components of the CMSis complex. However, there is growing evidence that enhanced activation of the RAAS is a key factor in the development of endothelial dysfunction and HTN. Insulin resistance is induced by activation of the RAAS and resulting increases in ROS. This insulin resistance occurs in cardiovascular tissue and in tissues traditionally considered as targets for the action of insulin, such as muscle and liver. Indeed, there is a mounting body of evidence that the resultant insulin resistance in cardiovascular tissue and kidneys contributes to the development of endothelial dysfunction, HTN, atherosclerosis, CKD, and CVD.77 RAAS-associated signaling by way of the AT1R and MR, triggers tissue activation of the NADPH oxidase enzymatic activation and increased production of ROS. Oxidative stress in cardiovascular tissue is derived from both NADPH oxidase and mitochondrial generation of ROS, and is central to the development of insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, HTN, and atherosclerosis. Pharmacologic blockade of the RAAS not only improves blood pressure, but alsohas a beneficial impact on inflammation, oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity, and glucose homeostasis. Several strategies are available for RAAS blockade, including ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and MR blockers, which have been proven in the clinical trials to result in improved CVD and CKD outcomes. New research in these areas will allow for a better understanding of the relationship between HTN, insulin resistance, and activation of the RAAS, which could result in newer alternatives for a more comprehensive management of HTN in the setting of the CMS..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism
  • Endothelium / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology


  • Angiotensin II
  • Sodium