Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2: central regulator for cardiovascular function

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2010 Jun;12(3):170-5. doi: 10.1007/s11906-010-0105-7.


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a new component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Accumulating evidence shows that ACE2 provides protective effects in peripheral tissues and has great potential for the treatment of RAS-related diseases. The role of ACE2 in the central nervous system is not well established. However, in recent years, much more progress has been made on the studies of this carboxypeptidase in the central regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular function in general. It has been shown that brain ACE2 interacts with the other components of the RAS (ACE, angiotensin II, and angiotensin II type 1 receptor), protects baroreflex and autonomic function, stimulates nitric oxide release, reduces oxidative stress, and prevents the development of or attenuates hypertension. These data support the critical role of ACE2 in the central regulation of cardiovascular function. This review summarizes recently published data on the central effects of ACE2 in the regulation of cardiovascular function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Autonomic Nervous System / enzymology
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Baroreflex
  • Carboxypeptidases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / enzymology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cardiovascular System / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / enzymology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / physiology*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology*


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Carboxypeptidases
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2