Targeting the vasoprotective axis of the renin-angiotensin system: a novel strategic approach to pulmonary hypertensive therapy

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2010 Aug;12(4):212-9. doi: 10.1007/s11906-010-0122-6.


A decade has passed since the discovery of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a component of the ACE2-angiotensin (Ang)-(1-7)-Mas counterregulatory axis of the renin angiotensin system (RAS). ACE2 is considered an endogenous regulator of the vasoconstrictive, proliferative, fibrotic, and proinflammatory effects of the ACE-Ang II-angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT(1)R) axis. Both animal and clinical studies have emerged to define a role for ACE2 in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). There is scientific evidence supporting the concept that ACE2 maintains the RAS balance and plays a protective role in PAH. The activation of pulmonary ACE2 could influence the pathogenesis of PAH and serve as a novel therapeutic target in PAH. Current therapeutic strategies and interventions have limited success, and PAH remains a fatal disease. Thus, more research that establishes the novel therapeutic potential and defines the mechanism of the ACE2-Ang-(1-7)-Mas counterregulatory axis in PAH is needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / drug effects*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2