Purpose of review: The renin-angiotensin system plays an important role in cardiovascular disease via the production of angiotensin II. Over the past decades, however, more and more evidence has accumulated suggesting an important role for another angiotensin: Angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)]. In this review, we discuss the recent findings on the effects of Ang-(1-7) and the angiotensin-converting enzyme2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis on the cardiovascular system.
Recent findings: Recent studies demonstrated that Ang-(1-7) exerts a vasodilatory and antiproliferative effect via stimulation of the Mas receptor and inhibition of the effects of angiotensin-type 1 receptor stimulation by angiotensin II. This results in a dynamic equilibrium between Ang-(1-7) and angiotensin II. Various animal studies have demonstrated that Ang-(1-7) has beneficial effects on blood pressure, kidney function, and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Although targeting the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis has been difficult so far, several new therapeutic strategies are being developed. Promising results of these new strategies on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease were demonstrated in animal studies.
Summary: The beneficial effects of the angiotensin-converting enzyme2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis have been widely demonstrated in animal studies and provide a promising basis for further development of drugs targeting this axis of the renin-angiotensin system. Further research in humans, however, is necessary to make a serious step forward.
Video abstract: http://links.lww.com/CONH/A8.