In addition to the classic, endocrine renin-angiotensin system, local renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has been documented in many tissues and organs, including the ovaries. The localization and functional activity of the two opposing axes of the system, viz. ACE1/Ang II/AT1 and ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/MAS1, differs between animal species and varied according to the stage of follicle development. It appears that the angiotensin peptides and their receptors participate in reproductive processes such as folliculogenesis, steroidogenesis, oocyte maturation, and ovulation. In addition, changes in the constituent compounds of local RAS may contribute to pathological conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and ovarian cancer. This review article examines the expression, localization, metabolism, and activity of individual elements of the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/MAS1 axis in the ovaries of various animal species. The manuscript also presents the relationship between the secretion of gonadotropins and sex hormones and expression of Ang-(1-7) and MAS1 receptors. It also summarizes current knowledge regarding the positive and negative impact of ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/MAS1 axis on ovarian function.
Keywords: ACE; MAS; RAS; angiotensin-(1-7); folliculogenesis; hyperstimulation; ovarian cancer; ovary; polycystic ovary.