Atherosclerosis has complex pathogenesis, which involves at least three serious aspects: inflammation, lipid metabolism alterations, and endothelial injury. There are no effective treatment options, as well as preventive measures for atherosclerosis. However, this disease has various severe complications, the most severe of which is cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is important to note, that CVD is among the leading causes of death worldwide. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is an important part of inflammatory response regulation. This system contributes to the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the injured site and stimulates the production of various cytokines, such as IL-6, TNF-a, and COX-2. There is also an association between RAAS and oxidative stress, which is also an important player in atherogenesis. Angiotensin-II induces plaque formation at early stages, and this is one of the most crucial impacts on atherogenesis from the RAAS. Importantly, while stimulating the production of ROS, Angiotensin-II at the same time decreases the generation of NO. The endothelium is known as a major contributor to vascular function. Oxidative stress is the main trigger of endothelial dysfunction, and, once again, links RAAS to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. All these implications of RAAS in atherogenesis lead to an explicable conclusion that elements of RAAS can be promising targets for atherosclerosis treatment. In this review, we also summarize the data on treatment approaches involving cytokine targeting in CVD, which can contribute to a better understanding of atherogenesis and even its prevention.
Keywords: CVD; RAAS; atherosclerosis; renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system.