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The renin angiotensin system: importance in physiology and pathology

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Abstract

Angiotensin II has long been recognized as a key factor in cardiovascular regulation. The effectiveness of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in controlling essential hypertension suggests that angiotensin II plays a key role in its pathology. The tools of molecular biology have provided the means for a critical reassessment of the renin-antiotensin-aldosterone system in physiology and pathology. The analysis has shown that angiotensin peptides are also synthesized and processed locally in a variety of tissues, including the vascular wall, adrenal glands, heart, and brain. Since angiotensin II is a potent modulator of cardiovascular control centers in the brain, the hypothesis is now advanced that a defect in the brain renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system contributes to the development of hypertensive disease.


 

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