The renin angiotensin system: importance in physiology and pathology
Carlos M. Ferrario, MDAddress reprint requests to C.M.F., Brain and Vascular Research, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, One Clinic Center, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195.
Marc T. Schiavone, PhD
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.