Author(s): Montezano AC, Nguyen Dinh Cat A, Rios FJ, Touyz RM
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Abstract Vascular injury, characterized by endothelial dysfunction, structural remodelling, inflammation and fibrosis, plays an important role in cardiovascular diseases. Cellular processes underlying this include altered vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) growth/apoptosis, fibrosis, increased contractility and vascular calcification. Associated with these events is VSMC differentiation and phenotypic switching from a contractile to a proliferative/secretory phenotype. Inflammation, associated with macrophage infiltration and increased expression of redox-sensitive pro-inflammatory genes, also contributes to vascular remodelling. Among the many factors involved in vascular injury is Ang II. Ang II, previously thought to be the sole biologically active downstream peptide of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), is converted to smaller peptides, [Ang III, Ang IV, Ang-(1-7)], that are functional and that modulate vascular tone and structure. The actions of Ang II are mediated via signalling pathways activated upon binding to AT1R and AT2R. AT1R activation induces effects through PLC-IP3-DAG, MAP kinases, tyrosine kinases, tyrosine phosphatases and RhoA/Rho kinase. Ang II elicits many of its (patho)physiological actions by stimulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through activation of vascular NAD(P)H oxidase (Nox). ROS in turn influence redox-sensitive signalling molecules. Here we discuss the role of Ang II in vascular injury, focusing on molecular mechanisms and cellular processes. Implications in vascular remodelling, inflammation, calcification and atherosclerosis are highlighted.
This article was published in Curr Hypertens Rep
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis