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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Is angiotensin-II an endogenous pro-inflammatory molecule?

Undurti N. Das

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(5): RA155-162

ID: 16173


Angiotensin-II, a product of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) action, regulates vascular tone, stimulates the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, activates NFkappaB, increases oxidant stress, and suppresses nitric oxide synthesis. Thus, angiotensin-II is pro-inflammatory in nature. Hence, increase in ACE activity and the concentrations of angiotensin-II initiate and perpetuate inflammation. Since ACE is present in many tissues including: the uterus, placenta, vascular tissue, heart, brain, adrenal cortex and kidney, leukocytes, alveolar macrophages, peripheral monocytes, neuronal cells and epididymal cells, this suggests that angiotensin-II may have a role in atherosclerosis, congestive cardiac failure, stroke, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, psoriasis, atopic and non-atopic dermatitis, eczema, several acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, and cancer, conditions in which inflammation is known to play a significant role. This suggests that ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin-II receptor blockers could be of significant benefit in the management of these conditions. Alternatively, structural analogues of presently available ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-II receptor blockers could be developed such that they are not only useful in the treatment of hypertension and CHF but also possess anti-inflammatory actions.

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