Angiotensin type 2 receptor in hypertensive cardiovascular disease

Carmine Savoia, Michela D'Agostino, Francesco Lauri, Massimo Volpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose of review: The renin angiotensin system plays a key role in the development of hypertension-induced cardiovascular remodeling and cardiovascular damage. Angiotensin II (Ang II) exerts its effects by acting on two distinct subtypes of receptor, the angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT 1R) and the angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT 2R). Whereas AT 1R mediates most of the recognized actions of Ang II, it appears that AT 2R opposes, in part, the actions mediated by AT 1R. As the AT 2R is expressed in adult tissues in smaller numbers than AT 1R, the actions and cell signaling of AT 2R have been less well characterized than those of AT 1R. Recent findings: Current knowledge suggests that AT 2R stimulation mediates vasodilation, antigrowth, proapoptotic and antiinflammatory effects. Hence, AT 2R can modulate cardiovascular remodeling as well as the progression of atherosclerosis. A protective role of AT 2R in the cardiovascular system has been also documented in humans, mainly during chronic AT 1R inhibition. Furthermore, a new nonpeptide AT 2R agonist has been developed, with potential future therapeutic applications in hypertensive conditions. Summary: This article reviews the role of AT 2R expression signaling and function in the pathogenesis of the functional and structural alterations induced by hypertension on the cardiovascular system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • angiotensin receptors
  • cardiovascular protection
  • cardiovascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Internal Medicine

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