Author + information
- Received November 10, 1995
- Revision received May 2, 1996
- Accepted May 13, 1996
- Published online October 1, 1996.
- CLIVE ROSENDORFF*
- ↵*Address for correspondence: Dr. Clive Rosendorff, Medical Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, New York 10468.
In addition to its vasoconstrictor and aldosterone-stimulating action, angiotensin II also drives cell growth and replication in the cardiovascular system, which may result in myocardial hypertrophy and hypertrophy or hyperplasia of conduit and resistance vessels in certain subjects. These actions are mediated through angiotensin II receptors (subtype AT1), which activate the G protein, phospholipase C, diacylglycerol and inositol trisphosphate pathway, to increase the expression of certain protooncogenes (c-fos, c-myc and c-jun) and growth factors (platelet-derived growth factor-A-chain, transforming growth factor-beta 1 and basic fibroblast growth factor). The cellular responses to angiotensin II in vascular smooth muscle have been shown in different hypertensive vessels to be either hypertrophy alone, hypertrophy and DNA synthesis without cell division (polyploidy) or DNA synthesis with cell division (hyperplasia). In genetic hypertension, the altered structure of small arteries is due to either cellular hyperplasia or remodeling, whereas in renovascular hypertension there is hypertrophy of vascular smooth muscle cells. Angiotensin II also increases synthesis of some matrix components, activates blood monocytes and is thrombogenic. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors prevent or reverse vascular hypertrophy in animal models of hypertension; this seems to be a class effect, shared to some extent with calcium channel blocking agents. In human hypertension, ACE inhibitors reduce the increased media/lumen ratio of large and small arteries in hypertension and increase arterial compliance. These properties are also shared by losartan, the first of the new class of angiotensin II receptor (AT1) antagonists. The clinical implications of these findings need to be tested through rigorous and prospective clinical trials.
- Received November 10, 1995.
- Revision received May 2, 1996.
- Accepted May 13, 1996.
- 1 The Renin-Angiotensin System
- 2 Angiotensin II Receptors
- 3 Angiotensin II: Signal Transduction in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
- 4 Atherogenic Effects of Angiotensin II
- 5 Structural Effects of ACE Inhibitors on Arteries
- 6 Angiotensin Inhibition and Vascular Structure and Function in Human Hypertension
- 7 Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonists
- 8 Conclusions
- Appendix A