Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
CELL MOL LIFE SCI
Journal title long:
Cellular and molecular life sciences
Since the discovery 100 years ago by Tigerstedt and Bergman of renin, an acid protease generating angiotensin peptide, numerous discoveries have advanced our understanding of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The recent cloning of angiotensin receptors and the availability of specific receptor ligands have allowed characterization of angiotensin-receptor-mediated actions, and an increasing number of studies using biochemical, pharmacological and molecular biological methods has focused on the many different physiological actions of the RAS in various tissues. Angiotensin II, the main effector peptide of the RAS, exerts most of its known actions in blood pressure control and body fluid homeostasis via the AT, receptor. AT, receptors not only play a role in growth control and cell differentiation but have been implicated in apoptosis and tissue regeneration. This review focuses on the extrarenal functions of angiotensin, especially in neuronal cells and the nervous system, and on recent advances in angiotensin receptor research.