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It is quite well established that activation of the so-called protective arms of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), involving both AT2 and Mas receptors, provides a counter-regulatory role to AT1 receptor overactivity that may drive pathological changes in the cardiovascular system. In this brief review, we will focus on recent evidence that identifies at least three different pathways that may be effective in the setting of stroke and may be complementary with AT1 receptor blockade. Such mechanisms include AT2 receptor stimulation, Mas receptor stimulation and insulin-regulated aminopeptidase blockade. This report highlights recent data demonstrating striking neuroprotective effects in preclinical models of stroke targeting each of these pathways, which may pave the way for translational opportunities in this field.
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