ABSTRACT: Pharmacological blockade of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are cornerstone treatments in several cardiovascular disease entities . The RAAS is a central regulator of blood pressure, consisting of two counterregulatory pathways, commonly described as classical and nonclassical, respectively . The main effect of classical RAAS activation is the generation of angiotensin (Ang)-II by ACE . In contrast, non-classical RAAS activation results in cleavage of Ang-II by angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) to form angiotensin 1–7, which directly counteracts the effects of classical RAAS activation . Critically ill #COVID19 patients display markedly increased alternative angiotensin pathway activity compared to healthy controls, reflected by increased blood ACE2 levels as well as decreased angiotensin-II and enhanced angiotensin-1–7 formationhttps://bit.ly/2MU1z4z
Project description:The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is more complex than it was originally regarded. According to the current subject knowledge, there are two main axes of the RAAS: (1) angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-angiotensin II-AT1 receptor axis and (2) ACE2-angiotensin-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis. The activation of the first axis leads to deleterious effects, including vasoconstriction, endothelial dysfunction, thrombosis, inflammation, and fibrosis; therefore, blocking the components of this axis is a highly rational and commonly used therapeutic procedure. The ACE2-Ang-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis has a different role, since it often opposes the effects induced by the classical ACE-Ang II-AT1 axis. Once the positive effects of the ACE2-Ang-(1-7)-Mas axis were discovered, the alternative ways of pharmacotherapy activating this axis of RAAS appeared. This article briefly describes new molecules affecting the RAAS, namely: recombinant human ACE2, ACE2 activators, angiotensin-(1-7) peptide and non-peptide analogs, aldosterone synthase inhibitors, and the third and fourth generation of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. The results of the experimental and clinical studies are encouraging, which leads us to believe that these new molecules can support the treatment of cardiovascular diseases as well as cardiometabolic disorders.
Project description:The last decade was crucial for our understanding of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) as a two-axis, counter-regulatory system, divided into the classical axis, formed by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), angiotensin II (Ang II), and the angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R), and the alternative axis comprising angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)), and the Mas receptor. Breakthrough discoveries also took place, with other RAAS endopeptides being described, including alamandine and angiotensin A. In this review, we characterize the two RAAS axes and the role of their components in pediatric kidney diseases, including childhood hypertension (HTN), pediatric glomerular diseases, congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), and chronic kidney disease (CKD). We also present recent findings on potential interactions between the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and components of the RAAS, as well as potential implications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for pediatric kidney diseases.
Project description:The novel SARS coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may be particularly deleterious to patients with underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD). The mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 infection is the requisite binding of the virus to the membrane-bound form of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and internalization of the complex by the host cell. Recognition that ACE2 is the coreceptor for the coronavirus has prompted new therapeutic approaches to block the enzyme or reduce its expression to prevent the cellular entry and SARS-CoV-2 infection in tissues that express ACE2 including lung, heart, kidney, brain, and gut. ACE2, however, is a key enzymatic component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS); ACE2 degrades ANG II, a peptide with multiple actions that promote CVD, and generates Ang-(1-7), which antagonizes the effects of ANG II. Moreover, experimental evidence suggests that RAAS blockade by ACE inhibitors, ANG II type 1 receptor antagonists, and mineralocorticoid antagonists, as well as statins, enhance ACE2 which, in part, contributes to the benefit of these regimens. In lieu of the fact that many older patients with hypertension or other CVDs are routinely treated with RAAS blockers and statins, new clinical concerns have developed regarding whether these patients are at greater risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, whether RAAS and statin therapy should be discontinued, and the potential consequences of RAAS blockade to COVID-19-related pathologies such as acute and chronic respiratory disease. The current perspective critically examines the evidence for ACE2 regulation by RAAS blockade and statins, the cardiovascular benefits of ACE2, and whether ACE2 blockade is a viable approach to attenuate COVID-19.
Project description:It has been established that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a membrane-bound regulatory peptide, for host cell entry. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors have been reported to increase ACE2 in type 2 pneumocyte pulmonary tissue. Controversy exists for the continuation of ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists in the current pandemic. ACE2 serves as a regulatory enzyme in maintaining homeostasis between proinflammatory angiotensin II and anti-inflammatory angiotensin 1,7 peptides. Derangements in these peptides are associated with cardiovascular disease and are implicated in the progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Augmentation of the ACE2/Ang 1,7 axis represents a critical target in the supportive management of coronavirus disease 2019-associated lung disease. Observational data describing the use of RAAS inhibitors in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 have not borne signals of harm to date. However, equipoise persists, requiring an analysis of novel agents including recombinant human-ACE2 and existing RAAS inhibitors while balancing ongoing controversies associated with increased coronavirus infectivity and virulence.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) employs angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its receptor for cell entrance, and studies have suggested that upon viral binding, ACE2 catalytic activity could be inhibited; therefore, impacting the regulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). To date, only few studies have evaluated the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the blood levels of the components of the RAAS. The objective of this study was to determine the blood levels of ACE, ACE2, angiotensin-II, angiotensin (1-7), and angiotensin (1-9) at hospital admission and discharge in a group of patients presenting with severe or critical evolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We showed that ACE, ACE2, angiotensin (1-7), and angiotensin (1-9) were similar in patients with critical and severe COVID-19. However, at admission, angiotensin-II levels were significantly higher in patients presenting as critical, compared to patients presenting with severe COVID-19. We conclude that blood levels of angiotensin-II are increased in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 presenting the critical outcome of the disease. We propose that early measurement of Ang-II could be a useful biomarker for identifying patients at higher risk for extremely severe progression of the disease.
Project description:Experimental and clinical evidence supports an active role of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) in the pathogenesis and progression of lung diseases. Angiotensin II (Ang II), a key vasoactive peptide of the RAS, has been implicated in pulmonary disorders such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, lung fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Over the past few years, the classical concept of the RAS has undergone substantial changes to include several new active components. Among them, the identification of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), its metabolic product angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)), and the Mas receptor has been of biological significance since these components form a counterregulatory axis (ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas) that opposes the detrimental actions of Ang II. In this chapter, we will discuss the role of the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis in lung diseases and describe novel therapeutic approaches to activate this axis for the treatment of pulmonary disorders.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has significant influences on heart and renal disease progression. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2) are major peptidases of RAS components and play counteracting functions through angiotensin II (Ang II)/ATIR and angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7))/Mas axis, respectively. METHODS:There were 360 uremic patients on regular hemodialysis (HD) treatment (inclusive of 119?HD patients with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and 241?HD patients without CVD and 50 healthy subjects were enrolled in this study. Plasma ACE, ACE2, Ang II and Ang-(1-7) levels of the HD patients were determined. RESULTS:We compared pre-HD levels of plasma ACE, ACE2, Ang II and Ang-(1-7) in the HD patients with and without CVD to those of the controls. The HD patients, particularly those with CVD, showed a significant increase in the levels of ACE and Ang II, whereas ACE2 and Ang-(1-7) levels were lower than those in the healthy controls. Therefore, imbalanced ACE/ACE2 was observed in the HD patients with CVD. In the course of a single HD session, the plasma ACE, ACE/ACE2 and Ang II levels in the HD patients with CVD were increased from pre-HD to post-HD. On the contrary, ACE2 levels were decreased after the HD session. These changes were not detected in the HD patients without CVD. CONCLUSIONS:Pathogenically imbalanced circulating ACE/ACE2 was detected in the HD patients, particularly those with CVD. HD session could increase ACE/Ang II/AT1R axis and decrease ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis activity in the circulation of HD patients with CVD.
Project description:People with underlying conditions, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, are especially susceptible to negative outcomes after infection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Hypertension and respiratory inflammation are exacerbated by the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS), which normally protects from rapidly dropping blood pressure via Angiotensin II (Ang II) produced by the enzyme Ace. The Ace paralog Ace2 degrades Ang II, counteracting its chronic effects, and serves as the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. <i>Ace</i>, the coronavirus, and COVID-19 comorbidities all regulate <i>Ace2</i>, but we do not yet understand how. To exploit zebrafish (<i>Danio rerio</i>) to help understand the relationship of the RAAS to COVID-19, we must identify zebrafish orthologs and co-orthologs of human RAAS genes and understand their expression patterns. To achieve these goals, we conducted genomic and phylogenetic analyses and investigated single cell transcriptomes. Results showed that most human RAAS genes have one or more zebrafish orthologs or co-orthologs. Results identified a specific type of enterocyte as the specific site of expression of zebrafish orthologs of key RAAS components, including Ace, Ace2, Slc6a19 (SARS-CoV-2 co-receptor), and the Angiotensin-related peptide cleaving enzymes Anpep (receptor for the common cold coronavirus HCoV-229E), and Dpp4 (receptor for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, MERS-CoV). Results identified specific vascular cell subtypes expressing Ang II receptors, <i>apelin</i>, and <i>apelin receptor</i> genes. These results identify genes and cell types to exploit zebrafish as a disease model for understanding mechanisms of COVID-19.
Project description:The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)/Angiotensin II (Ang II) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)/angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)) pathways are coexpressed in most tissues. The balance between these pathways determines, at least in part, whether tissue damage will occur in response to pathological stimuli. The present study tested the hypothesis that male sex and high blood pressure are associated with ACE/ACE2 imbalance in the lungs. Experiments were conducted in male and female Wistar rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Lung ACE and ACE2 gene expression was also evaluated in normotensive and hypertensive humans using the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project. Compared with Wistar rats and female SHRs, male SHRs displayed reduced lung ACE2 mRNA, ACE2 protein abundance and ACE2 activity, and increased Ang II concentration. Lung ACE mRNA levels were higher in male SHRs than in Wistar rats, whereas lung ACE protein abundance and activity were similar among the four groups of rats. Lung Ang-(1-7) concentration was higher in female than in male SHRs (89 ± 17 vs. 43 ± 2 pg/g, P<0.05). Lung ACE to ACE2 mRNA expression in hypertensive patients was significantly higher than that in normotensive subjects. Taken together, these results demonstrate that male hypertensive rats display imbalance between the ACE/Ang II and ACE2/Ang-(1-7) pathways in the lungs mainly attributable to ACE2 down-regulation. Further studies should be conducted to investigate whether this imbalance between ACE/ACE2 may promote and accelerate lung injury in respiratory infections, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Project description:An activated vasoconstrictive, proliferative, and fibrotic axis of the renin angiotensin system (angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE]/angiotensin [Ang]II/AngII type 1 receptor) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and pulmonary hypertension (PH). The recent discovery of a counterregulatory axis of the renin angiotensin system composed of ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas has led us to examine the role of this vasoprotective axis on such disorders.We hypothesized that Ang-(1-7) treatment would exert protective effects against PF and PH.Lentiviral packaged Ang-(1-7) fusion gene or ACE2 cDNA was intratracheally administered into the lungs of male Sprague Dawley rats. Two weeks after gene transfer, animals received bleomycin (2.5 mg/kg). In a subsequent study, animals were administered monocrotaline (MCT, 50 mg/kg).In the PF study, bleomycin administration resulted in a significant increase in right ventricular systolic pressure, which was associated with the development of right ventricular hypertrophy. The lungs of these animals also exhibited excessive collagen deposition, decreased expression of ACE and ACE2, increased mRNA levels for transforming growth factor ? and other proinflammatory cytokines, and increased protein levels of the AT?R. Overexpression of Ang-(1-7) significantly prevented all the above-mentioned pathophysiological conditions. Similar protective effects were also obtained with ACE2 overexpression. In the PH study, rats injected with MCT developed elevated right ventricular systolic pressure, right ventricular hypertrophy, right ventricular fibrosis, and pulmonary vascular remodeling, all of which were attenuated by Ang-(1-7) overexpression. Blockade of the Mas receptor abolished the beneficial effects of Ang-(1-7) against MCT-induced PH.Our observations demonstrate a cardiopulmonary protective role for the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis in the treatment of lung disorders.