Angiotensin I and II. Some early observations made at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and recent discoveries relative to angiotensin II formation in human heart.
The renin-angiotensin system originally was thought to be responsible for only renovascular hypertension, but the development and use of various inhibitors of this system have produced much evidence for its participation in many forms of hypertensive disease. Tissue renin-angiotensin system also may play a major role in blood pressure control. Chronic clinical as well as animal use of converting enzyme inhibitors results in levels of angiotensin II that are equivalent to those found in the normotensive state and higher than those found in the very acute phase of treatment. The source of this conversion possibly may be due to enzymes unrelated to angiotensin converting enzyme. One such enzyme is a very highly specific serine protease isolated from human cardiac tissue. This enzyme exists in human ventricular tissue at levels four to five times that of angiotensin converting enzyme. During chronic treatment of patients with heart failure, angiotensin I levels become high, and heart tissue levels of angiotensin II may become elevated because of the conversion to angiotensin II by this serine protease. This conversion in turn may possibly increase inotropy of the heart, whereas the peripheral resistance remains low because of the reduction of angiotensin II in the circulation.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association