Signaling mechanisms of angiotensin II in regulating vascular senescence

Li-Juan Min, Masaki Mogi, Masaru Iwai, Masatsugu Horiuchi
Ageing Research Reviews 2009, 8 (2): 113-21
Angiotensin (Ang) II, the major effector of the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), has multiple functions in regulating cardiovascular hemodynamics and structure. Recent evidence strongly supports that Ang II promotes the onset and progression of vascular senescence, which is associated with vascular functional and structural changes, contributing to age-related vascular diseases. The vast majority of the cardiovascular actions of Ang II, including vascular senescence, are mediated by the Ang II type-1 (AT(1)) receptor. Similar to its growth-promoting process, the signaling mechanisms of AT(1) receptor-mediated vascular senescence-promoting effects involve activation of small G-protein Ras such as Ki-ras2A, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) such as extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and transcription factors including nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB and activator protein (AP)-1, and increased generation of reactive oxygen species. Moreover, AT(1) receptor stimulation has been suggested to inactivate cyclin-dependent kinase complexes by up-regulation of cell cycle regulators such as p53 and p21, resulting in cellular senescence. Furthermore, the interaction between Ang II and aldosterone (Aldo) in their contribution to cardiovascular pathophysiology has been highlighted. Aldo can interact with Ang II signaling via a genomic mechanism mediated by the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). Aldo via MR couples with the AT(1) receptor to elicit the Ras/NF-kappaB, AP-1/p53/p21 pathway involving oxidative stress, leading to synergistic promotion of vascular senescence. Although the precise mechanisms controlling cellular senescence are currently poorly understood, this article reviews recent findings on the signaling mechanisms elicited by RAAS from the perspective of AT(1) receptor blockers and/or MR blockers in the treatment of age-related vascular diseases.

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