Angiotensin II and Vascular Injury

  • Augusto C. Montezano
  • Aurelie Nguyen Dinh Cat
  • Francisco J. Rios
  • Rhian M. TouyzEmail author
Mediators, Mechanisms, and Pathways in Tissue Injury (T Fujita, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Mediators, Mechanisms, and Pathways in Tissue Injury


Vascular injury, characterized by endothelial dysfunction, structural remodelling, inflammation and fibrosis, plays an important role in cardiovascular diseases. Cellular processes underlying this include altered vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) growth/apoptosis, fibrosis, increased contractility and vascular calcification. Associated with these events is VSMC differentiation and phenotypic switching from a contractile to a proliferative/secretory phenotype. Inflammation, associated with macrophage infiltration and increased expression of redox-sensitive pro-inflammatory genes, also contributes to vascular remodelling. Among the many factors involved in vascular injury is Ang II. Ang II, previously thought to be the sole biologically active downstream peptide of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), is converted to smaller peptides, [Ang III, Ang IV, Ang-(1-7)], that are functional and that modulate vascular tone and structure. The actions of Ang II are mediated via signalling pathways activated upon binding to AT1R and AT2R. AT1R activation induces effects through PLC-IP3-DAG, MAP kinases, tyrosine kinases, tyrosine phosphatases and RhoA/Rho kinase. Ang II elicits many of its (patho)physiological actions by stimulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through activation of vascular NAD(P)H oxidase (Nox). ROS in turn influence redox-sensitive signalling molecules. Here we discuss the role of Ang II in vascular injury, focusing on molecular mechanisms and cellular processes. Implications in vascular remodelling, inflammation, calcification and atherosclerosis are highlighted.


Angiotensin receptors Inflammation Signal transduction Oxidative stress Vascular remodelling Calcification Atherosclerosis 



Studies performed by RMT were supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), JDRF and the British Heart Foundation (BHF). RMT is supported through a BHF Chair. ACM is supported by a Leadership fellowship from the University of Glasgow.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest Augusto C. Montezano, Aurelie Nguyen Dinh Cat, Francisco J. Rios, and Rhian M. Touyz declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Augusto C. Montezano
    • 1
  • Aurelie Nguyen Dinh Cat
    • 1
  • Francisco J. Rios
    • 1
  • Rhian M. Touyz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research CentreUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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