The Renin-Angiotensin System in the Central Nervous System and Its Role in Blood Pressure Regulation

  • Pablo Nakagawa
  • Javier Gomez
  • Justin L. Grobe
  • Curt D. SigmundEmail author
Inflammation and Cardiovascular Diseases (A Kirabo, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Inflammation and Cardiovascular Diseases


Purpose of the Review

The main goal of this article is to discuss how the development of state-of-the-art technology has made it possible to address fundamental questions related to how the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) operates within the brain from the neurophysiological and molecular perspective.

Recent Findings

The existence of the brain RAS remains surprisingly controversial. New sensitive in situ hybridization techniques and novel transgenic animals expressing reporter genes have provided pivotal information of the expression of RAS genes within the brain. We discuss studies using genetically engineered animals combined with targeted viral microinjections to study molecular mechanisms implicated in the regulation of the brain RAS. We also discuss novel drugs targeting the brain RAS that have shown promising results in clinical studies and trials.


Over the last 50 years, several new physiological roles of the brain RAS have been identified. In the coming years, efforts to incorporate cutting-edge technologies such as optogenetics, chemogenetics, and single-cell RNA sequencing will lead to dramatic advances in our full understanding of how the brain RAS operates at molecular and neurophysiological levels.


Renin Prorenin receptor Angiotensin receptor Biased agonist Blood pressure Neurophysiology 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

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.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Nakagawa
    • 1
  • Javier Gomez
    • 1
  • Justin L. Grobe
    • 1
  • Curt D. Sigmund
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Cardiovascular CenterMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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