The circulating renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in the maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis. It has recently been demonstrated that endogenous RAS exist in target tissues that are important in cardiovascular regulation. This article reviews the multiple effects of angiotensin II in target tissues, the evidence for the presence of functional tissue RAS and the data that suggest a role for these tissue RAS in the pathophysiology of heart failure. Activation of circulating neurohormones is predictive of worsened survival in heart failure; however, cardiac and renal tissue RAS activities are also increased in the compensated stage of heart failure, when plasma renin-angiotensin activity is normal. It is hypothesized that the plasma RAS maintains circulatory homeostasis during acute cardiac decompensation, while changes in tissue RAS contribute to homeostatic responses during chronic sustained cardiac impairment. This concept of different functions of circulating and tissue RAS in the pathophysiology of heart failure may have important pharmacologic implications.
"Hemodynamic changes in heart failure activate multiple regulatory mechanisms, among which the RAAS is the most important system. Initially aimed to preserve cardiac homeostasis, long-term activation of the RAAS eventually leads to the progression of HF , myocardial remodeling , and fibrosis and necrosis in the myocardium . Blocking RAAS reverses histological changes in the myocardium, improves endothelial function, and reduces adrenergic tone, resulting in improved prognosis. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of heart failure and renal failure is increasing and is associated with poor prognosis. Moreover, these conditions do often coexist and this coexistence results in worsened outcome. Various mechanisms have been proposed as an explanation of this interrelation, including changes in hemodynamics, endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and/or sympathetic nervous system. However, the exact mechanisms initializing and maintaining this interaction are still unknown. In many experimental studies on cardiac or renal dysfunction, the function of the other organ was either not addressed or the authors failed to show any decline in its function despite histological changes. There are few studies in which the dysfunction of both heart and kidney function has been described. In this review, we discuss animal models of combined cardiorenal dysfunction. We show that translation of the results from animal studies is limited, and there is a need for new and better models of the cardiorenal interaction to improve our understanding of this syndrome. Finally, we propose several requirements that a new animal model should meet to serve as a tool for studies on the cardiorenal syndrome.
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