Intervention in the RAAS (renin - angiotensin - aldosterone system) is one of the leading pharmacotherapeutic strategies, among others, used for the treatment of cardiovascular disease to improve the prognosis after myocardial infarction and to reduce hypertension. Recently, regenerative progenitor cell therapy has emerged as a possible alternative for pharmacotherapy in patients after myocardial infarction or ischaemic events elsewhere, e.g. in the limbs. Angiogenic cell therapy to restore the vascular bed in ischaemic tissues is currently being tested in a multitude of clinical studies. This has prompted researchers to investigate the effect of modulation of the RAAS on progenitor cells. Furthermore, the relationship between hypertension and endothelial progenitor cell function is being studied. Pharmacotherapy by means of angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors has varying effects on progenitor cell levels and function. These controversial effects may be explained by involvement of multiple mediators, e.g. angiotensin II and angiotensin-(1-7), that have differential effects on mesenchymal stem cells, haematopoietic progenitor cells and endothelial progenitor cells. Importantly, angiotensin II can either stimulate endothelial progenitor cells by improvement of vascular endothelial growth factor signalling, or invoke excessive production of reactive oxygen species causing premature senescence of these cells. On the other hand, angiotensin-(1-7) stimulates haematopoietic cells and possibly also endothelial progenitor cells. Furthermore, aldosterone, bradykinin and Ac-SDKP (N-acetyl-Ser-Asp-Lys-Pro) may also affect progenitor cell populations. Alternatively, the variability in effects of angiotensin II type 1 receptor and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition on cardiovascular progenitor cells might reflect differences between the various models or diseases with respect to circulating and local tissue RAAS activation. In the present review we discuss what is currently known with respect to the role of the RAAS in the regulation of cardiovascular progenitor cells. © The Authors Journal compilation

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Clinical Science
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Qian, C., Schoemaker, R., van Gilst, W., & Roks, A. (2009). The role of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in cardiovascular progenitor cell function. Clinical Science (Vol. 116, pp. 301–314). doi:10.1042/CS20080157