Urotensin II in cardiovascular regulation
Fraser D Russell
School of Health and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia
Abstract: Cardiovascular function is modulated by neuronal transmitters, circulating hormones, and factors that are released locally from tissues. Urotensin II (UII) is an 11 amino acid peptide that stimulates its’ obligatory G protein coupled urotensin II receptors (UT) to modulate cardiovascular function in humans and in other animal species, and has been implicated in both vasculoprotective and vasculopathic effects. For example, tissue and circulating concentrations of UII have been reported to increase in some studies involving patients with atherosclerosis, heart failure, hypertension, preeclampsia, diabetes, renal disease and liver disease, raising the possibility that the UT receptor system is involved in the development and/or progression of these conditions. Consistent with this hypothesis, administration of UT receptor antagonists to animal models of cardiovascular disease have revealed improvements in cardiovascular remodelling and hemodynamics. However, recent studies have questioned this contributory role of UII in disease, and have instead postulated a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. For example, high concentrations of circulating UII correlated with improved clinical outcomes in patients with renal disease or myocardial infarction. The purpose of this review is to consider the regulation of the cardiovascular system by UII, giving consideration to methodologies for measurement of plasma concentrations, sites of synthesis and triggers for release.
Keywords: urotensin II, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, hypertension
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