Many Faces of Renin-angiotensin System - Focus on Eye

Mervi Holappa1, Heikki Vapaatalo2, Anu Vaajanen3, 4, *
1 BioMediTech, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
2 Medical Faculty, Department of Pharmacology, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
4 SILK, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

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© 2017 Holappa et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Ophthalmology, Tampere University Hospital, P.O. Box 2000, 33521 Tampere, Finland, Tel +358-3-31164852, E-mail:


The renin-angiotensin system (RAS), that is known for its role in the regulation of blood pressure as well as in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis, comprises dozens of angiotensin peptides and peptidases and at least six receptors. Six central components constitute the two main axes of the RAS cascade. Angiotensin (1-7), an angiotensin converting enzyme 2 and Mas receptor axis (ACE2-Ang(1-7)-MasR) counterbalances the harmful effects of the angiotensin II, angiotensin converting enzyme 1 and angiotensin II type 1 receptor axis (ACE1-AngII-AT1R) Whereas systemic RAS is an important factor in blood pressure regulation, tissue-specific regulatory system, responsible for long term regional changes, that has been found in various organs. In other words, RAS is not only endocrine but also complicated autocrine system. The human eye has its own intraocular RAS that is present e.g. in the structures involved in aqueous humor dynamics. Local RAS may thus be a target in the development of new anti-glaucomatous drugs. In this review, we first describe the systemic RAS cascade and then the local ocular RAS especially in the anterior part of the eye.

Keywords: ACE1, ACE2, Angiotensin II, Angiotensin (1-7), Eye, Glaucoma, Intraocular pressure, Mas receptor, Renin-angiotensin system.