Role of renin-angiotensin system in gastric oncogenesis

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Abstract

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role not only in homeostasis but also in carcinogenesis. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that hypertensive patients with upregulated systemic RAS functions are at a significantly increased risk for the subsequent development of cancers with poor outcomes, and moreover that RAS inhibitors reduce tumor development, progression, and metastasis. Notably, Helicobacter pylori infection, one of the major predictors of gastric carcinogenesis, generally leads to RAS component overexpression, as exemplified by that of angiotensin I, angiotensin II, angiotensin I converting enzyme and angiotensin II receptor. Gastric mucosal RAS expression gradually increases with time after H. pylori infection with respect to the severity of inflammatory cell infiltration. Gastric carcinogenic potential is therefore considered to relate to RAS component expression levels and activities. This hypothesis is supported by findings that RAS genotypic variation can lead to high component expression levels (e.g. angiotensin I converting enzyme, chymase and angiotensinogen), and thereby increase the risk of development of gastric cancer. Thus, the RAS may be potently associated with the pathogenesis of H. pylori-related gastric carcinogenesis, and RAS inhibitors may provide tools for specifically preventing this disease.

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