The term cytoprotection pioneered by Robert and colleagues has been introduced to describe the remarkable ability of endogenous and exogenous prostaglandins (PGs) to prevent acute gastric hemorrhagic lesions induced by noxious stimuli such as ethanol, bile acids, hiperosmolar solutions and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as aspirin. Since that time many factors were implicated to possess gastroprotective properties such as growth factors including epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming factor alpha (TGFα), vasodilatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO) and calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) as well as appetite gut hormones including gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK), leptin and recently ghrelin. This protective action of gut peptides has been attributed to the release of PG but question remains whether another peptide angiotensin, the classic component of the systemic and local renin-angiotensin system (RAS) could be involved in the mechanism of gastric integrity and gastroprotection. After renin stimulation, the circulating angiotensin I is converted to angiotensin II (ANG II) by the activity of the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE). The ANG II acting via its binding to two major receptor subtypes the ANG type 1 (AT1) and type 2 (AT2) has been shown be activated during stress and to contribute to the pathogenesis of cold stress- and ischemia-reperfusion-induced gastric lesions. All bioactive angiotensin peptides can be generated not only in systemic circulation, but also locally in several tissues and organs. Recently the new functional components of RAS, such as Ang-(1-7), Ang IV, Ang-(1-12) and novel pathways ACE2 have been described suggesting the gastroprotective role for the novel ANG II metabolite, Ang-(1-7). The fact that Ang-(1-7) is produced in excessive amounts in the gastric mucosa of rodents and that pretreatment by Ang-(1-7) exhibits a potent gastroprotective activity against the gastric lesions induced by cold-restraint stress suggests that this and possibly other vasoactive metabolites of ANG II pathway could be involved in the mechanism of gastric integrity and gastroprotection. This review summarizes the novel gastroprotective factors and mechanisms associated with metabolic fate of systemic and local RAS activation with major focus to recent advancement in the angiotensin pathways in the gut integrity.
Keywords: Gastric protection, renin-angiotensin system, angiotensin-(1-7), Mas receptor, prostaglandin, gastric blood flow, nitric oxide, cytoprotection pioneered, epidermal growth factor (EGF), gastroprotection