The brain renin-angiotensin system enables the formation of different biological active forms of angiotensins within the brain. All enzymes and peptides necessary for the biosynthesis of these angiotensins have been recognized within the central nervous system. Since there are considerable mismatches concerning the localization of the different enzymes, this system is not fully understood. Moreover, since alternative pathways of the angiotensin biosynthesis exists, localization and generation, especially of the short forms of biologically active angiotensins, are largely enigmatic. The brain renin-angiotensin system mediates several classic physiological effects including body water balance, maintenance of blood pressure, sexual behaviors, and regulation of pituitary gland hormones. Beside these classic functions, the brain renin-angiotensin system has more subtle functions involving complex mechanisms such as learning and memory. The mechanisms of action seem to differ depending on the utilized different bioactive angiotensin fragments, which are formed by the action of a variety of enzymes. This phenomenon appears to represent an important mechanism for neuromodulation. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that the renin-angiotensin system is involved in neurological disorders, as e.g. Alzheimers or Parkinsons disease.
Keywords: homeostasis, angiotensin peptides, neuroglia, renin, dipeptidylcarboxypeptidase, radioimmunoassays, calcium channel, mas-protooncogene
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