Angiotensin

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Angiotensin is a protein which causes blood vessels to constrict, raising the blood pressure. The angiotensin is part of the renin-angiotensin system, which is a major target for drugs that lower blood pressure. It stimulates the release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. Aldosterone promotes sodium retention in the distal nephron, in the kidney, which also drives blood pressure up.

Angiotensin is an oligopeptide in the blood that causes vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure, and release of aldosterone from the adrenal cortex. It is a hormone and a powerful dipsogen. It is derived from the precursor molecule angiotensinogen, a serum globulin produced in the liver. It plays an important role in the renin-angiotensin system. Angiotensin was isolated for the first time as "angiotonin" in Indianapolis, USA, in the late 1930s. It was subsequently characterized and synthesized by groups at the Cleveland Clinic and Ciba laboratories in Basel, Switzerland.