Genetic polymorphism in rennin - angiotensin system and its association cardiovascular diseases
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Myocardial infarction and stroke are the major cause of death in developed countries and are the clinical manifestation of atherosclerosis and hypertension. Both the environmental factors and genetic predisposition have an influence on the pathogenesis of these diseases. Despite we know lots of environmental risk factors and we made important advances in the prevention and treatment of mentioned diseases, our knowledge about the pathogenic linkage between genetic predisposition and cardiovascular diseases is still very little. Activation of the renin-angiotensin system has been proposed as a very important step in the pathogenesis of hypertension and atherosclerosis. In spite of vasoconstrictor activity, angiotensin II can stimulate migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, macrophage-foam cells formation, adhesion and agregation of platelets and fibrinolytic system inhibition. Angiotensin convertin enzyme inhibitors reduce the development of the atherosclerotic process after vascular injury and in hyperlipidemic animals. Blockade of renin-angiotensin system seems to be also effective in secondary prevention of myocardial infarction in men. In sum, the genetic variations inside the renin-angiotensin system which may affect the function of its components might have an influence on genetic predisposition to cardiovascular diseases. The paper deals with the current state of knowledge on association between polymorphic variations in renin gene, angiotensinogen gene, angiotensin converting enzyme gene and AT1 receptor gene and primary hypertension, ischeamic heart disease and myocardial infarction.
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M.Stajszczak, ul. Reymonta 8, 40-029 Katowice, Poland