AT2 receptor agonists: hypertension and beyond

Ulrike Muscha Steckelings*, Ludovit Paulis, Pawel Namsolleck, Thomas Unger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research about the angiotensin AT2 receptor (AT2R) has been hampered in the past by the lack of a specific and selective agonist with in-vivo stability. Such an eagerly awaited agonist, compound 21, has recently become available, giving momentum to AT2R research which so far has resulted in 14 original publications. This article is intending to review those publications which address AT2R function by direct in-vivo stimulation instead of indirect approaches such as receptor blockade or genetic alteration of AT2R expression.Studies reviewed in this article looked at the effect of AT2R stimulation in disease models of hypertension, renal disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and myocardial infarction. AT2R stimulation does not have an antihypertensive effect, but promoted tissue protection in all models in which it was tested. Antiinflammation and antiapoptosis seem important features of the AT2R underlying improved outcome in experimental disease models.Availability of nonpeptidic, orally active AT2R agonists will facilitate future AT2R research and hopefully contribute to the clarification of many still open questions regarding AT2R signalling and function. Furthermore, AT2R agonists represent a potential novel class of drugs and are expected to enter a phase I clinical study in 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-146
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • AT2 receptor
  • AT2 receptor agonists
  • renin-angiotensin system

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