Local Ocular Renin–Angiotensin System – A Target for Glaucoma Therapy?


Author for correspondence: Anu Vaajanen, Department of Ophthalmology, PO Box 2000, 33521 Tampere, Finland (fax +358 3 31164365, e-mail anu.vaajanen@fimnet.fi).


Abstract:  An active local intraocular renin–angiotensin system (RAS) has recently been shown to exist in the human eye, and evidence is now accumulating that antihypertensive drugs acting on RAS can also lower intraocular pressure. They seem also to work as neuroprotective agents against retinal ganglion cell loss in vivo; though no compounds are in ophthalmological use at present. Classically, the highly vasoconstrictive angiotensin II (Ang II) is the key peptide in the circulatory RAS. However, the final effect of RAS activation at tissue level is more complex, being based not only on the biological activity of Ang II but also on the activities of other products of angiotensinogen metabolism, often exerting opposite effects to Ang II action.