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More MS news articles for December 2003

Functional duality of kinin receptors in pathophysiology

Med Sci (Paris). 2003 Nov;19(11):1101-10
Gabra BH, Couture R, Sirois P.
Institut de Pharmacologie de Sherbrooke, Faculte de Medecine, Universite de Sherbrooke, 3001, 12e Avenue Nord, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1H 5N4 Canada.

Kinins are autacoid peptides and central neuromediators involved in cardiovascular regulation, inflammation and pain.

Their effects are mediated by two transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptors denoted as B1 and B2.

While the B2 receptor is constitutive, the B1 receptor is inducible and up-regulated in the presence of cytokines, endotoxins or during tissue injury.

The B2 receptor is believed to play an important role in the beneficial effects of angiotensin-1 converting enzyme inhibitors used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, yet it is involved in the acute phase of inflammation and of somatic and visceral pain.

Conversely, the B1 receptor participates in the chronic phase of these responses and is likely to play a strategic role in diseases with a strong immune component such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, septic shock and diabetes.

A dual function for the B1 receptor is also reported in some pathologies in which it can exert either a protective (multiple sclerosis and septic shock) or harmful (pain and inflammation) effect.

Therefore, the use of antagonists for these receptors as clinical therapeutic agents requires a rigorous evaluation of the potential side effects.