Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 351758, 18 pages
Review Article

The Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor in Brain Functions: An Update

Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4

Received 31 October 2012; Accepted 29 November 2012

Academic Editor: Marc de Gasparo

Copyright © 2012 Marie-Odile Guimond and Nicole Gallo-Payet. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Angiotensin II (Ang II) is the main active product of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), mediating its action via two major receptors, namely, the Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptor and the type 2 (AT2) receptor. Recent results also implicate several other members of the renin-angiotensin system in various aspects of brain functions. The first aim of this paper is to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding the properties and signaling of the AT2 receptor, its expression in the brain, and its well-established effects. Secondly, we will highlight the potential role of the AT2 receptor in cognitive function, neurological disorders and in the regulation of appetite and the possible link with development of metabolic disorders. The potential utility of novel nonpeptide selective AT2 receptor ligands in clarifying potential roles of this receptor in physiology will also be discussed. If confirmed, these new pharmacological tools should help to improve impaired cognitive performance, not only through its action on brain microcirculation and inflammation, but also through more specific effects on neurons. However, the overall physiological relevance of the AT2 receptor in the brain must also consider the Ang IV/AT4 receptor.