30 July 2011
The role of local tissue renin-angiotensin system (tRAS) activation in the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome (CRS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is not well understood. To this point, we posit that early redox stress-mediated injury to tissues and organs via accumulation of excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and associated wound healing responses might serve as a paradigm to better understand how tRAS is involved. There are at least five common categories responsible for generating ROS that may result in a positive feedback ROS-tRAS axis. These mechanisms include metabolic substrate excess, hormonal excess, hypoxia-ischemia/reperfusion, trauma, and inflammation. Because ROS are toxic to proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids they may be the primary instigator, serving as the injury nidus to initiate the wound healing process. Insulin resistance is central to the development of the CRS and T2DM, and there are now thought to be four major organ systems important in their development. In states of overnutrition and tRAS activation, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle (SkM), islet tissues, and liver (the quadrumvirate) are individually and synergistically related to the development of insulin resistance, CRS, and T2DM. The obesity epidemic is thought to be the driving force behind the CRS and T2DM, which results in the impairment of multiple end-organs, including the cardiovascular system, pancreas, kidney, retina, liver, adipose tissue, SkM, and nervous system. A better understanding of the complex mechanisms leading to local tRAS activation and increases in tissue ROS may lead to new therapies emphasizing global risk reduction of ROS resulting in decreased morbidity and mortality.