Angiotensin II is a key biological peptide in the renin-angiotensin system that regulates blood pressure and renal hemodynamics, and extensive experimental studies have shown that angiotensin II promotes diverse fibrotic changes and induces neovascularization in several inflammatory diseases. It is known that angiotensin II can be controlled using renin-angiotensin system blockade when angiotensin II is the main factor inducing a particular disease, and renin-angiotensin system blockade has assumed a central role in the treatment of inflammatory nephritis, cardiovascular disorders and retinopathy. In contrast, renin-angiotensin system blockade was found to have not only these effects but also other functions, such as inhibition of cancer growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Numerous studies have sought to elucidate the mechanisms and support these antitumor effects. However, a recent meta-analysis showed that renin-angiotensin system blockade use might in fact increase the incidence of cancer, so renin-angiotensin system blockade use has become somewhat controversial. Although the renin-angiotensin system has most certainly made great contributions to experimental models and clinical practice, some issues still need to be resolved. The present review discusses the contribution and controversy surrounding the renin-angiotensin system up to the present time.
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