Role of the AT2 receptor

The role of the AT2 receptor and the potential therapeutic benefits of using specific agonists that activate this receptor have been an area of recent research. The AT2 receptor is highly expressed in the fetus, where it supports organ development and cellular changes. In contrast, tissue expression is low in healthy adults and is only increased when organs have been compromised fibrotic disease.

Beneficial effects following activation of the AT2 receptor include dilatation of blood vessels and anti-fibrotic responses, representing protective actions of the RAS. Observations such as these provide strong support for a potential beneficial cardiopulmonary effect of AT2-receptor activation.

Preclinical data have demonstrated that activation of the AT2 receptor by the selective agonist VP01 effectively mitigates experimental pulmonary fibrosis, a model commonly used for testing new potential IPF drugs.