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Neuropsychiatric Properties of the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas Pathway: A Brief Review

The current pharmacological strategies for the management of anxiety disorders and depression, serious conditions which are gaining greater prevalence worldwide, depend on only two therapeutic classes of mood-stabilizing drugs: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs). Although first line agents with proven efficacy, their clinical success in the management of anxiety disorders and depression is still considered highly complex due to the multifaceted nature of such conditions. Several studies have shown a possible therapeutic target could be found in the form of the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme [ACE] type 2 (ACE2), Angiotensin [Ang]-(1-7) and Mas receptor pathway of the Renin- Angiotensin System (RAS), which as will be discussed, has been described to exhibit promising therapeutic properties for the management of anxiety disorders and depression. In this article, the literature to describe recent findings related to the role of the RAS in anxiety and depression disorders was briefly revised. The literature used covers a time range from 1988 to 2019 and were acquired from the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) PubMed search engine. The results demonstrated in this review are promising and encourage the development of new research for the treatment of anxiety and depression disorders focusing on the RAS. In conclusion, the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas pathway may exhibit anxiolytic and anti-depressive effects through many possible biochemical mechanisms both centrally and peripherally, and result in highly promising mental health benefits which justifies further investigation into this system as a possible new therapeutic target in the management of neuropsychiatric disorders, including any as of yet undescribed risk-benefit analysis compared to currently-implemented pharmacological strategies.

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