The apelin-APJ system in the evolution of heart failure
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disease in which the overexpression of biologically active molecules and neurohomonal activation are the key factors of the evolution and natural history. The apelin-APJ system is a newly discovered molecular pathway and the RAAS counterbalance is its principal effect. The apelin is a potent inotrope, vasodilator and diuretic with crucial cardioprotective effects against angiotensin and aldosterone injuries. Intense and prolonged RAAS induces the downregulation of the apelin and its receptor at myocardial level and cancels their protection. Compared to the vasoactive agents used in the treatment of acute heart failure, exogen apelin has unique intropic and vasodilatory effects without deleterious consequences, being a promising therapeutic option.