The functional role of endogenous APJ agonists; Apelin and Elabela/ toddler in cardiovascular diseases

Teruki Sato, Keiji Kuba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apelin is an endogenous peptide ligand for APJ receptor, which is widely expressed in human body, and exerts various physiological effects such as vasodilation, inotropic effect, water balance, heart development, angiogenesis and energy metabolism. The beneficial effects of Apelin in cardiovascular diseases have been elucidated, and the roles of Apelin in aging-associated diseases are recently implicated. The mechanisms for therapeutic effects of Aplein include an antagonistic action to renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in addition to inotropic and vasodilatory actions. We have revealed that endogenous Apelin negatively regulates RAS via upregulation of Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In addition, a second ligand for APJ receptor, Elabela/Toddler, was identified as an essential hormone for heart development, and it has been reported to have physiological effects similar to Apelin. We and others have shown that Elabela exerts inotropic and protective effects in the heart. Although the number of heart failure patients is rapidly increasing, the pathophysiology of heart failure remains elusive and further development of new therapeutic option is awaited. Apelin is a unique bifunctional molecule, which has both inotropic and cardioprotective effects in heart failure, and thus further elucidation of the mechanisms for Apelin/Elabela-APJ signaling would contribute to development of a novel therapeutics for heart failure patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalFolia Pharmacologica Japonica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


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