The renin-angiotensin system is activated in shock. Decreased renal artery perfusion, β-adrenergic stimulation, and increased renal tubular sodium concentration cause the release of renin from the juxtaglomerular cells. Renin cata- lyzes the conversion of angiotensinogen (produced by the liver) to angiotensin I, which is then converted to angiotensin II by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) produced in the lung. While angiotensin I has no significant functional activ- ity, angiotensin II is a potent vasoconstrictor of both splanchnic and peripheral vascular beds, and also stimulates the secretion of aldosterone, ACTH, and antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Aldo- sterone, a mineralocorticoid, acts on the nephron to promote reabsorption of sodium and, as a consequence, water. Potassium and hydrogen ions are lost in the urine in exchange for sodium.
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