Cardiovascular Effects of Urocortin-2: Pathophysiological Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential

  • Cláudia Monteiro-Pinto
  • Rui Adão
  • Adelino F. Leite-Moreira
  • Carmen Brás-SilvaEmail author


Urocortin-2 (Ucn-2) is a peptide of the corticotrophin releasing factor-related family with several effects within the cardiovascular system. A variety of molecular mechanisms has been proposed to underlie some of these effects, although others remain mostly hypothetical. Growing interest in the cardiovascular properties of this peptide promoted several pre-clinical studies in the settings of heart failure and ischemia, as well as some experiments in the fields of systemic and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Most of these studies report promising results, with Ucn-2 showing therapeutic potential in these settings, and few clinical trials to date are trying to translate this potential to human cardiovascular disease. Ucn-2 also appears to have potential as a biomarker of diagnostic/prognostic relevance in cardiovascular disease, this being a recent field in the study of this peptide needing further corroboration. Regarding the increasing amount of evidence in Ucn-2 investigation, this work aims to make an updated review on its cardiovascular effects and molecular mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential, and to identify some research barriers and gaps in the study of this cardioprotective peptide.


Urocortin-2 Cardiac function Heart failure Cardioprotection 


Funding Information

This work was supported by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through Grant UID/IC/00051/2013 and project IMPAcT- PTDC/MED-FSL/31719/2017.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cláudia Monteiro-Pinto
    • 1
  • Rui Adão
    • 1
  • Adelino F. Leite-Moreira
    • 1
  • Carmen Brás-Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgery and Physiology, Cardiovascular Research and Development Center—UnIC, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Nutrition and Food SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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