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Bradykinin is a peptide that causes blood vessels to enlarge (dilate), and therefore causes blood pressure to lower. A class of drugs called ACE inhibitors, which are used to lower blood pressure, increase bradykinin further lowering blood pressure. Bradykinin works on blood vessels through the release of prostacyclin, nitric oxide, and endothelial-derived hyperpolarizing factor.

Bradykinin is a physiologically and pharmacologically active peptide of the kinin group of proteins, consisting of nine amino acids.


Bradykinin is a 9-amino acid peptide chain. The amino acid sequence of bradykinin is: Arg - Pro - Pro - Gly - Phe - Ser - Pro - Phe - Arg. Its empirical formula is therefore C50H73N15O11.


The kinin-kallikrein system makes bradykinin by proteolytic cleavage of its kininogen precursor, high-molecular-weight kininogen (HMWK or HK), by the enzyme kallikrein.


In humans, bradykinin is broken down by three kininases: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), aminopeptidase P (APP), and carboxypeptidase N (CPN), which cleave the 7-8, 1-2, and 8-9 positions, respectively [Dendorfer A, Wolfrum S, Wagemann M, Qadri F, Dominiak P. "Pathways of bradykinin degradation in blood and plasma of normotensive and hypertensive rats." Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2001;280:H2182-8. [ Fulltext] . PMID 11299220.] [Kuoppala A, Lindstedt KA, Saarinen J, Kovanen PT, Kokkonen JO. "Inactivation of bradykinin by angiotensin-converting enzyme and by carboxypeptidase N in human plasma." Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2000;278(4):H1069-74. [ Fulltext] . PMID 10749699.] .

Physiological Role (Function)


Bradykinin is a potent endothelium-dependent vasodilator, causes contraction of non-vascular smooth muscle, increases vascular permeability and also is involved in the mechanism of pain. In some aspects, it has similar actions to that of histamine, and like histamine is released from venules rather than arterioles.

Bradykinin raises internal calcium levels in neocortical astrocytes causing them to release glutamate. [Parpura et al., "Glutamate-mediated astrocyte−neuron signalling", Nature 1994 [ Article] ]

Bradykinin is also thought to be the cause of the dry cough in some patients on angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drugs. This refractory cough is a common cause for stopping ACE inhibitor therapy.

Overactivation of bradykinin is thought to play a role in a rare disease called Hereditary Angioedema, also known as Hereditary Angio-Neurotic Edema. [Bas M, Adams V, Suvorava T, Niehues T, Hoffmann TK, Kojda G. "Nonallergic angioedema: role of bradykinin." Allergy. 2007 Aug;62(8):842-56.]


* The B1 receptor (also called bradykinin receptor B1) is expressed only as a result of tissue injury, and is presumed to play a role in chronic pain. This receptor has been also described to play a role in inflammation. [ Peter G. McLean et al., "Association between Kinin B1 Receptor Expression and Leukocyte Trafficking across Mouse Mesenteric Postcapillary Venules", The Journal of Experimental Medicine 2000 [ Article] ] . Most recently, it has been shown that the kinin B1 receptor recruits neutrophil via the chemokine CXCL5 production. Moreover, endothelial cells have been described as a potential source for this B1 receptor-CXCL5 pathway. [ J Duchene et al., "A Novel Inflammatory Pathway Involved in Leukocyte Recruitment: Role for the Kinin B1 Receptor and the Chemokine CXCL5", The Journal of Immunology 2007 [] ]

* The B2 receptor is constitutively active and participates in bradykinin's vasodilatory role.

The kinin B1 and B2 receptors belong to G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family.


Bradykinin was discovered in 1948 by three Brazilian physiologists and pharmacologists working at the Instituto Biológico, in São Paulo, Brazil, led by Dr. Maurício Rocha e Silva. Together with colleagues Wilson Teixeira Beraldo and Gastão Rosenfeld, they discovered the powerful hypotensive effects of bradykinin in animal preparations. Bradykinin was detected in the blood plasma of animals after the addition of venom extracted from the "Bothrops jararaca" (Brazilian lancehead snake), brought by Rosenfeld from the Butantan Institute. The discovery was part of a continuing study on circulatory shock and proteolytic enzymes related to the toxicology of snake bites, started by Rocha e Silva as early as 1939. Bradykinin was to prove a new autopharmacological principle, i.e., a substance that is released in the body by a metabolic modification from precursors, which are pharmacologically active. According to B.J. Hagwood, Rocha e Silva's biographer, "The discovery of bradykinin has led to a new understanding of many physiological and pathological phenomena including circulatory shock induced by venoms and toxins."

Therapeutic Implications

The practical importance of the discovery of bradykinin became apparent when one of his collaborators at the Medical School of Ribeirão Preto at the University of São Paulo, Dr. Sérgio Henrique Ferreira, discovered a bradykinin potentiating factor (BPF) in the bothropic venom which increases powerfully both the duration and magnitude of its effects on vasodilation and the consequent fall in blood pressure. On the basis of this finding, Squibb scientists developed the first of a new generation of highly-effective anti-hypertensive drugs, the so-called ACE inhibitors, such as captopril (trademarked Capoten).

Currently, bradykinin inhibitors, also known as antagonists, are being developed as potential therapies for hereditary angioedema. Icatibant is one such inhibitor. Additional bradykinin inhibitors exist. It has long been known in animal studies that bromelain, a substance obtained from the stems and leaves of the pineapple plant, suppresses trauma-induced swelling caused by the release of bradykinin into the bloodstream and tissues. [Lotz-Winter H. "On the pharmacology of bromelain: an update with special regard to animal studies on dose-dependent effects." Planta Med. 1990 Jun;56(3):249-53.] Other substances that act as bradykinin inhibitors include aloe [Bautista-Pérez R, Segura-Cobos D, Vázquez-Cruz B. "In vitro antibradykinin activity of Aloe barbadensis gel." J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jul;93(1):89-92.] [Yagi A, Harada N, Yamada H, Iwadare S, Nishioka I. "Antibradykinin active material in Aloe saponaria." J Pharm Sci. 1982 Oct;71(10):1172-4.] and polyphenols, substances found in red wine and green tea. [Richard T, Delaunay JC, Mérillon JM, Monti JP. "Is the C-terminal region of bradykinin the binding site of polyphenols?" J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2003 Dec;21(3):379-85.]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bradykinin — Masse/Länge …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bradykinin — ra dy*ki nin n. a hypotensive tissue hormone ({C50H73N15O11}) which acts on smooth muscle, dilates peripheral vessels and increases capillary permeability. It is formed locally in injured tissue and is believed to play a role in the inflammatory …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bradykinin — [brad΄i kī′nin, brad΄ikin′in] n. [< BRADY + Gr kinein, to move: see KINETIC] a kinin, C50H73N15O11, released from blood plasma by some snake venoms and certain other enzymes, which slows intestinal contractions, lowers blood pressure, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Bradykinin — Bra|dy|ki|nin [griech. bradýs = langsam; ↑ Kinin], das; s; Syn.: Kallidin I oder 9: durch ↑ Kallikrein aus Bradykininogen freigesetztes Peptid aus 9 Aminosäuren, das als ↑ Gewebshormon muskelkontrahierende, blutdrucksenkende u. schmerzauslösende… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • bradykinin — Vasoactive nonapeptide (RPPGFSPFR) formed by action of proteases on kininogens. Very similar to kallidin (which has the same sequence but with an additional N terminal lysine). Bradykinin is a very potent vasodilator and increases permeability of …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • bradykinin — The nonapeptide Arg–Pro–Pro–Gly–Phe–Ser–Pro–Phe–Arg, produced from the decapeptide kallidin (bradykininogen) that is produced from α2 globulin by kallikrein, normally present in blood in an inactive form and similar to trypsin in action; b. is… …   Medical dictionary

  • bradykinin — n. a naturally occurring polypeptide consisting of nine amino acids. Bradykinin is a very powerful vasodilator and causes contraction of smooth muscle; it is formed in the blood under certain conditions and is thought to play an important role as …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • bradykinin — noun Date: 1949 a kinin that is formed locally in injured tissue, acts in vasodilation of small arterioles, is considered to play a part in inflammatory processes, and is composed of a chain of nine amino acid residues …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bradykinin — /brad i kin in, kuy nin/, n. Biochem. a peptide hormone that dilates peripheral blood vessels and increases capillary permeability. [1945 50; BRADY + KININ] * * * …   Universalium

  • bradykinin — noun One of the kinins, a nonapeptide that reduces blood pressure by dilating blood vessels …   Wiktionary

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