Epilepsy is a highly prevalent neurological disease and anti-epileptic drugs (AED) are almost the unique clinical treatment option. A disbalanced brain renin–angiotensin system (RAS) has been proposed in epilepsy and several reports have shown that angiotensin II (Ang II) receptor-1 (ATR1) activation is pro-inflammatory and pro-epileptogenic. In agreement, ATR1 blockage with the repurposed drug losartan has shown benefits in animal models of epilepsy. Processing of Ang II by ACE2 enzyme renders Ang-(1-7), a metabolite that activates the mitochondrial assembly (Mas) receptor (MasR) pathway. MasR activation presents beneficial effects, facilitating vasodilatation, increasing anti-inflammatory and antioxidative responses. In a recent paper published in Clinical Science, Gomes and colleagues (Clin. Sci. (Lond.) (2020) 134, 2263–2277) performed intracerebroventricular (icv) infusion of Ang-(1-7) in animals subjected to the pilocarpine model of epilepsy, starting after the first spontaneous motor seizure (SMS). They showed that this approach reduced the frequency of SMS, restored animal anxiety, increased exploration, and augmented the hippocampal expression of protective catalase enzyme and antiapoptotic protein B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2). Interestingly, but surprisingly, Gomes and colleagues showed that MasR expression and mTor activity were reduced in the hippocampus of the epileptic Ang-(1-7) treated animals. These results show that Ang-(1-7) administration could represent a new avenue for developing strategies for the management of epilepsy in clinical settings. However, future work is necessary to evaluate the levels of RAS metabolites and the activity of key enzymes in these experimental interventions to completely understand the therapeutic potential of the brain RAS manipulation in epilepsy.

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