The renin angiotensin system (RAS) is intricately involved in normal cardiovascular homeostasis. Excessive stimulation by the octapeptide angiotensin II contributes to a range of cardiovascular pathologies and diseases via angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) activation. On the other hand, tElsevier Inc.he angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R) is thought to counter-regulate AT1R function. In this review, we describe the enhanced expression and function of AT2R in various cardiovascular disease settings. In addition, we illustrate that the RAS consists of a family of angiotensin peptides that exert cardiovascular effects that are often distinct from those of Ang II. During cardiovascular disease, there is likely to be an increased functional importance of AT2R, stimulated by Ang II, or even shorter angiotensin peptide fragments, to limit AT1R-mediated overactivity and cardiovascular pathologies.