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February 11, 1983

Renin and Rennin

Author Affiliations

Georgetown University Medical Center Washington, DC

JAMA. 1983;249(6):727. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330300019013

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To the Editor.—  One often hears speakers discussing the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system who pronounce the word renin as "wren-in." This is clearly an error. The correct pronunciation of renin is "ree-nin." The word rennin, which is correctly pronounced "wren-in," refers to an enzyme found in calves' stomachs that curdles milk and is used to make cheese. Rennin, which is also known as rennet or chymosin, has nothing whatever to do with hypertension. Renin is an enzyme produced in the kidney that is thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of at least some cases of hypertension. How important it is has been and remains a subject of much speculation in the hypertension research community, but it would seem appropriate for all at least to know how to pronounce properly a word that is so widely used.