Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition and angiotensin AT1-receptor antagonism equally improve endothelial vasodilator function in L-NAME-induced hypertensive rats

Vito De Gennaro Colonna, Antonello Rigamonti, Simona Fioretti, Sara Bonomo, Barbara Manfredi, Paolo Ferrario, Mauro Bianchi, Ferruccio Berti, Eugenio E Muller, Giuseppe Rossoni
European Journal of Pharmacology 2005 June 15, 516 (3): 253-9
Male Sprague-Dawley rats given N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) in drinking water for 8 weeks showed: (1) a clear-cut increase in systolic blood pressure; (2) a consistent decrease of endothelial-cell nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene expression in aortic tissue; (3) a marked reduction of plasma nitrite/nitrate concentrations; (4) a reduction of the relaxant activity of acetylcholine (ACh, from 10(-10) to 10(-4) M) on norepinephrine-precontracted aortic rings (reduction by 48+/-5%); (5) a marked decrease (-58%) of the basal release of 6-keto-prostaglandin F1alpha (6-keto-PGF1alpha) from aortic rings. In L-NAME-treated rats, administration in the last 4 weeks of either the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor enalapril (10 mg/kg/day in tap water) or the angiotensin AT(1)-receptor antagonist losartan (10 mg/kg/day in tap water) decreased systolic blood pressure levels, completely restored eNOS mRNA levels in aortic tissue and plasma nitrite/nitrate levels, and allowed a consistent recovery of both the relaxant activity of acetylcholine and the generation of 6-keto-PGF1alpha. Coadministration of icatibant, a bradykinin B(2)-receptor antagonist (200 microg/kg/day), with enalapril blunted the stimulatory effect of the ACE inhibitor on eNOS mRNA expression, circulating levels of nitrite/nitrate, the relaxant activity of ACh and the release of 6-keto-PGF1alpha in L-NAME-treated rats. The generation of 6-keto-PGF1alpha from aortic rings was also decreased in rats coadministered icatibant with losartan. These findings indicate that (1) the ACE inhibitor enalapril and the angiotensin AT(1)-receptor blocker losartan are equally effective to reverse NAME-induced endothelial dysfunction; (2) the beneficial effect of enalapril on the endothelial vasodilator function in L-NAME-treated rats is mediated by bradykinin B(2)-receptor activation; and (3) the enhanced endothelial generation of prostacyclin induced by losartan in L-NAME rats is also mediated by bradykinin B(2)-receptor activation.

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