Attenuation of focal cerebral ischemic injury following post-ischemic inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity in normotensive rat

Hamdollah Panahpour, Gholam Abbas Dehghani
Iranian Biomedical Journal 2012, 16 (4): 202-8

BACKGROUND: Central renin angiotensin system has an important role on the cerebral microcirculation and metabolism. Our previous work showed that inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity prior to induction of ischemia protected the brain from severe ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injuries. This study evaluated the impacts of post-ischemic inhibition of ACE, enalapril, on brain infarction in normotensive rats.

METHODS: Rats were anesthetized with chloral hydrate (400 mg/kg). Focal cerebral ischemia was induced by 60-min intraluminal occlusion of right middle cerebral artery (MCA). Intraperitoneal injection of enalapril (0.03 or 0.1 mg/kg) was done after MCA reopening (reperfusion). Neurological deficit score (NDS) was evaluated after 24 h and the animals randomly assigned for the assessments of infarction, absolute brain water content (ABWC) and index of brain edema.

RESULTS: Severe impaired motor functions (NDS = 2.78 ± 0.28), massive infarction (cortex = 214 ± 19 mm3, striatum = 86 ± 5 mm3) and edema (ABWC = 83.1 ± 0.46%) were observed in non-treated ischemic rats. Non-hypotensive dose of enalapril (0.03 mg/kg) significantly reduced NDS (1.5 ± 0.22), infarction (cortex = 102 ± 16 mm3, striatum = 38 ± 5 mm3) and edema (ABWC = 80.9 ± 0.81%). Enalapril at dose of 0.1 mg/kg significantly lowered arterial pressure could not improve NDS (2.0 ± 0.45) and reduce infarction (cortex = 166 ± 26 mm3, striatum = 71 ± 11 mm3).

CONCLUSION: Post-ischemic ACE inhibition in the normotensive rats without affecting arterial pressure protects the brain from reperfusion injuries; however, this beneficial action is masked by hypotension.

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