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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Mar;65(3):295-303.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition improves venous endothelial dysfunction in chronic smokers.

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Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Calif, USA.



In arteries and veins smoking is associated with impaired nitric oxide-mediated relaxation to endothelium-dependent agonists such as bradykinin. We investigated whether acute local angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition, achieved by enalaprilat, could influence bradykinin-induced vasodilation in veins of smokers.


We studied 7 smokers and 7 nonsmokers with the hand vein technique. After preconstriction with phenylephrine was performed, endothelium-dependent and independent relaxations were assessed by infusing bradykinin (1 to 278 ng/min) and sodium nitroprusside (0.0001 to 3166 ng/min), respectively. Dose-response curves were constructed before and during enalaprilat coinfusion (1 microg/min for 40 minutes).


Smokers had impaired venodilation to bradykinin compared with nonsmokers (P < .01). Apparent maximal relaxation induced by bradykinin was 78%+/-9% in the control group and 48%+/-9% in smokers (mean +/- SD). ACE inhibition shifted the bradykinin dose-response curve to the left in both groups (P < .001) and was associated with a minimal increase in apparent maximal venodilation in nonsmokers (78%+/-9% to 83%+/-18%). In contrast, in smokers ACE inhibition augmented the magnitude of apparent maximal venodilation to values comparable to those observed in the control group (48%+/-9% to 102%+/-21%). In both groups the response to sodium nitroprusside was not affected by enalaprilat.


This study shows that acute local ACE inhibition restores bradykinin-induced relaxation in smokers to values found in nonsmokers. This observation suggests that increased vascular metabolism of bradykinin exists in veins of smokers and that the vascular renin-angiotensin system may play a key role in smoking-induced endothelial dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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