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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2001 May;280(5):H2182-8.

Pathways of bradykinin degradation in blood and plasma of normotensive and hypertensive rats.

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  • 1Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical University of Lübeck, D-23538 Lübeck, Germany.


Kinins are vasoactive peptide hormones that can confer protection against the development of hypertension. Because their efficacy is greatly influenced by the rate of enzymatic degradation, the activities of various kininases in plasma and blood of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were compared with those in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) to identify pathogenic alterations. Either plasma or whole blood was incubated with bradykinin (10 microM). Bradykinin and kinin metabolites were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Kininase activities were determined by cumulative inhibition of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), carboxypeptidase N (CPN), and aminopeptidase P (APP), using selective inhibitors. Plasma of WKY rats degraded bradykinin at a rate of 13.3 +/- 0.94 micromol x min(-1) x l(-1). The enzymes ACE, APP, and CPN represented 92% of this kininase activity, with relative contributions of 52, 25, and 16%, respectively. Inclusion of blood cells at physiological concentrations did not extend the activities of these plasma kininases further. No differences of kinin degradation were found between WKY and SHR. The identical conditions of kinin degradation in WKY and SHR suggest no pathogenic role of kininases in the SHR model of genetic hypertension.

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