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Pharm Res. 1992 Nov;9(11):1480-6.

Relative lipophilicities and structural-pharmacological considerations of various angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

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Pharmaceutics R&D Department, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903.


Lipophilicities of seven structurally diverse angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, viz., captopril, zofenoprilat, enalaprilat, ramiprilat, lisinopril, fosinoprilat, and ceronapril (SQ29852), were compared by determining their octanol-water distribution coefficients (D) under physiological pH conditions. The distribution co-efficients of zofenopril, enalapril, ramipril and fosinopril, which are the prodrug forms of zofenoprilat, enalaprilat, ramiprilat, and fosinoprilat, respectively, were also determined. Attempts were made to correlate lipophilicities with the reported data for oral absorption, protein binding, ACE inhibitory activity, propensity for biliary excretion, and penetration across the blood-brain barrier for these therapeutic entities. Better absorption of prodrugs compared to their respective active forms is in agreement with their greater lipophilicities. Captopril, lisinopril, and ceronapril are orally well absorbed despite their low lipophilicities, suggesting involvement of other factors such as a carrier-mediated transport process. Of all the compounds studied, the two most lipophilic ACE inhibitors, fosinoprilat and zofenoprilat, exhibit a rank-order correlation with respect to biliary excretion. This may explain the dual routes of elimination (renal and hepatic) observed with fosinoprilat in humans. The more lipophilic compounds also exhibit higher protein binding. Both the lipophilicity and a carrier-mediated process may be involved in penetration of some of these drugs into brain. For structurally similar compounds, in vitro ACE inhibitory activity increased with the increase in lipophilicity. However, no clear correlation between lipophilicity and ACE inhibitory activity emerged when different types of inhibitors are compared, possibly because their interactions with enzymes are primarily ionic in nature.

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