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Hypertens Res. 2017 Aug;40(8):738-745. doi: 10.1038/hr.2017.38. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Dual NEP/ECE inhibition improves endothelial function in mesenteric resistance arteries of 32-week-old SHR.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Pathology and Immunology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Medical Specialties-Cardiology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Cardiovascular and Renal Research, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.


Endothelin 1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstrictor, pro-mitogenic and pro-inflammatory peptide, may promote development of endothelial dysfunction and arterial remodeling. ET-1 can be formed through cleavage of big-ET-1 by endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE) or neutral endopeptidase (NEP). We investigated whether chronic treatment with the novel dual NEP/ECE inhibitor SOL1 improves functional and structural properties of resistance-sized arteries of 32-week-old male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). SHR received a chronic 4-week treatment with SOL1, losartan or hydralazine. We then compared effects of inhibition of NO synthase (NOS) (100 μM l-NAME), blockade of ETA- and ETB-receptors (10 μM bosentan) and stimulation of the endothelium with 0.001-10 μM acetylcholine (ACh) in isolated third-order mesenteric resistance arteries. Losartan and hydralazine significantly lowered blood pressure. Losartan decreased the media-to-lumen ratio of resistance arteries. l-NAME (1) increased arterial contractile responses to K+ (5.9-40 mM) in the losartan, SOL1 and vehicle group and (2) increased the sensitivity to phenylephrine (PHE; 0.16-20 μM) in the SOL1 group but not in the losartan, hydralazine and vehicle group. Relaxing responses to ACh in the absence or presence of l-NAME during contractions induced by either 10 μM PHE or 40 mM K+ were not altered by any in vivo treatment. Acute treatment with bosentan did, however, significantly improve maximal relaxing responses involving endothelium-derived nitric oxide and -hyperpolarizing factors in the SOL1 group but not in the losartan, hydralazine or vehicle group. Thus, chronic inhibition of NEP/ECE improved basal endothelial function but did not alter blood pressure, resistance artery structure and stimulated endothelium-dependent relaxing responses in 32-week-old SHR.

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