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Eur Heart J. 1993 Nov;14 Suppl I:154-60.

Local regulation of vascular tone by bradykinin and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, German Heart Institute Berlin.


Part of the vasodilator response to angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors depends on stimulation of bradykinin receptors, but in most studies the anticipated increase in plasma kinin concentration during ACE inhibition was not detected. We investigated the role of local ACE inhibition on endothelial control of vascular tone. Rings of bovine coronary, renal and tail arteries, as well as human coronary arteries, were mounted in organ chambers so that the isometric force could be recorded. The ACE inhibitors, captopril, fosinoprilat, enalaprilat, lisinopril, and ramiprilat alone had no affect on the vascular tone of bovine coronary arteries with endothelium. However, these ACE inhibitors did potentiate relaxations to bradykinin and the slowly degradable bradykinin derivative [Hyp3-Tyr(Me)8]-bradykinin (3 x 10(-11) M). A similar response was observed in human coronary arteries. The response was not observed in rings of any vessel without endothelium, or after incubation with nitro-L-arginine (10(-4) M), or the bradykinin2-receptor antagonists Hoe 140 (10(-8) M). The sensitivity to bradykinin was higher and the potentiating effect of ACE inhibition larger in the bovine coronary artery than in the renal and tail artery. Thus, ACE inhibition causes selective coronary vasodilation by potentiating the bradykinin-induced release of nitric oxide from the endothelium. The related mechanism underlying these effects must occur at the surface or within the arterial wall and seems to be independent of the degradation of the kinins.

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