Endothelial function in spontaneously hypertensive rats: influence of quinapril treatment

M Kähönen, H Mäkynen, X Wu, P Arvola, I Pörsti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


1. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition has been shown to restore the impaired endothelial function in hypertension, but the mediators underlying the promoted endothelium-dependent dilatation have not been fully characterized. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 10-week-long quinapril therapy (10 mg kg-1 day-1) on responses of mesenteric arterial rings in vitro from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. 2. Endothelium-dependent relaxations of noradrenaline (NA)-precontracted rings to acetylcholine (ACh) and adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP) were similar in WKY rats and quinapril-treated SHR and more pronounced than in untreated SHR. The nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) attenuated the relaxations in both WKY groups and quinapril-treated SHR, and completely inhibited them in untreated SHR. When endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization was prevented by precontraction of the preparations with potassium chloride (KCl), no differences were found in relaxations to ACh and ADP between the study groups. In addition, in NA-precontracted rings the L-NAME- and indomethacin-resistant relaxations to ACh were partially prevented by apamin, an inhibitor of calcium-activated potassium channels. 3. Interestingly, in quinapril-treated SHR but not in the other groups, exogenous bradykinin potentiated the relaxations to ACh in both NA- and KCl-precontracted arterial rings. 4. Contractile sensitivity of endothelium-intact rings to NA was reduced in SHR by quinapril, and was more effectively increased by L-NAME in quinapril-treated than untreated SHR. 5. In conclusion, since the relaxations to ACh and ADP in quinapril-treated SHR were augmented in the absence and presence of NO synthesis inhibition but not under conditions which prevented hyperpolarization, enhanced endothelium-dependent relaxation after long-term ACE inhibition can be attributed to increased endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization. However, the potentiation of the response to ACh by exogenous bradykinin in quinapril-treated SHR, as well as the increased attenuating effect of the endothelium on NA-induced contractions in these animals appear to result from enhanced endothelium-derived NO release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalBr J Pharmacol
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Aging/physiology
  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents/pharmacology
  • Biological Factors/physiology
  • Blood Pressure/drug effects
  • Body Weight/drug effects
  • Bradykinin/pharmacology
  • Endothelins/physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects
  • Epoprostenol/physiology
  • Hypertension/physiopathology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoquinolines/pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries/drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/drug effects
  • Nitric Oxide/physiology
  • Organ Size/drug effects
  • Quinapril
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Tetrahydroisoquinolines


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