Linz W. Jessen T. Becker RH. Scholkens BA. Wiemer G. Institution
Hoechst Marion Roussel, DG Research Cardiovascular, Frankfurt/Main, Germany. wolfgang.Linz@hmrag.com
lifespan of hypertensive rats.
Circulation. 96(9):3164-72, 1997 Nov 4. Abstract
BACKGROUND: We compared the outcome of lifelong treatment with the ACE inhibitor ramipril in young prehypertensive stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR-SP) and age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Ramipril was given in an antihypertensive and subantihypertensive dose. In addition to the primary end point, lifespan, surrogate parameters such as cardiac left ventricular hypertrophy, cardiac function and metabolism, and endothelial function were studied. METHODS AND RESULTS: One-month-old SHR-SP and WKY rats, 135 of each, were randomized into 3 groups. Each group was treated via drinking water with an antihypertensive high dose of ramipril (HRA, 1 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1)), a nonantihypertensive low dose of ramipril (LRA, 10 microg x kg(-1) x d(-1)), or placebo. Body weight and blood pressure were determined every 3 months. Molecular, biochemical, and functional data were assessed in SHR-SP and WKY rats after 15 and 30 months, respectively. These were the times when approximately 80% of the corresponding placebo group had died. Early-onset long-term ACE
inhibition with HRA doubled lifespan to 30 months in SHR-SP, which was identical to the lifespan of placebo-treated normotensive WKY rats. LRA treatment prolonged lifespan from 15 to 18 months. In SHR-SP, left ventricular hypertrophy was completely prevented by HRA but not by LRA treatment. Cardiac function and metabolism as well as endothelial function were significantly improved by both doses of ramipril. Carotid expression of endothelial NO synthase was moderately enhanced, whereas cardiac ACE expression and activity were decreased to values of placebo-treated WKY rats. CONCLUSIONS: Lifelong ACE inhibition
doubles lifespan in SHR-SP, matching that of normotensive WKY rats. This effect correlated with preservation of endothelial function, cardiac function/size, and metabolism. Thus, these data predict a beneficial outcome on survival in high-risk patients with hypertension and associated cardiovascular diseases by ACE inhibition.