Role of N-Acetyl-Seryl-Aspartyl-Lysyl-Proline in the Antifibrotic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Captopril in Hypertension

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Abstract—Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) are known to have antifibrotic effects on the heart and kidney in both animal models and humans. N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline is a natural inhibitor of proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and a natural substrate of ACEi that was reported to prevent cardiac and renal fibrosis in vivo. However, it is not clear whether N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline participates in the antifibrotic effects of ACEi. To clarify this issue, we used a model of aldosterone-salt–induced hypertension in rats treated with the ACEi captopril either alone or combined with an anti-N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline monoclonal antibody. These hypertensive rats had the following: (1) left ventricular and renal hypertrophy, as well as increased collagen deposition in the left ventricular and the kidney; (2) glomerular matrix expansion; and (3) increased ED1-positive cells and enhanced phosphorylated-p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase in the left ventricle and kidney. The ACEi alone significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (P=0.008) with no effect on organ hypertrophy; it significantly lowered left ventricular collagen content, and this effect was blocked by the monoclonal antibody as confirmed by the histological data. As expected, the ACEi significantly decreased renal collagen deposition and glomerular matrix expansion, and these effects were attenuated by the monoclonal antibody. Likewise, the ACEi significantly decreased ED1-positive cells and inhibited p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in the left ventricle and kidney, and these effects were blocked by the monoclonal antibody. We concluded that in aldosterone-salt–induced hypertension, the antifibrotic effect of ACEi on the heart and kidney, is partially mediated by N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline, resulting in decreased inflammatory cell infiltration and p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation.

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