Kallidin- and Bradykinin-Degrading Pathways in Human Heart: Degradation of Kallidin by Aminopeptidase M-Like Activity and Bradykinin by Neutral Endopeptidase

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Abstract

Background

Since kinins kallidin (KD) and bradykinin (BK) appear to have cardioprotective effects ranging from improved hemodynamics to antiproliferative effects, inhibition of kinin-degrading enzymes should potentiate such effects. Indeed, it is believed that this mechanism is partly responsible for the beneficial effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. In the heart, enzymes other than ACE may contribute to local degradation of kinins. The purpose of this study was to investigate which enzymes are responsible for the degradation of KD and BK in human heart tissue.

Conclusions

The present in vitro study shows that in human cardiac membranes, the most critical step in kinin metabolism, that is, inactivation of BK, appears to be mediated mostly by NEP. This observation suggests a role for NEP in the local control of BK concentration in heart tissue. Thus inhibition of cardiac NEP activity could be cardioprotective by elevating the local concentration of BK in the heart. (Circulation. 1999;99:1984-1990.)

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