Impacts of Lisinopril and Lisinopril Plus Simvastatin on Erythrocyte and Plasma Arginase, Nitrite, and Nitrate in Hypertensive Patients

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Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are effective at reducing blood pressure, whereas statins decrease plasma cholesterol, impeding atherosclerosis. The authors hypothesize that these medications may improve blood pressure by modifying the arginase—nitric oxide synthase system of erythrocytes. In this study, the effects of lisinopril alone versus lisinopril + simvastatin on erythrocyte and plasma arginase enzyme and nitric oxide metabolites are compared. Patients with atherosclerosis and hypertension are randomly assigned to receive lisinopril 10 to 20 mg/d or lisinopril 10 to 20 mg/d plus simvastatin 20 mg/d for 24 weeks. Higher arginase activity is observed in erythrocytes from 100% of patients and mainly recovered after 12 and 24 weeks of treatment with lisinopril or lisinopril + simvastatin. Plasma arginase activity is 3 orders of magnitude lower than erythrocyte arginase activity in all participants, suggesting a lack of its clinical significance. Both treatments cause the increase in plasmaSymbol, Symbol, and Symbol + Symbolin 100% of patients. ErythrocyteSymbol + Symbolconcentration is greatly decreased in hypertensive patients but recovers after monotherapy and combined therapy. The results show for the first time that lisinopril monotherapy and combined lisinopril + simvastatin therapy exhibit pronounced and equipotential normalizing effects on erythrocyte arginase and nitric oxide synthase activities.

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