Do angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors lower blood pressure in the rat partly via the humorally mediated antihypertensive system of the renal medulla?

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It has been suggested that there is a negative-feedback interaction between the humoral renomedullary antihypertensive system and angiotensin II. If so, the acute blood pressure-lowering effects of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors might be due, in part, to an increased secretion of renomedullary depressor substances. Groups of anaesthetized Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) with an intact or chemically destroyed renal medulla received either saline or the ACE inhibitor enalapril, and mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate and renal function were measured. MAP was clearly decreased after enalapril administration in the WKY controls with an intact renal medulla, but was not changed in the medullectomized group. In one WKY control group, where the prostaglandin and kallikrein-kinin systems had also been acutely blocked, the MAP reduction after enalapril was even more marked than in the intact controls. Thus, the acute blood pressure-lowering effect of enalapril is clearly dependent on an intact renal medulla, further suggesting that the renomedullary antihypertensive system is important to normal blood pressure homeostasis

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