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To examine the role of the tissue renin–angiotensin system in left ventricular hypertrophy, converting enzyme inhibitors were administered orally to 12-week-old male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) for 4 weeks, and cardiac tissue angiotensin II was measured. Treatment with enalapril (10mg/kg per day) and trandolapril (1 mg/kg per day) lowered systolic blood pressure, left ventricular weight and left ventricular angiotensin II content. Plasma angiotensin II concentration was increased by the treatment with enalapril whereas trandolapril did not cause any change. There was significantly positive correlation between left ventricular weight and angiotensin II content. Because angiotensin II promotes cell proliferation, these results suggest that cardiac tissue angiotensin II, rather than circulating angiotensin II, may account for the pathophysiology of left ventricular hypertrophy in SHR.