No persistent effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor treatment in Milan hypertensive rats despite regression of vascular structure

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Milan hypertensive rats were treated, from ages 4 to 24 weeks, with the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, perindopril, in doses of 1.5mg/kg per day or 0.4mg/kg per day. Controls were untreated Milan hypertensive rats. At age 24 weeks, a mesenteric biopsy was taken, from which two resistance vessels were taken out and mounted on a myograph for structural and functional analysis. Thereafter, treatment was withdrawn and the blood pressure of the rats was followed until age 36 weeks. Perindopril treatment had a dose-dependent effect on blood pressure as well as on both structural (media thickness, media: lumen ratio) and functional (estimated pressure against which vessels could contract) parameters of the resistance vessels. However, when treatment was withdrawn, blood pressure rose to (low-dose perindopril group) or above (high-dose perindopril group) control levels. The results contrast with previous studies using spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR) where, using the same protocol, blood pressure remains low after withdrawal of treatment with ACE inhibitors, including perindopril, although the effect on resistance vessel parameters is similar. The results show that the persistent effect of ACE inhibitor therapy which has been seen in SHR is not a general feature of genetic hypertension. Furthermore, these results raise doubts as to whether the persistent effect seen in SHR is due to a general effect of ACE inhibitor treatment on vascular structure.

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