Effect of Chronic Converting-Enzyme Inhibition on Kidney Function of Senescent Hypertensive Rats

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The age-related changes in the structure and the function of the kidney and the effect of chronic inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity on these alterations were assessed in senescent, genetically hypertensive rats. Mean blood pressure was unchanged between 6 and 21 months, being 136 ± 10 and 135 ± 21 mm Hg, respectively. Hypertrophy of the glomeruli with a high incidence of glomerulosclerosis was reported in the 21-month-old animals. Renal blood flow, glomerular filtration rate, and filtration fraction were reduced between 6 and 21 months, whereas albuminuria and cGMP excretion were markedly enhanced with aging. Chronic ACE inhibition by administration of 0.3 mg/kg/day trandolapril from 18–21 months increased the life expectancy of the animals without affecting their mean blood pressure. The incidence of glomerular lesions and the excretion of enzymes that reflected the integrity of tubular and glomerular cells were not altered by ACE inhibition. On the other hand, the filtration fraction was restored in the 21-month-old treated animals, and the age-related albuminuria and rise in cGMP excretion were prevented by ACE inhibition. These results indicated that ACE inhibitor administered at the end of the life of senescent hypertensive rats was able to prevent some of the age-related changes in kidney function when glomerulosclerosis was already present.

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