The Relationship Between Angiotensin II (ANG II) and Oxidative Stress in the Maintenance of Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.
Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) reportedly have inappropriately high levels of Ang II despite normal plasma renin activity (PRA). Because Ang II stimulates oxidative stress, which in turn quenches nitric oxide, it is possible that Ang II-induced increases in oxidative stress contribute to the increase in blood pressure. Indeed, administering either a converting enzyme inhibitor (to decrease Ang II) or Tempol (a potent antioxidant) reduces blood pressure in SHR. We tested whether decreasing Ang II with a converting enzyme inhibitor reduces oxidative stress as well as MAP in SHR. For this, we divided 12 weeks old SHR into two groups (n=5 each). One group was treated with captopril (100 mg/kg/day added to the drinking water) and the other served as our untreated time controls. After 16 days of treatment, the rats were anesthetised and we measured MAP and collected blood samples to determine PRA, and the plasma levels of Ang II and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). The captopril-treated rats had a lower MAP than the untreated rats (92±4 vs. 160±5 mmHg, respectively) and an increased PRA (42±1 vs. 26±6 ng/ml/h; captopril-treated vs. untreated rats, respectively). The decreased MAP in the captopril-treated SHR was accompanied by reduced plasma levels of Ang II (630±47 vs. 836±205 pg/ml) and TBARS (5.4±1.0 vs. 3.0±0.2 nmol/ml). Despite the significant decrease in Ang II levels in the captopril-treated SHR, they are still 20-fold higher rhan in normotensive Sprague-Dawley rats (34.0±8.8 pg/ml). In summary, captopril-induced decreases of MAP in SHR are accompanied not only by reduced levels of Ang II, but also by reduced oxidative stress. Because antioxidants also lower MAP in SHR, it suggests that oxidative stress induced by Ang II may play a role in the pathogenesis of the increased blood pressure in SHR.