Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition, body composition, and physical performance in aged rats

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 May;59(5):416-23. doi: 10.1093/gerona/59.5.b416.


This study was designed to test the effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition on body composition and physical performance in aged rats. Male Brown Norway x F344 rats were randomized to receive daily injections of enalapril (40 mg/kg or 80 mg/kg) or saline from 24 to 30 months of age. Body composition was determined using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and physical performance was assessed using the grip strength and inclined plane procedures. Performance measures were assessed at baseline and monthly thereafter. DXA was performed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months of follow-up. Compared with the enalapril groups, the saline group experienced a greater 6-month decline in the physical performance measures. Lean body mass declined in both groups; however, the enalapril groups also experienced a significant loss of fat mass. These results suggest that ACE inhibition may prevent age-related declines in physical performance, which may be mediated by a reduction in body fat mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Enalapril / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BN
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Enalapril