Effects of olmesartan and enalapril at low or high doses on cardiac, renal and vascular interstitial matrix in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Blood Press. 2005;14(3):184-92. doi: 10.1080/08037050510034211.


We have evaluated the effects of different doses of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, enalapril (ENA) and of an angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker olmesartan (OLM), on extracellular matrix of the heart, kidney, aorta and mesenteric artery of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Forty SHR and eight Wistar-Kyoto controls (WKY) were included in the study. Eight SHR were treated with high-dose OLM 15 mg/kg per day, eight with high-dose ENA 25 mg/kg per day, eight with low-dose OLM 1 mg/kg per day and eight with low-dose ENA (2 mg/kg per day). Eight SHR and eight WKY were kept untreated as controls. Treatment was from age 4 to 12 weeks. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was measured non-invasively every week. The left ventricular weight to body weight (RLVM) was measured, and the cardiac, aortic and glomerular interstitial collagen content was evaluated using Sirius red staining and image analysis. Mesenteric small arteries were dissected and mounted on a micromyograph, and the media:lumen ratio (M/L) was calculated. Collagen subtypes were evaluated by polarized light microscopy. The SHR treated with high-dose OLM or ENA showed a normalization of SBP. The RLVM was significantly increased in untreated SHR compared with untreated WKY, whereas significantly lower values were observed in the groups of SHR treated with high-dose OLM or ENA. A significant increase in cardiac and glomerular collagen content was observed in untreated SHR. Both high- or low-dose OLM and ENA normalized collagen content in the heart and the kidney. Both high-dose OLM and high-dose ENA normalized M/L ratio; however, OLM proved to be more effective than ENA in normalizing collagen pattern. In fact, aortic collagen content was normalized by both high-dose and low-dose OLM, but only by high-dose ENA. In conclusion, both OLM and ENA were significantly and equally effective in the prevention of cardiac and renal damage in SHR, whereas OLM was more effective than ENA in terms of effects on vascular extracellular matrix.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enalapril / pharmacology*
  • Enalapril / therapeutic use
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Imidazoles / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Olmesartan Medoxomil
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Tetrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Tetrazoles / therapeutic use


  • Imidazoles
  • Tetrazoles
  • Enalapril
  • Olmesartan Medoxomil