Background and purpose: Inhibition of bradykinin metabolizing enzymes (BMEs) can cause acute angioedema, as demonstrated in a recent clinical trial in patients administered the antihypertensive, omapatrilat. However, the relative contribution of specific BMEs to this effect is unclear and confounded by the lack of a predictive pre-clinical model of angioedema.
Experimental approach: Rats were instrumented to record blood pressure and heart rate; inhibitors were infused for 35 min and bradykinin was infused during the last 5 min to elicit hypotension, as a functional marker of circulating bradykinin and relative angioedema risk.
Key results: In the presence of omapatrilat bradykinin produced dose-dependent hypotension, an effect abolished by B(2) blockade. In the presence of lisinopril (ACE inhibitor), but not candoxatril (NEP inhibitor) or apstatin (APP inhibitor), bradykinin also elicited hypotension. Lisinopril-mediated hypotension was unchanged with concomitant blockade of NEP or NEP/DPPIV (candoxatril+A-899301). However, hypotension was enhanced upon concomitant blockade of APP and further intensified in the presence of NEP inhibition to values not different from omapatrilat alone.
Conclusions and implications: We demonstrated that bradykinin is degraded in vivo with an enzyme rank-efficacy of ACE>APP>>NEP or DPPIV. These results suggest the effects of omapatrilat are mediated by inhibition of three BMEs, ACE/APP/NEP. However, dual inhibition of ACE/NEP or ACE/NEP/DPPIV elicits no increased risk of angioedema compared to ACE inhibition alone. Thus, novel BME inhibitors must display no activity against APP to avoid angioedema risk due to high prevalence of ACE inhibitor therapy in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.