ACE inhibition with captopril retards the development of signs of neurodegeneration in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Aug 16;14(8):16917-42. doi: 10.3390/ijms140816917.


Increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a significant pathological feature in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Experimental evidence indicates that inhibition of brain ROS could be beneficial in slowing the neurodegenerative process triggered by amyloid-beta (Abeta) aggregates. The angiotensin II AT1 receptor is a significant source of brain ROS, and AD patients have an increased brain angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) level, which could account for an excessive angiotensin-dependent AT1-induced ROS generation. Therefore, we analyzed the impact of ACE inhibition on signs of neurodegeneration of aged Tg2576 mice as a transgenic animal model of AD. Whole genome microarray gene expression profiling and biochemical analyses demonstrated that the centrally active ACE inhibitor captopril normalized the excessive hippocampal ACE activity of AD mice. Concomitantly, the development of signs of neurodegeneration was retarded by six months of captopril treatment. The neuroprotective profile triggered by captopril was accompanied by reduced amyloidogenic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), and decreased hippocampal ROS, which is known to enhance Abeta generation by increased activation of beta- and gamma-secretases. Taken together, our data present strong evidence that ACE inhibition with a widely used cardiovascular drug could interfere with Abeta-dependent neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Angiotensin II / metabolism
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Captopril / pharmacology*
  • Captopril / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Regeneration / drug effects
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Transcriptome
  • Up-Regulation


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Angiotensin II
  • Captopril