Captopril normalises systolic blood pressure in rats with hypertension induced by fetal exposure to maternal low protein diets

Comp Biochem Physiol A Physiol. 1995 Mar;110(3):223-8. doi: 10.1016/0300-9629(94)00177-u.


Recent studies have demonstrated that the feeding of low protein diets to rats during pregnancy induces hypertension in their offspring. Maternal-diet-induced hypertension has been previously associated with elevated pulmonary angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity. In the present study, the importance of the renin angiotensin system, and in particular ACE, in the maintenance of the hypertensive state, is investigated. Pulmonary and plasma ACE activity were determined in rats of different ages, following in utero exposure to 18 (control) or 9% (deficient) casein diets. No maternal diet induced changes in pulmonary ACE were noted, but at 4 and 13 weeks of age, plasma ACE activity was increased by 34 and 134%, respectively in 9% casein exposed rats relative to controls (P < 0.001). Thirteen-week-old rats had significantly raised systolic blood pressure (28 mmHg, P < 0.05), and tended to have higher diastolic blood pressure (not significant). These hypertensive animals had slightly raised plasma angiotensin II concentrations (30% higher, not significant), but similar renin activities, when compared with normotensive controls. Treatment of normotensive and hypertensive rats with the ACE inhibitor captopril demonstrated that higher plasma ACE activity may play a major role in the maintenance of maternal-diet-induced hypertension. Whilst normotensive rats showed no significant response to drug treatment, systolic blood pressure in the hypertensive rats fell rapidly to the level observed in the normotensive control group. Blood pressure remained at this lower level until treatment was withdrawn, at which time pressure began to increase slowly, but steadily. A period of 7-8 weeks was required following cessation of captopril administration for the restoration of hypertension.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Angiotensin II / blood
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Captopril / administration & dosage
  • Captopril / pharmacology*
  • Captopril / therapeutic use
  • Diet, Protein-Restricted / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / blood
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Rats
  • Renin / blood
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology


  • Angiotensin II
  • Captopril
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • Renin