We evaluated the antihypertensive mechanism of enalapril, a long-lasting inhibitor of angiotensin-converting enzyme, in rats made hypertensive by chronic infusion of norepinephrine or vasopressin. The hypertensive effect of norepinephrine (1.8 mg/kg/day intraperitoneal (i.p.)) or vasopressin (7.2 U/kg/day i.p) was completely abolished by simultaneous administration of enalapril (6 mg/kg/day i.p.). The antihypertensive effect of enalapril was not reversed by simultaneous administration of subpressor doses of angiotensin II (36 and 100 μg/kg/day i.p). However, the hypertensive effects of angiotensin II at pressor doses (600 and 900 μg/kg/day i.p.) in enalapril-infused rats were not different from those in vehicle-infused rats. These results indicate that the hypotensive effect of enalapril may in part depend on a reduced sensitivity of the vasculature to norepinephrine and vasopressin, independent of inhibition of angiotensin II formation.
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