Comparative effects of different modes of renin angiotensin system inhibition on hypercholesterolaemia-induced atherosclerosis

Hong Lu, Anju Balakrishnan, Deborah A. Howatt, Congqing Wu, Richard Charnigo, Gene Liau, Lisa A. Cassis, Alan Daugherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Inhibition of the renin angiotensin system (RAS) has been consistently demonstrated to reduce atherosclerosis. However, there has been no direct comparison among the three available pharmacological modes of inhibiting the RAS, which are inhibitors of renin, ACE and angiotensin II type 1 receptor. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effects of these three modes of pharmacological RAS inhibition in reducing atherosclerosis by determining the dose-response relationships. Experimental approach: Male LDL receptor -/- mice were administered either vehicle or any of three doses of aliskiren, enalapril or losartan through s.c. infusion for 12 weeks. All mice were fed a saturated fat-enriched diet during drug infusions. Systolic and diastolic BPs were measured during the study using a non-invasive tail-cuff system. Plasma cholesterol and renin concentrations, atherosclerotic lesions, and renal angiotensin II concentrations were determined at the termination of the study. Key results: Plasma renin concentrations were increased by all three drugs. None of the drugs changed plasma cholesterol concentrations. All drugs produced a dose-related decrease in BP. All three drugs also profoundly reduced atherosclerosis in a dose-dependent manner. The highest dose of each drug markedly attenuated lesion size, with no significant differences between the different drugs. The highest dose of each drug also similarly reduced renal angiotensin II concentrations. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS Drugs that inhibit the RAS, irrespective of their mode of inhibition, profoundly affect atherosclerotic lesion development in a dose-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2000-2008
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • aliskiren
  • atherosclerosis
  • enalapril
  • losartan
  • renin angiotensin system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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