The effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition on endothelial function and oxidant stress

Anne Ward Scribner, Joseph Loscalzo, Claudio Napoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors effectively interfere with the renin-angiotensin system and exert various beneficial actions on vascular structure and function beyond their blood pressure-lowering effects. Data from experimental studies showed that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can attenuate the development of atherosclerosis in a wide range of species. The postulated mechanisms of this atheroprotective effect are the antioxidant actions of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and their enhancement of the endothelial elaboration of bioactive nitric oxide. The aim of this study was to assess the comparative effects of three angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors on endothelial nitric oxide production and action, and on endothelial oxidative stress. Using bovine aortic endothelial cells in culture grown to confluence, we examined the effects of 1, 10, 30 and 60 μM of each of captopril, zofenopril and enalapril on nitrite/nitrate accumulation in the media, cyclic GMP accumulation in the cell lysate, and F2- isoprostanes in lipid extracts from the cells. Results showed that the sulfhydryl angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor zofenopril has unique properties compared with captopril and enalapril. This compound improves nitric oxide production and bioactivity, and does so in conjunction with decreased endothelial cell oxidant stress. The biochemical basis for this protective mechanism is not entirely clear; however, these actions suggest that zofenopril may reduce endothelial effects of risk factors for atherothrombotic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2003


  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • Endothelium
  • Nitric oxide (NO)
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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