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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X


RAMALHO, F.S. et al. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition by lisinopril enhances liver regeneration in rats. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2001, vol.34, n.1, pp.125-127. ISSN 1414-431X.

Bradykinin has been reported to act as a growth factor for fibroblasts, mesangial cells and keratinocytes. Recently, we reported that bradykinin augments liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy in rats. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is also a powerful bradykinin-degrading enzyme. We have investigated the effect of ACE inhibition by lisinopril on liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Adult male Wistar rats underwent 70% partial hepatectomy (PH). The animals received lisinopril at a dose of 1 mg kg body weight-1 day-1, or saline solution, intraperitoneally, for 5 days before hepatectomy, and daily after surgery. Four to six animals from the lisinopril and saline groups were sacrificed at 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, and 120 h after PH. Liver regeneration was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining for proliferating cell nuclear antigen using the PC-10 monoclonal antibody. The value for the lisinopril-treated group was three-fold above the corresponding control at 12 h after PH (P<0.001), remaining elevated at approximately two-fold above control values at 24, 36, 48 (P<0.001), and at 72 h (P<0.01) after PH, but values did not reach statistical difference at 120 h after PH. Plasma ACE activity measured by radioenzymatic assay was significantly higher in the saline group than in the lisinopril-treated group (P<0.001), with 81% ACE inhibition. The present study shows that plasma ACE inhibition enhances liver regeneration after PH in rats. Since it was reported that bradykinin also augments liver regeneration after PH, this may explain the liver growth stimulating effect of ACE inhibitors.

Keywords : angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; lisinopril; bradykinin; liver regeneration; cell proliferation; hepatocyte.

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