Renin angiotensin antagonists and the regulation of blood pressure

A. I. Samuels, E. D. Miller, J. C.S. Fray, E. Haber, A. C. Barger

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25 Scopus citations


The role of the renin angiotensin system in the regulation of blood pressure in dogs and in human subjects was assessed by the use of the nonapeptide converting enzyme inhibitor (CEI), permitting the following conclusions: In the normal, sodium replete dog, the renin angiotensin system plays little role in the regulation of blood pressure. As sodium depletion progresses, the renin angiotensin system becomes increasingly important in the maintenance of blood pressure. In the markedly hypovolemic animal, blocking the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II leads to prolonged hypotension of shock like levels. The renin angiotensin system is responsible for the initiation of renovascular hypertension. Blood pressure does not rise during chronic renal artery constriction when the generation of angiotensin II is prevented by the CEI. Although angiotensin II is essential for the initiation of the elevated blood pressure, the renin angiotensin system plays a decreasing role in the maintenance of the chronic hypertension as sodium and water are retained, and plasma volume increases. In congestive failure induced in the conscious dog by circulatory impairment, the renin angiotensin aldosterone system plays an essential role in the compensatory response. During chronic administration of the CEI, the animal cannot compensate even for a relatively mild degree of constriction, and remains hypotensive. In the dog with congestive failure, as in the dog with renovascular hypertension, plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma aldosterone are elevated early in the syndrome; during this phase, injection of the nonapeptide produces a marked drop in blood pressure. With the retention of sodium and water, and expansion of plasma and extravascular fluid volumes, PRA and plasma aldosterone return to control levels in the new steady state. The inhibitor no longer produces a drop in blood pressure. Thus, the sequential changes in the renin angiotensin aldosterone system are remarkably similar in renovascular hypertension and congestive failure. In the normal, salt replete human subject the renin angiotensin system plays little role in the regulation of blood pressure either in the recumbent or upright posture. However, with relatively mild sodium depletion, the CEI transiently lowers blood pressure even in the recumbent subject. In the absence of angiotensin II such sodium depleted subjects are unable to compensate when tilted upright, and faint within minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2512-2520
Number of pages9
JournalFederation Proceedings
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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