Angiotensin II-receptor (AT1) blockade in the human forearm

J. M. Ritter*, J. R. Cockcroft

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Phase I human studies can be used to differentiate a novel agent from existing drugs that influence the same pathway (eg, angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors). Human forearm vasculature provides a useful experimental model for such studies because antagonism of local effects of agonists on resistance vasculature can be quantified, unconfounded by reflex cardiovascular responses to systemically applied agonists. In this model, inhibition of ACE with enalapril (given orally) or its active metabolite enalaprilat (given into the brachial artery) influences responses to some, but not all, vasoactive peptides that are substrates of ACE in vitro. Vasoconstrictor responses to angiotensin I (A I) are antagonized, while vasodilator responses to bradykinin are potentiated. Responses to vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP), and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) are unaltered by ACE inhibition. Vasodilator responses to bradykinin are antagonized by the B2-receptor icatibant and are blunted (but not abolished) by inhibition of the L-arginine/NO pathway with L-N(G)-monomethyl arginine. In contrast to inhibition of ACE with enalapril, blockade of the AT1 receptor with losartan results in similar inhibition of vasoconstrictor responses to both A I and angiotensin II but has no significant effect on the vasodilator action of bradykinin. The implication is that losartan provides more specific blockade of the renin-angiotensin pathway than does inhibition of ACE. The in vivo methods described in the study confirm the mechanistically relevant differentiation between AT1-receptor antagonism and ACE inhibition in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalBlood Pressure, Supplement
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Angiotensin
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • AT receptors
  • Bradykinin
  • Enalapril
  • Losartan

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