Increasing the degree of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockade by combining ≥2 RAS blockers marginally increases efficacy, but results in more side effects. Hence, interference with other systems is currently being investigated, like potentiation of natriuretic peptides with neprilysin inhibitors. However, the neprilysin inhibitor thiorphan was recently found to increase endothelin-1 when administered to TGR(mREN2)27 (Ren2) rats on top of RAS blockade. Here we investigated whether this effect is thiorphan-specific, by comparing the neprilysin inhibitors thiorphan and sacubitril, administered by osmotic minipumps at a low or high dose for 7 days, in Ren2 rats. Plasma and urinary levels of endothelin-1, atrial and brain natriuretic peptide (ANP, BNP) and their second messenger cyclic guanosine 3′5′ monophosphate (cGMP) were monitored. No significant differences were found in the plasma concentrations of endothelin-1, cGMP, ANP and BNP after treatment, although plasma ANP tended to be higher in the high-dose thiorphan treatment group and the low- and high-dose sacubitril treatment groups, compared with vehicle. Urinary endothelin-1 increased in the low-dose thiorphan and high-dose sacubitril groups, compared with baseline, although significance was reached for the former only. Urinary cGMP rose significantly in the high-dose sacubitril treatment group compared with baseline. Both urinary endothelin-1 and cGMP were significantly higher in the high-dose sacubitril group compared with the low-dose sacubitril group. In conclusion, endothelin-1 upregulation occurs with both thiorphan and sacubitril, and is particularly apparent in neprilysin-rich organs like the kidney. High renal neprilysin levels most likely also explain why sacubitril increased cGMP in urine only.

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European Journal of Pharmacology
Department of Internal Medicine

Roksnoer, L., Uijl, E., de Vries, R., Garrelds, I., & Danser, J. (2018). Neprilysin inhibition and endothelin-1 elevation: Focus on the kidney. European Journal of Pharmacology, 824, 128–132. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.02.007