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OBJECTIVES: Angiotensin II and bradykinin are potent endogenous vasoactive peptides which may play a role in the regulation of endogenous fibrinolysis and, thereby, contribute to the beneficial actions of ACE inhibitors. The aims of the study were to determine the acute effect of angiotensin II and bradykinin on the local vascular release of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) and its inhibitor, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), and the endothelium-derived haemostatic factor, von Willebrand factor (vWf) from the forearm. METHODS: Blood flow, and plasma haemostatic and fibrinolytic factors, were measured in both forearms of sixteen healthy men: eight subjects received intra-arterial angiotensin II (5, 50 and 500 pmol/min) which was coinfused with sodium nitroprusside (SNP; 0.3, 1.5 and 7.5 microg/min, respectively), and eight received intra-arterial bradykinin at 10-3000 pmol/min. RESULTS: Despite substantial rises in plasma angiotensin II concentrations (P<0.001) which caused pressor effects (P<0.003) at the highest dose, angiotensin II infusion did not affect local plasma t-PA, PAI-1 or vWf concentrations. In contrast, bradykinin caused substantial dose-dependent increases in blood flow and t-PA release (>100 ng/100 ml of tissue/min) in the infused forearm (P<0. 001 for both) without affecting plasma PAI-1 or vWf concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Despite high local concentrations with breakthrough of significant systemic effects, angiotensin II did not affect acute endothelial cell t-PA, PAI-1 or vWf release in healthy men. In contrast, bradykinin is a potent vasodilator and selective stimulus for acute local t-PA release. This may, at least in part, explain the fibrinolytic actions of ACE inhibitors in heart failure and ischaemic heart disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Cardiovasc res

Publication Date





707 - 714


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Angiotensin II, Blood Pressure, Bradykinin, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Fibrinolysis, Forearm, Humans, Infusions, Intra-Arterial, Male, Nitroprusside, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, Regional Blood Flow, Stimulation, Chemical, Tissue Plasminogen Activator, Vasodilator Agents, von Willebrand Factor