Effects of cilazapril on the retinal vessels in spontaneously hypertensive rats: Corrosion cast and scanning electron microscopic study

Imran Ahmed Bhutto, Tsugio Amemiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The effects of the long-term oral angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, cilazapril, on retinal circulation in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive (SHR-SP) rats were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), corrosion casts and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Two groups of 20 male SHR-SP rats were compared. One group was treated with 10 mg/kg/day of cilazapril from 4 to 40 weeks of age, and the other group received no treatment. A third group of male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats served as age- matched controls. At regular intervals the rats were weighed, and their systolic blood pressure was measured. Cilazapril normalized systolic arterial pressure to 121 ± 2.7 mm Hg (SD) in the treated SHR-SP rats. There was no significant difference in body weight between the two groups of SHR-SP. In the 40-week-old SHRSP rats without treatment corrosion cast and SEM revealed hypertensive retinal vascular changes. In the 40-week-old SHR-SP rats treated with cilazapril, these changes were markedly decreased to the level seen in WKY rats. The differences in caliber of retinal capillaries between the treated SHR-SP and untreated SHR-SP rats were statistically significant (p<.0001). TEM in the cilazapril-treated SHR-SP rats revealed intact basement membranes (0.29±0.057 μm) of the endothelial cells and pericytes, but in the untreated SHR-SP rats the basement membrane was thickened (0.51±0.123μm) (p<.0001) and the pericytes damaged. Our results show that the long-term administration of cilazapril decreased systolic arterial pressure to a nearly normal level and prevented hypertensive retinal vascular changes, probably by improving endothelial function. The effects of cilazapril on the retinal vasculature are described for the first time. SEM of corrosion casts is a valuable technique for showing the effects of some drugs on the vasculature easily, precisely and three-dimensionally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)PL27-PL39
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 11 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • ACE inhibitors
  • Cilazapril
  • Corrosion cast
  • Hypertension
  • Retinal capillaries
  • SHR stroke- prone rat
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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