To clarify the role of chymase in hypertension, we evaluated the effect of a chymase inhibitor, TY-51469, on vascular dysfunction and survival in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR-SP).
SHR-SP were treated with TY-51469 (1 mg/kg per day) or placebo from 4 to 12 weeks old or until death. Wistar–Kyoto rats were used as a normal group.
SBP was significantly higher in both the placebo and TY-51469 groups than in the normal group, but there was no significant difference between the two treatment groups. Plasma renin, angiotensin-converting enzyme activity and angiotensin II levels were not different between the placebo and TY-51469 groups. In contrast, vascular chymase-like activity was significantly higher in the placebo than in the normal group, but it was reduced by TY-51469. Acetylcholine-induced vascular relaxation was significantly higher in the TY-51469 group than in the placebo group. There was significant augmentation of the number of monocytes/macrophages and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity in aortic tissue from the placebo group compared with the normal group, and these changes were attenuated by TY-51469. There were also significant increases in mRNA levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α in the placebo group that were attenuated by TY-51469. Cumulative survival was significantly prolonged in the TY-51469 group compared with the placebo group.
Chymase might play an important role in vascular dysfunction via augmentation both of matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and monocyte/macrophage accumulation in SHR-SP, and its inhibition may be useful for preventing vascular remodeling and prolonging survival.