1. The role of endogenous prostaglandins in the antihypertensive mechanism of the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, captopril, was investigated.
2. An unequivocal reduction in blood pressure and significant increase in plasma renin activity and urinary prostaglandin E excretion were found after the captopril administration.
3. The changes in blood pressure, plasma renin activity and urinary prostaglandin E excretion induced by captopril were reversed after the inhibition of endogenous prostaglandin synthesis by indomethacin. However, the responses in low renin hypertension were different from those in normal renin hypertension.
4. In low renin hypertensive patients who responded to captopril, the hypotensive effect was abolished after the addition of indomethacin, whereas no marked change in blood pressure was induced by indomethacin in normal renin hypertensive patients. In contrast, plasma renin activity was markedly increased after captopril administration in normal renin hypertension, and no significant change was found in low renin hypertension.
5. Potentiation of the prostaglandin system seems to be a principal factor in the antihypertensive mechanism of captopril in low renin hypertension, and inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system is important in normal renin hypertensives.
6. The increase in renin release after the administration of captopril was inhibited by indomethacin, suggesting that an endogenous prostaglandin system may contribute to the short feedback mechanism of renin release.