The effect of corticosteroids on angiotensin converting enzyme was investigated in endothelial cell cultures and intact rat lung. Cultured endothelial cells from bovine aorta showed net production of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) over 2 d culture in serum-free medium. Dexamethasone (DM) increased cell ACE activity six- to sevenfold at 100 nM with a threshold effect at 0.3 nM. The effect of DM on ACE production was completely inhibited by actinomycin D or cycloheximide. Deoxycorticosterone (DOC) and aldosterone were markedly less active, with a threshold near 100 nM and significant (two to threefold) stimulation of ACE activity at 1 μM. In cells incubated in the presence of 10 nM DM, DOC (10 μM) significantly inhibited ACE production compared with 10 nM DM alone, suggesting that DOC is a partial agonist/partial antagonist in this enzyme system. Protein content of cells or medium was unchanged by steroids at all doses used.
F. A. O. Mendelsohn, C. J. Lloyd, C. Kachel, J. W. Funder