The effects of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor captopril and the neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inhibitors thiorphan and SCH 32615 on the changes in airway opening pressure (PaO) and the recovery of offered peptide were studied after intratracheal administration of substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA) in isolated guinea pig lungs superfused through the trachea. Pao changes and the recovery of offered peptide were significantly greater in NEP inhibitor-treated lungs than in control lungs. Captopril did not cause a significant change in the physiological effects or the recovery of SP and NKA. HPLC analysis of [3H]Pro2,4-SP and 125I-Histidyl1-NKA perfused through the airways showed major cleavage products consistent with NEP action. We conclude that there is significant degradation of both SP and NKA after tracheal infusion of peptides by NEP-like but not by ACE activity; this effect significantly influences the physiological effects of these peptides.
M A Martins, S A Shore, N P Gerard, C Gerard, J M Drazen