• angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition;
  • genetic hypertension;
  • lifespan.


1. Brief treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) causes a reduction in blood pressure that persists into maturity. The lifetime effects of such treatment have not been studied.

2. Nineteen male SHR were treated with either water (n= 9) or perindopril (3 mg/ kg per day) (n = 10) by daily gavage between 6 and 10 weeks of age and systolic blood pressure and bodyweight were measured each month until all animals died in old age.

3. Following treatment the systolic blood pressure of SHR treated with perindopril remained consistently lower than control SHR until about 82 weeks of age. After this age the blood pressure of control SHR fell spontaneously so that smaller differences were observed between the two groups in the last 4 months of the study.

4. Rats that received perindopril lived on average 1 month longer than control rats, but this difference was not statistically significant.

5. Thus, brief ACE inhibition in early life in SHR ameliorated the hypertension throughout life.