Aliskiren is a direct renin inhibitor developed to treat hypertension. Several clinical studies have suggested that aliskiren has beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases beyond its antihypertensive effect. In the present study, we examined whether aliskiren limits the progression of AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm), VH (ventricular hypertrophy) and atherosclerosis in an AngII (angiotensin II)-infused mouse model. ApoE−/− (apolipoprotein-E-deficient) mice were infused subcutaneously with AngII (1000 ng/kg of body weight per day; 4 weeks) to induce AAA and VH. At the completion of the AngII infusion, mice were randomly allocated to three groups to receive vehicle control, low-dose aliskiren (10 mg/kg of body weight per day) or high-dose aliskiren (50 mg/kg of body weight per day) for 4 weeks. Suprarenal aortic diameter assessed by ultrasound was significantly smaller in mice administered aliskiren at days 42 and 56. Aliskiren also significantly reduced the normalized heart weight, ventricular myocyte cell width and aortic arch atherosclerosis. Aliskiren lowered PRR (pro-renin receptor) expression and MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) activity in the suprarenal aorta and heart. Aortic infiltration of T-lymphocytes and macrophages was reduced by aliskiren. In conclusion, aliskiren limits the progression of AAA, VH and atherosclerosis in an AngII-infused mouse model.

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