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BACKGROUND: Local cardiac renin-angiotensin systems may regulate left ventricular (LV) hypertrophic responses. The absence (deletion [D]) of a 287-bp marker in the ACE gene is associated with greater myocardial ACE levels and exercise-related LV growth than is its presence (insertion [I]), an effect potentially mediated through either increased activity of the cellular growth factor angiotensin II on the angiotensin type 1 (AT(1)) receptor or increased degradation of growth-inhibiting kinins. We sought to confirm ACE genotype-associated exertional LV growth and to clarify the role of the AT(1) receptor in this association. METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred forty-one British Army recruits homozygous for the ACE gene (79 DD and 62 II) were randomized to receive losartan (25 mg/d, a subhypotensive dose inhibiting tissue AT(1) receptors) or placebo throughout a 10-week physical training program. LV mass, determined by cardiac magnetic resonance, increased with training (8.4 g, P:<0.0001 overall; 12.1 versus 4.8 g for DD versus II genotype in the placebo limb, P:=0.022). LV growth was similar in the losartan arm: 11.0 versus 3.7 g for DD versus II genotypes (P:=0.034). When indexed to lean body mass, LV growth in the II subjects was abolished, whereas it remained in the DD subjects (-0.022 versus 0.131 g/kg, respectively; P:=0.0009). CONCLUSIONS: ACE genotype dependence of exercise-induced LV hypertrophy is confirmed. Additionally, LV growth in DD (unlike II) subjects is in excess of the increase in lean body mass. These effects are not influenced by AT(1) receptor antagonism with the use of losartan (25 mg/d). The 2.4-fold greater LV growth in DD men may be due to the effects of angiotensin II on other receptors (eg, angiotensin type 4) or lower degradation of growth-inhibitory kinins.


Journal article



Publication Date





226 - 230


Adult, DNA Transposable Elements, Exercise, Gene Deletion, Genotype, Homozygote, Humans, Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular, Losartan, Male, Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A, Polymorphism, Genetic