ACE I/D genotype associates with strength in sarcopenic men but not with response to ACE inhibitor therapy in older adults with sarcopenia: Results from the LACE trial

Christos Rossios, Tufail Bashir, Marcus Achison, Simon Adamson, Asangaedem Akpan, Terry Aspray, Alison Avenell, Margaret M. Band, Louise A. Burton, Vera Cvoro, Peter T. Donnan, Gordon W. Duncan, Jacob George, Adam L. Gordon, Celia L. Gregson, Adrian Hapca, Cheryl Hume, Thomas A. Jackson, Simon Kerr, Alixe KilgourTahir Masud, Andrew McKenzie, Emma McKenzie, Harnish Patel, Kristina Pilvinyte, Helen C. Roberts, Avan A. Sayer, Karen T. Smith, Roy L. Soiza, Claire J. Steves, Allan D. Struthers, Divya Tiwari, Julie Whitney, Miles D. Witham, Paul R. Kemp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Angiotensin II (AII), has been suggested to promote muscle loss. Reducing AII synthesis, by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity has been proposed as a method to inhibit muscle loss. The LACE clinical trial was designed to determine whether ACE inhibition would reduce further muscle loss in individuals with sarcopenia but suffered from low recruitment and returned a negative result. Polymorphic variation in the ACE promoter (I/D alleles) has been associated with differences in ACE activity and muscle physiology in a range of clinical conditions. This aim of this analysis was to determine whether I/D polymorphic variation is associated with muscle mass, strength, in sarcopenia or contributed to the lack of response to treatment in the LACE study. 

Methods: Sarcopenic individuals were recruited into a 2x2 factorial multicentre double-blind study of the effects of perindopril and/or leucine versus placebo on physical performance and muscle mass. DNA extracted from blood samples (n = 130 72 women and 58 men) was genotyped by PCR for the ACE I/D polymorphism. Genotypes were then compared with body composition measured by DXA, hand grip and quadriceps strength before and after 12 months’ treatment with leucine and/or perindopril in a cross-sectional analysis of the influence of genotype on these variables. 

Results: Allele frequencies for the normal UK population were extracted from 13 previous studies (I = 0.473, D = 0.527). In the LACE cohort the D allele was over-represented (I = 0.412, D = 0.588, p = 0.046). This over-representation was present in men (I = 0.353, D = 0.647, p = 0.010) but not women (I = 0.458, D = 0.532, p = 0.708). In men but not women, individuals with the I allele had greater leg strength (II/ID = 18.00 kg (14.50, 21.60) vs DD = 13.20 kg (10.50, 15.90), p = 0.028). Over the 12 months individuals with the DD genotype increased in quadriceps strength but those with the II or ID genotype did not. Perindopril did not increase muscle strength or mass in any polymorphism group relative to placebo. 

Conclusion: Our results suggest that although ACE genotype was not associated with response to ACE inhibitor therapy in the LACE trial population, sarcopenic men with the ACE DD genotype may be weaker than those with the ACE I/D or II genotype.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0292402
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2023

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