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Eur Heart J. 2001 Jan;22(1):96-101.

NADH/NADPH oxidase p22 phox gene polymorphism is associated with improved coronary endothelial vasodilator function.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, J. W. Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany.



The NADH/NADPH oxidase system plays a central role in vascular superoxide anion production, which appears to cause coronary endothelial dysfunction. Recently, it has been suggested that the C242T polymorphism of the NADH/NADPH oxidase p22 phox gene can reduce susceptibility to coronary artery disease. We therefore tested whether this polymorphism is associated with an altered endothelium-dependent vasodilator capacity of human coronary arteries in vivo.


The vasodilator function of epicardial arteries in 93 patients was assessed by endothelium-mediated, flow-dependent dilation and nitroglycerin, which is endothelium-independent. NADH/NADPH oxidase p22 phox polymorphism was determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism. Carriers of the CC genotype of the C242T p22 phox polymorphism (n = 44) revealed a significantly blunted endothelium-dependent dilator response (11 +/- 9.2% luminal area change vs 17 +/- 10%;P = 0.007), which was, by multivariate analysis, independent of other risk factors or atherosclerosis itself. There was only a trend towards decreased endothelium-independent dilation in patients bearing the p22 phox CC genotype (P = 0.07).


The C242T polymorphism of the p22 phox gene is an important independent determinant of coronary endothelial vasodilator function. These results provide the first clinical evidence for the functional significance of a polymorphism of a gene related to superoxide anion production in the vascular wall.

Copyright 2001 The European Society of Cardiology.

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