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Cardiovasc Res. 2003 Aug 1;59(2):501-11.

Tetrahydrobiopterin and antioxidants reverse the coronary endothelial dysfunction associated with left ventricular hypertrophy in a porcine model.

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  • 1Research Center, Montreal Heart Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H1T 1C8.



Endothelium-dependent G-protein mediated relaxations of epicardial coronary arteries is impaired with left ventricular hypertrophy. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of L-arginine, BH(4) and the combination of two antioxidants, superoxide dismutase and catalase, on endothelium-dependent relaxations in a swine left ventricular hypertrophy model.


Aortic banding was performed 3 cm above the coronary ostia. Vascular reactivity studies were performed in standard organ chamber experiments to assess the NO pathway in the presence of methyltetrahydropterin (a BH(4) analogue), L-arginine, superoxide dismutase and catalase.


There was a statistically significant increase in endothelium-dependent relaxation to serotonin and to bradykinin with methyltetrahydropterin and with superoxide dismutase plus catalase (P<0.05) but not with L-arginine compared to untreated coronary arteries from left ventricular hypertrophy animals. Plasma 3-nitrotyrosine level increased significantly from 918+/-122 to 1844+/-300 microM (P<0.05 vs. control) after 60 days of aortic banding. Endothelial dysfunction was not associated with a reduced expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase 2 months after pressure overload left ventricular hypertrophy.


Treatment with BH(4) and antioxidants constitutes an interesting approach for the prevention of endothelial dysfunction in epicardial coronary arteries associated with left ventricular hypertrophy.

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