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Hypertension. 2004 Feb;43(2):263-9. Epub 2004 Jan 5.

Calcium channel blocker azelnidipine enhances vascular protective effects of AT1 receptor blocker olmesartan.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Ehime University School of Medicine, Shigenobu, Onsen-gun, Ehime, Japan.


The present studies were undertaken to investigate the potential effect of a calcium channel blocker (CCB) to enhance the inhibitory effect of an angiotensin (Ang) II type 1 (AT1) receptor blocker (ARB) on vascular injury and the cellular mechanism of the effect of CCB on vascular remodeling. In polyethylene cuff-induced vascular injury of the mouse femoral artery, proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and neointimal formation associated with activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and tyrosine-phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)1 and STAT3, inflammatory response assessed by monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression, as well as oxidative stress such as expression of NADH/NADPH oxidase p22(phox) subunit and superoxide production, were less in AT1a receptor null mice. Administration of nonhypotensive doses of a CCB, azelnidipine (0.5 or 1 mg/kg per day) attenuated these parameters in wild-type and AT1a receptor null mice. Coadministration of lower doses of an ARB, olmesartan (0.5 mg/kg per day), and azelnidipine (0.1 mg/kg per day), which did not affect vascular remodeling, significantly inhibited these parameters in wild-type mice. Moreover, the effective dose of azelnidipine (1 mg/kg per day) exaggerated the inhibitory action of olmesartan at effective doses of 1 or 3 mg/kg per day on VSMC proliferation in the injured arteries. These results suggest that azelnidipine could inhibit vascular injury at least partly independent of the inhibition of AT1 receptor activation and that azelnidipine could exaggerate the vascular protective effects of olmesartan, suggesting clinical possibility that the combination of CCB and ARB could be more effective in the treatment of vascular diseases.

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