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Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Aug;3(4):317-27. doi: 10.1177/1753944709104496. Epub 2009 May 14.

Nitric oxide mechanisms of nebivolol.

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Department of AngioCardioNeurology, IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli (IS), Italy.


beta-blockers are among the most widely used drugs in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, although they are associated with increased peripheral resistance. Third-generation beta-blockers avoid this adverse effect by inducing vasodilation through different mechanisms. In particular, nebivolol, a highly selective blocker of beta(1)-adrenergic receptors, is the only beta-blocker known to induce vascular production of nitric oxide, the main endothelial vasodilator. The specific mechanism of nebivolol is particularly relevant in hypertension, where nitric oxide dysfunction occurs. Indeed, nebivolol is able to reverse endothelial dysfunction. Nebivolol induces nitric oxide production via activation of beta(3)-adrenergic receptors, which can explain the good metabolic profile observed after treatment with this drug. Moreover, nebivolol can also stimulate the beta(3)-adrenergic receptor-mediated production of nitric oxide in the heart, and this stimulation can result in a greater protection against heart failure. In conclusion, nebivolol has a unique profile among antihypertensive drugs, adding to a very high selectivity against beta(1) adrenergic receptors, and an agonist action on beta(3) receptors and nitric oxide (NO), which has led to clinically significant improvements in hypertensive patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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