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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;91(2):289-97. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2011.227. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Mineralocorticoid receptor blocker eplerenone improves endothelial function and inhibits Rho-associated kinase activity in patients with hypertension.

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Analysis Center of Life Science, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.


Hypertension is associated with endothelial dysfunction and activated Rho-associated kinases (ROCKs). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the selective mineralocorticoid receptor blocker, eplerenone, on endothelial function and ROCK activity in patients with hypertension. The study was carried out over 48 weeks in 60 untreated patients with hypertension who were randomly assigned to eplerenone, nifedipine, and losartan groups. We evaluated the effects of each treatment on flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and ROCK activity in peripheral leukocytes. Eplerenone increased FMD and decreased leukocyte ROCK activity. Nifedipine decreased ROCK activity but did not alter FMD. Losartan increased FMD but did not alter ROCK activity. Hypotensive effects were similar in the three groups, as was nitroglycerin-induced vasodilation during the follow-up period. There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to other parameters. The study results show that eplerenone improves endothelial function and inhibits ROCK activity in patients with essential hypertension.

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