Dapagliflozin attenuates human vascular endothelial cell activation and induces vasorelaxation: A potential mechanism for inhibition of atherogenesis

Tracey Gaspari, Iressa Spizzo, HongBin Liu, Yunshan Hu, Richard W Simpson, Robert E Widdop, Anthony E Dear

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sodium glucose transporter type 2 inhibitors may reduce cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetes. Our study aimed to determine the effect of the sodium glucose transporter type 2 inhibitor dapagliflozin on endothelial cell activation, vasoreactivity and atherogenesis using in vitro and in vivo models and identify associated molecular mechanisms. Methods: In vitro studies utilised human vascular endothelial cells stimulated with tumour necrosis factor α or hyperglycaemic conditions. In vivo studies were performed in C57Bl/6J mice to evaluate direct vasorelaxation responses evoked by acute dapagliflozin administration and acute vaso-protective effects of dapagliflozin on hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. Adult and aged Apolipoprotein E–deficient mice maintained on a high-fat diet were used to investigate endothelial-dependent vascular reactivity and atherogenesis. Dapagliflozin treatment (1.0 mg/kg/day) was administered for 4 weeks. Results: In vitro studies demonstrated dapagliflozin-mediated attenuation of tumour necrosis factor α- and hyperglycaemia-induced increases in intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and NFκB expression. Acute dapagliflozin administration dose-dependently induced endothelium-independent vasorelaxation. Chronic dapagliflozin treatment improved endothelial function and significantly reduced in vivo vascular adhesion molecule and phospho-IκB expression together with macrophage vessel wall infiltration. Conclusion: These observations identify a potential role for dapagliflozin in the attenuation of atherogenesis and identify anti-inflammatory molecular mechanisms associated with these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes and Vascular Disease Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • atherogenesis
  • endothelial activation
  • Sodium glucose transporter type 2 inhibitor
  • vasoreactivity

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