Serelaxin treatment reduces oxidative stress and increases aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 to attenuate nitrate tolerance

Chen Huei Leo, Dhanushke T. Fernando, Lillie Tran, Hooi Hooi Ng, Sarah A. Marshall, Laura J. Parry

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Background: Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is a commonly prescribed treatment for acute heart failure patients. However, prolonged GTN treatment induces tolerance, largely due to increased oxidative stress and reduced aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH-2) expression. Serelaxin has several vasoprotective properties, which include reducing oxidative stress and augmenting endothelial function. We therefore tested the hypothesis in rodents that serelaxin treatment could attenuate low-dose GTN-induced tolerance. Methods and Results: Co-incubation of mouse aortic rings ex vivo with GTN (10 μM) and serelaxin (10 nM) for 1 h, restored GTN responses, suggesting that serelaxin prevented the development of GTN tolerance. Male Wistar rats were subcutaneously infused with ethanol (control), low-dose GTN+placebo or low-dose GTN+serelaxin via osmotic minipumps for 3 days. Aortic vascular function and superoxide levels were assessed using wire myography and lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence assay respectively. Changes in aortic ALDH-2 expression were measured by qPCR and Western blot respectively. GTN+placebo infusion significantly increased superoxide levels, decreased ALDH-2 and attenuated GTN-mediated vascular relaxation. Serelaxin co-treatment with GTN significantly enhanced GTN-mediated vascular relaxation, reduced superoxide levels and increased ALDH-2 expression compared to GTN+placebo-treated rats. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that a combination of serelaxin treatment with low dose GTN attenuates the development of GTN-induced tolerance by reducing superoxide production and increasing ALDH-2 expression in the rat aorta. We suggest that serelaxin may improve nitrate efficacy in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017


  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2
  • Aorta
  • Nitrates
  • Oxidative stress
  • Serelaxin

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