Labetalol, nebivolol, and propranolol relax human radial artery used as coronary bypass graft

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Beta-blockers are a heterogeneous class of agents that are used in the treatment of many cardiovascular diseases, especially hypertension and atherosclerosis, and that are commonly prescribed after cardiac surgery. In the present study, the aim is to investigate the vasorelaxant effects of some common beta-adrenoceptor blockers on the human radial artery in vitro, as well as their relaxation mechanisms.


Radial artery rings sourced from human patients were mounted in an organ bath and tested for changes in isometric tension in relaxation response to labetalol, nebivolol, and propranolol in the presence and absence of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (3 × 10−5 mol/L) and tetraethyl ammonium (3 × 10−4 mol/L).


The labetalol (10−8 to 10−4 mol/L), nebivolol (10−8 to 10−4 mol/L), and propranolol (10−8 to 10−4 mol/L) induced concentration-dependent relaxations on the radial artery rings, which had been precontracted with phenylephrine (10−6 mol/L). The relaxation response induced by labetalol in the isolated radial artery rings was significantly higher when compared with the nebivolol and propranolol samples (P < .05). NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester significantly reduced the relaxation of nebivolol (P < .05), and tetraethyl ammonium significantly reduced the relaxation of labetalol, nebivolol, and propranolol (P < .05).


We speculated that the relaxant effect of labetalol, nebivolol, and propranolol was due partly to the Ca2+-activated K+ channels. In addition, the relaxation induced by nebivolol was largely related with nitric oxide release. Nebivolol, and partly propranolol, may provide significant therapeutic benefit, but labetalol can be a good alternative for coronary artery bypass grafting with radial artery use.

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