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

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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.


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.


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.


These observations identify a potential role for dapagliflozin in the attenuation of atherogenesis and identify anti-inflammatory molecular mechanisms associated with these effects.

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