Tamoxifen and Its Metabolites Cause Acute Vasorelaxation of Aortic Rings by Inducing Vasodilator Prostanoid Synthesis

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The vascular effects of tamoxifen (Tam) and its metabolites are poorly known. We compared the vasorelaxation induced by Tam and its metabolites (N-desmethyl-Tam, 4-hydroxy-Tam, and endoxifen) in aortic rings from rats using standardized organ bath procedures, and we investigated the mechanisms involved in this effect. Tam and its metabolite-induced vasorelaxation in a concentration-dependent manner. Although 4-hydroxy-Tam and Tam had similar potency (pD2 = 8.5 ± 0.1 vs. 8.8 ± 0.1, respectively) and maximum effect (Emax = 88.5% ± 1.3% vs. 92.6% ± 1.3%, respectively), N-desmethyl-Tam and endoxifen were more potent and showed higher Emax than Tam did (pD2 = 9.0 ± 0.1 and 8.9 ± 0.1; Emax = 101.1% ± 1.8% and 101.0% ± 1.8% for N-desmethyl-Tam and endoxifen, respectively). Although preincubation of aortic rings with the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182780 or with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride induced no changes in the vasorelaxation induced by Tam or 4-hydroxy-Tam, both drugs significantly reduced Emax in response to N-desmethyl-Tam or to endoxifen. Inhibition of cyclooxygenase with indomethacin or the incubation with the prostaglandin D2 and E2 receptor antagonist AH6809 reduced the vasorelaxation-induced Tam and its metabolites by approximately 50%. Preincubation with Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride combined with indomethacin abolished the vasorelaxation-induced Tam and its metabolites. These results show that Tam and its metabolites cause acute vasorelaxation by inducing vasodilator prostanoids synthesis.

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