The Effects of Known Cardioprotective Drugs on Proinflammatory Cytokine Secretion From Human Coronary Artery Endothelial Cells

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Endothelial cell dysfunction in diabetes is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of premature atherosclerosis. High-dextrose has been shown to induce both oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress in cultured human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC).

Study Question:

To determine whether or not several classes of cardioprotective drugs inhibit proinflammatory cytokine expression by HCAEC.

Measures and Outcomes:

To determine the effects of high dextrose on expression of proinflammatory cytokines by HCAEC, cells were treated with either 5.5 mM or 27.5 mM dextrose for 24 hours and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and tumor necrosis factor α were measured by enzyme immunoassay in the presence or absence of known cardioprotective drugs, including select β-blockers, statins, and renin-angiotensin system inhibitors.


IL-1β levels increased significantly in cells treated with high dextrose; however, IL-6 and IL-8 levels did not change. Treatment of cells with carvedilol, atenolol, and propranolol decreased levels of all 3 cytokines in cells exposed to either 5.5 or 27.5 mM dextrose. Similar effects on IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 levels were observed when cells were treated with simvastatin, pravastatin, and the renin-angiotensin system inhibitors spironolactone, captopril, lisinopril, candesartan, and losartan. No Il-2 or tumor necrosis factor α expression was observed in any of the experiments indicating that HCAEC do not express these cytokines.


We conclude that each of the classes of drugs tested possess pleiotropic anti-inflammatory activities and are effective in both low- and high-dextrose–treated cells.

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