Long-term nitroglycerin treatment: effect on direct and endothelium-mediated large coronary artery dilation in conscious dogs.
We examined the effect of nitroglycerin (GTN) tolerance on an important determinant of nitrate-antianginal action, large coronary artery dilation, in 11 chronically instrumented conscious dogs. In addition, endothelium-mediated coronary artery dilation was studied because this shares a common dilator pathway with the nitrates, i.e., activation of soluble guanylate cyclase. With long-term GTN (1.5 micrograms/kg/min iv for 5 days) the diameters of the left circumflex and anterior descending coronary arteries showed an initial increase of 8.2 +/- 0.3% and 10.8 +/- 0.9%, respectively, returning to control levels by the second to third day of treatment. On days 4 and 5, the dose-response relations for GTN-induced epicardial artery dilation were shifted (p less than .01) to 17- to 20-fold higher doses. However, there was no attenuation of epicardial artery dilation induced by SIN-1 (n = 7), another activator of guanylate cyclase, or of endothelium-mediated dilation assessed both as flow-dependent dilation (n = 7) and as direct intra-arterial acetylcholine-induced dilation (n = 4). In addition, there was no clear tolerance to the peripheral vascular actions of GTN responsible for reflex tachycardia and increased coronary flow. We conclude that a moderate degree of nitrate tolerance to epicardial artery dilation does not affect the responsiveness to other exogenous or endogenous activators of guanylate cyclase. However, this tolerance to epicardial artery dilation, together with the maintenance of peripheral vascular actions that can induce reflex tachycardia, result in a potentially unfavorable balance of GTN effects.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association