Torcetrapib produces endothelial dysfunction independent of cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibition.

Margery a Connelly, Tom J Parry, Edward C Giardino, Zhihong Huang, Wai-Man Cheung, Cailin Chen, Frank Cools, Henk Van der Linde, David J Gallacher, Gee-Hong Kuo, Troy C Sarich, Keith T Demarest, Bruce P Damiano
Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology2010
OBJECTIVE: Torcetrapib, a prototype cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor with potential for decreasing atherosclerotic disease, increased cardiovascular events in clinical trials. The identified hypertensive and aldosterone-elevating actions of torcetrapib may not fully account for this elevated cardiovascular risk. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of torcetrapib on endothelial mediated vasodilation in vivo. METHODS AND RESULTS: In vivo endothelial mediated vasodilation was assessed using ultrasound imaging of acetylcholine-induced changes in rabbit central ear artery diameter. Torcetrapib, in addition to producing hypertension and baseline vasoconstriction, markedly inhibited acetylcholine-induced vasodilation. A structurally distinct CETP inhibitor, JNJ-28545595, did not affect endothelial function despite producing similar degrees of CETP inhibition and high-density lipoprotein elevation. Nitroprusside normalized torcetrapib's basal vasoconstriction and elicited dose-dependent vasodilation of norepinephrine preconstricted arteries in torcetrapib-treated animals, indicating torcetrapib did not impair smooth muscle function. CONCLUSIONS: Torcetrapib significantly impairs endothelial function in vivo, independent of CETP inhibition and high-density lipoprotein elevation. Given the well-documented association of endothelial dysfunction with cardiovascular disease and risk, this activity of torcetrapib may have contributed to increased cardiovascular risk in clinical trials.

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