Tamoxifen and its metabolites cause acute vasorelaxation of aortic rings by inducing vasodilator prostanoid synthesis

Marcelo F. Montenegro, Carla S. Ceron, Maria C.O. Salgado, Zeruesenay Desta, David A. Flockhart, Jose E. Tanus-Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


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 E max than Tam did (pD2 = 9.0 ± 0.1 and 8.9 ± 0.1; E max = 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 N ω-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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-653
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • metabolites
  • prostanoids
  • tamoxifen
  • vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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