Colchicine enhances β adrenoceptor-mediated vasodilation in men with essential hypertension

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Aims: The aim of this study is to examine whether colchicine improves β adrenoceptor-mediated vasodilation in humans by conducting a double-blinded, placebo-controlled intervention study. Colchicine treatment has known beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Studies in isolated rodent arteries have shown that colchicine can enhance β adrenoceptor-mediated vasodilation, but this has not been determined in humans.

Methods: Middle-aged men with essential hypertension were randomly assigned firstly to acute treatment with either 0.5 mg colchicine (n=19) or placebo (n=12). They were subsequently re-randomized for 3 weeks of treatment with either colchicine 0.5 mg twice daily (n=16) or placebo (n=15) followed by a washout period of 48-72 h. The vasodilator responses to isoprenaline, acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside were determined as well as arterial pressure, arterial compliance and plasma inflammatory markers.

Results: Acute colchicine treatment increased isoprenaline (by 38% for the highest dose) as well as sodium nitroprusside (by 29% main effect) -induced vasodilation but had no effect on the response to acetylcholine. The 3-week colchicine treatment followed by a wash-out period did not induce an accumulated or sustained effect on the β adrenoceptor response, and there was no effect on either arterial pressure, arterial compliance or the level of measured inflammatory markers.

Conclusions: Colchicine acutely enhances β adrenoceptor- and nitric oxide-mediated changes in vascular conductance in humans, supporting that the mechanism previously demonstrated in rodents, translates to humans. The results provide novel translational evidence for a transient enhancing effect of colchicine on β adrenoceptor-mediated vasodilation in humans with essential hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2179-2189
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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