Time and dose effect of transdermal nicotine on endothelial function

Virginia M. Miller, W. Darrin Clouse, Britt H. Tonnessen, Umar S. Boston, Sandra R. Severson, Sue Bonde, Kevin S. Rud, Richard D. Hurt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Nicotine patches are available as an over-the-counter medication for aid in smoking cessation. This study was designed to determine how nicotine patch therapy over time and dose ranges used in smoking cessation programs in humans affects endothelium-dependent relaxations. Dogs were treated with nicotine patches (11, 22, or 44 mg/day) for 2 and 5 wk. Circulating nicotine and oxidized products of nitric oxide (NOx) were measured. Coronary arteries were prepared for measurement of isometric force and aortic endothelial cells were prepared for measurement of mRNA or NO synthase (NOS) activity. Circulating nicotine increased with increasing concentrations of nicotine patches. After 5 wk of treatment with 22 mg/day patches, circulating NOx was reduced but NOS activity was increased. NOS mRNA was similar among groups. Only after 5 wk of treatment with 22 mg/day patches were endothelium-dependent relaxations reduced to α2-adrenergic agonists, ADP, and the calcium ionophore A-23187. These results suggest a time and biphasic dose effect of nicotine treatment on endothelium-dependent responses that may be related to bioavailability of NO. This complex relationship of duration and dose of nicotine treatment may explain, in part, discrepancies in effects of nicotine on endothelium-dependent responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1913-H1921
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 48-4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Canine
  • Coronary artery
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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