Nitric oxide (NO) production is known to be impaired in heart failure. A new compound (NCX 899), a NO-releasing derivative of enalapril was characterized, and its actions were evaluated in Bio 14.6 cardiomyopathic (CM) hamsters with heart failure. The hamsters were randomized to oral treatment for 4 weeks with vehicle (n=11), NCX 899 (NCX, 25 mg/kg, n=10), or enalapril (25 mg/kg, n=10). In the vehicle group, fractional shortening by echocardiography decreased (-23.6+/-2.0%) and LV end-diastolic dimension) increased (+10.9+/-1.0%), whereas fractional shortening increased (+17.5+/-4.4%) in NCX and was unchanged in the enalapril group (both P<0.01 vs. vehicle). End-diastolic dimension decreased only in NCX. LV contractility (LVdP/dt max and Emax) was significantly greater in NCX than in enalapril or vehicle, while relaxation (Tau) was shortened in both NCX and enalapril vs. vehicle. ACE activity was inhibited equally by NCX and enalapril in the CM hamster, and plasma nitrate levels were increased only in NCX (P<0.05 vs. enalapril and vehicle). In aortic strips endothelium-independent relaxation occurred only with NCX. The superior effects of NO-releasing enalapril (NCX) vs. enalapril alone to enhance vascular effects, increase LV contractility and prevent unfavorable remodeling and are consistent with vascular delivery of exogenous NO. NCX 899 may hold promise for the future treatment of heart failure.
Federation of American Society of Experimental Biology