Nebivolol induces nitric oxide release in the heart through inducible nitric oxide synthase activation

Angelo Maffei, Alba Di Pardo, Rosa Carangi, Pierluigi Carullo, Roberta Poulet, Maria T. Gentile, Carmine Vecchione, Giuseppe Lembo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nebivolol is a β1-adrenergic receptor antagonist that also reduces blood pressure by evoking endothelial NO production and vasodilation. We aimed at assessing whether nebivolol induces NO production also in the heart and delineating the molecular mechanisms involved. Using the fluorescent probe diaminofluorescein, we found that nebivolol induces a dose-dependent NO production in the heart, statistically significant already at 10 mol/L. It is not an effect because of the blockade of β1-adrenergic receptor, because this effect is not shared by another drug of the same class, atenolol. Because nebivolol has been reported to act as an agonist on other β-adrenergic receptors, we tested NO production in the presence of receptor antagonists. Nebivolol was not able to induce NO production in presence of the β3-antagonist SR59230A, indicating a fundamental role for β3-adrenergic receptors in cardiac NO production by nebivolol. Moreover, inducible NO synthase inhibition abolishes NO release in the heart, indicating that nebivolol induces NO production by acting on the inducible isoform of the enzyme. The action of nebivolol on inducible NO synthase was confirmed by real-time PCR experiments, showing cardiac overexpression of inducible NO synthase but not neuronal NO synthase or endothelial NO synthase, after 5 hours of treatment with nebivolol. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that nebivolol also stimulates NO production in the heart. This action of nebivolol is exerted via a signaling pathway starting from the activation of β3-adrenergic receptors and leading to overexpression of inducible NO synthase. Cardiac NO production by nebivolol could participate in the cardiovascular effects of nebivolol treatment in patients affected by hypertension and heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-656
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Adrenergic agents
  • Adrenergic beta receptors
  • Heart
  • NO
  • NO synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Nebivolol induces nitric oxide release in the heart through inducible nitric oxide synthase activation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this