V. Ivanov, S. Ivanova, T. Kalinovsky, A. Niedzwiecki and M. Rath
Dr. Rath Research Institute, 1260 Memorex Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95050
American Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine 6(2):26-35, 2016
Abstract: Calcium, sodium and potassium channel blockers are widely prescribed medications for a variety of health problems, most frequently for cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, angina pectoris and other disorders. However, chronic application of channel blockers is associated with numerous side effects, including worsening cardiac pathology. For example, nifedipine, a calcium-channel blocker was found to be associated with increased mortality and increased risk for myocardial infarction.
In addition to the side effects mentioned above by different channel blockers, these drugs can cause arterial wall damage, thereby contributing to vascular wall structure destabilization and promoting events facilitating rupture of plaques. Collagen synthesis is regulated by ascorbic acid, which is also essential for its optimum structure as a cofactor in lysine and proline hydroxylation, a precondition for optimum crosslinking of collagen and elastin. Therefore, the main objective in this study was to evaluate effects of various types of channel blockers on intracellular accumulation and cellular functions of ascorbate, specifically in relation to formation and extracellular deposition of major collagen types relevant for vascular function. Effects of select Na- and Ca- channel blockers on collagen synthesis and deposition were evaluated in cultured human dermal fibroblasts and aortic smooth muscle cells by immunoassay. All channel blockers tested demonstrated inhibitory effects on collagen type I deposition to the ECM by fibroblasts, each to a different degree. Ascorbic acid significantly increased collagen I ECM deposition. Nifedipine (50 µM), a representative of channel blockers tested, significantly reduced ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate-dependent ECM deposition of collagen type l and collagen type lV by cultured aortic smooth muscle cells. In addition, nifedipine (50 µM) significantly reduced ascorbate-dependent collagen type l and type lV synthesis by cultured aortic smooth muscle cells, assayed by measuring intracellular collagen content. We observed increased intracellular levels of ascorbate under supplementation with elevated doses of ascorbic acid, as well as its lipid soluble derivative ascorbyl palmitate. Nifedipine reduced ascorbic acid intracellular influx in cultured aortic smooth muscle cells with nifedipine (50 µM) compared to control. Adverse effects of nifedipine were neutralized either by an increased level of cell supplementation with ascorbic acid or by substituting it with ascorbyl palmitate. These studies suggest that adverse effects of channel blockers could be caused by their weakening the arterial wall integrity by interfering with proper extracellular matrix formation. In conclusion, these studies confirm the adverse effects of channel blockers on collagen type l and lV deposition, the key ECM components essential for maintaining optimal structural integrity of the arterial walls. Ascorbate supplementation reversed channel blocker inhibition of these collagen types synthesis and deposition. The results of this study imply the benefits of ascorbate and ascorbate palmitate supplementation in medical management of cardiovascular disease in order to compensate for adverse effects of channel blockers.
Keywords: cardiovascular disease, collagen synthesis, channel blockers, ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, anti-arrhythmic