Effects of nicotine on cardiovascular remodeling in a mouse model of systemic hypertension.
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Usage of nicotine-only formulations, such as transdermal patches, nicotine gum, or electronic nicotine delivery systems is increasing, as they are perceived as healthier alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Unfortunately, there is little data available on the effect of isolated nicotine on myocardial and aortic remodeling, especially in the setting of cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as hypertension. We hypothesized that nicotine would exacerbate cardiovascular remodeling induced by angiotensin-II (Ang II) treatment. Subcutaneous osmotic minipumps were implanted to administer Ang II, Nic, nicotine plus Ang II or saline to C57Bl/6 mice for 4 weeks. Heart weights were increased by all treatments, with control < nicotine < Ang II < nicotine + Ang II. Activity levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 mirrored these changes and demonstrated clear additivity between nicotine and Ang II. Histopathological analysis of aortas revealed that mice receiving combined nicotine and Ang II treatment induced significant hypertrophy compared to all other groups. This study reveals possible cardiotoxic interactions between nicotine and a common model of systemic hypertension. Safety testing of novel nicotine delivery devices should consider that hypertension is a common impetus to begin smoking cessation therapy, and potential interactions should be more thoroughly studied.