, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp 105-111

Antioxidant drug mechanisms: transition metal-binding and vasodilation

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In our work evaluating the antioxidant properties of a number of cardiovascular drugs, we have emphasized the importance of lipophilicity as a property contributing to antioxidant potency. Thus, the dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers and propranolol, one of the most lipophilic beta-blockers, were found to exhibit the greatest potency in membrane and cellular models. Both beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers are classified as antihypertensive agents. We found that the specific chemical moieties of various drugs may participate in the antioxidant mechanism of action. While reviewing relevant work from the past literature, it became apparent that some of the chemical moieties of antihypertensive and vasodilator drugs may bind transition metals. Thus, this present review focuses on common properties of transition metal-interaction that are shared, to a greater or lesser degree, by a number of vasoactive drugs and chemical agents. Although this observation has been pursued by other investigators in the past, we submit that the potential relevance to the newer pharmacological agents needs to be explored further. In addition, new information regarding the role of transition metals and free radicals involving vascular cells focuses greater importance on transition metal-interaction as a potential mechanism in vasodilation. This review does not intend to be inclusive of all chemical structures capable of binding transition metals; only those that are clinically relevant will be considered in some detail. Potential mechanisms of metal-chelating actions leading to vasodilation are also discussed.