Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 928–931 | Cite as

Preventive effect of varenicline on impairment of endothelial function in cerebral vessels induced by acute smoking in rats

  • Mami Iida
  • Hiroki Iida
  • Motoyasu Takenaka
  • Kumiko Tanabe
  • Kenji Iwata
Short Communication


Preoperative smoking cessation is important for recovery from surgery without complications. Available evidence suggests nicotine replacement therapy could be safe and effective in the perioperative period. On the other hand, the newly developed selective nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor partial agonist, varenicline tartrate, is also effective as an aid for smoking cessation and helps people to stop smoking. During the transitional phase between the decision to stop smoking and actual smoking cessation, patients could use varenicline before undertaking smoking cessation. We have previously reported that acute cigarette smoking can cause impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilation in cerebral vessels; thus, the use of varenicline before surgery in a patient who is still a smoker may not be safe with regard to endothelial function. Therefore, to assess the safety of varenicline in terms of endothelial function, we evaluated its effect on the acute smoking-induced impairment of endothelium-dependent cerebral vasodilation. In anesthetized Sprague–Dawley rats, we applied ACh topically to pial vessels; then, after administering intravenous varenicline or saline injection, we reexamined the ACh-induced vasodilator response both before and after smoking. Under control conditions, cerebral pial arterioles were dose-relatedly dilated by ACh. After smoking, 10−5 M ACh constricted the arterioles following saline pretreatment (diameter −7.6 ± 1.8 %, n = 6), but induced dilation following varenicline pretreatment (diameter +15.3 ± 3.3 %, n = 6). Thus, varenicline may prevent the smoking-induced impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilation in cerebral pial arterioles.


Smoking Varenicline Cerebral circulation Endothelial function 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Tokyo, Japan (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Nos. 20591824 and 21591907).


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mami Iida
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hiroki Iida
    • 2
  • Motoyasu Takenaka
    • 2
  • Kumiko Tanabe
    • 2
  • Kenji Iwata
    • 2
  1. 1.2nd Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology) and AnesthesiologyGifu University Graduate School of MedicineGifuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineGifu University Graduate School of MedicineGifuJapan
  3. 3.Division of Internal Medicine and CardiologyGifu Prefectural General Medical CenterGifuJapan

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