Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 901–907 | Cite as

Sympathetic activation after two weeks of nifedipine treatment in primary Raynaud's patients and controls

  • J. Leppert
  • H. Nilsson
  • U. Myrdal
  • L. Edvinsson
  • T. Hedner
  • I. Ringqvist
Calcium Antagonists


The effect of a standardized cold pressor test on circulating noradrenaline and neuropeptide-Y-like immunoreactivity was investigated in 12 women with primary Raynaud's phenomenon and 12 healthy female controls before and after 2 weeks of treatment with the calcium antagonist, nifedipine. Measurement before treatment showed significant increase during the cold pressor test on circulating noradrenaline in both the primary Raynaud's phenomenon group and in the control group (from 0.29±0.15 ng/ml to 0.33±0.16 ng/ml, p<0.05, and from 0.21±0.14 ng/ml to 0.29±0.16 ng/ml, p<0.005, respectively). However, treatment with nifedipine resulted in significantly increased levels of circulating noradrenaline during the cold pressor test only in the control group (from 0.43±0.21 ng/ml to 0.50±0.20 ng/ml, p<0.01). Plasma concentrations of neuropeptide-Y-like immunoreactivity were unchanged by the standardized cold pressor test, whether performed before or during nifedipine treatment in both groups. Nifedipine treatment per se significantly increased circulating noradrenaline in both the primary Raynaud's phenomenon patient group and in the control group (from 0.29±0.15 to 0.49±0.13 and 0.21±0.14 to 0.43±0.21 ng/ml, respectively, p<0.001). Similarly, the circulating neuropeptide-Y-like immunoreactivity significantly increased in both the primary Raynaud's phenomenon group and in the control group (from 105±21 to 137±19 pmol/l and 107±17 to 147±13 pmol/l, respectively, p<0.001). No significant differences were seen between the two groups, and the increased levels of circulating noradrenaline and neuropeptide-Y-like immunoreactivity were maintained during the entire test period in both groups. The standardized cold pressor test increased circulating noradrenaline significantly in both study groups before treatment with nifedipine. On the other hand, nifedipine moderately increased circulating noradrenaline during the cold pressor test in the primary Raynaud's phenomenon patient group. Besides these findings, this study demonstrates that treatment with nifedipine, a drug widely used in cardiovascular disease, increases circulating levels of noradrenaline and neuropeptide-Y-like immunoreactivity in normotensive women.

Key Words

cold pressor test neuropeptide-Y nifedipine noradrenaline Raynaud's phenomenon 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Leppert
    • 1
  • H. Nilsson
    • 2
  • U. Myrdal
    • 1
  • L. Edvinsson
    • 4
  • T. Hedner
    • 3
  • I. Ringqvist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Research, IAMUUniversity of Uppsala, Central HospitalVästeråsSweden
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineFagersta HospitalSweden
  3. 3.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of LundLundSweden

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