Allopurinol and Nitric Oxide Activity in the Cerebral Circulation of Those With Diabetes

Jesse Dawson, Terry Quinn, Craig Harrow, Kennedy R. Lees, Christopher J. Weir, Stephen J. Cleland, Matthew R. Walters

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OBJECTIVE - Type 2 diabetes increases risk of stroke, perhaps because of impaired cerebrovascular basal nitric oxide (NO) activity. We investigated whether this activity is improved by a 2-week course of the xanthine oxidase inhibitor allopurinol.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. We measured the response to infusion of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) in males with type 2 diabetes before and after allopurinol or placebo. The primary end point was the change in internal carotid artery How following L-NMMA infusion, expressed as the area under the flow-per-time curve.

RESULTS - We enrolled 14 participants. Allopurinol improved responses to L-NMMA when compared With responses associated With placebo (P = 0.032; median reduction in internal carotid artery How following L-NMMA of 3,144 ml [95% CI 375-7,143]).

CONCLUSIONS - Xanthine oxidase inhibition With allopurinol appears to improve cerebral NO bioavailability, as evidenced by a greater response to infusion of L-NMMA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-137
Number of pages3
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

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