Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

Effect of Nitric Oxide Donor on Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: August 27, 2004
Last updated: March 3, 2008
Last verified: September 2005

Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart problems, in part because it improves the work of the endothelium (the cells that line blood vessels). Exercise appears to release precursor cells from the bone marrow that will later become endothelial cells. A molecule called nitric oxide (NO) appears to be involved in this release. However, some heart patients do not improve their endothelial function despite regular exercise. The researchers believe that the heart disease in these patients may interfere with the normal relationship between exercise and endothelial function. This study is designed to test whether giving a patient nitroglycerin (which is converted to NO in the bloodstream) will increase the release of endothelial precursor cells from the bone marrow. If the study succeeds, it may lead to improved healing of arteries in heart disease patients.

Adults may be eligible for this study if they have coronary artery disease and do not take nitroglycerin or nitroglycerin-like medication on a daily basis.

Volunteers will be admitted to the Clinical Center on 2 separate nights at least 1 week apart. On the morning after each admission, volunteers will have blood drawn from an arm vein for laboratory tests, and then walk on a treadmill until fatigue or discomfort prevents further exercise, or until asked to stop. On one of their admissions, volunteers will receive 1 tablet of nitroglycerin under the tongue shortly before the treadmill test. Volunteers will be monitored by EKGs and blood pressure tests during the treadmill tests, and will have more blood drawn at about 15 minutes and 24 hours after each treadmill test. Researchers will examine the levels of endothelial precursor cells and nitric oxide in the blood samples taken before and after exercise.

Condition Intervention Phase
Coronary Artery Disease
Drug: nitroglycerin
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effect of Nitric Oxide Donor on Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: August 2004
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2005
Detailed Description:
Exercise training has long been recommended as a means of improving cardiac function and reducing morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). One mechanism of benefit may be through improved endothelial function and enhanced nitric oxide (NO) bioactivity, which may improve blood flow to exercising skeletal muscle and to the myocardium. We have recently determined in a collaborative study with the Suburban Hospital, however, that many CAD patients do not show improved endothelial function despite compliant participation in a three month cardiac rehabilitation program with exercise three times weekly. The initial data from this study suggest that improvement in endothelial function may be dependent on the release of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) from the bone marrow into the circulation in response to the stimulus of repetitive exercise, with the potential of repairing damaged endothelium and improving endothelial function and NO release. Thus, patients who have poor EPC mobilization responses to exercise may have limited capacity to improve endothelial function over time and, conversely, patients with higher EPC mobilization responses to exercise may show improved endothelial function as a result of vascular repair. Animal models indicate that NO is necessary for EPC mobilization during exercise, likely through nitrosation reactions with key signaling proteins within bone marrow. In many CAD patients, NO release from endothelium and transport in blood to bone marrow may be compromised because of atherosclerotic vascular disease, and thus limit EPC mobilization and vascular repair. We hypothesize that the exogenous administration of NO to CAD patients may enhance EPC mobilization from bone marrow in response to exercise. If successful, administration of an NO donor (such as nitroglycerin) prior to exercise may extend the benefit of exercise to endothelial function-and thus cardiovascular risk-in a larger segment of CAD patients participating in cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  1. Adults older than 21 years.
  2. Coronary artery disease established by angiography.
  3. No myocardial infarction within 1 month.
  4. Left ventricular ejection fraction greater than 30%.
  5. No congestive heart failure symptoms within 2 months.
  6. No associated medical, neurological or orthopedic condition that might prohibit safe performance of exercise.
  7. Subject understands protocol and provides written, informed consent in addition to willingness to comply with specified follow-up evaluations.


  1. Significant structural heart disease (e.g. hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease) as determined by echocardiography.
  2. History of recent (within 2 months) rest or nocturnal angina
  3. Organic nitrate (e.g., nitroglycerin) use other than study medication within 24 hours of exercise testing
  4. Hypersensitivity to organic nitrates.
  5. Women of childbearing age unless recent pregnancy test is negative.
  6. Lactating women.


Healthy subjects must be older than 50 years of age (to approximate the anticipated age of CAD patients), without known CAD, and be free of the following risk factors: blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg, fasting glucose greater than 110 mg/dL, smoking, total cholesterol greater than 250 mg/dL. Healthy subjects taking chronic prescription medications will be excluded.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00090558

United States, Maryland
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  More Information Identifier: NCT00090558     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 040268
Study First Received: August 27, 2004
Last Updated: March 3, 2008

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Bone Marrow
Coronary Artery Disease

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Coronary Disease
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Nitric Oxide Donors
Nitric Oxide
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Vasodilator Agents
Bronchodilator Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anti-Asthmatic Agents
Respiratory System Agents
Free Radical Scavengers
Neurotransmitter Agents
Endothelium-Dependent Relaxing Factors
Protective Agents processed this record on April 25, 2017