The Effects of Vasodilating Drugs on pH in Tumors

Oncol Res. 1999;11(4):179-85.


Hydralazine has been used widely to reduce tumor blood flow and thereby to induce hypoxia and to reduce extracellular pH (pHe) in tumors. Here we have investigated and compared the effects of the vasodilating drugs hydralazine, captopril, nifedipine, prazosin, sodium nitroprusside, and labetalol to reduce pHe in EMT-6 and KHT tumors of mice and to cause antitumor effects. After a single injection, captopril was most effective in reducing pHe in EMT-6 tumors with a decrease in mean pHe from 6.93 to 6.67 at 2 h after injection, while nifedipine was most effective for KHT tumors with a decrease in mean pHe from 6.96 to 6.75 at 1 h after injection. During 72 h of chronic administration into mice bearing tumors, nifedipine was ineffective in reducing pHe, but both captopril and hydralazine caused a small but significant reduction of pHe. Captopril caused significant delay in growth of the tumors, but had only a small effect on clonogenic cell survival. Captopril appears to be the most effective vasodilating drug to enhance tumor acidity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology*
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • Vasodilator Agents