Reversal of endothelial dysfunction by nicotinamide mononucleotide via extracellular conversion to nicotinamide riboside

Biochem Pharmacol. 2020 Aug;178:114019. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2020.114019. Epub 2020 May 8.


Background: Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and nicotinamide riboside (NR) are effective substrates for NAD synthesis, which may act as vasoprotective agents. Here, we characterize the effects of NMN and NR on endothelial inflammation and dysfunction and test the involvement of CD73 in these effects.

Materials and methods: The effect of NMN and NR on IL1β- or TNFα-induced endothelial inflammation (ICAM1 and vWF expression), intracellular NAD concentration and NAD-related enzyme expression (NAMPT, CD38, CD73), were studied in HAECs. The effect of NMN and NR on angiotensin II-induced impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilation was analyzed in murine aortic rings. The involvement of CD73 in NMN and NR effects was tested using CD73 inhibitor-AOPCP, or CD73-/- mice.

Results: 24 h-incubation with NMN and NR induced anti-inflammatory effects in HAEC stimulated by IL1β or TNFα, as evidenced by a reduction in ICAM1 and vWF expression. Effects of exogenous NMN but not NR was abrogated in the presence of AOPCP, that efficiently inhibited extracellular endothelial conversion of NMN to NR, without a significant effect on the metabolism of NMN to NA. Surprisingly, intracellular NAD concentration increased in HAEC stimulated by IL1β or TNFα and this effect was associated with upregulation of NAMPT and CD73, whereas changes in CD38 expression were less pronounced. NMN and NR further increased NAD in IL1β-stimulated HAECs and AOPCP diminished NMN-induced increase in NAD, without an effect on NR-induced response. In ex vivo aortic rings stimulated with angiotensin II for 24 h, NO-dependent vasorelaxation induced by acetylcholine was impaired. NMN and NR, both prevented Ang II-induced endothelial dysfunction in the aorta. In aortic rings taken from CD73-/- mice NMN effect was lost, whereas NR effect was preserved.

Conclusion: NMN and NR modulate intracellular NAD content in endothelium, inhibit endothelial inflammation and improve NO-dependent function by CD73-dependent and independent pathways, respectively. Extracellular conversion of NMN to NR by CD73 localized in the luminal surface of endothelial cells represent important vasoprotective mechanisms to maintain intracellular NAD.

Keywords: Endothelial dysfunction; Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide; Nicotinamide riboside; Nicotine mononucleotide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5'-Nucleotidase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Fluid / drug effects*
  • Extracellular Fluid / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Niacinamide / metabolism
  • Nicotinamide Mononucleotide / metabolism*
  • Nicotinamide Mononucleotide / pharmacology
  • Pyridinium Compounds


  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • nicotinamide-beta-riboside
  • Nicotinamide Mononucleotide
  • Niacinamide
  • 5'-Nucleotidase