Mechanisms of SGLT2 (Sodium-Glucose Transporter Type 2) Inhibition-Induced Relaxation in Arteries From Human Visceral Adipose Tissue

Hypertension. 2021 Feb;77(2):729-738. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.16466. Epub 2020 Dec 28.


As novel drug treatments for diabetes have shown favorable cardiovascular effects, interest has mounted with regard to their possible vascular actions, particularly in relation to visceral adipose tissue perfusion and remodeling in obesity. The present study tested the vasorelaxing effect of the SGLT2 (sodium-glucose transporter type 2) inhibitor canagliflozin in arteries from visceral adipose tissue of either nonobese or obese humans and investigated the underlying mechanisms. Also, the vasorelaxing effect of canagliflozin and the GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) agonist liraglutide were compared in arteries from obese patients. To these purposes, small arteries (116-734 μm) isolated from visceral adipose tissue were studied ex vivo in a wire myograph. Canagliflozin elicited a higher concentration-dependent vasorelaxation in arterioles from obese than nonobese individuals (P=0.02). The vasorelaxing response to canagliflozin was not modified (P=0.93) by inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (L-NAME) or prostacyclin (indomethacin), or by H2O2 scavenging (catalase); also, canagliflozin-induced relaxation was similar (P=0.23) in endothelium-intact or -denuded arteries precontracted with high potassium concentration, thereby excluding an involvement of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors. The vasorelaxing response to canagliflozin was similar to that elicited by the Na+/H+ exchanger 1 inhibitor BIX (P=0.67), but greater than that to the Na+/Ca++ exchanger inhibitor SEA 0400 (P=0.001), hinting a role of Na+/H+ exchanger inhibition in canagliflozin-induced relaxation. In arterioles from obese patients, the vasorelaxing response to canagliflozin was greater than that to liraglutide (P=0.004). These findings demonstrate that canagliflozin induces endothelium-independent vasorelaxation in arterioles from human visceral adipose tissue, thereby suggesting that SGLT2 inhibition might favorably impact the processes linking visceral adipose burden to vascular disease in obesity.

Keywords: arterioles; canagliflozin; catalase; liraglutide; vasodilation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arterioles / drug effects*
  • Canagliflozin / pharmacology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / drug effects*
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / physiopathology
  • Liraglutide / pharmacology
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / pharmacology
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / physiology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Canagliflozin
  • Liraglutide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester