Combination Sodium Nitrite and Hydralazine Therapy Attenuates Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction Severity in a “2-Hit” Murine Model

Kyle B. Lapenna, Zhen Li, Jake E. Doiron, Thomas E. Sharp, Huijing Xia, Karl Moles, Kashyap Koul, John S. Wang, David J. Polhemus, Traci T. Goodchild, Ravi B. Patel, Sanjiv J. Shah, David J. Lefer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Recent studies have suggested that cardiac nitrosative stress mediated by pathological overproduction of nitric oxide (NO) via inducible NO synthase (iNOS) contributes to the pathogenesis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Other studies have suggested that endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) dysfunction and attenuated NO bioavailability contribute to HFpEF morbidity and mortality. We sought to further investigate dysregulated NO signaling and to examine the effects of a NO-based dual therapy (sodium nitrite+hydralazine) following the onset of HFpEF using a “2-hit” murine model. METHODS AND RESULTS: Nine-week-old male C57BL/6 N mice (n=15 per group) were treated concurrently with high-fat diet and N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (0.5 g/L per day) via drinking water for 10 weeks. At week 5, mice were randomized into either vehicle (normal saline) or combination treatment with sodium nitrite (75 mg/L in the drinking water) and hydrala-zine (2.0 mg/kg IP, BID). Cardiac structure and function were monitored with echocardiography and invasive hemodynamic measurements. Cardiac mitochondrial respiration, aortic vascular function, and exercise performance were also evaluated. Circulating and myocardial nitrite were measured to determine the bioavailability of NO. Circulating markers of oxidative or nitrosative stress as well as systemic inflammation were also determined. Severe HFpEF was evident by significantly elevated E/E’, LVEDP, and Tau in mice treated with L-NAME and HFD, which was associated with impaired NO bioavailability, mitochon-drial respiration, aortic vascular function, and exercise capacity. Treatment with sodium nitrite and hydralazine restored NO bioavailability, reduced oxidative and nitrosative stress, preserved endothelial function and mitochondrial respiration, limited the fibrotic response, and improved exercise capacity, ultimately attenuating the severity of “two-hit” HFpEF. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that nitrite, a well-established biomarker of NO bioavailability and a physiological source of NO, is significantly reduced in the heart and circulation in the “2-hit” mouse HFpEF model. Furthermore, sodium nitrite+hydralazine combined therapy significantly attenuated the severity of HFpEF in the “2-hit” cardiometabolic HFpEF. These data suggest that supplementing NO-based therapeutics with a potent antioxidant and vasodilator agent may result in synergistic benefits for the treatment of HFpEF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere028480
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 21 2023


  • antioxidant
  • diastolic dysfunction
  • heart failure
  • inflammation
  • nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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