Beta-blockers are widely used drugs in cardiovascular diseases. Propranolol is a non selective beta-adrenergic blocker extensively used in treatment of arrhythmias, hypertension and several other cardiac problems. The inhibitory effects of propranolol on tumor growth, inflammation and angiogenesis have been shown by many investigations. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) play important role in inflammation and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of angiogenesis. The present study was conducted to evaluate the propranolol effect on human PBMCs proliferation and VEGF secretion in vitro. PBMCs from healthy adult volunteers were isolated by ficoll-hypaque-gradiant centrifugation. Then the cells were cultured in complete RPMI-1640 medium and after that incubated with different concentrations of propranolol (0.00034 - 0.34 mM) in the presence or absence of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) (10 µg/ml) for 12, 24 and 48 h. The cell viability was then assessed by trypan blue dye exclusion and also 3-[4, 5-dimethyl thiazol-2, 5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) reduction methods. Amount of VEGF produced by PBMCs was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Propranolol significantly reduced the viability of human PBMCs at ≥ 0.17 mM concentration, after 12 hours incubation onwards, compared to untreated control cells. Moreover propranolol significantly decreased the VEGF production in PHA-stimulated human PBMCs at 0.034 mM concentration of drug.Our results suggest that propranolol with inhibitory effect on PBMCs proliferative activity and VEGF production may be useful in immunoproliferative, inflammatory and angiogenesis related disorders. Moreover, anti-inflammatory characteristic of propranolol may be other beneficial effect of this drug in treatment of inflammatory based cardiovascular diseases.
Key words: Propranolol, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, proliferation, VEGF.
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