br Disclosure statement br Introduction Nitro phenylethane
Introduction 1-Nitro-2-phenylethane is the first nitro compound isolated from plants . It is a volatile compound found in the essential oil of various species, and its presence provides a pleasant odor that resembles the cinnamon scent . The biogenesis of 1-nitro-2-phenylethane derives from the ubiquitous amino Necrosulfonamide precursor phenylalanine through the production of phenylacetaldoxime via cytochrome P450-dependent enzymes , , , . 1-Nitro-2-phenylethane was also identified as a contributor to flavor in tomatoes, in which phenylalanine is first decarboxylated by aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylases to yield phenethylamine that may be subsequently metabolized to 1-nitro-2-phenylethane . Pharmacological information about 1-nitro-2-phenylethane has only been provided recently. It induces biphasic hypotension and bradycardia in either normotensive  or hypertensive  rats, effects characterized by rapid (i.e., onset time of 1–3s) and slower (i.e., peak between 4 and 10s) components that resemble the cardiovascular response to capsaicin . The first rapid bradycardic and hypotensive phase has a vago-vagal reflex origin that results from the stimulation of vagal pulmonary rather than cardiac C-fiber afferents and appears not to involve the activation of either transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 or 5-hydroxytrypamine-3 receptors located on vagal sensory fibers , . The delayed second hypotensive phase results from a vasodilatory effect, an action preliminarily confirmed by the concentration-dependent reduction of phenylephrine-induced contractions in aortic  or mesenteric arterial  preparations. The mode by which it induces such vasodilator effects is not yet known, and the present study investigated the underlying mechanisms involved in the vasorelaxant actions of 1-nitro-2-phenylethane using isolated rat aorta. The present results strongly argue for the involvement of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulation in the pharmacological actions induced by this nitro compound.
Materials and Methods
Discussion The present study showed that a compound with rare natural occurrence, 1-nitro-2-phenylethane, has relaxant properties in rat vessels that at least partially explain its known hypotensive effects. In silico simulation with a heme nitric oxide (H-NOX) domain homolog predicted the existence of a pharmacophore alignment between 1-nitro-2-phenylethane and sGC. The vasodilator actions of 1-nitro-2-phenylethane appeared to derive from its ability to augment cGMP levels in smooth muscle cells, findings that strongly argue for the involvement of sGC stimulation in such vasodilator effects. The vasorelaxant actions were concentration-dependent in tissues upon equieffective contractile stimulation induced by the adrenergic compounds phenylephrine and norepinephrine. Interestingly, 1-nitro-2-phenylethane more potently relaxed mesenteric arterial than aortic rings, a finding that corroborates its previously reported potent hypotensive effect on diastolic arterial blood pressure , . Although we are unable to presently explain the higher potency of 1-nitro-2-phenylethane in mesenteric arterial vessels, such a feature suggests a preferential action of this compound in tissues that are more involved in hemodynamic control and ultimately determine peripheral vascular resistance . The effects induced by 1-nitro-2-phenylethane appeared to result from its intracellular actions because they occurred within a narrow potency range against other contractile agents that do not activate adrenergic receptors, such as the phorbol ester 12,13-dibutyrate and the hyperforin analog Hyp9, thus precluding the occurrence of competitive antagonism on membrane receptors. Indeed, phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate-induced contractions under Ca2+-free conditions occur through protein kinase C activation , whereas Hyp9 activates Ca2+ influx through the canonical transient receptor potential-6 (TRPC6) .