Abenhaim, L. et al. Appetite suppressant drugs and the risk of primary pulmonary hypertension. International Primary Pulmonary Hypertension Study Group. N. Engl. J. Med. 335, 609-616

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 09/1996; 335(9):609-16. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199608293350901
Source: PubMed


Recently, a cluster of patients was observed in France in whom primary pulmonary hypertension developed in patients exposed to derivatives of fenfluramine in appetite suppressants (anorexic agents), which are used for weight control. We investigated the potential role of anorexic agents and other suspected risk factors for primary pulmonary hypertension.
In a case-control study, we assessed 95 patients with primary pulmonary hypertension from 35 centers in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands and 355 controls recruited from general practices and matched to the patients' sex and age.
The use of anorexic drugs (mainly derivatives of fenfluramine) was associated with an increased risk of primary pulmonary hypertension (odds ratio with any anorexic-drug use, 6.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 3.0 to 13.2). For the use of anorexic agents in the preceding year, the odds ratio was 10.1 (95 percent confidence interval, 3.4 to 29.9). When anorexic drugs were used to a total of more than three months, the odds ratio was 23.1 (95 percent confidence interval, 6.9 to 77.7). We also confirmed an association with several previously identified risk factors: a family history of pulmonary hypertension, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus, cirrhosis, and use of cocaine or intravenous drugs.
The use of anorexic drugs was associated with the development of primary pulmonary hypertension. Active surveillance for this disease should be considered, particularly since their use is expected to increase in the near future.

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    • "Jaffré et al. found that the expression of 5-HT2BR by noncardiomyocytes is required for isoproterenol-induced cardiac hypertrophy and that 5-HT2BR is overexpressed in hearts of patients with congestive heart failure [11]. In addition to that, several research groups revealed a role for serotonin in the pathogenesis of PAH [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. Regarding different forms of chronic LV failure (LVF) extensive experimental knowledge was achieved over the past decades. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The serotonin (5-HT) pathway was shown to play a role in pulmonary hypertension (PH), but its functions in right ventricular failure (RVF) remain poorly understood. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of Terguride (5-HT2A and 2B receptor antagonist) or SB204741 (5-HT2B receptor antagonist) on right heart function and structure upon pulmonary artery banding (PAB) in mice. Methods: Seven days after PAB, mice were treated for 14 days with Terguride (0.2 mg/kg bid) or SB204741 (5 mg/kg day). Right heart function and remodeling were assessed by right heart catheterization, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and histomorphometric methods. Total secreted collagen content was determined in mouse cardiac fibroblasts isolated from RV tissues. Results: Chronic treatment with Terguride or SB204741 reduced right ventricular fibrosis and showed improved heart function in mice after PAB. Moreover, 5-HT2B receptor antagonists diminished TGF-beta1 induced collagen synthesis of RV cardiac fibroblasts in vitro. Conclusion: 5-HT2B receptor antagonists reduce collagen deposition, thereby inhibiting right ventricular fibrosis. Chronic treatment prevented the development and progression of pressure overload-induced RVF in mice. Thus, 5-HT2B receptor antagonists represent a valuable novel therapeutic approach for RVF.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · BioMed Research International
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    • ". The results of the International Primary Pulmonary Hypertension Study (IPPHS) conclusively demonstrated a strong association between PAH and the use of anorexic drugs (mainly derivatives of fenfluramine) [15] "
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare disorder characterized by progressive obliteration of the pulmonary microvasculature, resulting in elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and premature death. According to the current classification, PAH can be associated with exposure to certain drugs or toxins, particularly appetite suppressant drugs, such as aminorex, fenfluramine derivatives and benfluorex. These drugs have been confirmed to be risk factors for PAH and were withdrawn from the market. The supposed mechanism is an increase in serotonin levels, which was demonstrated to act as a growth factor for the pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Amphetamines, phentermine and mazindol were less frequently used but are also considered as possible risk factors for PAH. Dasatinib, a dual Src/Abl kinase inhibitor, used in the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukaemia was associated with cases of severe PAH, in part reversible after its withdrawal. Recently several studies raised the potential endothelial dysfunction that could be induced by interferon, and few cases of PAH have been reported with interferon therapy. Other possible risk factors for PAH include: nasal decongestants, like phenylpropanolamine, dietary supplement - l-Tryptophan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, pergolide and other drugs that could act on 5HT2B receptors. Interestingly, PAH remains a rare complication of these drugs, suggesting possible individual susceptibility and further studies are needed to identify patients at risk of drugs induced PAH.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · La Presse Médicale
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    • "Consistent with the data we present here, clinical studies have demonstrated a female gender bias towards Dfen-induced PAH in humans. In one study, a much larger proportion (40.9%) of female primary pulmonary hypertensive patients had used anorexigenic drugs than male primary pulmonary hypertensive patients (10.3%).16 In addition, in different patient populations, the ratio of women to men with anorexigenic-induced PAH has been reported to be 8:1, 30:1, and 34:1.38–40 "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) occurs more frequently in women than men. Oestrogen and the oestrogen-metabolising enzyme cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) play a role in the development of PAH. Anorectic drugs such as dexfenfluramine (Dfen) have been associated with the development of PAH. Dfen mediates PAH via a serotonergic mechanism and we have shown serotonin to up-regulate expression of CYP1B1 in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Thus here we assess the role of CYP1B1 in the development of Dfen-induced PAH. Methods and results Dfen (5 mg kg−1 day−1 PO for 28 days) increased right ventricular pressure and pulmonary vascular remodelling in female mice only. Mice dosed with Dfen showed increased whole lung expression of CYP1B1 and Dfen-induced PAH was ablated in CYP1B1−/− mice. In line with this, Dfen up-regulated expression of CYP1B1 in PASMCs from PAH patients (PAH-PASMCs) and Dfen-mediated proliferation of PAH-PASMCs was ablated by pharmacological inhibition of CYP1B1. Dfen increased expression of tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (Tph1; the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of serotonin) in PAH-PASMCs and both Dfen-induced proliferation and Dfen-induced up-regulation of CYP1B1 were ablated by inhibition of Tph1. 17β-Oestradiol increased expression of both Tph1 and CYP1B1 in PAH-PASMCs, and Dfen and 17β-oestradiol had synergistic effects on proliferation of PAH-PASMCs. Finally, ovariectomy protected against Dfen-induced PAH in female mice. Conclusion CYP1B1 is critical in the development of Dfen-induced PAH in mice in vivo and proliferation of PAH-PASMCs in vitro. CYP1B1 may provide a novel therapeutic target for PAH.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Cardiovascular Research
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