Aims: Hypertension stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and this phenomenon is exacerbated by diabetes mellitus. We investigated the effects of cilnidipine, an N/L-type calcium channel blocker, on aspects of this system in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: In 33 hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with a calcium channel blocker other than cilnidipine, we evaluated the influence of switching to cilnidipine on blood pressure, heart rate, catecholamine, plasma renin and aldosterone concentration, brain natriuretic peptide, urine liver-type fatty acid binding protein, and urinary albumin excretion ratio in the same patients by a cross-over design. Other biochemical parameters were also evaluated. Results: Switching to cilnidipine did not change blood pressure but caused reduction in catecholamine concentrations in blood and urine and plasma aldosterone concentration, accompanied by significant reduction in brain natriuretic peptide, urine liver-type fatty acid binding protein, and albumin excretion ratio. These parameters other than brain natriuretic peptide were significantly increased after cilnidipine was changed to the original calcium channel blocker. Conclusions: In 33 hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, compared to other calcium channel blockers, cilnidipine suppressed sympathetic nerve activity and aldosterone, and significantly improved markers of cardiorenal disorders. Therefore, cilnidipine may be an important calcium channel blocker for use in combination with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors when dealing with hypertension complicated with diabetes mellitus.
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