Chronic inhibition of cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase 5A prevents and reverses cardiac hypertrophy

Eiki Takimoto, Hunter C. Champion, Manxiang Li, Diego Belardi, Shuxun Ren, E. Rene Rodriguez, Djahida Bedja, Kathleen L. Gabrielson, Yibin Wang, David A. Kass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

770 Citations (Scopus)


Sustained cardiac pressure overload induces hypertrophy and pathological remodeling, frequently leading to heart failure. Genetically engineered hyperstimulation of guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) synthesis counters this response. Here, we show that blocking the intrinsic catabolism of cGMP with an oral phosphodiesterase-5A (PDE5A) inhibitor (sildenafil) suppresses chamber and myocyte hypertrophy, and improves in vivo heart function in mice exposed to chronic pressure overload induced by transverse aortic constriction. Sildenafil also reverses pre-established hypertrophy induced by pressure load while restoring chamber function to normal. cGMP catabolism by PDE5A increases in pressure-loaded hearts, leading to activation of cGMP-dependent protein kinase with inhibition of PDE5A. PDE5A inhibition deactivates multiple hypertrophy signaling pathways triggered by pressure load (the calcineurin/NFAT, phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt, and ERK1/2 signaling pathways). But it does not suppress hypertrophy induced by overexpression of calcineurin in vitro or Akt in vivo, suggesting upstream targeting of these pathways. PDE5A inhibition may provide a new treatment strategy for cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


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