Pressure-overload magnitude-dependence of the anti-hypertrophic efficacy of PDE5A inhibition

Takahiro Nagayama, Steven Hsu, Manling Zhang, Norimichi Koitabashi, Djahida Bedja, Kathleen L. Gabrielson, Eiki Takimoto, David A. Kass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Increased myocardial cGMP, achieved by enhancing cyclase activity or impeding cGMP hydrolysis by phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5A), suppresses cellular and whole organ hypertrophy. The efficacy of the latter also requires cyclase stimulation and may depend upon co-activation of maladaptive signaling suppressible by cGMP-stimulated kinase (cGK-1). Thus, PDE5A inhibitors could paradoxically be more effective against higher than lower magnitudes of pressure-overload stress. To test this, mice were subjected to severe or moderate trans-aortic constriction (sTAC, mTAC) for 6 wks ± co-treatment with oral sildenafil (SIL 200 mg/kg/d). LV mass (LVM) rose 130% after 3-wks sTAC and SIL blunted this by 50%. With mTAC, LVM rose 56% at 3 wks but was unaffected by SIL, whereas a 90% increase in LVM after 6 wks was suppressed by SIL. SIL minimally altered LV function and remodeling with mTAC until later stages that stimulated more hypertrophy and remodeling. SIL stimulated cGK-1 activity similarly at 3 and 6 wks of mTAC. However, pathologic stress signaling (e.g. calcineurin, ERK-MAPkinase) was little activated after 3-wk mTAC, unlike sTAC or later stage mTAC when activity increased and SIL suppressed it. With modest hypertrophy (3-wk mTAC), GSK3β and Akt phosphorylation were unaltered but SIL enhanced it. However, with more severe hypertrophy (6-wk mTAC and 3-wk sTAC), both kinases were highly phosphorylated and SIL treatment reduced it. Thus, PDE5A-inhibition counters cardiac pressure-overload stress remodeling more effectively at higher than lower magnitude stress, coupled to pathologic signaling activation targetable by cGK-1 stimulation. Such regulation could impact responses of varying disease models to PDE5A inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-567
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


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