Vasoactive therapies in systemic sclerosis. (1/300)

In systemic sclerosis (SSc), vasculopathy is a central mechanism and is a major initial event in the process of sclerosis and causing different complications such as Raynaud's phenomenon, ulcer(s) or pulmonary hypertension, the latter being life threatening. Therefore, vasoactive therapies are important when taking care of patients with SSc. However, as treatment has been difficult, numerous therapeutic modalities have been suggested. Until now, the interpretation of most studies is limited due to the heterogeneity of patient groups, the low number of patients, the short duration of the treatments and, possibly, further pathogenic mechanisms such as autoimmunity. Several drugs are now available with effects on vasculopathy and, furthermore, on specific pathogenic mechanisms in SSc. Prostacyclins, endothelin receptor antagonists and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors have potential effects on fibrosis, inflammation and endothelial cells, suggesting a disease-modifying capacity in systemic sclerosis. This review summarizes evidence-based therapy recommendations.  (+info)

Celecoxib dilates guinea-pig coronaries and rat aortic rings and amplifies NO/cGMP signaling by PDE5 inhibition. (2/300)

OBJECTIVE: Celecoxib carries a smaller cardiovascular risk for myocardial infarction and hypertension than other cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs ("coxibs") and may ameliorate endothelial dysfunction. We aimed to determine which mechanism possibly accounts for the beneficial effect by investigating its vascular action in different in vitro preparations in comparison with other coxibs and reference phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. METHODS: To uncover potential effects on coronary flow, the effects of celecoxib in comparison with other NSAIDs and the PDE5 inhibitors, sildenafil and zaprinast, were investigated in guinea-pig Langendorff heart. This was supported by studies for vasorelaxation, interaction with the NO/cGMP pathway, and measurement of cyclic nucleotide amounts released from rat aortic rings, and inhibition of human PDE5 as well as PDE4 activity. RESULTS: Bolus injections of sildenafil, celecoxib, and zaprinast (at 100 nmol) into the Langendorff heart increased coronary flow by approximately 100, 65, and 25%, respectively, while rofecoxib, lumiracoxib, parecoxib, and diclofenac, except valdecoxib (>100 nmol), failed to increase coronary flow up to 300 nmol. In rat aorta, sildenafil, celecoxib and zaprinast caused endothelium-dependent relaxation with -log[EC(50)]M values of 8.90, 6.66 and 5.56, respectively; their rank order of potency corresponds to their coronary dilatory effect. Celecoxib-induced relaxation of aorta was attenuated by the nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10(-4) M) and by the guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-alpha]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 10(-5) M). In aortic rings, celecoxib (3x10(-5) M) caused a fivefold increase in the cGMP level and potentiated that induced by sodium nitroprusside (5x10(-7) M). Celecoxib and valdecoxib inhibited human PDE5A1 with an IC(50) of 1.6x10(-5) and 1x10(-4) M, respectively, whereas other coxibs were without inhibitory effect. CONCLUSION: Celecoxib caused coronary vasodilatation in guinea-pig hearts and relaxation of rat aorta and had a potentiating effect on the NO/cGMP signaling pathway in rat aorta through specific blockade of PDE5. These unexpected findings clearly support the notion that celecoxib possesses an as yet undisclosed molecule-specific property that possibly compensates a decrease of prostacyclin-dependent cAMP generation by concomitantly increasing cGMP levels resulting from inhibition of PDE5.  (+info)

Neurophysiological basis of penile erection. (3/300)

Penile erection involves a complex interaction between the central nervous system and local factors. It is a neurovascular event modulated by psychological and hormonal factors. The discovery of nitric oxide (NO) as an intercellular messenger or neurotransmitter paved the way for identifying important mechanisms underlying physiological and pathophysiological events in the penis, in addition to providing the knowledge for the development of new therapeutics based on a novel concept of molecule and cell interaction. Despite the fact that sinusoidal endothelial cells also produce and release NO in response to chemical and possibly physical stimuli, roles of neurogenic NO in penile erection appear to be more attractive and convincing, since the pharmacological neuromodulation represents an essential step to attaining penile erection. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by a variety of pathogenic factors, particularly impaired formation and action of NO. Hence, a thorough knowledge of the physiology of erection is essential for future pharmacological innovations in the field of male ED, particularly targeting NO or intracellular cyclic GMP, which represent the most promising therapeutic approach to treat patients with ED.  (+info)

Pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of a novel PDE5 inhibitor, SK-3530, in rats. (4/300)

AIM: To investigate the pharmacokinetic profile and tissue distribution of a novel phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, 5-ethyl-2-{5-[4-(2-hydroxy-ethyl)-piperazine-1-sulfonyl]-2-propoxy-phenyl}-7-prop yl-3,5-dihydro-pyrrolo(3,2-d)pyrimidin-4-one (SK-3530), in rats after administration of the (14)C-labeled compound. METHODS: The pharmacokinetic parameters of SK-3530 were measured based on the total radioactivity and parent SK-3530 concentration in rat plasma after intravenous and oral administration. The tissue distribution of total radioactivity after a single oral administration of [(14)C]SK-3530 at a dose of 40 mg/kg was assayed. The plasma protein binding rates of SK-3530 were assessed by in vitro and ex vivo assay. RESULTS: The total radioactivity profiles showed linear pharmacokinetics. The maximum plasma concentration and area under the curve of the parent SK3530 were 10%-20% compared to those of the total radioactivity. After the oral administration of [14C]SK-3530, the radioactivity was widely distributed in all tissues, and the tissue/plasma ratio of the radioactivity 1 h after administration was calculated as 0.5-2.6 with the exception of excretory organs. A relatively high penetration was shown in the adrenal glands, liver, and lung. In vitro and ex vivo plasma protein binding assay by ultrafiltration showed a considerably high binding rate of more than 97%. CONCLUSION: SK-3530 was relatively well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and showed linear pharmacokinetics over the investigated dose range. SK-3530 had low oral bioavailability due to a high, first-pass metabolism.  (+info)

Blockade of phosphodiesterase Type 5 enhances rat neurohypophysial excitability and electrically evoked oxytocin release. (5/300)

Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) acts specifically on cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and terminates cGMP-mediated signalling. PDE5 has a well established role in vascular smooth muscle, where specific inhibitors of PDE5 such as sildenafil correct erectile dysfunction by augmenting cGMP-mediated vascular relaxation. However, the role of PDE5 outside of the vasculature has received little attention. The present study tested PDE5 inhibitors on the cGMP-mediated modulation of K(+) channels in the neurohypophysis (posterior pituitary). Photolysis of caged-cGMP enhanced current through Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels, and this enhancement recovered in about 2 min. Sildenafil essentially eliminated this recovery, suggesting that the reversal of K(+) current enhancement depends on cGMP breakdown. Activation of nitric oxide synthase during trains of activity in pituitary nerve terminals enhances excitability. When trains of stimulation were applied at regular intervals, sildenafil enhanced the excitability of neurohypophysial nerve terminals and increased the action potential firing probability. T-1032, a compound with high specificity for PDE5 over PDE6, had a similar action. Voltage imaging in intact neurohypophysis with a voltage sensitive absorbance dye showed that T-1032 reduced the failure of propagating action potentials during trains of activity. This indicates that PDE5 activity limits action potential propagation in neurohypophysial axons. Immunoassay of oxytocin, a neuropeptide hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary, demonstrated that sildenafil increased electrically evoked release. Thus, PDE5 plays an important role in the regulation of neurohypophysial function, and blockade of this enzyme can enhance the use-dependent facilitation of neurohypophysial secretion.  (+info)

Conversion of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) catalytic site to higher affinity by PDE5 inhibitors. (6/300)

Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) specifically hydrolyzes cGMP, thereby contributing to modulation of intracellular levels of this nucleotide. In the present study, preincubation with cGMP increased PDE5 catalytic activity for cGMP degradation, and it converted the PDE5 catalytic site to a form that was more potently inhibited by each of the three PDE5 catalytic site-specific inhibitors: sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil. These results implied that elevated cGMP initiates a physiological negative feedback on the cGMP pathway by increasing the affinity of the PDE5 catalytic site for cGMP. This increase in catalytic site activity or affinity for inhibitors could be caused by binding of cGMP to either the PDE5 allosteric sites, catalytic site, or both. Whether occupation of the catalytic site alone could mediate the effect was examined using radiolabeled PDE5 inhibitors in the absence of cGMP. Exchange-dissociation of [(3)H]sildenafil (Viagra), [(3)H]vardenafil (Levitra), or [(3)H]tadalafil (Cialis) from full-length PDE5 or isolated catalytic domain revealed two kinetic components (slow and fast). Extended preincubation of full-length PDE5, but not isolated catalytic domain, with (3)H inhibitors converted the biphasic pattern to a single slow (high-affinity) component. Studies of amino-terminally truncated PDE5 established that full-length mammalian GAF-B (cGMP-binding phosphodiesterase, Anabaena adenylyl cyclases, Escherichia coli FhlA) subdomain conjoined with the catalytic domain was sufficient for this conversion. In conclusion, binding of substrate or substrate analogs such as PDE5 inhibitors to the catalytic site converts a fast (low-affinity) inhibitor dissociation component of the PDE5 catalytic site to a slow (high-affinity) inhibitor dissociation component. This effect is predicted to improve the substrate affinity or inhibitory potencies of these compounds in intact cells.  (+info)

Primary role of functional ischemia, quantitative evidence for the two-hit mechanism, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor therapy in mouse muscular dystrophy. (7/300)

BACKGROUND: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by increased muscle damage and an abnormal blood flow after muscle contraction: the state of functional ischemia. Until now, however, the cause-effect relationship between the pathogenesis of DMD and functional ischemia was unclear. We examined (i) whether functional ischemia is necessary to cause contraction-induced myofiber damage and (ii) whether functional ischemia alone is sufficient to induce the damage. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In vivo microscopy was used to document assays developed to measure intramuscular red blood cell flux, to quantify the amount of vasodilatory molecules produced from myofibers, and to determine the extent of myofiber damage. Reversal of functional ischemia via pharmacological manipulation prevented contraction-induced myofiber damage in mdx mice, the murine equivalent of DMD. This result indicates that functional ischemia is required for, and thus an essential cause of, muscle damage in mdx mice. Next, to determine whether functional ischemia alone is enough to explain the disease, the extent of ischemia and the amount of myofiber damage were compared both in control and mdx mice. In control mice, functional ischemia alone was found insufficient to cause a similar degree of myofiber damage observed in mdx mice. Additional mechanisms are likely contributing to cause more severe myofiber damage in mdx mice, suggestive of the existence of a "two-hit" mechanism in the pathogenesis of this disease. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Evidence was provided supporting the essential role of functional ischemia in contraction-induced myofiber damage in mdx mice. Furthermore, the first quantitative evidence for the "two-hit" mechanism in this disease was documented. Significantly, the vasoactive drug tadalafil, a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, administered to mdx mice ameliorated muscle damage.  (+info)

Sildenafil improves exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with systolic heart failure and secondary pulmonary hypertension. (8/300)

BACKGROUND: Patients with systolic heart failure (HF) who develop secondary pulmonary hypertension (PH) have reduced exercise capacity and increased mortality compared with HF patients without PH. We tested the hypothesis that sildenafil, an effective therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension, would lower pulmonary vascular resistance and improve exercise capacity in patients with HF complicated by PH. METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-four patients with symptomatic HF and PH were randomized to 12 weeks of treatment with sildenafil (25 to 75 mg orally 3 times daily) or placebo. Patients underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing before and after treatment. The change in peak VO2 from baseline, the primary end point, was greater in the sildenafil group (1.8+/-0.7 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) than in the placebo group (-0.27 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1); P=0.02). Sildenafil reduced pulmonary vascular resistance and increased cardiac output with exercise (P<0.05 versus placebo for both) without altering pulmonary capillary wedge or mean arterial pressure, heart rate, or systemic vascular resistance. The ability of sildenafil treatment to augment peak VO2 correlated directly with baseline resting pulmonary vascular resistance (r=0.74, P=0.002) and indirectly with baseline resting right ventricular ejection fraction (r=-0.64, P=0.01). Sildenafil treatment also was associated with improvement in 6-minute walk distance (29 m versus placebo; P=0.047) and Minnesota Living With Heart Failure score (-14 versus placebo; P=0.01). Subjects in the sildenafil group experienced fewer hospitalizations for HF and a higher incidence of headache than those in the placebo group without incurring excess serious adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibition with sildenafil improves exercise capacity and quality of life in patients with systolic HF with secondary PH.  (+info)