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Horm Metab Res. 2012 Sep;44(10):766-75. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1321870. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Cardiac cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases: function, regulation, and therapeutic prospects.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The second messengers cAMP and cGMP exist in multiple discrete compartments and regulate a variety of biological processes in the heart. The cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, by catalyzing the hydrolysis of cAMP and cGMP, play crucial roles in controlling the amplitude, duration, and compartmentalization of cyclic nucleotide signaling. Over 60 phosphodiesterase isoforms, grouped into 11 families, have been discovered to date. In the heart, both cAMP- and cGMP-hydrolyzing phosphodiesterases play important roles in physiology and pathology. At least 7 of the 11 phosphodiesterase family members appear to be expressed in the myocardium, and evidence supports phosphodiesterase involvement in regulation of many processes important for normal cardiac function including pacemaking and contractility, as well as many pathological processes including remodeling and myocyte apoptosis. Pharmacological inhibitors for a number of phosphodiesterase families have also been used clinically or preclinically to treat several types of cardiovascular disease. In addition, phosphodiesterase inhibitors are also being considered for treatment of many forms of disease outside the cardiovascular system, raising the possibility of cardiovascular side effects of such agents. This review will discuss the roles of phosphodiesterases in the heart, in terms of expression patterns, regulation, and involvement in physiological and pathological functions. Additionally, the cardiac effects of various phosphodiesterase inhibitors, both potentially beneficial and detrimental, will be discussed.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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