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Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Jun;122(3):216-38. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2009.02.009. Epub 2009 Mar 21.

Cyclic GMP signaling in cardiovascular pathophysiology and therapeutics.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cGMP) mediates a wide spectrum of physiologic processes in multiple cell types within the cardiovascular system. Dysfunctional signaling at any step of the cascade - cGMP synthesis, effector activation, or catabolism - have been implicated in numerous cardiovascular diseases, ranging from hypertension to atherosclerosis to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. In this review, we outline each step of the cGMP signaling cascade and discuss its regulation and physiologic effects within the cardiovascular system. In addition, we illustrate how cGMP signaling becomes dysregulated in specific cardiovascular disease states. The ubiquitous role cGMP plays in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology presents great opportunities for pharmacologic modulation of the cGMP signal in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. We detail the various therapeutic interventional strategies that have been developed or are in development, summarizing relevant preclinical and clinical studies.

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