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Cardiovasc Res. 2013 Nov 1;100(2):336-46. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvt193. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Differential regulation of cardiac excitation-contraction coupling by cAMP phosphodiesterase subtypes.

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INSERM UMR-S 769, Châtenay-Malabry, France.



Multiple phosphodiesterases (PDEs) hydrolyze cAMP in cardiomyocytes, but the functional significance of this diversity is not well understood. Our goal here was to characterize the involvement of three different PDEs (PDE2-4) in cardiac excitation-contraction coupling (ECC).


Sarcomere shortening and Ca(2+) transients were recorded simultaneously in adult rat ventricular myocytes and ECC protein phosphorylation by PKA was determined by western blot analysis. Under basal conditions, selective inhibition of PDE2 or PDE3 induced a small but significant increase in Ca(2+) transients, sarcomere shortening, and troponin I phosphorylation, whereas PDE4 inhibition had no effect. PDE3 inhibition, but not PDE2 or PDE4, increased phospholamban phosphorylation. Inhibition of either PDE2, 3, or 4 increased phosphorylation of the myosin-binding protein C, but neither had an effect on L-type Ca(2+) channel or ryanodine receptor phosphorylation. Dual inhibition of PDE2 and PDE3 or PDE2 and PDE4 further increased ECC compared with individual PDE inhibition, but the most potent combination was obtained when inhibiting simultaneously PDE3 and PDE4. This combination also induced a synergistic induction of ECC protein phosphorylation. Submaximal β-adrenergic receptor stimulation increased ECC, and this effect was potentiated by individual PDE inhibition with the rank order of potency PDE4 = PDE3 > PDE2. Identical results were obtained on ECC protein phosphorylation.


Our results demonstrate that PDE2, PDE3, and PDE4 differentially regulate ECC in adult cardiomyocytes. PDE2 and PDE3 play a more prominent role than PDE4 in regulating basal cardiac contraction and Ca(2+) transients. However, PDE4 becomes determinant when cAMP levels are elevated, for instance, upon β-adrenergic stimulation or PDE3 inhibition.


Excitation–contraction coupling; Phosphodiesterase; Protein phosphorylation; cAMP

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