PDE5A suppression of acute β-adrenergic activation requires modulation of myocyte beta-3 signaling coupled to PKG-mediated troponin i phosphorylation

Dong Lee, Susan Vahebi, Carlo Gabriele Tocchetti, Lili A. Barouch, R. John Solaro, Eiki Takimoto, David A. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Phosphodiesterase type 5A (PDE5A) inhibitors acutely suppress beta-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) stimulation in left ventricular myocytes and hearts. This modulation requires cyclic GMP synthesis via nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-NO stimulation, but upstream and downstream mechanisms remain un-defined. To determine this, adult cardiac myocytes from genetically engineered mice and controls were studied by video microscopy to assess sarcomere shortening (SS) and fura2-AM fluorescence to measure calcium transients (CaT). Enhanced SS from isoproterenol (ISO, 10 nM) was suppressed ≥50% by the PDE5A inhibitor sildenafil (SIL, 1 μM), without altering CaT. This regulation was unaltered despite co-inhibition of either the cGMP-stimulated cAMP-esterase PDE2 (Bay 60-7550), or cGMP-inhibited cAMP-esterase PDE3 (cilostamide). Thus, the SIL response could not be ascribed to cGMP interaction with alternative PDEs. However, genetic deletion (or pharmacologic blockade) of β3-ARs, which couple to NOS signaling, fully prevented SIL modulation of ISO-stimulated SS. Importantly, both PDE5A protein expression and activity were similar in β3-AR knockout (β3-AR -/-) myocytes as in controls. Downstream, cGMP stimulates protein kinase G (PKG), and we found contractile modulation by SIL required PKG activation and enhanced TnI phosphorylation at S23, S24. Myocytes expressing the slow skeletal TnI isoform which lacks these sites displayed no modulation of ISO responses by SIL. Non-equilibrium isoelectric focusing gel electrophoresis showed SIL increased TnI phosphorylation above that from concomitant ISO in control but not β3-AR-/- myocytes. These data support a cascade involving β3-AR stimulation, and subsequent PKG-dependent TnI S23, S24 phosphorylation as primary factors underlying the capacity of acute PDE5A inhibition to blunt myocardial β-adrenergic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalBasic Research in Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Adrenergic
  • Beta-3 adrenergic receptor
  • Calcium
  • Contractility
  • Cyclic gmp
  • Myocytes
  • Phosphodiesterase
  • Protein kinase g
  • Sildenafil
  • Troponin i

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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