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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, sildenafil (Viagra), in animal models of airways disease.

Phosphodiesterase (PDE)-5 degrades guanosine 3',5'cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) and its inhibitor sildenafil citrate (Viagra) treats erectile dysfunction by smooth muscle relaxation through elevated cGMP. Sildenafil was examined in two guinea pig models of airways disease: guinea pigs exposed to LPS or sensitized guinea pigs with atopy exposed to ovalbumen. Ovalbumen exposure caused early- and late-phase bronchoconstrictor responses, measured in conscious animals by whole-body plethysmography. Twenty-four hours after ovalbumen exposure there was airway hyperreactivity (AHR) to inhaled histamine and significantly elevated macrophages, eosinophils, and nitric oxide (NO) metabolites in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Sildenafil treatment (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) failed to affect the early and late responses but significantly reduced AHR, leukocyte influx, and elevated NO. LPS exposure (30 microg/ml) caused AHR to histamine at 1 hour and macrophage, eosinophil, and neutrophil influx at 24 hours with raised NO. Sildenafil pretreatment inhibited LPS-induced AHR, leukocyte influx, and NO generation. The effectiveness of sildenafil was not dependent on endogenous NO because inhibition of NO synthase with Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester did not prevent its action. Inhibition of PDE5 by sildenafil was confirmed by elevated S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine-induced cGMP generation in isolated lungs. These antiinflammatory actions of sildenafil in guinea pig models suggest that PDE5 inhibitors may have potential in treating airways disease.[1]


  1. Effect of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, sildenafil (Viagra), in animal models of airways disease. Toward, T.J., Smith, N., Broadley, K.J. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. (2004) [Pubmed]
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