International journal of molecular sciences

Sildenafil Protects against Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Following Cardiac Arrest in a Porcine Model: Possible Role of the Renin-Angiotensin System.

PMID 26569234


Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor sold as Viagra, is a cardioprotector against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Our study explored whether sildenafil protects against I/R-induced damage in a porcine cardiac arrest and resuscitation (CAR) model via modulating the renin-angiotensin system. Male pigs were randomly divided to three groups: Sham group, Saline group, and sildenafil (0.5 mg/kg) group. Thirty min after drug infusion, ventricular fibrillation (8 min) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (up to 30 min) was conducted in these animals. We found that sildenafil ameliorated the reduced cardiac function and improved the 24-h survival rate in this model. Sildenafil partly attenuated the increases of plasma angiotensin II (Ang II) and Ang (1-7) levels after CAR. Sildenafil also decreased apoptosis and Ang II expression in myocardium. The increases of expression of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE), ACE2, Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R), and the Ang (1-7) receptor Mas in myocardial tissue were enhanced after CAR. Sildenafil suppressed AT1R up-regulation, but had no effect on ACE, ACE2, and Mas expression. Sildenafil further boosted the upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and inducible nitric oxide synthase(iNOS). Collectively, our results suggest that cardioprotection of sildenafil in CAR model is accompanied by an inhibition of Ang II-AT1R axis activation.