Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows Levitra May Protect The Heart

Date:
February 15, 2006
Source:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Summary:
The widely used erectile dysfunction drug Levitra is now the second drug in its class found to protect the heart against tissue damage following acute heart attack, according to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

The widely used erectile dysfunction drug Levitra is now the second drug in its class found to protect the heart against tissue damage following acute heart attack, according to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

“Our findings further support the concept that the novel class of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, or PDE-5 inhibitors, including Levitra and Viagra, may have a new utility in cardiac protection, in addition to their well-known use for the management of erectile dysfunction in men,” said Rakesh C. Kukreja, Ph.D., professor of medicine, physiology, biochemistry and emergency medicine at VCU. Kukreja is lead author of the study.

In the study, currently available online and to be published in the March issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, Kukreja and his team demonstrated for the first time that pretreatment with a clinically relevant dose of Levitra, generically known as vardenafil, induces a protective effect against heart attack injury by opening the mitochondrial KATP channel in an animal model. The Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology is the official publication of the International Society for Heart Research.

According to Kukreja, PDE-5 is an enzyme responsible for the destruction of cGMP, an intracellular messenger molecule, in heart cells. He said that the mitochondrial KATP channel and cGMP play an important role in preconditioning of the heart following a heart attack. The cGMP also has a hand in the dilation of arteries in the body. PDE-5 inhibitor drugs, such as vardenafil, sildenafil, the generic term for Viagra, and tadalafil, the generic name for Cialis, are able to preserve cGMP, and therefore dilation of the arteries by inhibiting PDE-5.

Vardenafil, like sildenafil, stabilizes the mitochondria and protects against damage of the heart by opening the mitochondrial KATP channels in cardiac cells. Mitochondria are cellular organelles critical for converting oxygen into ATP, the key fuel for cellular function.

“This study provides important information about the mechanism by which the PDE-5 inhibitors work. Furthermore, it is proof that the positive findings of prior studies on sildenafil extend to another PDE-5 inhibitor,” said George Vetrovec, M.D., chair of cardiology at VCU’s School of Medicine, who is internationally recognized for his research on coronary artery disease.

Vetrovec suggested that PDE-5 inhibitors such as sildenafil and vardenafil may one day be given to patients who are at high risk for acute heart attack or prior to undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery to optimize heart protection.

In addition, Kukreja said that the PDE-5 inhibitors may be developed for future use to protect the brain, liver and other organs against ischemic injury – those injuries that are caused by lack of oxygen.

Kukreja and his colleagues began studying sildenafil in 2002 as part of ongoing research into “preconditioning,” a way to protect the heart muscle from serious damage in the future by subjecting it to very brief periods of deprivation of blood flow and, therefore, oxygen.

This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Kukreja collaborated with VCU researchers, Fadi N. Salloum, Ph.D., Ramzi A. Ockaili Ph.D., Michael Wittkamp Ph.D., and Vijay R. Marwaha, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Study Shows Levitra May Protect The Heart." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060215091017.htm>.
Virginia Commonwealth University. (2006, February 15). Study Shows Levitra May Protect The Heart. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060215091017.htm
Virginia Commonwealth University. "Study Shows Levitra May Protect The Heart." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060215091017.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins