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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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