Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Viagra against heart failure: Researchers throw light on the mechanism

Date:
December 27, 2011
Source:
Ruhr-University Bochum
Summary:
Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, can alleviate heart problems, and now researchers can explain why. They studied dogs with diastolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart chamber does not sufficiently fill with blood. The scientists showed that sildenafil makes stiffened cardiac walls more elastic again. The drug activates an enzyme that causes the giant protein titin in the myocardial cells to relax.

Sildenafil, the active ingredient of Viagra makes cardiac walls elastic again.
Credit: Illustration copyright Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Linke

How sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, can alleviate heart problems is reported by Bochum's researchers in cooperation with colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) in the journal Circulation. They studied dogs with diastolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart chamber does not sufficiently fill with blood. The scientists showed that sildenafil makes stiffened cardiac walls more elastic again. The drug activates an enzyme that causes the giant protein titin in the myocardial cells to relax.

"We have developed a therapy in an animal model that, for the first time, also raises hopes for the successful treatment of patients" says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Linke of the RUB Institute of Physiology.

"Rubber band proteins" can be influenced

Sildenafil inhibits a specific enzyme (phosphodiesterase 5 A), which causes the increased formation of a messenger substance (cGMP). The messenger substance activates the enzyme protein kinase G, which attaches phosphate groups to certain proteins. This so-called phosphorylation causes blood vessels to relax, which was why the "potency pill" Viagra originally came onto the market. The Bochum and Rochester researchers found that the cardiac muscle protein titin is also phosphorylated through the same mechanism. "The titin molecules are similar to rubber bands" explains the Bochum physiologist. "They contribute decisively to the stiffness of the cardiac walls." The activity of the protein kinase G causes titin to relax. This makes the cardiac walls more elastic. The effect occurs within minutes of administering the drug.

Heart failure drugs currently not sufficient

"Of all the patients aged over 60 who are in hospital because of a weak heart, half suffer from diastolic heart failure" explains Linke. "Although we know that the decreased distensibility of the cardiac walls is the cause, the disease cannot be treated properly with today's medicines." In the so-called "Relax" study of the Heart Failure Network, the efficacy of sildenafil in people is already being tested. "If, for the first time, the drug is found to have a positive effect on heart failure, we would already have a molecular mechanism on hand to explain the effect" says Linke.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Bishu, N. Hamdani, S. F. Mohammed, M. Kruger, T. Ohtani, O. Ogut, F. V. Brozovich, J. C. Burnett, W. A. Linke, M. M. Redfield. Sildenafil and B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Acutely Phosphorylate Titin and Improve Diastolic Distensibility In Vivo. Circulation, 2011; 124 (25): 2882 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.048520

Cite This Page:

Ruhr-University Bochum. "Viagra against heart failure: Researchers throw light on the mechanism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111223091451.htm>.
Ruhr-University Bochum. (2011, December 27). Viagra against heart failure: Researchers throw light on the mechanism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111223091451.htm
Ruhr-University Bochum. "Viagra against heart failure: Researchers throw light on the mechanism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111223091451.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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