Bioactive Signaling in Next-Generation Pharmacotherapies for Heart Failure: A Review

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ImportanceThe standard pharmacotherapy for heart failure (HF), particularly HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), is primarily through the use of receptor antagonists, notably inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system by either angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition or angiotensin II receptor blockade (ARB). However, the completed Prospective Comparison of ARNI With an ACE-Inhibitor to Determine Impact on Global Mortality and Morbidity in Heart Failure (PARADIGM-HF) trial identified that the use of a single molecule (sacubitril/valsartan), which is an ARB and the neutral endopeptidase inhibitor (NEPi) neprilysin, yielded improved clinical outcomes in HFrEF compared with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition alone.ObservationsThis review examined specific bioactive signaling pathways that would be potentiated by NEPi and how these would affect key cardiovascular processes relevant to HFrEF. It also addressed potential additive/synergistic effects of ARB. A number of biological signaling pathways that may be potentiated by sacubitril/valsartan were identified, including some novel candidate molecules, which will act in a synergistic manner to favorably alter the natural history of HFrEF.Conclusions and RelevanceThis review identified that activation rather than inhibition of specific receptor pathways provided favorable cardiovascular effects that cannot be achieved by renin-angiotensin system inhibition alone. Thus, an entirely new avenue of translational and clinical research lies ahead in which HF pharmacotherapies will move beyond receptor antagonist strategies.

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