Nitric Oxide-Independent Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Activation Improves Vascular Function and Cardiac Remodeling in Sickle Cell Disease

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with intravascular hemolysis and oxidative inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) signaling. BAY 54-6544 is a small-molecule activator of oxidized soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), which, unlike endogenous NO and the sGC stimulator, BAY 41-8543, preferentially binds and activates heme-free, NO-insensitive sGC to restore enzymatic cGMP production. We tested orally delivered sGC activator, BAY 54-6544 (17 mg/kg/d), sGC stimulator, BAY 41-8543, sildenafil, and placebo for 4-12 weeks in the Berkeley transgenic mouse model of SCD (BERK-SCD) and their hemizygous (Hemi) littermate controls (BERK-Hemi). Right ventricular (RV) maximum systolic pressure (RVmaxSP) was measured using micro right-heart catheterization. RV hypertrophy (RVH) was determined using Fulton's index and RV corrected weight (ratio of RV to tibia). Pulmonary artery vasoreactivity was tested for endothelium-dependent and -independent vessel relaxation. Right-heart catheterization revealed higher RVmaxSP and RVH in BERK-SCD versus BERK-Hemi, which worsened with age. Treatment with the sGC activator more effectively lowered RVmaxSP and RVH, with 90-day treatment delivering superior results, when compared with other treatments and placebo groups. In myography experiments, acetylcholine-induced (endothelium-dependent) and sodium-nitroprusside-induced (endothelium-independent NO donor) relaxation of the pulmonary artery harvested from placebo-treated BERK-SCD was impaired relative to BERK-Hemi but improved after therapy with sGC activator. By contrast, no significant effect for sGC stimulator or sildenafil was observed in BERK-SCD. These findings suggest that sGC is oxidized in the pulmonary arteries of transgenic SCD mice, leading to blunted responses to NO, and that the sGC activator, BAY 54-6544, may represent a novel therapy for SCD-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension and cardiac remodeling.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles