Pulmonary Responses to Selective Phosphodiesterase-5 and Phosphodiesterase-3 Inhibitors

Idit Matot, Yaacov Gozal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the direct pulmonary vasodilating activity and specificity of phosphodiesterase-5 (zaprinast) and phosphodiesterase-3 (milrinone) inhibitors on the pulmonary vascular (PV) bed of the spontaneously breathing cat with an intact chest. Design: Prospective, randomized animal study. Setting: Laboratory of university hospital. Subjects: Experiments were performed in vivo in intact-chest, spontaneously breathing cats with controlled pulmonary blood flow and constant left atrial pressure. Interventions: The responses to intralobar injections of zaprinast and milrinone were investigated at low PV tone. PV tone was then increased by intralobar arterial infusion of a thromboxane A2 mimic, U46619. Animals received intralobar bolus injections of zaprinast or milrinone, followed by continuous IV infusion of the drug, which was administered in incremental doses titrated to produce a 20% reduction in mean systemic arterial pressure. Measurements and main results: At low PV tone, zaprinast, but not milrinone, decreased lobar arterial pressure (LoAP). At elevated PV tone, both drugs caused dose-dependent decreases in LoAP; however, milrinone caused significantly less pulmonary vasodilation. Dose-related decreases in mean systemic arterial pressure were observed with milrinone, but not with zaprinast. When the continuous IV infusion was titrated to produce a 20% reduction in mean systemic arterial pressure, the decreases in lobar arterial pressure with zaprinast infusion were significantly greater than those produced by milrinone. Conclusions: These data show that zaprinast and milrinone exert a direct in vivo vasodilator effect on the PV bed at low (zaprinast) and elevated (zaprinast and milrinone) PV tone; however, at elevated PV tone, the pulmonary vasodilator effect was greater with zaprinast then with milrinone. This suggests that phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors may potentially offer a therapeutic alternative in the management of acute pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-651
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Milrinone
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibitor
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Thromboxane A
  • Vasodilation
  • Zaprinast


Dive into the research topics of 'Pulmonary Responses to Selective Phosphodiesterase-5 and Phosphodiesterase-3 Inhibitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this