PDE1 inhibition modulates Cav1.2 channel to stimulate cardiomyocyte contraction

Grace K. Muller, Joy Song, Vivek Jani, Yuejin Wu, Mark Anderson, David A. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activation of protein kinase A (PKA) stimulates excitation-contraction coupling, increasing cardiac contractility. This is clinically leveraged by beta-adrenergic stimulation (b-ARs) or phosphodiesterase-3 inhibition (PDE3i), though both approaches are limited by arrhythmia and chronic myocardial toxicity. Phosphodiesterase-1 inhibition (PDE1i) also augments cAMP and was recently shown in rabbit cardiomyocytes to augment contraction independent of bAR stimulation or blockade, and with less intracellular calcium rise than b-ARs or PDE3i. Early testing of PDE1 inhibition in humans with neuro-degenerative disease and dilated heart failure has commenced. Yet, the molecular mechanisms for PDE1i inotropic effects remain largely unknown. Objective. Define the mechanism(s) whereby PDE1i increases contractility. Methods and Results. Primary guinea pig myocytes which express the cAMP-hydrolyzing PDE1C isoform found in larger mammals and humans were studied. The potent, selective PDE1i (ITI-214) did not alter cell shortening or Ca2+ transients under resting conditions whereas both increased with b-ARs or PDE3i. However, PDE1i enhanced shortening with less Ca2+ rise in a PKA-dependent manner when combined with low-dose adenylate cyclase stimulation (Forskolin). Unlike PDE3i, PDE1i did not augment b-AR responses. Whereas b-ARs reduced myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity and increased sarcoplasmic reticular Ca2+ content in conjunction with greater phosphorylation of troponin I, myosin binding protein C, and phospholamban, PDE1i did none of this. However, PDE1i increased Cav1.2 channel conductance similar to PDE3i in a PKA-dependent manner. Myocyte shortening and peak Ca2+ transients were more sensitive to Cav1.2 blockade with nitrendipine combined with PDE1i versus PDE3i. Lastly, PDE1i was found to be far less arrythmogenic than PDE3i. Conclusions. PDE1i enhances contractility by a PKA-dependent increase in Cav1.2 conductance without concomitant myofilament desensitization. The result is less rise in intracellular Ca2+ and arrhythmia compared to b-ARs and/or PDE3i. PDE1i could be a novel positive inotrope for failing hearts without the toxicities of b-ARs and PDE3i.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Nov 5 2020


  • Arrhythmia
  • Contractility
  • Excitation-contraction coupling
  • Inotropy
  • L-type calcium channel
  • Myocyte
  • Phosphodiesterase-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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