Effects of roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, on hypoxia- and monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats.J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2009; 330(1):54-62JP
Phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) is involved in the hydrolysis of cAMP in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle (PA-SMC) and immune inflammatory cells. Given that intracellular cAMP accumulation inhibits contraction and growth of PA-SMCs as well as inflammatory cell functions, we investigated the effects of the PDE4 inhibitor 3-cyclopropylmethoxy-4-difluoromethoxy-N-[3,5-di-chloropyrid-4-yl]-benzamide (roflumilast), on pulmonary hypertension (PH) in rats. Treatment with roflumilast (0.5 or 1.5 mg x kg(-1) day(-1)) from day 1 to day 21 after monocrotaline (MCT) injection (60 mg x kg(-1) s.c.) attenuated PH development: pulmonary artery pressure, right ventricular hypertrophy, and muscularization of distal vessels on day 21 were decreased compared to control MCT-treated rats. Roflumilast (1.5 mg x kg(-1) day(-1)) also reduced the increases in interleukin-6 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 mRNAs observed in lung tissue on day 21 without affecting the rise in interleukin-1beta mRNA on days 1 and 21. Roflumilast (1.5 mg x kg(-1) day(-1)) from day 21 to day 42 after MCT reversed established PH, almost normalizing pulmonary artery pressure and structure, and suppressing proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells in pulmonary vascular walls. Treatment with roflumilast similarly attenuated PH development due to chronic hypoxia. Treatment of human PA-SMCs with roflumilast N-oxide, the active metabolite of roflumilast, at concentrations up to 10(-6) M, potentiated PA-SMC growth inhibition induced by prostacyclin (10(-6) M) or interleukin-1beta (10 ng x ml(-1)) but was inactive on its own. In conclusion, the PDE4 inhibitor roflumilast significantly attenuates pulmonary vascular remodeling and hypertension induced by chronic hypoxia or MCT and reverses established PH after MCT administration.