Changes in renal hemodynamics have a major impact on blood pressure (BP). Angiotensin (Ang) II has been shown to induce vascular dysfunction by interacting with phosphodiesterase (PDE)1 and PDE5. The predominant PDE isoform responsible for renal vascular dysfunction in hypertension is unknown. Here, we measured the effects of PDE5 (sildenafil) or PDE1 (vinpocetine) inhibition on renal blood flow (RBF), BP, and renal vascular function in normotensive and hypertensive mice. During acute short-term Ang II infusion, sildenafil decreased BP and increased RBF in C57BL/6 (WT) mice. In contrast, vinpocetine showed no effect on RBF and BP. Additionally, renal cGMP levels were significantly increased after acute sildenafil but not after vinpocetine infusion, indicating a predominant role of PDE5 in renal vasculature. Furthermore, chronic Ang II infusion (500 ng·kg−1·min−1) increased BP and led to impaired NO-dependent vasodilation in kidneys of WT mice. Additional treatment with sildenafil (100 mg·kg−1·day−1) attenuated Ang II-dependent hypertension and improved NO-mediated vasodilation. During chronic Ang II infusion, urinary nitrite excretion, a marker for renal NO generation, was increased in WT mice, whereas renal cGMP generation was decreased and restored after sildenafil treatment, suggesting a preserved cGMP signaling after PDE5 inhibition. To investigate the dependency of PDE5 effects on NO/cGMP signaling, we next analyzed eNOS-KO mice, a mouse model characterized by low vascular NO/cGMP levels. In eNOS-KO mice, chronic Ang II infusion increased BP but did not impair NO-mediated vasodilation. Moreover, sildenafil did not influence BP or vascular function in eNOS-KO mice. These results highlight PDE5 as a key regulator of renal hemodynamics in hypertension.
- renal blood flow
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