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PDE1 inhibition modulates Cav1.2 channel to stimulate cardiomyocyte contraction

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

Posted 05 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.05.368852

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 (β-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 β-AR stimulation or blockade, and with less intracellular calcium rise than β-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 β-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 β-AR responses. Whereas β-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 β-ARs and/or PDE3i. PDE1i could be a novel positive inotrope for failing hearts without the toxicities of β-ARs and PDE3i. ### Competing Interest Statement Dr. David Kass is a consultant with Intracellular Therapies Inc., manufacturer of ITI-214 that is used in this study.

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