Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors tadalafil and sildenafil potentiate nitrergic-nerve mediated relaxations in the bladder vasculature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Downloads (Pure)


Recent studies suggest that lower urinary tract dysfunction may arise due to changes in local perfusion. Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors can improve urinary bladder blood flow, although the local mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The aim was to pharmacologically characterise the vascular supply to the bladder and determine the mechanisms underlying the effects of the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors tadalafil and sildenafil. Responses of isolated rings of porcine superior vesical arteries to electrical field stimulation (EFS) were measured in the absence and presence of inhibitors of key neurotransmitter systems. Vasodilation responses to nitric oxide (NO) donors were also recorded, and the effects of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors on all responses determined. EFS caused biphasic responses with an initial vasoconstriction and a slower developing vasodilation. Vasoconstriction was mediated by ATP (55%) and noradrenaline (45%) release, whilst vasodilation was reduced by L-NNA (100 μM) (80%) and propranolol (1 μM) (20%). The nitrergic component was inhibited (81%) by L-NPA, a selective inhibitor of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). Endothelial removal did not affect vasodilation. Tadalafil and sildenafil depressed noradrenaline-evoked vasoconstriction (by 26.8% and 35.5% respectively, P < 0.01), enhanced vasodilation to EFS (by 27.8% and 51.8% respectively, p < 0.01) and enhanced responses to NO donors nitroprusside, SIN-1, and SNAP, increasing pIC 50 values (P < 0.01), without affecting maximal responses. In conclusion, neuronal NOS has a predominant role in regulating vascular tone of the porcine superior vesical artery and potentiation of nNO-mediated vasodilation is the primary mechanism underlying effects of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors in the bladder vasculature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176152
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors tadalafil and sildenafil potentiate nitrergic-nerve mediated relaxations in the bladder vasculature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this