The natriuretic peptide (NP) and nitric oxide (NO) systems are activated in congestive heart failure (CHF), resulting in increased synthesis of cGMP, which serves as a second messenger for both humoral systems. These two regulatory systems play functional roles in the preservation of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and sodium excretion in both acute and chronic CHF. A progressive decline in glomerular responsiveness to atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) characterizes the terminal stage of chronic CHF despite elevation of plasma ANP. Phosphodiesterase isozymes (PDEs) are integral factors in determining cellular content and accumulation of cGMP, and up-regulation of PDE activity could participate in the glomerular resistance to ANP in severe CHF. To date, characterization of possible alteration of glomerular PDE isoxyme activities in CHF is unknown, as is the in vitro glomerular response to the nitric oxide-soluble guanylyl cyclase pathway. We, therefore, first determined cGMP generation in response to particulate and soluble guanylyl cyclase activation by ANP and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) in isolated glomeruli from normal (N = 6) and CHF dogs (N = 5) in which CHF was induced by rapid ventricular pacing for 18 to 28 days. Secondly, we explored the presence of major PDE isoxymes in glomeruli isolated from the control and CHF dogs. When ANP or SNP (10-10 to 10-4 M) were incubated with the suspension of isolated glomeruli, cGMP accumulation was lower by -72 to -96% with ANP and -42 to -77% with SNP in all glomerular medias obtained from CHF compared to controls. PDE hydrolyzing activity of both cAMP and cGMP were higher in the glomerular homogenates obtained from the kidneys of the CHF group (N = 5) compared to those of the control group (N = 5). We conclude that in severe chronic experimental CHF, glomerular cGMP accumulation decreases in response to both ANP and SNP, and CHF is characterized by enhanced cAMP- and cGMP-PDE activities that may participate in glomerular maladaptation to this cardiovascular syndrome.
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