Hemodynamic effects of a soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator, Riociguat, and an activator, Cinaciguat, during NO-modulation in healthy pigs
Cardiovascular diseases are often characterized by dysfunctional endothelium. To compensate for the related lack of nitric oxide (NO), a class of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulators and activators have been developed with the purpose of acting downstream of NO in the NO-sGC-cGMP cascade. These drugs have been discovered using photoaffinity labeling of sGC and high-throughput screening of a vast number of chemical compounds. Therefore, an understanding of the integrated physiological effects of these drugs in vivo is necessary on the path to clinical application. We have characterized the integrated hemodynamic impact of the sGC stimulator riociguat and the activator cinaciguat in different NO-states in healthy juvenile pigs (n = 30). We assessed the vascular effects in both systemic and pulmonary circulation, the contractile effects in the right and left ventricles, and the effects on diastolic cardiac functions. Nitric oxide-tone in these pigs were set by using the NO-blocker l-NAME and by infusion of nitroglycerine. The studies show a more pronounced vasodilatory effect in the systemic than pulmonary circulation for both drugs. Riociguat acts integrated with NO in an additive manner, while cinaciguat, in principle, completely blocks the endogenous NO effect on vascular control. Neither compound demonstrated pronounced cardiac effects but had unloading effect on both systolic and diastolic function. Thus, riociguat can potentially act in various disease states as a mean to increase NO-tone if systemic vasodilation can be balanced. Cinaciguat is a complicated drug to apply clinically due to its almost complete lack of integration in the NO-tone and balance.