Original Article: PDF OnlyMuller Bernard; Lugnier, Claire; Stoclet, Jean-ClaudeJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: November 1990 - p 796-803 Free Abstract Summary: The involvement of rolipram-sensitive phosphodiesterase (PDE IV) in regulation of cardiac contraction was investigated by studying the effect of selective inhibitors (rolipram, denbufylline, Ro 20-1724) on guinea pig left atria contraction. In contrast to milrinone and SK&F 94120 (inhibitors of the cyclic GMP-inhibited PDE, PDE III), (±)-rolipram and denbufylline (0.1-30 µM) did not produce any positive inotropic effect in normal (2.5 m M) or elevated (3-3.2 m M) external CaCl2 concentration. In these conditions, Ro 20-1724 produced only a slight but significant increase of contraction over control levels. In the presence of forskolin (an adenylate cyclase activator) or SK&F 94120 (a PDE III inhibitor), which produced an increase of the response to electrical stimulation of ˜10%, (±)-rolipram, denbufylline, and Ro 20-1724 all exerted concentration-dependent positive inotropic effects (mean EC50 values were 20, 25, and 125 n M, respectively, in the presence of forskolin). Rolipram exhibited stereospecificity: the (-)-enantiomer was 10 times more potent than the (+)-enantiomer. Neither preincubation of the atria with atenolol nor pretreatment of the guinea pigs with reserpine significantly modified the effect of PDE IV inhibitors obtained in the presence of forskolin. These data show that in the presence of cyclic AMP-dependent positive inotropic agents, PDE IV inhibitors exert a positive inotropic effect which probably does not involve enhanced catecholamine release from sympathetic nerve endings. This suggests that PDE IV may play a role in regulation of cardiac contraction in physiologic conditions in which the sympathetic outflow produces a stimulation of adenylate cyclase in cardiac cells © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.