The role of soluble Guanylyl Cyclase in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Constantinos Glynos, Lisa L. Dupont, Theodoros Vassilakopoulos, Andreas Papapetropoulos, Peter Brouckaert, Athanassios Giannis, Guy F. Joos, Ken R. Bracke, Guy G. Brusselle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Rationale: Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), a cyclic guanosine 59-monophosphategenerating enzyme, regulates smooth muscle toneandexerts antiinflammatoryeffects in animal modelsof asthma and acute lung injury. In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), primarily caused by cigarette smoke (CS), lung inflammation persists and smooth muscle tone remains elevated, despite ample amounts of nitric oxide that could activate sGC. Objectives: To determine the expression and function of sGCin patients with COPD and in a murine model of COPD. Methods: Expression of sGCa1, a2, and b1 subunits was examined in lungs of never-smokers, smokers without airflow limitation, and patients with COPD; and in C57BL/6 mice after 3 days, 4 weeks, and 24 weeks of CS exposure. The functional role of sGC was investigated in vivo by measuring bronchial responsiveness to serotonin in mice using genetic and pharmacologic approaches. Measurements and Main Results: Pulmonary expression of sGC, both at mRNA and protein level, was decreased in smokers without airflow limitation and in patients with COPD, and correlated with disease severity (FEV1%). Inmice, exposure to CS reduced sGC, cyclic guanosine 59-monophosphate levels, and protein kinase G activity. sGCa12/2 mice exposed to CS exhibited bronchial hyperresponsiveness to serotonin. Activation of sGC by BAY 58-2667 restored the sGC signaling and attenuated bronchial hyperresponsiveness in CS-exposed mice. Conclusions: Down-regulation of sGC because of CS exposure might contribute to airflow limitation in COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-799
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Soluble guanylyl cyclase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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