Background: Severe burn injury initiates a feedback cycle of inflammation, fibrosis, oxidative stress and cardiac mitochondrial damage via the PDE5A-cGMP-PKG pathway. Aim: To test if the PDE5A-cGMP-PKG pathway may contribute to burn-induced heart dysfunction. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were divided four groups: sham; sham/sildenafil; 24 h post burn (60% total body surface area scald burn, harvested at 24 h post burn); and 24 h post burn/sildenafil. We monitored heart function and oxidative adducts, as well as cardiac inflammatory, cardiac fibrosis and cardiac remodeling responses in vivo. Results: Sildenafil inhibited the burn-induced PDE5A mRNA level and increased the cGMP level and PKG activity, leading to the normalization of PKG down-regulated genes (IRAG, PLB, RGS2, RhoA and MYTP), a decreased ROS level (H2O2), decreased oxidatively modified adducts (malonyldialdehyde [MDA], carbonyls), attenuated fibrogenesis as well as fibrosis gene expression (ANP, BNP, COL1A2, COL3A2, αSMA and αsk-Actin), and reduced inflammation and related gene expression (RELA, IL-18 and TGF-β) after the burn. Additionally, sildenafil treatment preserved left ventricular heart function (CO, EF, SV, LVvol at systolic, LVPW at diastolic and FS) and recovered the oxidant/antioxidant balance (total antioxidant, total SOD activity and Cu,ZnSOD activity). Conclusions: The PDE5A-cGMP-PKG pathway mediates burn-induced heart dysfunction. Sildenafil treatment recovers burn-induced cardiac dysfunction.
- burn injury
- oxidative stress