Phosphodiesterase inhibitors for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Andrea Küthe, Francesco Montorsi, Karl Erik Andersson, Christian G. Stief

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The key event in penile erection is relaxation of the cavernous smooth muscle. As phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are key enzymes of the signaling pathway, knowledge about cavernous PDEs is of major importance in understanding the effects and side-effect profile of new and selective pharmacological agents for erectile dysfunction. Experimental studies revealed that gene transcripts of 14 different PDE isoenzymes are present in human cavernous tissue. Of these, PDE3 and 5 have the most prominent functional role. The effects and side effects of clinically available PDE5 inhibitors can be explained both by the distribution pattern of these two isoenzymes in various tissues, by direct inhibition of PDE5 and indirect inhibition of PDE3 in various tissues, and by the putative selectivity for a cavernous-specific PDE splice variant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1495
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Investigational Drugs
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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