Monday, June 11, 2007

Use Viagra to recover from jet lag?

I always perk up when I see reports of new side effects of sildenafil (Viagra), because it is an inhibitor of one form of an enzyme, cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase, that my earlier research showed to be central to changing light into a nerve signal in the rod and cone cells of our retinas (check here if you are curious about this previous life..). One of the interesting side effects of viagra is on color vision. Here is another interesting bit from Agostino et al. in PNAS:

Mammalian circadian rhythms are generated by a master clock located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei and entrained by light-activated signaling pathways. In hamsters, the mechanism responsible for light-induced phase advances involves the activation of guanylyl cyclase, cGMP and its related kinase (PKG). It is not completely known whether interference with this pathway affects entrainment of the clock, including adaptation to changing light schedules. Here we report that cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase 5 is present in the hamster suprachiasmatic nuclei, and administration of the inhibitor sildenafil (3.5 mg/kg, i.p.) enhances circadian responses to light and decreases the amount of time necessary for reentrainment after phase advances of the light–dark cycle. These results suggest that sildenafil may be useful for treatment of circadian adaptation to environmental changes, including transmeridian eastbound flight schedules.

2 comments:

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Tono Jorquera said...

In hamsters, the mechanism responsible for light-induced phase advances involves the activation of guanylyl cyclase, cGMP and its related kinase (PKG). keep reading

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