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Minerva Endocrinology 2022 Feb 04

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6507.21.03698-8


language: English

Effects of Tadalafil on skeletal muscle tissue: exploring interactions and novel mechanisms of action

Cristina ANTINOZZI 1 , Emanuela A. GRECO 1, 2, Paolo SGRÒ 1, Ivan DIMAURO 3, Antonio AVERSA 4, Luigi DI LUIGI 1

1 Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Health Science, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 3 Unit of Biology and Genetics of Movement, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy; 4 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy


Beside its mechanical roles in controlling posture and locomotion, skeletal muscle system, the largest insulin and steroid hormones target tissue, plays a key role in influencing thermoregulation, secondary sexual characteristics, hormones metabolism, and glucose uptake and storage, as well as energetic metabolism. Indeed, in addition to insulin, several hormones influence the skeletal muscle metabolism/function and/or are influenced by skeletal muscles activity (i.e., physical exercise). Particularly, steroid hormones play a key role in modulating many biological processes in muscles, essential for overall muscle’s function and homeostasis, both at rest and during all physical activities (i.e., physical exercise, muscular work). The phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) is the enzyme engaged to hydrolyze cGMP in inactive 5'- GMP form. Therefore, through the inhibition of this enzyme, the intracellular level of cGMP increases, and the cGMP-related cellular responses are prolonged. Different drugs inhibiting PDE5 (PDE5i) exist, the main of which commercially available are sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, and avanafil. The PDE5i tadalafil may influence cellular physiology and endocrine-metabolic pathways in skeletal muscles and exerts its functions both by activating the cell signaling linked to the insulin-related metabolic pathways and modulating the endocrine responses, protein catabolism and hormone-related anabolism/catabolism during and after physical exercise-related stress. Based on recent in vivo and in vitro findings, in this narrative review we summarized the available evidence describing the interactions between the PDE5i tadalafil and steroid hormones in skeletal muscle tissue and physical exercise adaptation, focusing our interest on their possible synergistic or competitive action(s) on muscle metabolism and function.

KEY WORDS: Tadalafil; Skeletal muscle; Steroid hormones; Physical exercise

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