Selective Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Respiratory Disease

  • N. A. Jones
  • D. Spina
  • C. P. Page
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 161)


At least 11 families of distinct phosphodiesterase (PDE) isoenzymes are known to regulate the function of many cells secondary to altering the intracellular levels of second messengers including cyclic 3′,5′-monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and cyclic 3′,5′-guanosine monophosphate (cyclic GMP). While there is a wide distribution of these enzymes throughout the body, advances in our understanding of the molecular aspects of PDEs and accurate determination of their cellular distribution has allowed development of isoenzyme-selective inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents. Cells thought to participate in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), preferentially express PDE4. This finding has stimulated the search for highly selective inhibitors of these enzymes. Such drugs offer an exciting opportunity to selectively downregulate inflammatory cell function as a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of airway disease.


Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor Inflammation Asthma COPD 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. A. Jones
    • 1
  • D. Spina
    • 1
  • C. P. Page
    • 1
  1. 1.The Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics DivisionGKT School of Biomedical Sciences, King’s College LondonLondonUK

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