The biological role of cyclic GMP in vascular smooth muscle regulation is a relatively new concept that had its debut at a time when the biological signifiÂ cance of alterations in cellular levels of cyclic GMP was itself a controversial issue. Indeed, even today the physiological importance of this cyclic nucleotide remains unclear, although recent studies may be on the verge of providing important new insights. Information on the regulatory role of cyclic AMP, on the other hand, is far more prevalent, probably because such studies comÂ menced about fifteen years prior to those on cyclic GMP, and many more investigators are presently studying cyclic AMP than are studying cyclic GMP. Progress in cyclic GMP research seems to have been thwarted somewhat because certain concepts developed in the mid-1970s no longer appear to be tenable. Due in part to the paucity of basic information on cyclic GMP at the time, incompletely tested hypotheses were forwarded that suggested that cyclic GMP might be involved in the contraction of smooth muscle, including vascular smooth muscle. This was an attractive hypothesis because other studies had suggested that cyclic AMP was involved in smooth muscle relaxaÂ tion, thereby providing the intriguing concept
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology – Annual Reviews
Published: Apr 1, 1985
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