The nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (NO/cGMP) signaling appears to play a key role in inhibiting neuroinflammation and preventing the activation of a proapoptotic pathway, thereby promoting neural cell survival. In addition, evidence indicates that cGMP/protein kinase G (PKG) pathway is involved in the modulation of glial cell activity. Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5), which hydrolyzes cGMP in the inactive form, 5ʹGMP, is present throughout the body and brain and has emerged as a potential therapeutic target for diseases related to neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative processes, since their inhibition leads to accumulation of cGMP. The objective of this chapter is to review current knowledge of NO/cGMP signaling pathways on neuroinflammation and the potential therapeutic use of PDE5 inhibitors (PDE5-Is) in neurological diseases. The extensive, while recent, literature on the effects of PDE-Is on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and stroke has been reviewed.
Part of the book: Mechanisms of Neuroinflammation