cGMP mediated smooth muscle vasodilators

00:00 / 00:00


cGMP mediated smooth muscle vasodilators


0 / 27 complete


cGMP mediated smooth muscle vasodilators

of complete

External References

First Aid









hydralazine p. 325

β -blockers p. 247

hydralazine and p. 325

cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate)

hydralazine and p. 325

Headache p. 536

hydralazine p. 325

Heart failure p. 318

hydralazine for p. 323

Hydralazine p. 325

gestational hypertension p. 324, 667

heart failure p. 318

Lupus-like syndrome

hydralazine p. 325


cGMP-mediated smooth muscle vasodilators, as their name implies, are medications that promote dilation of blood vessels by potentiating the effect of cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP for short. These medications are mainly used to treat hypertension, heart failure, and angina pectoris, which is a pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. All right, first, let’s focus on the structure of blood vessels. Blood vessels have three layers, also called “tunics,” or coverings, that surround the vessel lumen, which is the hollow part of the vessel that contains the blood. The innermost tunic is the tunica intima, which includes the endothelial cells; the next one is the tunica media, or middle tunic, which is mostly made of smooth muscle cells and sheets of elastin protein; and finally, there’s the tunica externa, or outside tunic, which is made up of loosely woven fibers of collagen. Moreover, the tunica media can contract, causing vasoconstriction, where the lumen gets a lot smaller; or it can relax, or vasodilate, causing the lumen’s diameter to increase, allowing for more blood flow.

Now, within endothelial cells of the tunica intima, there’s an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase, which uses the amino acid L-arginine and molecular oxygen to synthesize nitric oxide or NO for short. Once synthesized, nitric oxide diffuses to adjacent smooth muscle cells in the tunica media, where it binds and activates an enzyme guanylyl cyclase. This enzyme converts guanosine triphosphate, GTP, into cyclic guanosine monophosphate, cGMP, which is a second messenger that induces relaxation of smooth muscle cells in vessel walls. All right, now moving on to pharmacology. cGMP-mediated smooth muscle vasodilators are subdivided into two main groups: antianginal medications, which are used to treat anginal pain, when oxygen delivery to the heart is inadequate for normal heart function; and antihypertensive medications, which are used to treat high blood pressure.


cGMP, or cyclic guanosine monophosphate, is a second messenger that mediates smooth muscle relaxation in response to various vasoactive agents such as nitric oxide (NO). cGMP-mediated smooth muscle vasodilators, are drugs that promote vasodilation by increasing the effect of cGMP. These drugs include hydralazine and nitroprusside, used to treat hypertension, and nitrates used to treat angina pectoris.


  1. "Katzung & Trevor's Pharmacology Examination and Board Review,12th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  2. "Rang and Dale's Pharmacology" Elsevier (2019)
  3. "Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 13th Edition" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2017)
  4. "Hurst's the Heart, 14th Edition: Two Volume Set" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2017)
  5. "Formation of Nitric Oxide by Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2 Is Necessary and Sufficient for Vascular Bioactivation of Nitroglycerin" Journal of Biological Chemistry (2016)
  6. "Inhibition of sustained smooth muscle contraction by PKA and PKG preferentially mediated by phosphorylation of RhoA" American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (2003)

Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.

Cookies are used by this site.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.