Skip to content


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Cardio-renal protection of riociguat (BAY 63-2521) in low- and high-renin models of hypertension

  • 1, 2,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 2,
  • 4, 5,
  • 2,
  • 4, 6,
  • 2,
  • 2 and
  • 4, 5Email author
BMC Pharmacology20099(Suppl 1):P30

Published: 11 August 2009


  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Glomerulosclerosis
  • Guanylate Cyclase
  • Plasma Creatinine
  • Target Organ Damage


Riociguat (BAY 63-2521) is a direct NO-independent stimulator of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) and is being investigated as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of different forms of pulmonary hypertension in clinical phase III trials. The NO-sGC-cGMP signal transduction pathway is impaired in different cardiovascular diseases, including pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and arterial hypertension. We thus investigated the cardio-renal protective effects of riociguat in low-renin and high-renin rat models of hypertension.

Materials and methods

The cardiovascular consequences of sGC stimulation were evaluated by the long-term effects of riociguat in hypertensive renin-transgenic (TG(mRRen2)27) rats treated with the NOS inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME). This high-renin study lasted 18 days and contained 3 groups: control (n = 24), 3 mg/kg (n = 12) and 10 mg/kg (n = 12) riociguat orally once daily. Rats with 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6 NX) were used as low-renin model of hypertension. This low-renin study lasted 18 weeks and contained 3 groups: 5/6 NX (n = 15), 5/6 NX + riociguat (300 ppm in the solid feed; n = 12) and sham-operation (n = 10). Blood pressure was assessed via tail-cuff repeatedly, at the end of the study all animals were sacrificed, blood and organ samples were harvested for further studies.


In the high-renin study part, the beneficial effects of riociguat are emphasized by a significantly increased survival in both dosages (riociguat low dose: 92%, riociguat high dose: 100% vs 46% in L-NAME treated rennin transgenic rats). In the low-renin study, overall survival was higher: 5/6 NX 60%, 5/6 NX + riociguat 73%, sham 100%. In both models the blood pressure was significantly reduced by riociguat. Moreover, in the high-renin study part riociguat reduced cardiac target organ damage as indicated by lower plasma ANP, lower relative left ventricular weight and lower cardiac interstitial fibrosis and reduced renal target organ damage as indicated by lower plasma creatinine and urea, less glomerulosclerosis and less renal interstitial fibrosis. In the low-renin study part riociguat reduced cardiac target organ damage as indicated by lower plasma ANP, lower relative left ventricular weight, lower myocyte diameter and lower arterial media/lumen ratio and reduced renal target organ damage as indicated by improved creatinine clearance and less renal interstitial fibrosis.


We demonstrate for the first time that the novel sGC stimulator riociguat shows in two independent models of hypertension a potent protection against cardiac and renal target organ damage.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Nephrology, Charité, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charité, Center for Cardiovascular Research, Berlin, Germany
Pathology, Research Centre, Bayer HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany
Cardiology Research, Bayer HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany
School of Pharmacy, Martin-Luther-University, Halle, Germany
Department of Pharmacology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany


© Kalk et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.