Tadalafil alters energy metabolism in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells.

  • Stefania Sabatini Unit of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy.;
  • Paolo Sgrò
  • Guglielmo Duranti
  • Roberta Ceci
  • Luigi Di Luigi


Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a family of enzymes that hydrolyze cyclic nucleotides, thereby modulating cell functions. Three highly selective PDE5 inhibitors (PDE5i), sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil, have been developed for treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). Experimental evidence showed that chronic treatment with sildenafil PDE5i in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance improved insulin action and decreased circulating fatty acid levels. It has recently been shown that healthy athletes use PDE5i as performance enhancers, hence in the present study we investigated whether the long-lasting PDE5i tadalafil influences energy metabolism in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells by evaluating lactate production, glucose consumption, and citrate synthase and 3-OH acyl CoA dehydrogenase activities. Our data demonstrate that tadalafil is able to modulate energy homeostasis in mouse skeletal muscle cells, depending on the treatment length and dose.