Formation of nitric oxide and its derivative reactive nitrogen species during endotoxemia has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the associated cardiovascular dysfunction. This stress can promote nitrosative post-translational modifications of proteins that may alter their activity and contribute to dysregulation. We utilised the ascorbate-dependent biotin-switch method to assay protein S-nitrosylation and immunoblotted for tyrosine nitration to monitor changes in nitrosative protein oxidation during endotoxemia. Hearts from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rats showed no apparent variation in global protein S-nitrosylation, but this may be due to the poor sensitivity of the biotin-switch method. To sensitise our monitoring of protein S-nitrosylation we exposed isolated hearts to the efficient trans-nitrosylating agent nitrosocysteine (which generated a robust biotin-switch signal) and then identified a number of target proteins using mass spectrometry. We were then able to probe for these target proteins in affinity-capture preparations of S-nitrosylated proteins prepared from vehicle- or LPS-treated animals. Unexpectedly this showed a time-dependent loss in S-nitrosylation during sepsis, which we hypothesised, may be due to concomitant superoxide formation that may lower nitric oxide but simultaneously generate the tyrosine-nitrating agent peroxynitrite. Indeed, this was confirmed by immunoblotting for global tyrosine nitration, which increased time-dependently and temporally correlated with a decrease in mean arterial pressure. We assessed if tyrosine nitration was causative in lowering blood pressure using the putative peroxynitrite scavenger FeTPPS. However, FeTPPS was ineffective in reducing global protein nitration and actually exacerbated LPS-induced hypotension.
sepsis; lipopolysaccharide; nitrosative; S-nitrosylation; nitration; blood pressure
Nitric oxide synthases (NOSs) have been shown to modulate thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical hypersensitivity in inflammatory and neuropathic pain. However, little is known about the effect of NOSs on baseline function of sensory nerve fibers. Using genetic deficiency and pharmacologic inhibition of NOSs, we examined the impact of the three isoforms NOS1, NOS2, and NOS3 on baseline nocifensive behavior by measuring current vocalization threshold in response to electrical stimulation at 5, 250, 2000 Hz that preferentially stimulate C, Aδ, and Aβ fibers. In response to 5, 250 and 2000 Hz, NOS1-deficient animals had significantly higher current vocalization thresholds compared with wild-type. Genetic deficiency of NOS2 was associated with higher current vocalization thresholds in response to 5 Hz (C-fiber) stimulation. In contrast, NOS3-deficient animals had an overall weak trend toward lower current vocalization thresholds at 5 Hz and significantly lower current vocalization threshold compared with wild-type animals at 250 and 2000 Hz. Therefore, NOSs distinctively affect baseline mouse current vocalization threshold and appear to play a role on nocifensive response to electrical stimulation of sensory nerve fibers.
Nociception; Pain; Vocalization; Nitric oxide; Mouse
Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) is a key protein in the nitric oxide (NO)/-cGMP signaling pathway. sGC activity is involved in a number of important physiological processes including smooth muscle relaxation, neurotransmission and platelet aggregation and adhesion. Regulation of sGC expression and activity emerges as a crucial factor in control of sGC function in normal and pathological conditions. Recently accumulated evidence strongly indicates that the regulation of sGC expression is a complex process modulated on several levels including transcription, post-transcriptional regulation, translation and protein stability. Presently our understanding of mechanisms governing regulation of sGC expression remains very limited and awaits systematic investigation. Among other ways, the expression of sGC subunits is modulated at the levels of mRNA abundance and transcript diversity. In this review we summarize available information on different mechanisms (including transcriptional activation, mRNA stability and alternative splicing) involved in the modulation of mRNA levels of sGC subunits in response to various environmental clues. We also summarize and cross-reference the information on human sGC splice forms available in the literature and in genomic databases. This review highlights the fact that the study of the biological role and regulation of sGC splicing will bring new insights to our understanding of NO/cGMP biology.
nitric oxide; soluble guanylyl cyclase; splicing; regulation
The biosynthesis of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin share many similarities. Two major forms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX) have been identified: constitutive vs inducible. In general, the constitutive form functions in housekeeping and physiologic roles whereas the inducible form is up-regulated by mitogenic or inflammatory stimuli and is responsible for pathophysiological responses. The cross talk between the COX and NOS pathways was initially reported 1993 and since then, numerous studies have been undertaken to delineate the functional consequences of this interaction as well as the potential mechanism by which each pathway interacts. This review will focus in particular on recent advances in this field that extend our understanding of these two pathways under various systems.
nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; cyclooxygenase; prostaglandin; s-nitrosylation; peroxynitrite
Nitric oxide (NO) is present in exhaled breath and is generally considered to be a noninvasive marker of airway inflammation, and is thus of particular relevance to monitoring asthma. NO is produced when l-arginine is converted to l-citrulline by NO synthase (NOS); however, l-arginine is also the substrate for arginase and both enzymes are upregulated in asthma. Recent reports have speculated that enhanced expression of one or both enzymes could lead to a limitation in substrate availability, and hence impact downstream targets or markers such as exhaled NO. The non-linear nature and vastly different kinetics of the enzymes make predictions difficult, particularly over the wide range of enzyme activity between baseline and inflammation. In this study, we developed a steady state model of l-arginine transmembrane transport, NO production, diffusion, and gas phase NO release from lung epithelial cells. We validated our model with experimental results of gas phase NO release and intracellular l-arginine concentration in A549 cells, and then performed a sensitivity analysis to determine relative impact of each enzyme on NO production. Our model predicts intracellular l-arginine and gas phase NO release over a wide range of initial extracellular l-arginine concentrations following stimulation with cytomix (10 ng/ml TNF-α, IL-1β, and INF-γ). Relative sensitivity analysis demonstrates that enhanced arginase activity has little impact on l-arginine bioavailability for NOS. In addition, NOS activity is the dominant parameter which impacts gas phase NO release.
Arginase; Nitric oxide synthase; l-Arginine
Nitric oxide (NO) regulates vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) structure and function, in part by activating soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) to synthesize cGMP. The objective of this study was to further characterize the signaling mechanisms by which NO regulates VSMC gene expression using transcription profiling. DNA microarrays were hybridized with RNA extracted from rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (RPaSMC) exposed to the NO donor compound, S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO). Many of the genes, whose expression was induced by GSNO, contain a cAMP-response element (CRE), of which one encoded the inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER). sGC and cAMP-dependent protein kinase, but not cGMP-dependent protein kinase, were required for NO-mediated phosphorylation of CRE-binding protein (CREB) and induction of ICER gene expression. Expression of a dominant-negative CREB in RPaSMC prevented the NO-mediated induction of CRE-dependent gene transcription and ICER gene expression. Pre-treatment of RPaSMC with the intracellular calcium (Ca2+) chelator, BAPTA-AM, blocked the induction of ICER gene expression by GSNO. The store-operated Ca2+ channel inhibitors, 2-ABP and SKF-96365, reduced the GSNO-mediated increase in ICER mRNA levels, while 2-ABP did not inhibit GSNO-induced CREB phosphorylation. Our results suggest that induction of ICER gene expression by NO requires both CREB phosphorylation and Ca2+ signaling. Transcription profiling of RPaSMC exposed to GSNO revealed important roles for sGC, PKA, CREB, and Ca2+ in the regulation of gene expression by NO. The induction of ICER in GSNO-treated RPaSMC highlights a novel cross-talk mechanism between cGMP and cAMP signaling pathways.
nitric oxide; vascular smooth muscle; cAMP-response element; cyclic GMP; protein kinase A
Induction and activation of nitric oxide (NO) synthases (NOS) and excessive production of NO are common features of almost all diseases associated with infection and acute or chronic inflammation, although the contribution of NO to the pathophysiology of these diseases is highly multifactorial and often still a matter of controversy. Because of its direct impact on tissue oxygenation and cellular oxygen (O2) consumption and redistribution, the ability of NO to regulate various aspects of hypoxia-induced signaling has received widespread attention. Conditions of tissue hypoxia and the activation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) have been implicated in hypoxia or in cancer biology, but are also being increasingly recognized as important features of acute and chronic inflammation. Thus, the activation of HIF transcription factors has been increasingly implicated in inflammatory diseases, and recent studies have indicated its critical importance in regulating phagocyte function, inflammatory mediator production, and regulation of epithelial integrity and repair processes. Finally, HIF also appears to contribute to important features of tissue fibrosis and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, processes that are associated with tissue remodeling in various non-malignant chronic inflammatory disorders. In this review, we briefly summarize the current state of knowledge with respect to the general mechanisms involved in HIF regulation and the impact of NO on HIF activation. Secondly, we will summarize the major recent findings demonstrating a role for HIF signaling in infection, inflammation, and tissue repair and remodeling, and will address the involvement of NO. The growing interest in hypoxia-induced signaling and its relation with NO biology is expected to lead to further insights into the complex roles of NO in acute or chronic inflammatory diseases and may point to the importance of HIF signaling as key feature of NO-mediated events during these disorders.
Recent data suggest that transitions between the relaxed (R) and tense (T) state of hemoglobin control the reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide (NO) by deoxyhemoglobin. This reaction may play a role in physiologic NO homeostasis and be a novel consideration for the development of the next generation of hemoglobin-based blood oxygen carriers (HBOCs, i.e. artificial blood substitutes). Herein we tested the effects of chemical stabilization of bovine hemoglobin in either the T- (THb) or R-state (RHb) on nitrite reduction kinetics, NO-gas formation and ability to stimulate NO-dependent signaling. These studies were performed over a range of fractional saturations that is expected to mimic biological conditions. The initial rate for nitrite-reduction decreased in the following order RHb > bHb > THb, consistent with the hypothesis that the rate constant for nitrite reduction is faster with R-state Hb and slower with T-state Hb. Moreover, RHb produced more NO-gas and inhibited mitochondrial respiration more potently than both bHb and THb. Interestingly, at low oxygen fractional saturations, THb produced more NO and stimulated nitrite-dependent vasodilation more potently than bHb despite both derivatives having similar initial rates for nitrite reduction and a more negative reduction potential in THb versus bHb. These data suggest that cross-linking of bovine hemoglobin in the T-state conformation leads to a more effective coupling of nitrite reduction to NO-formation. Our results support the model of allosteric regulation of nitrite reduction by deoxyhemoglobin and show that cross-linking hemoglobins in distinct quaternary states can generate products with increased NO yields from nitrite reduction that could be harnessed to promote NO-signaling in vivo.
Hypoxia; blood flow; oxygen sensing; blood substitute; nitrite reduction
Ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury is a central component in the pathogenesis of several diseases and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world. Subcellularly, mitochondrial dysfunction, characterized by depletion of ATP, calcium-induced opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and exacerbated reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, plays an integral role in the progression of IR injury. Nitric oxide (NO) and more recently nitrite (NO2-) are known to modulate mitochondrial function, mediate cytoprotection after IR and have been implicated in the signaling of the highly protective ischemic preconditioning (IPC) program. Here, we review what is known about the role of NO and nitrite in cytoprotection after IR and consider the putative role of nitrite in IPC. Focus is placed on the potential cytoprotective mechanisms involving NO and nitrite-dependent modulation of mitochondrial function.
The distinctive function of nitric oxide (NO) in biology is to transmit cellular signals through membranes and regulate cellular functions in adjacent cells. NO conveys signals as a second messenger from a cell where NO is generated to contiguous cells in two ways; one is as gaseous molecule by free diffusion resulting in an activation of soluble guanylate cyclase (NO/cGMP pathway), and another form is by binding with a molecule such as cysteine or protein thiol through S-nitrosylation (SNO pathway). Both pathways transmit much of the biological influence of NO from cell where other messenger molecules but NO are confined, through the plasma membrane to the adjacent cells. Since SNO pathway cannot utilize free-diffusion mechanism to get through the membrane as the molecular size is significantly larger than NO molecule, it utilizes amino acid transporter to convey signals as a form of S-nitrosylated cysteine (CysNO). Although S-nitrosylated glutathione (GSNO) is the molecule which act as a determinant of the total S-nitrosothiol level in cell, transnitrosylation reaction from GSNO to CysNO is an initial requirement to pass through signal through the membrane. Thus, multiplexed combination of these steps and the regulatory factors involved in this system conform and modify the outcome from stimulus-response coupling via the SNO pathway.
nitrosylation; SNO; transnitrosylation; signal transduction; transmembrane
The gaseous mediator hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is synthesized mainly by cystathionine gamma-lyase in the heart and plays a role in the regulation of cardiovascular homeostasis. Here we first overview the state of the art in the literature on the cardioprotective effects of H2S in various models of cardiac injury. Subsequently, we present original data showing the beneficial effects of parenteral administration of a donor of H2S on myocardial and endothelial function during reperfusion in a canine experimental model of cardiopulmonary bypass. Overview of the literature demonstrates that various formulations of H2S exert cardioprotective effects in cultured cells, isolated hearts and various rodent and large animal models of regional or global myocardial ischemia and heart failure. In addition, the production of H2S plays a role in myocardial pre- and post-conditioning responses. The pathways implicated in the cardioprotective action of H2S are multiple and involve KATP channels, regulation of mitochondrial respiration, and regulation of cytoprotective genes such as Nrf-2. In the experimental part of the current article, we demonstrate the cardioprotective effects of H2S in a canine model of cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Anesthetized dogs were subjected hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass with 60 minutes of hypothermic cardiac arrest in the presence of either saline (control, n=8), or H2S infusion (1 mg/kg/h for 2 h). Left ventricular hemodynamic variables (via combined pressure-volume-conductance catheter) as well as coronary blood flow, endothelium-dependent vasodilatation to acetylcholine and endothelium-independent vasodilatation to sodium nitroprusside were measured at baseline and after 60 minutes of reperfusion. Ex vivo vascular function and high-energy phosphate contents were also measured. H2S led to a significantly better recovery of preload recruitable stroke work (p<0.05) after 60 minutes of reperfusion. Coronary blood flow was also significantly higher in the H2S group (p<0.05). While the vasodilatory response to sodium nitroprusside was similar in both groups, acetylcholine resulted in a significantly higher increase in coronary blood flow in the H2S-treated group (p<0.05) both in vivo and ex vivo. Furthermore, high-energy phosphate contents were better preserved in the H2S group. Additionally, the cytoprotective effects of H2S were confirmed also using in vitro cell culture experiments in H9c2 cardiac myocytes exposed to hypoxia and reoxygenation or to the cytotoxic oxidant hydrogen peroxide. Thus, therapeutic administration of H2S exerts cardioprotective effects in a variety of experimental models, including a significant improvement of the recovery of myocardial and endothelial function in a canine model of cardiopulmonary bypass with hypothermic cardiac arrest.
cardiopulmonary bypass; ischemia/reperfusion; cardiac function; vascular reactivity; myocardial protection; hydrogen sulfide
Nitric oxide (NO) is a messenger molecule that is highly diffusible and short-lived. Despite these two characteristics, seemingly unsuitable for intracellular reactions, NO modulates a variety of cellular processes via the mechanism of S-nitrosylation. An important factor that determines the specificity of S-nitrosylation as a signaling mechanism is the compartmentalization of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) with its target proteins. Endothelial NOS (eNOS) is unique among the NOS family members by being localized mainly near specific intracellular membrane domains including the cytoplasmic face of the Golgi apparatus and plasma membrane caveolae. Nitric oxide produced by eNOS localized on the Golgi apparatus can react with thiol groups on nearby Golgi proteins via a redox mechanism resulting in S-nitrosylation of these proteins. This modification influences their function as regulators of cellular processes such as protein trafficking (e.g., exocytosis and endocytosis), redox state, and cell cycle. Thus, eNOS-derived NO regulates a wide range of endothelial cell functions, such as inflammation, apoptosis, permeability, migration and cell growth.
NOS; endothelium; Golgi apparatus; trafficking; vesicles; cardiovascular
The mechanism(s) regulating nitric oxide synthase-1 (NOS1) localization within the cardiac myocytes in health and disease remains unknown. Here we tested the hypothesis that the PDZ binding-domain interaction between CAPON (carboxy-terminal PDZ ligand of NOS1), a NOS1 adaptor protein, contributes to NOS1 localization in specific organelles within cardiomyocytes. Ventricular cardiomyocytes and whole heart homogenates were isolated from sham and post-myocardial infarction (MI) wild-type (C57BL/6) and NOS1-/- female mice for quantification of CAPON protein expression levels. NOS1, CAPON, xanthine oxidoreductase and Dexras1, a CAPON binding partner, were all present and enriched in isolated cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) fractions. CAPON co-immunoprecipitated with the mu and alpha isoforms of NOS1 in whole heart lysates, and co-localization of CAPON and NOS1 was demonstrated in the SR and mitochondria with dual immuno-gold electron microscopy. Following MI, CAPON and NOS1 both redistributed to caveolae and co-localized with caveolin-3. In addition, following MI, expression level of CAPON remained unchanged and Dexras1 was reduced, CAPON binding to xanthine oxidoreductase was augmented and the plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) increased. In NOS1 deficient myocytes, CAPON abundance in the SR was reduced, and redistribution to caveolae and PMCA binding was absent. Together these findings support the hypothesis that NOS1 redistribution in injured myocardium requires the formation of a complex with the PDZ adaptor protein CAPON.
Nitric oxide synthase (NOS1); Heart failure; CAPON; PDZ- interaction; PMCA; Dexras1
Periadventitial delivery of the nitric oxide (NO) donor PROLI/NO following arterial injury effectively inhibits neointimal hyperplasia. Given the short half-life of NO release from PROLI/NO, our goal was to determine if inhibition of neointimal hyperplasia by PROLI/NO was due to NO, or its metabolites nitrite and nitrate.
Methods and Results
In vitro, the NO donor DETA/NO inhibited proliferation of rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (RASMC), but neither nitrite nor nitrate did. In vivo, following rat carotid artery balloon injury or injury plus the molar equivalents of PROLI/NO, nitrite, or nitrate (n=8–11/group), PROLI/NO was found to provide superior inhibition of neointimal hyperplasia (82% inhibition of intimal area, and 44% inhibition of medial area, p<0.001). Only modest inhibition was noted with nitrite or nitrate (45% and 41% inhibition of intimal area, and 31% and 29% inhibition of medial area, respectively, p<0.001). No effects on blood pressure were noted with any treatment groups. In vivo, only PROLI/NO inhibited cellular proliferation and increased arterial lumen area compared to injury alone (p<0.001). However, all three treatments inhibited inflammation (p<0.001).
PROLI/NO was more effective at inhibiting neointimal hyperplasia following arterial injury than nitrite or nitrate. However, modest inhibition of neointimal hyperplasia was observed with nitrite and nitrate, likely secondary to anti-inflammatory actions. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the efficacy of NO donors is primarily due to NO production and not its metabolites, nitrite and nitrate.
Peripheral Vascular Disease; Neointimal Hyperplasia; Nitric Oxide; Nitrite/Nitrate
Red blood cells (RBC) play an important role in the balance between generation and scavenging of nitric oxide (NO) and hence its local bioavailability and influence on vasomotor control. Previous studies have reported increased NO levels in RBC suspensions subsequent to exposure to shear forces; the present study was designed to further investigate changes in intracellular NO concentration and possible mechanisms involved for RBC exposed to well-controlled shear forces. Attached human RBC were subjected to shear stresses up to 0.1 Pa in a parallel-plate flow channel; fluorescent methods were used to monitor changes in intracellular NO and calcium concentrations. Intracellular NO concentration, estimated by the fluorescence level of 4-amino-5-methylamino-2′,7′-difluorofluorescein diacetate (DAF-FM), increased sharply within 30 s following the application of shear stress between 0.013 to 0.1 Pa. This increase was only partially prevented by the absence of L-arginine and by the presence of L-N-acetyl-methyl-arginine (L-NAME), strongly suggesting that this response was in part related to the activation of NO-synthase (NOS) enzyme. The increase in intracellular NO concentration under shear stress was also inhibited by calcium chelation in the suspending medium, indicating the role of calcium entry for NOS activation. Increases of intracellular calcium concentrations under the same shearing conditions were demonstrated by monitoring Fluo-3/AM fluorescence in RBC exposed to shear stress. Serine 1177 phosphorylated NOS protein, the activated form of the enzyme determined by immunohistochemistry, was found to be significantly increased following the exposure of RBC to 0.1 Pa shear stress for 1 min. These data confirm that RBC possess a NOS enzyme that is actively synthesizing NO and activated by effective shear forces. The data also suggest that there may be additional (e.g., non-enzymatic) NO generating mechanisms in RBC that are also enhanced under shear stress.
nitric oxide synthase; erythrocyte; shear stress; activation; intracellular calcium
► Inorganic nitrate supplementation does not alter endothelial function in healthy volunteers. ► Despite this, there was a reduction in blood pressure and improvement in arterial compliance. ► Improvements in vascular function are likely to contribute to the beneficial effects of inorganic nitrate on blood pressure.
Ingestion of inorganic nitrate elevates blood and tissue levels of nitrite via bioconversion in the entero-salivary circulation. Nitrite is converted to NO in the circulation, and it is this phenomenon that is thought to underlie the beneficial effects of inorganic nitrate in humans. Our previous studies have demonstrated that oral ingestion of inorganic nitrate decreases blood pressure and inhibits the transient endothelial dysfunction caused by ischaemia–reperfusion injury in healthy volunteers. However, whether inorganic nitrate might improve endothelial function per se in the absence of a pathogenic stimulus and whether this might contribute to the blood pressure lowering effects is yet unknown. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, crossover study in 14 healthy volunteers to determine the effects of oral inorganic nitrate (8 mmol KNO3) vs. placebo (8 mmol KCl) on endothelial function, measured by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery, prior to and 3 h following capsule ingestion. In addition, blood pressure (BP) was measured and aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) determined. Finally, blood, saliva and urine samples were collected for chemiluminescence analysis of [nitrite] and [nitrate] prior to and 3 h following interventions. Inorganic nitrate supplementation had no effect on endothelial function in healthy volunteers (6.9 ± 1.1% pre- to 7.1 ± 1.1% post-KNO3). Despite this, there was a significant elevation of plasma [nitrite] (0.4 ± 0.1 μM pre- to 0.7 ± 0.2 μM post-KNO3, p < 0.001). In addition these changes in [nitrite] were associated with a decrease in systolic BP (116.9 ± 3.8 mm Hg pre- vs. 112.1 ± 3.4 mm Hg post-KNO3, p < 0.05) and aPWV (6.5 ± 0.1 m/s pre- to 6.2 ± 0.1 post-KNO3, p < 0.01). In contrast KCl capsules had no effect on any of the parameters measured. These findings demonstrate that although inorganic nitrate ingestion does not alter endothelial function per se, it does appear to improve blood flow, in combination with a reduction in blood pressure. It is likely that these changes are due to the intra-vascular production of NO.
Nitrite; Endothelium; Human; Blood flow
Several studies suggested that long-term nitrate therapy may produce negative outcomes in patient mortality and morbidity. A possible mechanism may involve nitrate-mediated activation of various extracellular matrix (ECM) proteases, particularly matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and adhesion molecules in human macrophages, leading to the destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. We examined the gene and protein regulating effects on THP-1 human macrophages by repeated exposure to therapeutically relevant concentrations of nitroglycerin (NTG) and possible involvement of nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling mechanism in mediating some of these observed effects. THP-1 human macrophages repeatedly exposed to NTG (at 10 nM, added on days 1, 4 and 7) exhibited extensive alterations in the expression of multiple genes encoding ECM proteases and adhesion molecules. These effects were dissimilar to those produced by a direct nitric oxide donor, diethylenetriamine NONOate. NTG exposure significantly up-regulated NF-κB DNA nuclear binding activity and MMP-9 protein expression, and reduced tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) expression; these effects were abrogated in the presence of the NF-κB inhibitor parthenolide (a chemical inhibitor derived from the feverfew plant). Further, we examined whether our in vitro findings (an elevated MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio and gelatinase activity) can be translated to in vivo effects, in a rat model. Sprague-Dawley rats exposed continuously to NTG subcutaneously for 8 days via mini-osmotic pumps showed significant induction of plasma MMP-9 dimer concentrations and the expression of a complex of MMP-9 with lipocalin-2 or neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL). Plasma gelatinase activity was significantly increased by NTG over the entire study period, attaining peak elevation at day 6. Plasma TIMP-1 protein was down-regulated significantly by day 2 and days 4 to 7 in the NTG-treated rats. Pharmacokinetic monitoring of NTG and its dinitrate metabolites indicated that concentrations were well within therapeutic levels observed in humans. Our studies indicate that clinically relevant concentrations of NTG not only altered ECM matrix by changing the expression of multiple genes that govern cellular integrity, affecting cellular MMP-9/TIMP-1 balance in THP-1 human macrophages possibly via NF-κB activation, but also led to systemic changes in MMP-9/TIMP-1 expression and gelatinase activity in rats. These effects may contribute to extracellular matrix degradation and possible atherosclerotic plaque destabilization.
Nitroglycerin; Matrix Metalloproteinase-9; Extracellular Matrix; Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1; THP-1; Nuclear Factor-κB
Deoxyhemoglobin reduces nitrite to nitric oxide (NO). In order to study the effect of the hemoglobin quaternary conformation on the nitrite reaction, we compared T-state deoxyhemoglobin with R-state deoxyhemoglobin produced by reacting hemoglobin with carboxypeptidase-A prior to deoxygenation. The nitrite reaction with deoxyhemoglobin was followed by chemiluminescence, electron paramagnetic resonance and visible spectroscopy. The initial steps in this reaction involve the binding of nitrite to deoxyhemoglobin followed by the formation of an electron delocalized metastable intermediate that retains potential NO bioactivity. This reaction is shown by visible spectroscopy to occur 5.6 times faster in the R-state than in the T-state. However, the dissociation of NO from the delocalized intermediate is shown to be facilitated by the T-quaternary conformation with a 9.6 fold increase in the rate constant. The preferred NO-release in the T-state, which has a higher affinity for the membrane, can result in the NO diffusing out of the RBC and being released to the vasculature at low partial pressures of oxygen.
nitrite reduction; nitric oxide; hemoglobin quaternary conformation
The anion nitrite is an oxidative breakdown product of nitric oxide (NO) that has traditionally been viewed as a diagnostic marker of NO formation in biological systems. In this regard, nitrite has long been considered an inert oxidation product of NO metabolism. More recently, this view has changed with the discovery that nitrite represents a physiologically relevant storage reservoir of NO in blood and tissues that can readily be reduced to NO under pathological conditions. This has sparked a renewed interest in the biological role of nitrite and has led to an extensive amount of work investigating its therapeutic potential. As a result, nitrite therapy has now been shown to be cytoprotective in numerous animal models of disease. Given the very robust preclinical data regarding the cytoprotective effects of nitrite therapy it is very logical to consider the clinical translation of nitrite-based therapies. This article will review some of this preclinical data and will discuss the potential use of nitrite therapy as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases including: ischemia-reperfusion injury (i.e. acute myocardial infarction and stroke), hypertension, angiogenesis, and as an adjunctive therapy for transplantation of various organs (i.e. liver and lung).
Poor blood flow and hypoxia/ischemia contribute to many disease states and may also be a factor in the decline of physical and cognitive function in aging. Nitrite has been discovered to be a vasodilator that is preferentially harnessed in hypoxia. Thus, both infused and inhaled nitrite are being studied as therapeutic agents for a variety of diseases. In addition, nitrite derived from nitrate in the diet has been shown to decrease blood pressure and improve exercise performance. Thus, dietary nitrate may also be important when increased blood flow in hypoxic or ischemic areas is indicated. These conditions could include age-associated dementia and cognitive decline. The goal of this study was to determine if dietary nitrate would increase cerebral blood flow in older adults.
Methods and Results
In this investigation we administered a high vs. low nitrate diet to older adults (74.7 ± 6.9 years) and measured cerebral perfusion using arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging. We found that the high nitrate diet did not alter global cerebral perfusion, but did lead to increased regional cerebral perfusion in frontal lobe white matter, especially between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex.
These results suggest that dietary nitrate may be useful in improving regional brain perfusion in older adults in critical brain areas known to be involved in executive functioning.
Nitric Oxide; Nitrite; Nitrate; Cerebral Blood Flow; Aging; Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Carbon fiber microelectrodes and carbon fiber composite minielectrodes (CFM/CFCM) have been generally used for measurements of nitric oxide (NO) concentration in chemical and biological systems. The response time of a CFM/CFCM is usually from milliseconds to seconds depending on the electrode size, the thickness of coating layers on the electrode, and NO diffusion coefficients of the coating layers. As a result, the time course of recoded current changes (I-t curves) by the CFM/CFCM may be different from the actual time course of NO concentration changes (c-t curves) if the half-life of NO decay is close to or shorter than the response time of the electrode used. This adds complexity to the process for determining rate constants of NO decay kinetics from the recorded current curves (I-t curves). By computer simulations based on a mathematical model, an approximation method was developed for determining rate constants of NO decay from the recorded current curves. This method was first tested and valuated using a commercial CFCM in several simple reaction systems with known rate constants. The response time of the CFCM was measured as 4.7±0.7 seconds (n=5). The determined rate constants of NO volatilization and NO autoxidation in our measurement system at 37 °C are (1.9±0.1)×10−3 s−1 (n=4) and (2.0±0.3)×103 M−1s−1 (n=7), which are close to the reported rate constants. The method was then applied to determine the rate of NO decay in blood samples from control and smoking exposed mice. It was observed that the NO decay rate in the smoking group is >20% higher than that in control group, and the increased NO decay rate in the smoking group was reversed by 10 μM diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI), an inhibitor of flavin enzymes such as leukocyte NADPH oxidase.
Nitric oxide (NO) produced by the endothelium is involved in the regulation of vascular tone. Decreased NO production or availability has been linked to endothelial dysfunction in hypercholesterolemia and hypertension. Shear stress-induced NO release is a well-established phenomenon, yet the cellular mechanisms of this response are not completely understood. Experimental limitations have hindered direct, real-time measurements of NO under flow conditions. We have overcome these challenges with a new design for a parallel-plate flow chamber. The chamber consists of two compartments, separated by a Transwell® membrane, which isolates a NO recording electrode located in the upper compartment from flow effects. Endothelial cells are grown on the bottom of the membrane, which is inserted into the chamber flush with the upper plate. We demonstrate for the first time direct real-time NO measurements from endothelial cells with controlled variations in shear stress. Step changes in shear stress from 0.1 dyn/cm2 to 6, 10 or 20 dyn/cm2 elicited a transient decrease in NO followed by an increase to a new steady state. An analysis of NO transport suggests that the initial decrease is due to the increased removal rate by convection as flow increases. Furthermore, the rate at which the NO concentration approaches the new steady state is related to the time-dependent cellular response rather than transport limitations of the measurement configuration. Our design offers a method for studying the kinetics of the signaling mechanisms linking NO production with shear stress as well as pathological conditions involving changes in NO production or availability.
Shear stress; Endothelial Cells; Nitric Oxide; Parallel Plate Flow Chamber
Nitric oxide (NO) has been widely recognized as a positive regulator of tumorigenesis and cancer progression through its ability to regulate important proteins in various signal transduction pathways. S-nitrosylation, or covalent attachment of NO to protein sulphydryl groups, has gained prominence as an important mechanism by which NO modulates physiologic and pathologic cellular responses. In this article, we discuss S-nitrosylation of two key apoptosis-regulatory proteins of the intrinsic and extrinsic death pathways, namely B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and FLICE-inhibitory protein (FLIP). These proteins have been shown to be upregulated in a variety of tumors and have been implicated with cancer chemoresistance through dysregulation of apoptosis. S-nitrosylation of these proteins precludes their ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome, thus accentuating their anti-apoptotic effect which is critical in the context of tumorigenic potential and cancer progression. We propose that such post-translational modifications of proteins by NO may be a general mechanism that tumor cells exploit to tilt the scales towards survival and proliferation by evading cell death.
nitric oxide; S-nitrosylation; apoptosis; FLIP; Bcl-2; ubiquitination
Ultraviolet B light (UVB) activates nitric oxide synthase(s) (NOS) and nitric oxide (NO•) production, which plays a role in regulation of apoptosis. However the role of NO• in UVB-induced apoptosis remains controversial. In this study, we analyzed expression and activation of constitutive NOSs (cNOSs) and their roles in UV-induced apoptosis of HaCaT keratinocytes. Our data showed that the expression of neuronal NOS (nNOS) was increased while endothelial NOS (eNOS) was uncoupled in the early phase (0–6 h) post-UVB. The expression of both cNOSs peaked at 12 h post-UVB and NO• was transiently elevated with 30 min and then steadily rose from 6–18 h post-UVB. The expression of iNOS was detected at 6 h post-UVB and then sturdily increased. Inhibition of cNOSs with L-NAME reduced the inducibility of NO• in the early and late phases of irradiation. Along with the eNOS uncoupling, an increased level of peroxynitrite (ONOO−) was detected in the early phase, but not in the late phase post-UVB. Inhibition of cNOSs reduced the production of ONOO− in the early time, but led to an increase of ONOO− in the late time after UVB-irradiation. The results indicate that cNOSs regulate NO•/ONOO− imbalance after UVB-irradiation. Our data suggested that the activation of cNOSs in the early phase post-UVB leads to NO•/ONOO− imbalance and promotes apoptosis via a caspase 3-independent pathway. The elevation of NO• in the late phase of UVB-irradiation is mainly produced by inducible NOS (iNOS). However, cNOSs also contribute to the NO• production and to maintain a higher NO•/ONOO− ratio, which reduces caspase 3 activity and protects cells from UVB-induced apoptosis.
UVB; cNOS; nitric oxide; caspase 3 and apoptosis
S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) at low concentration inhibits platelet aggregation without causing vasodilation, suggesting platelet-selective nitric oxide delivery. The mechanism of this selectivity is unknown, but may involve cell surface thiol isomerases, in particular protein disulphide isomerase (csPDI) (EC 220.127.116.11). We have now compared csPDI expression and activity on platelets, endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, and the dependence on thiol reductase activity of these cell types for NO uptake from GSNO.
csPDI expression was measured by flow cytometry and its reductase activity using the pseudosubstrate dieosin glutathione disulphide. This activity assay was adapted and validated for 96-well plate format. Flow cytometry revealed csPDI on all three cell types, but percentage positivity of expression was higher on platelets than on vascular cells. Consistent with this, thiol isomerase-related reductase activity was higher on platelets (P < 0.01), and cellular activation (with either phorbol myristate acetate or ionomycin) increased csPDI activity on both platelets and smooth muscle cells, but not on endothelium. Intracellular NO delivery from GSNO was greater in platelets than in vascular cells (P < 0.002), and was more sensitive to thiol isomerase inhibition using phenylarsine oxide (P < 0.05).
Increased surface thiol isomerase activity on platelets, compared with cells of the vascular wall, may explain the platelet-selective actions of GSNO and help define its antithrombotic potential.
Platelets; Endothelial cells; Smooth muscle cells; S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO); Thiol isomerases; Protein disulphide isomerase (PDI)