Nitric oxide synthesis is impaired in glutathione-depleted human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

D. Ghigo, P. Alessio, A. Foco, F. Bussolino, C. Costamagna, R. Heller, G. Garbarino, G. P. Pescarmona, A. Bosia

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Human endothelial cells cultured from umbilical vein (HUVEC) were tested for their ability to synthesize nitric oxide (NO), which has been identified as an endothelium-derived relaxing factor. The synthesis of this free radical (detected as citrulline, which is produced stoichiometrically with NO from arginine) in HUVEC is Ca2+ dependent, is increased sevenfold by the calcium ionophore ionomycin, and accounts for most basal and ionomycin-induced guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) production. Loading of cells with reduced glutathione (GSH), but not with N-(2-mercaptopropionyl)- glycine (MPG), led to increased citrulline production, both basally and after ionomycin stimulation. When the cells were depleted of GSH by incubation with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), citrulline synthesis and cGMP production were inhibited in a concentration-dependent way. CDNB was not cytotoxic and did not inhibit cGMP increase elicited by sodium nitroprusside; cell loading with GSH (but not with MPG) relieved the block of citrulline synthesis. These results suggest that GSH is necessary in HUVEC for NO synthesis rather than for the NO effect on guanylate cyclase.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number3 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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