Role for endothelial nitric oxide synthase in nitrite-induced protection against renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice

A. B. Milsom, N. S A Patel, E. Mazzon, P. Tripatara, A. Storey, H. Mota-Filipe, B. Sepodes, A. J. Webb, S. Cuzzocrea, A. J. Hobbs, C. Thiemermann, A. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nitrite is protective against renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI); an effect due to its reduction to nitric oxide (NO). In addition to other reductase pathways, endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) may also facilitate nitrite reduction in ischemic environments. We investigated the role of eNOS in sodium nitrite (60 μM, 10 ml/kg applied topically 1 min before reperfusion)-induced protection against renal IRI in C57/BL6 wild-type (WT) and eNOS knockout (eNOS KO) mice subjected to bilateral renal ischemia (30 min) and reperfusion (24 h). Markers of renal dysfunction (plasma [creatinine] and [urea]), damage (tubular histology) and inflammation (cell recruitment) were elevated following IRI in WT mice; effects significantly reduced following nitrite treatment. Chemiluminescence analysis of cortical and medullary sections of the kidney demonstrated rapid (within 1 min) distribution of nitrite following application. Whilst IRI caused a significant (albeit substantially reduced compared to WT mice) elevation of markers of renal dysfunction and damage in eNOS KO mice, the beneficial effects of nitrite were absent or reduced, respectively. Moreover, nitrite treatment enhanced renal dysfunction in the form of increased plasma [creatinine] in eNOS KO mice. Confirmation of nitrite reductase activity of eNOS was provided by demonstration of nitrite (100 μM)-derived NO production by kidney homogenates of WT mice, that was significantly reduced by l-NMMA. l-NMMA was without effect using kidney homogenates of eNOS KO mice. These results support a role for eNOS in the pathways activated during renal IRI and also identify eNOS as a nitrite reductase in ischemic conditions; activity which in part underlies the protective effects of nitrite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2010


  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite
  • Renal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research
  • Physiology

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