Osmotic regulation of airway reactivity by epithelium.
Inhalation of nonisotonic solutions can elicit pulmonary obstruction in asthmatic airways. We evaluated the hypothesis that the respiratory epithelium is involved in responses of the airways to nonisotonic solutions using the guinea pig isolated, perfused trachea preparation to restrict applied agents to the mucosal (intraluminal) or serosal (extraluminal) surface of the airway. In methacholine-contracted tracheae, intraluminally applied NaCl or KCl equipotently caused relaxation that was unaffected by the cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin, but was attenuated by removal of the epithelium and Na+ and Cl- channel blockers. Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter and nitric oxide synthase blockers caused a slight inhibition of relaxation, whereas Na+,K+-pump inhibition produced a small potentiation. Intraluminal hyperosmolar KCl and NaCl inhibited contractions in response to intra- or extraluminally applied methacholine, as well as neurogenic cholinergic contractions elicited with electric field stimulation (+/- indomethacin). Extraluminally applied NaCl and KCl elicited epithelium-dependent relaxation (which for KCl was followed by contraction). In contrast to the effects of hyperosmolarity, intraluminal hypo-osmolarity caused papaverine-inhibitable contractions (+/- epithelium). These findings suggest that the epithelium is an osmotic sensor which, through the release of epithelium-derived relaxing factor, can regulate airway diameter by modulating smooth muscle responsiveness and excitatory neurotransmission. (+info)
Nitric oxide synthesis in patients with infective gastroenteritis.
BACKGROUND: There is evidence that endogenous nitrate synthesis is notably increased in patients with infective gastroenteritis. AIMS: To determine whether this is due to nitric oxide (NO) production via the L-arginine/NO pathway. METHODS: Seven male patients with community acquired bacterial gastroenteritis and 15 healthy male volunteers participated in this study. All patients had stool culture positive infective gastroenteritis. A bolus of 200 mg L-[(15)N](2)-arginine was administered intravenously after an overnight fast. Urine was collected for the next 36 hours. Urinary [(15)N:(14)N]nitrate ratio was assessed by dry combustion in an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. RESULTS: Mean 36 hour total urinary nitrate excretion in the gastroenteritis group was 5157 (577) micromol compared with 2594 (234) micromol in the control group (p<0.001). Thirty six hour urinary [(15)N]nitrate excretion was considerably higher in the gastroenteritis group compared with the control group (13782 (1665) versus 1698 (98) etamol; p<0.001). These values represent 1.129 (0.139)% and 0.138 (0.007)% of [(15)N]nitrogen administered (p<0.001), respectively. Corrected 36 hour urinary [(15)N]nitrate excretion for urinary creatinine was also significantly higher in the patient compared with the control group (1934 (221) versus 303 (35) etamol/mmol; p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Results show notably enhanced nitrate synthesis due to increased activity of the L-arginine/NO pathway in patients with infective gastroenteritis. (+info)
Essential roles for the products of the napABCD genes, but not napFGH, in periplasmic nitrate reduction by Escherichia coli K-12.
The seven nap genes at minute 47 on the Escherichia coli K-12 chromosome encode a functional nitrate reductase located in the periplasm. The molybdoprotein, NapA, is known to be essential for nitrate reduction. We now demonstrate that the two c-type cytochromes, the periplasmic NapB and the membrane-associated NapC, as well as a fourth polypeptide, NapD, are also essential for nitrate reduction in the periplasm by physiological substrates such as glycerol, formate and glucose. None of the three iron-sulphur proteins, NapF, NapG or NapH, are essential, irrespective of whether the bacteria are grown anaerobically in the presence of nitrate or fumarate as a terminal electron acceptor, or by glucose fermentation. Mutation of napD resulted in the total loss of Methyl Viologen-dependent nitrate reductase activity of the molybdoprotein, NapA, consistent with an earlier suggestion by others that NapD might be required for post-translational modification of NapA. (+info)
Competition between Escherichia coli strains expressing either a periplasmic or a membrane-bound nitrate reductase: does Nap confer a selective advantage during nitrate-limited growth?
The physiological role of the periplasmic nitrate reductase, Nap, one of the three nitrate reductases synthesized by Escherichia coli K-12, has been investigated. A series of double mutants that express only one nitrate reductase were grown anaerobically in batch cultures with glycerol as the non-fermentable carbon source and nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor. Only the strain expressing nitrate reductase A grew rapidly under these conditions. Introduction of a narL mutation severely decreased the growth rate of the nitrate reductase A strain, but enhanced the growth of the Nap(+) strain. The ability to use nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor for anaerobic growth is therefore regulated primarily by the NarL protein at the level of transcription. Furthermore, the strain expressing nitrate reductase A had a substantial selective advantage in competition with the strain expressing only Nap during nitrate-sufficient continuous culture. However, the strain expressing Nap was preferentially selected during nitrate-limited continuous growth. The saturation constants for nitrate for the two strains (which numerically are equal to the nitrate concentrations at half of the maximum specific growth rate and therefore reflect the relative affinities for nitrate) were estimated using the integrated Monod equation to be 15 and 50 microM for Nap and nitrate reductase A respectively. This difference is sufficient to explain the selective advantage of the Nap(+) strain during nitrate-limited growth. It is concluded that one physiological role of the periplasmic nitrate reductase of enteric bacteria is to enable bacteria to scavenge nitrate in nitrate-limited environments. (+info)
A habitat for psychrophiles in deep Antarctic ice.
Microbes, some of which may be viable, have been found in ice cores drilled at Vostok Station at depths down to approximately 3,600 m, close to the surface of the huge subglacial Lake Vostok. Two types of ice have been found. The upper 3,500 m comprises glacial ice containing traces of nutrients of aeolian origin including sulfuric acid, nitric acid, methanosulfonic acid (MSA), formic acid, sea salts, and mineral grains. Ice below approximately 3,500 m comprises refrozen water from Lake Vostok, accreted to the bottom of the glacial ice. Nutrients in the accretion ice include salts and dissolved organic carbon. There is great interest in searching for living microbes and especially for new species in deepest Antarctic ice. I propose a habitat consisting of interconnected liquid veins along three-grain boundaries in ice in which psychrophilic bacteria can move and obtain energy and carbon from ions in solution. In the accretion ice, with an age of a few 10(4) years and a temperature a few degrees below freezing, the carbon and energy sources in the veins can maintain significant numbers of cells per cubic centimeter that are metabolizing but not multiplying. In the 4 x 10(5)-year-old colder glacial ice, at least 1 cell per cm(3) in acid veins can be maintained. With fluorescence microscopy tuned to detect NADH in live organisms, motile bacteria could be detected by direct scanning of the veins in ice samples. (+info)
Vasopressin does not effect hypertension caused by long-term nitric oxide inhibition.
Nitric oxide attenuates both vasopressin-induced vasoconstriction and vasopressin release. We tested whether hypertension and renal dysfunction elicited by chronic inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis using N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA) could be mediated in part by vasopressin V(1A) receptors. Male rats were treated orally for 6 weeks with L-NNA (15 mg/kg per day), a nonpeptide V(1A) receptor antagonist (2S)-1-[(2R,3S)-5-chloro-3-(2-chlorophenyl)-1-(3, 4-dimethoxybenzene-sulfonyl)-3-hydroxy-2, 3-dihydro-1H-indole-2-carbonyl]-pyrrolidine-2-carboxamide (SR 49059, 30 mg/kg per day), or a combination of SR 49059 and L-NNA (same doses), or they received no treatment. Both drugs were added to the food. Measurements were performed in conscious rats (urine collection in metabolic cages, tail-cuff arterial pressure) and at the end of the study in anesthetized rats (clearance measurements). L-NNA produced sustained hypertension, decreased glomerular filtration rate, and increased renal vascular resistance, plasma renin activity, and urinary albumin excretion. SR 49059 had no effect per se on these parameters and also did not attenuate the hypertension and renal dysfunction induced by L-NNA. Surprisingly, SR 49059 potentiated L-NNA-induced hypertension at the end of the 6-week treatment. However, the blood pressure response and the renal and mesenteric vasoconstriction elicited by exogenous vasopressin were attenuated in rats treated with SR 49059. L-NNA did not change plasma vasopressin concentration or 24-hour urinary vasopressin excretion. Our findings suggest that activation of vasopressin V(1A) receptors does not contribute to the hypertension and renal dysfunction induced by chronic NO synthesis inhibition. They also document unchanged plasma vasopressin concentration in NO-deficient hypertension. (+info)
Effects of Ca(2+) channel activity on renal hemodynamics during acute attenuation of NO synthesis in the rat.
In cultured vascular muscle cells, nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to inhibit voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels, which are involved in renal blood flow (RBF) autoregulation. Therefore, our purpose was to specify in vivo the effects of this interaction on RBF autoregulation. To do so, hemodynamics were investigated in anesthetized rats during Ca(2+) channel blockade before or after acute NO synthesis inhibition. Rats were treated intravenously with vehicle (n = 10), 0.3 mg/kg body wt N(G)-nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME; n = 7), 4.5 microg. kg body wt(-1). min(-1) nifedipine (n = 8) alone, or with nifedipine infused before (n = 8), after (n = 8), or coadministered with L-NAME (n = 10). Baseline renal vascular resistance (RVR) averaged 14.0 +/- 1.2 resistance units and did not change after vehicle. RVR increased or decreased significantly by 27 and 29% after L-NAME or nifedipine, respectively. Nifedipine reversed, but did not prevent, RVR increase after or coadministered with L-NAME. RBF autoregulation was maintained after L-NAME, but the autoregulatory pressure limit (P(A)) was significantly lowered by 15 mmHg. Nifedipine pretreatment or coadministration with L-NAME limited P(A) resetting or suppressed autoregulation at higher doses. Results were similar with verapamil. Intrarenal blockade of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels also prevented autoregulatory resetting by L-NAME (n = 8). These findings suggest NO inhibits voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels and thereby modulates RBF autoregulatory efficiency. (+info)
Possible involvement of undissociated acid molecules in the acid response of the chorda tympani nerve of the rat.
To test whether undissociated acid is capable of exciting the chorda tympani nerves in rats, we have used buffered acid solutions as taste stimuli. These solutions were prepared by adding alkali to weak acids, such as acetic acid, so that the proportion of undissociated and dissociated acids was varied whereas keeping the total acid concentration constant. When acetic acid solutions, adjusted to wide ranges of pH by NaOH, were applied to the tongue, the response magnitude of the chorda tympani nerves was not varied systematically with pH changes. However, if the sodium effect was eliminated by amiloride or replacement of cation by potassium or Tris[hydroxymethyl]aminomethane; NH(2)C(CH(2)OH)(3) (Tris-base), the chorda tympani response was reduced systematically as pH increased. Similar results were obtained with citric acid and ascorbic acid. This pH-dependent change in taste nerve response to acid cannot be solely attributed to the proton gradient because the response magnitude induced by hydrogen itself, which was estimated from responses to strong acids, was much smaller than that by equi-pH acetic acid ( approximately 85%). Thus we cannot explain the pH-dependent responses of the chorda tympani nerves to weak acids unless effects of undissociated acid molecules are postulated. It is therefore concluded that undissociated acids in weak acid solutions can be a stimulant to taste receptor cells. (+info)