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(1/20782) Nitric oxide stimulates the stress-activated protein kinase p38 in rat renal mesangial cells.

Nitric oxide (NO) has gained increased attention as a diffusible universal messenger that plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Recently, we reported that exogenous NO is able to activate the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) cascade in mesangial cells. Here, we demonstrate that exposure of glomerular mesangial cells to compounds releasing NO, including spermine-NO and (Z)-1- (N-methyl-N-[6-(N-methylammoniohexyl)amino]diazen)-1-ium-1,2-diolate (MAHMA-NO), results in an activation of the stress-activated p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38-MAPK) cascade as measured by the phosphorylation of the activator of transcription factor-2 (ATF2) in an immunocomplex kinase assay. Activation of the p38-MAPK cascade by a short stimulation (10 min) with the NO donor MAHMA-NO causes a large increase in ATF2 phosphorylation that is several times greater than that observed after stimulation with interleukin-1beta, a well-known activator of the p38-MAPK pathway. Time course studies reveal that MAHMA-NO causes rapid and maximal activation of p38-MAPK after 10 min of stimulation and that activation declines to basal levels within 60 min. The longer-lived NO donor spermine-NO causes a comparable rapid activation of the p38-MAPK pathway; however, the increased activation state of p38-MAPK was maintained for several hours before control values were reattained after 24 h of stimulation. Furthermore, the NO donors also activated the classical extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) p44-MAPK cascade as shown by phosphorylation of the specific substrate cytosolic phospholipase A2 in an immunocomplex kinase reaction. Both MAHMA-NO and spermine-NO cause a rapid activation of p44-MAPK after 10 min of stimulation. Interestingly, there is a second delayed peak of p44-MAPK activation after 4-24 h of stimulation with NO donors. These results suggest that there is a differential activation pattern for stress-activated and mitogen-activated protein kinases by NO and that the integration of these signals may lead to specific cell responses.  (+info)

(2/20782) Relaxin is a potent renal vasodilator in conscious rats.

The kidneys and other nonreproductive organs vasodilate during early gestation; however, the "pregnancy hormones" responsible for the profound vasodilation of the renal circulation during pregnancy are unknown. We hypothesized that the ovarian hormone relaxin (RLX) contributes. Therefore, we tested whether the administration of RLX elicits renal vasodilation and hyperfiltration in conscious adult, intact female rats. After several days of treatment with either purified porcine RLX or recombinant human RLX 2 (rhRLX), effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) increased by 20%-40%. Comparable renal vasodilation and hyperfiltration was also observed in ovariectomized rats, suggesting that estrogen and progesterone are unnecessary for the renal response to rhRLX. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester completely abrogated the increase in ERPF and GFR elicited by chronic administration of purified porcine RLX. In contrast, the renal vasoconstrictory response to angiotensin II was attenuated by the RLX treatment. Short-term infusion of purified porcine RLX to conscious rats over several hours failed to increase ERPF and GFR. Plasma osmolality was consistently reduced by the chronic administration of both RLX preparations. In conclusion, the renal and osmoregulatory effects of chronic RLX administration to conscious rats resemble the physiological changes of pregnancy in several respects: (a) marked increases in ERPF and GFR with a mediatory role for nitric oxide; (b) attenuation of the renal circulatory response to angiotensin II; and (c) reduction in plasma osmolality.  (+info)

(3/20782) An antiviral mechanism of nitric oxide: inhibition of a viral protease.

Although nitric oxide (NO) kills or inhibits the replication of a variety of intracellular pathogens, the antimicrobial mechanisms of NO are unknown. Here, we identify a viral protease as a target of NO. The life cycle of many viruses depends upon viral proteases that cleave viral polyproteins into individual polypeptides. NO inactivates the Coxsackievirus protease 3C, an enzyme necessary for the replication of Coxsackievirus. NO S-nitrosylates the cysteine residue in the active site of protease 3C, inhibiting protease activity and interrupting the viral life cycle. Substituting a serine residue for the active site cysteine renders protease 3C resistant to NO inhibition. Since cysteine proteases are critical for virulence or replication of many viruses, bacteria, and parasites, S-nitrosylation of pathogen cysteine proteases may be a general mechanism of antimicrobial host defenses.  (+info)

(4/20782) Evidence for a vasopressin system in the rat heart.

Traditionally, a hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system is thought to be the exclusive source of arginine vasopressin (AVP), a potent antidiuretic, vasoconstricting, and growth-stimulating neuropeptide. We have identified de novo synthesis of AVP in the heart as well as release of the hormone into the cardiac effluents. Specifically, molecular cloning of sequence tags amplified from isolated, buffer-perfused, and pressure-overloaded rat hearts allowed the detection of cardiac AVP mRNA. Subsequent experiments revealed a prominent induction of AVP mRNA (peak at 120 minutes, 59-fold, P<0. 01 versus baseline) and peptide (peak at 120 minutes, 11-fold, P<0. 01 versus baseline) in these isolated hearts. Newly induced vasopressin peptide was localized most prominently to endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells of arterioles and perivascular tissue using immunohistochemistry. In addition to pressure overload, nitric oxide (NO) participated in these alterations, because inhibition of NO synthase by Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester markedly depressed cardiac AVP mRNA and peptide induction. Immediate cardiac effects related to cardiac AVP induction in isolated, perfused, pressure-overloaded hearts appeared to be coronary vasoconstriction and impaired relaxation. These functional changes were observed in parallel with AVP induction and largely prevented by addition of a V1 receptor blocker (10(-8) mol/L [deamino-Pen1, O-Me-Tyr2, Arg8]-vasopressin) to the perfusion buffer. Even more interesting, pressure-overloaded, isolated hearts released the peptide into the coronary effluents, offering the potential for systemic actions of AVP from cardiac origin. We conclude that the heart, stressed by acute pressure overload or NO, expresses vasopressin in concentrations sufficient to cause local and potentially systemic effects.  (+info)

(5/20782) Role of nitric oxide-cGMP pathway in adrenomedullin-induced vasodilation in the rat.

We previously reported that adrenomedullin (AM), a potent vasodilator peptide discovered in pheochromocytoma cells, stimulates nitric oxide (NO) release in the rat kidney. To further investigate whether the NO-cGMP pathway is involved in the mechanisms of AM-induced vasodilation, we examined the effects of E-4021, a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, on AM-induced vasorelaxation in aortic rings and perfused kidneys isolated from Wistar rats. We also measured NO release from the kidneys using a chemiluminescence assay. AM (10(-10) to 10(-7) mol/L) relaxed the aorta precontracted with phenylephrine in a dose-dependent manner. Denudation of endothelium (E) attenuated the vasodilatory action of AM (10(-7) mol/L AM: intact (E+) -25.7+/-5.2% versus denuded (E-) -7. 8+/-0.6%, P<0.05). On the other hand, pretreatment with 10(-8) mol/L E-4021 augmented AM-induced vasorelaxation in the intact aorta (-49. 0+/-7.9%, P<0.05) but not in the denuded one. E-4021 also enhanced acetylcholine (ACh)-induced vasorelaxation in the rat intact aorta (10(-7) mol/L ACh -36.6+/-8.4% versus 10(-8) mol/L E-4021+10(-7) mol/L ACh -62.7+/-3.1%, P<0.05). In perfused kidneys, AM-induced vasorelaxation was also augmented by preincubation with E-4021 (10(-9) mol/L AM -15.4+/-0.6% versus 10(-8) mol/L E-4021+10(-9) mol/L AM -23.6+/-1.2%, P<0.01). AM significantly increased NO release from rat kidneys (DeltaNO: +11.3+/-0.8 fmol. min-1. g-1 kidney at 10(-9) mol/L AM), which was not affected by E-4021. E-4021 enhanced ACh-induced vasorelaxation (10(-9) mol/L ACh -9.7+/-1.7% versus 10(-8) mol/L E-4021+10(-9) mol/L ACh -18.8+/-2.9%, P<0.01) but did not affect ACh-induced NO release from the kidneys. In the aorta and the kidney, 10(-4) mol/L of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, an NO synthase inhibitor, and 10(-5) mol/L of methylene blue, a guanylate cyclase inhibitor, reduced the vasodilatory effect of AM. These results suggest that the NO-cGMP pathway is involved in the mechanism of AM-induced vasorelaxation, at least in the rat aorta and kidney.  (+info)

(6/20782) Overexpression of CuZn superoxide dismutase protects RAW 264.7 macrophages against nitric oxide cytotoxicity.

Initiation of nitric oxide (NO.)-mediated apoptotic cell death in RAW 264.7 macrophages is associated with up-regulation of mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD; SOD2) and down-regulation of cytosolic copper zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD; SOD1) at their individual mRNA and protein levels. To evaluate the decreased CuZnSOD expression and the initiation of apoptosis we stably transfected macrophages to overexpress human CuZnSOD. Individual clones revealed a 2-fold increase in CuZnSOD activity. Expression of a functional and thus protective CuZnSOD was verified by attenuated superoxide (O2(.)-)-mediated apoptotic as well as necrotic cell death. In this study we showed that SOD-overexpressing macrophages (R-SOD1-12) were also protected against NO.-initiated programmed cell death. Protection was substantial towards NO. derived from exogenously added NO donors or when NO. was generated by inducible NO synthase activation, and was evident at the level of p53 accumulation, caspase activation and DNA fragmentation. Stimulation of parent and SOD-overexpressing cells with a combination of lipopolysaccharide and murine interferon gamma produced equivalent amounts of nitrite/nitrate, which ruled out attenuated inducible NO. synthase activity during protection. Because protection by a O2(.)--scavenging system during NO. -intoxication implies a role of NO. and O2(.)- in the progression of cell damage, we used uric acid to delineate the role of peroxynitrite during NO.-elicited apoptosis. The peroxynitrite scavenger uric acid left S-nitrosoglutathione or spermine-NO-elicited apoptosis unaltered, blocking only 3-morpholinosydnonimine-mediated cell death. As a result we exclude peroxynitrite from contributing, to any major extent, to NO. -mediated apoptosis. Therefore protection observed with CuZnSOD overexpression is unlikely to stem from interference with peroxynitrite formation and/or action. Unequivocally, the down-regulation of CuZnSOD is associated with NO. cytotoxicity, whereas CuZnSOD overexpression protects macrophages from apoptosis.  (+info)

(7/20782) Differential regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor fms-like-tyrosine kinase is mediated by nitric oxide in rat renal mesangial cells.

Under conditions associated with local and systemic inflammation, mesangial cells and invading immune cells are likely to be responsible for the release of large amounts of nitric oxide (NO) in the glomerulus. To further define the mechanisms of NO action in the glomerulus, we attempted to identify genes which are regulated by NO in rat glomerular mesangial cells. We identified vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor fms-like tyrosine kinase (FLT-1) to be under the regulatory control of exogenously applied NO in these cells. Using S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO) as an NO-donating agent, VEGF expression was strongly induced, whereas expression of its FLT-1 receptor simultaneously decreased. Expressional regulation of VEGF and FLT-1 mRNA was transient and occurred rapidly within 1-3 h after GSNO treatment. Expression of a second VEGF-specific receptor, fetal liver kinase-1 (FLK-1/KDR), could not be detected. The inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta mediated a moderate increase in VEGF expression after 24 h and had no influence on FLT-1 expression. In contrast, platelet-derived growth factor-BB and basic fibroblast growth factor had no effect on VEGF expression, but strongly induced FLT-1 mRNA levels. Obviously, there is a differential regulation of VEGF and its receptor FLT-1 by NO, cytokines and growth factors in rat mesangial cells.  (+info)

(8/20782) Role of nitric oxide in lipopolysaccharide-induced hepatic injury in D-galactosamine-sensitized mice as an experimental endotoxic shock model.

The role of nitric oxide (NO) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hepatic injury was studied in D-galactosamine (D-GalN)-sensitized mice. The inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) was immunohistochemically detected on hepatocytes around blood vessels in livers of mice injected with D-GalN and LPS not on hepatocytes in mice injected with D-GalN or LPS alone, although mRNA for iNOS was found in those mice. Nitrotyrosine (NT) was also found in livers of mice injected with D-GalN and LPS. The localization of NT was consistent with that of iNOS, and the time courses of NT and iNOS expression were almost the same. Expression of iNOS and NT was detected exclusively in the hepatic lesions of mice injected with D-GalN and LPS. Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha neutralizing antibody inhibited iNOS and NT expression and hepatic injury. The results suggested that NO from iNOS may play a role in LPS-induced hepatic injury on D-GalN-sensitized mice as an experimental endotoxic shock model.  (+info)