Author(s): Predescu D, Predescu S, Shimizu J, MiyawakiShimizu K, Malik AB
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Abstract Basal vascular endothelial permeability is normally kept low in part by the restrictiveness of interendothelial junctions (IEJs). We investigated the possible role of nitric oxide (NO) in controlling IEJ integrity and thereby regulating basal vascular permeability. We determined the permeability of continuous endothelia in multiple murine vascular beds, including lung vasculature, of wild-type mice, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) null mice, and mice treated with NOS inhibitor N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Light and electron microscopic studies revealed that L-NAME treatment resulted in IEJs opening within a few minutes with a widespread response within 30 min. We observed a 35\% increase in transendothelial transport of albumin, using as tracer dinitrophenylated albumin in mouse lungs and other organs studied. To rule out the involvement of blood cells in the mechanism of increased endothelial permeability, vascular beds were flushed free of blood, treated with L-NAME, and perfused with the tracer. The open IEJs observed in these studies indicated a direct role for NO in preserving the normal structure of endothelial junctions. We also used the electron-opaque tracer lanthanum chloride to assess vascular permeability. Lanthanum chloride was presented by perfusion to various vascular beds of mice lacking NO. Open IEJs were seen only in capillary and venular endothelial segments of mice lacking NO, and there was a concomitant increase in vascular permeability to the tracer. Together, these data demonstrate that constitutive eNOS-derived NO is a crucial determinant of IEJ integrity and thus serves to maintain the low basal permeability of continuous endothelia.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Autacoids and Hormones