Author(s): van der Loo B, Labugger R, Skepper JN, Bachschmid M, Kilo J,
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Abstract Vascular aging is mainly characterized by endothelial dysfunction. We found decreased free nitric oxide (NO) levels in aged rat aortas, in conjunction with a sevenfold higher expression and activity of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS). This is shown to be a consequence of age-associated enhanced superoxide (.O(2)(-)) production with concomitant quenching of NO by the formation of peroxynitrite leading to nitrotyrosilation of mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), a molecular footprint of increased peroxynitrite levels, which also increased with age. Thus, vascular aging appears to be initiated by augmented.O(2)(-) release, trapping of vasorelaxant NO, and subsequent peroxynitrite formation, followed by the nitration and inhibition of MnSOD. Increased eNOS expression and activity is a compensatory, but eventually futile, mechanism to counter regulate the loss of NO. The ultrastructural distribution of 3-nitrotyrosyl suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a major role in the vascular aging process.
This article was published in J Exp Med
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research