Author(s): Durante W, Kroll MH, Christodoulides N, Peyton KJ, Schafer AI
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Abstract Since recent studies demonstrate that vascular smooth muscle cells synthesize two distinct guanylate cyclase-stimulatory gases, NO and CO, we examined possible regulatory interactions between these two signaling molecules. Treatment of rat aortic smooth muscle cells with the NO donors, sodium nitroprusside, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine, or 3-morpholinosydnonimine, increased heme oxygenase-I (HO-1) mRNA and protein levels in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Both actinomycin D and cycloheximide blocked NO-stimulated HO-1 mRNA and protein expression. Nuclear run-on experiments demonstrated that NO donors increased HO-1 gene transcription between 3- and 6-fold. In contrast, NO donors had no effect on the stability of HO-1 mRNA. Incubation of vascular smooth muscle cells with the membrane-permeable cGMP analogues, dibutyryl cGMP and 8-bromo-cGMP, failed to induce HO-1 gene expression. Treatment of vascular smooth muscle cells with NO donors also stimulated the production and release of CO, as demonstrated by the CO-dependent increase in intracellular cGMP levels in coincubated platelets. Finally, incubating vascular smooth muscle cells with interleukin-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha induced NO synthesis and also significantly increased the level of HO-1 protein. The cytokine-stimulated production of both NO and HO-1 protein in smooth muscle cells was blocked by the NO synthase inhibitor methyl-L-arginine. These results demonstrate that exogenously administered or endogenously released NO stimulates HO-1 gene expression and CO production in vascular smooth muscle cells. The ability of NO to induce HO-catalyzed CO release from vascular smooth muscle cells provides a novel mechanism by which NO might modulate soluble guanylate cyclase and, thereby, vascular smooth muscle cell and platelet function.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Autacoids and Hormones