Mechanisms of H2O2-induced oxidative stress in endothelial cells

Christian H Coyle, Luis J Martinez, Mitchell C Coleman, Douglas R Spitz, Neal L Weintraub, Khalid N Kader
Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2006 June 15, 40 (12): 2206-13
Hydrogen peroxide, produced by inflammatory and vascular cells, induces oxidative stress that may contribute to endothelial dysfunction. In smooth muscle cells, H(2)O(2) induces production of O(2)*(-) by activating NADPH oxidase. However, the mechanisms whereby H(2)O(2) induces oxidative stress in endothelial cells are poorly understood. We examined the effects of H(2)O(2) on O(2)*(-) levels on porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC). Treatment with 60 micromol/L H(2)O(2) markedly increased intracellular O(2)*(-) levels (determined by conversion of dihydroethidium to hydroxyethidium) and produced cytotoxicity (determined by propidium iodide staining) in PAEC. Overexpression of human manganese superoxide dismutase in PAEC reduced O(2)*(-) levels and attenuated cytotoxicity resulting from treatment with H(2)O(2). L-NAME, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and apocynin, an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, reduced O(2)*(-) levels in PAEC treated with H(2)O(2), suggesting that both NOS and NADPH oxidase contribute to H(2)O(2)-induced O(2)*(-) in PAEC. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase using apocynin and NOS rescue with L-sepiapterin together reduced O(2)*(-) levels in PAEC treated with H(2)O(2) to control levels. This suggests interaction-distinct NOS and NADPH oxidase pathways to superoxide. We conclude that H(2)O(2) produces oxidative stress in endothelial cells by increasing intracellular O(2)*(-) levels through NOS and NADPH oxidase. These findings suggest a complex interaction between H(2)O(2) and oxidant-generating enzymes that may contribute to endothelial dysfunction.

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