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Anal Chem. 2004 Feb 1;76(3):545-51.

Improved planar amperometric nitric oxide sensor based on platinized platinum anode. 2. Direct real-time measurement of NO generated from porcine kidney slices in the presence of l-arginine, l-arginine polymers, and protamine.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, 930 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055, USA.


Nitric oxide generation from porcine kidney slices is assessed using a new planar NO-selective amperometric sensor. The planar shape of the sensor allows for direct NO measurements near the surface (10 microm) of renal tissue slices in real time. Renal NO production may be modulated by the addition of L-arginine, arginine homopolymers (R2, R6, R10), and protamine, all of which can potentially transport across cellular membranes and provide a substrate for nitric oxide synthase within kidney parenchyma. Real-time amperometric measurements demonstrate that most L-arginine species can translocate across the cell membrane and rapidly increase NO production. However, no increase in NO generation is observed when the dimer of L-arginine (R2) is added to the solution bathing the tissue, suggesting that this species cannot permeate cell membranes. The degree of enhancement in NO generation observed for L-arginine and the larger peptides depends on the structure and follows the following sequence: R10 (decamer) > protamine > R6 (hexamer) > L-arginine. Protamine and the R10 decamer, especially, induce the largest increases in NO generation owing to their apparent rapid translocation into cells and subsequent cleavage by proteases to create high intracellular levels of L-arginine. The effect of sensor size (for sensor dimensions of 0.15- and 1-mm outer diameters) on the measured surface NO levels is also examined. The larger sensor traps more NO but hinders access of the L-arginine species to the tissue area between the flat distal plane of the sensor and the surface of the kidney slice. The use of such NO-generating peptides may be important in numerous biological systems that depend on NO production, such as ischemia-reperfusion injury and thrombogenesis.

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