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Circulation. 2009 Oct 20;120(16):1616-22. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.877191. Epub 2009 Oct 5.

Hereditary deficiency of gp91(phox) is associated with enhanced arterial dilatation: results of a multicenter study.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Medicine, Divisione I Clinica Medica, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy. francesco.violi@uniroma1.it



NADPH oxidase is believed to modulate arterial tone, but its role in humans is still unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether NADPH oxidase is involved in flow-mediated arterial dilation (FMD).


Twenty-five patients with hereditary deficiency of gp91(phox), the catalytic core of NADPH oxidase, (X-CGD), 25 healthy subjects, and 25 obese patients matched for sex and age were recruited. FMD, platelet gp91(phox), serum levels of nitrite and nitrate as markers of nitric oxide generation, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and urinary excretion of isoprostanes as markers of oxidative stress were determined. Platelet gp91(phox) expression was downregulated in X-CGD patients (1.0+/-0.8 mean fluorescence; P<0.001) and upregulated in obese patients (4.1+/-2.2 mean fluorescence; P=0.01) compared with healthy subjects (2.9+/-1.7 mean fluorescence). Urinary excretion of isoprostanes was reduced in X-CGD patients (41.7+/-33.3 pg/mg creatinine; P=0.04) and increased in obese patients (154.4+/-91 pg/mg creatinine; P<0.001) compared with healthy subjects (69.5+/-52.4 pg/mg creatinine). Obese patients had higher serum oxidized low-density lipoprotein than healthy subjects (35.3+/-6.7 versus 24.8+/-9.8 U/L; P<0.001) and X-CGD patients (28.5+/-7.2 U/L; P<0.001). X-CGD patients had significantly higher FMD (14.7+/-5.9%) compared with healthy subjects (7.9+/-2.5%; P<0.001); obese patients had lower FMD (5.3+/-3.0%; P=0.028) compared with healthy subjects. Serum nitrite and nitrate levels were significantly higher in patients with X-CGD (36.0+/-10.8 micromol/L; P=0.016) and lower in obese patients (9.3+/-11.0 micromol/L; P=0.001) compared with healthy subjects (27.1+/-19.1 micromol/L). Serum nitrite and nitrate levels significantly correlated with FMD (R(s)=0.403, P<0.001) and platelet gp91(phox) (R(s)=-0.515, P<0.001). FMD inversely correlated with platelet gp91(phox) (R(s)=-0.502, P<0.001) and isoprostanes (R(s)=-0.513, P<0.001).


This study provides the first evidence that, in humans, gp91(phox) is implicated in the modulation of arterial tone.

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