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Photochem Photobiol. 2010 Mar-Apr;86(2):389-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2009.00682.x. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Ultraviolet B light-induced nitric oxide/peroxynitrite imbalance in keratinocytes--implications for apoptosis and necrosis.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.


Elevation of nitric oxide (NO*) can either promote or inhibit ultraviolet B light (UVB)-induced apoptosis. In this study, we determined real-time concentration of NO* and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) and their role in regulation of membrane integrity and apoptosis. Nanosensors (diameter 300-500 nm) were used for direct in situ simultaneous measurements of NO* and ONOO(-) generated by UVB in cultured keratinocytes and mice epidermis. An exposure of keratinocytes to UVB immediately generated ONOO(-) at maximal concentration of 190 nm followed by NO(*) release with a maximal concentration of 91 nm. The kinetics of UVB-induced NO*/ONOO(-) was in contrast to cNOS agonist stimulated NO*/ONOO(-) from keratinocytes. After stimulating cNOS by calcium ionophore (CaI), NO* release from keratinocytes was followed by ONOO(-) production. The [NO*] to [ONOO(-)] ratio generated by UVB decreased below 0.5 indicating a serious imbalance between cytoprotective NO* and cytotoxic ONOO(-)-a main component of nitroxidative stress. The NO*/ONOO(-) imbalance increased membrane damage and cell apoptosis was partially reversed in the presence of free radical scavenger. The results suggest that UVB-induced and cNOS-produced NO* is rapidly scavenged by photolytically and enzymatically generated superoxide (O(2) (-)) to produce high levels of ONOO(-), which enhances oxidative injury and apoptosis of the irradiated cells.

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