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Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 Jul 15;29(2):181-90.

Role of the cyclic AMP-dependent pathway in free radical-induced cholesterol accumulation in vascular smooth muscle cells.

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INSERM U 498, Biochimie des Lipoprotéines et Interactions Vasculaires, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.


We have previously reported that free radical-treated vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) lead to cholesterol accumulation in vitro. In the current study, we investigated the effects of oxidative stress on cyclic AMP concentration and cAMP-dependent enzymes involved in cholesterol homeostasis in A7r5 cells. Under our conditions of a mild oxidative stress, namely with no change in cell viability, we found that free radicals, initiated using azobis-amidinopropane dihydrochloride (AAPH), resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in cellular cAMP which was opposed by vitamin E preincubation. Although the addition of adenylate cyclase activators (carbacyclin and forskolin) increased cAMP levels it did not succeed in restoring the AAPH-induced decrease. The oxidative stress-induced increase in activities of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase and of acyl coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase and the decrease in neutral cholesteryl ester hydrolase activity were suppressed by addition of dibutyryl cAMP. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that free radicals reduce cAMP concentrations by altering cell membrane adenylate cyclase activity. The changes of cAMP-dependent enzymes induced by oxidative stress resulting in cholesterol accumulation might be one of the processes leading to SMC-derived foam cells depicted in atheroma plaque. Moreover, if extrapolated to in vivo, these data may explain in part the beneficial effects of antioxidants in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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