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FEBS Lett. 2001 Jan 5;487(3):361-6.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) induces Ca(2+)-independent activation and translocation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Ube, Japan.


Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), but not its metabolites (docosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), stimulated nitric oxide (NO) production in endothelial cells in situ and induced endothelium-dependent relaxation of bovine coronary arteries precontracted with U46619. EPA induced a greater production of NO, but a much smaller and more transient elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), than did a Ca(2+) ionophore (ionomycin). EPA stimulated NO production even in endothelial cells in situ loaded with a cytosolic Ca(2+) chelator 1,2-bis-o-aminophenoxythamine-N',N',N'-tetraacetic acid, which abolished the [Ca(2+)]i elevations induced by ATP and EPA. The EPA-induced vasorelaxation was inhibited by N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. Immunostaining analysis of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and caveolin-1 in cultured endothelial cells revealed eNOS to be colocalized with caveolin in the cell membrane at a resting state, while EPA stimulated the translocation of eNOS to the cytosol and its dissociation from caveolin, to an extent comparable to that of the eNOS translocation induced by a [Ca(2+)]i-elevating agonist (10 microM bradykinin). Thus, EPA induces Ca(2+)-independent activation and translocation of eNOS and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation.

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