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Nitric Oxide. 2001 Jun;5(3):252-60.

Coinduction of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and arginine recycling enzymes in aorta of diabetic rats.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Kumamoto 860-0811, Japan.


Decreased availability of arginine and impaired production of NO (nitric oxide) have been implicated in the development of endothelial dysfunction. Citrulline formed by the NOS reaction is recycled to arginine by the citrulline-NO cycle, which is composed of NOS, argininosuccinate synthetase (AS), and argininosuccinate lyase. Therefore, we investigated the alterations of these enzymes in the aorta of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. eNOS and AS mRNAs were increased by three- to fourfold 1-2 weeks after STZ treatment and decreased at 4 weeks. AL mRNA was weakly induced. Induction of eNOS and AS proteins was also observed. Cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-1 mRNA remained little changed, and CAT-2 mRNA was not detected. The plasma nitrogen oxide levels were increased 1-2 weeks after STZ treatment and decreased at 4 weeks. Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) mRNA in the aorta was also induced. TGF-beta1 induced eNOS and AS mRNAs in human umbilical vein endothelial cells but inhibited the proliferation of HUVEC. These results indicate that eNOS and AS are coinduced in the aorta in early stages of STZ-induced diabetic rats and that the induction is mediated by TGF-beta1. The results also suggest that TGF-beta1 works antiatherogenically at early stages of diabetes by increasing NO production, whereas prolonged elevation of TGF-beta1 functions atherogenically by inhibiting endothelial cell growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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