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Life Sci. 2003 May 2;72(24):2719-30.

NAD(P)H oxidase participates in the signaling events in high glucose-induced proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells.

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Department of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, 10 Ami-Dong 1-Ga, Seo-Gu, Busan 602-739, South Korea.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of vascular dysfunction in diabetes mellitus, and NAD(P)H oxidase is known as the most important source of ROS in the vasculatures. To determine whether NAD(P)H oxidase is a major participant in the critical intermediary signaling events in high glucose (HG, 25 mM)-induced proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), we investigated in explanted aortic VSMC from rats the role of NAD(P)H oxidase on the HG-related cellular proliferation and superoxide production. VSMC under HG condition had increased proliferative capacity that was inhibited by tiron (1 mM), a cell membrane permeable superoxide scavenger, but not by SOD, which is not permeable to cell membrane. The nitroblue tetrazolium staining in the HG-exposed VSMC was more prominent than that of VSMC under normal glucose (5.5 mM) condition, which was significantly inhibited by DPI (10 microM), an NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor, but not by inhibitors for other oxidases such as NADH dehydrogenase, xanthine oxidase, and nitric oxide synthase. In the VSMC under HG condition, the enhanced NAD(P)H oxidase activity with increased membrane translocation of Rac1 was observed, but the protein expression of p22phox and gp91phox was not increased. These data suggest that HG-induced changes in VSMC proliferation are related to the intracellular production of superoxide through enhanced activity of NAD(P)H oxidase.

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