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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Dec 16;338(2):1103-9. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

Reactive oxygen species mediates homocysteine-induced mitochondrial biogenesis in human endothelial cells: modulation by antioxidants.

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Departamento de Nutrición, Diabetes y Metabolismo, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


It has been proposed that homocysteine (Hcy)-induces endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A previous report has shown that Hcy promotes mitochondrial damage. Considering that oxidative stress can affect mitochondrial biogenesis, we hypothesized that Hcy-induced ROS in endothelial cells may lead to increased mitochondrial biogenesis. We found that Hcy-induced ROS (1.85-fold), leading to a NF-kappaB activation and increase the formation of 3-nitrotyrosine. Furthermore, expression of the mitochondrial biogenesis factors, nuclear respiratory factor-1 and mitochondrial transcription factor A, was significantly elevated in Hcy-treated cells. These changes were accompanied by increase in mitochondrial mass and higher mRNA and protein expression of the subunit III of cytochrome c oxidase. These effects were significantly prevented by pretreatment with the antioxidants, catechin and trolox. Taken together, our results suggest that ROS is an important mediator of mitochondrial biogenesis induced by Hcy, and that modulation of oxidative stress by antioxidants may protect against the adverse vascular effects of Hcy.

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