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Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Jul;301(1-2):47-59. Epub 2007 Jan 6.

Glutathione and glutathione-linked enzymes in normal human aortic smooth muscle cells: chemical inducibility and protection against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species-induced injury.

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Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, and Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Substantial evidence suggests a crucial role for glutathione (GSH) and GSH-linked enzymes in protecting against oxidative vascular disorders. However, studies on the chemical inducibility of these antioxidant defenses and their protective effects on oxidant injury in normal human vascular cells are currently lacking. Accordingly, this study was undertaken to investigate the inducibility of GSH, glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione S-transferase (GST) by the chemoprotective agent, 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T) in cultured normal human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). HASMCs expressed measurable levels/activities of GSH, GR, GPx, and GST. Incubation of HASMCs with low micromolar concentrations of D3T resulted in a marked elevation in total cellular GSH content and GR activity. The protein and mRNA expression of gamma-glutamylcysteine ligase (GCL) and GR were also upregulated by D3T. In addition, D3T caused significant increases in mitochondrial GSH content and GR activity. In contrast, neither cellular GPx nor GST activity was altered after D3T treatment. Pretreatment of HASMCs with D3T afforded remarkable protection against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS)-mediated cell injury. Depletion of cellular GSH by pretreatment with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), an inhibitor of GSH biosynthesis led to marked potentiation of the ROS/RNS-induced cell injury. Moreover, co-treatment of HASMCs with BSO was found to completely abolish the D3T-mediated GSH elevation, and remarkably reverse D3T cytoprotection against the ROS/RNS-elicited injury. Taken together, this study demonstrates that both GSH/GCL and GR in normal HASMCs are inducible by D3T, and that upregulation of GSH biosynthesis appears to be the predominant mechanism underlying D3T-mediated cytoprotection against ROS/RNS-elicited injury to human vascular smooth muscle cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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