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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Jul;295(1):H281-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00304.2008. Epub 2008 May 16.

Xanthine oxidase and mitochondria contribute to vascular superoxide anion generation in DOCA-salt hypertensive rats.

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  • 1Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1E2.


Vascular superoxide anion (O(2)(*-)) levels are increased in DOCA-salt hypertensive rats. We hypothesized that the endothelin (ET)-1-induced generation of ROS in the aorta and resistance arteries of DOCA-salt rats originates partly from xanthine oxidase (XO) and mitochondria. Accordingly, we blocked XO and the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation chain to investigate their contribution to ROS production in mesenteric resistance arteries and the aorta from DOCA-salt rats. Systolic blood pressure rose in DOCA-salt rats and was reduced after 3 wk by apocynin [NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor and/or radical scavenger], allopurinol (XO inhibitor), bosentan (ET(A/B) receptor antagonist), BMS-182874 (BMS; ET(A) receptor antagonist), and hydralazine. Plasma uric acid levels in DOCA-salt rats were similar to control unilaterally nephrectomized (UniNx) rats, reduced with allopurinol and bosentan, and increased with BMS. Levels of thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances were increased in DOCA-salt rats versus UniNx rats, and BMS, bosentan, and hydralazine prevented their increase. Dihydroethidium staining showed reduced O(2)(*-) production in mesenteric arteries and the aorta from BMS- and bosentan-treated DOCA-salt rats compared with untreated DOCA-salt rats. Increased O(2)(*-) derived from XO was reduced or prevented by all treatments in mesenteric arteries, whereas bosentan and BMS had no effect on aortas from DOCA-salt rats. O(2)(*-) generation decreased with in situ treatment by tenoyltrifluoroacetone and CCCP, inhibitors of mitochondrial electron transport complexes II and IV, respectively, whereas rotenone (mitochondrial complex I inhibitor) had no effect. Our findings demonstrate the involvement of ET(A) receptor-modulated O(2)(*-) derived from XO and from mitochondrial oxidative enzymes in arteries from DOCA-salt rats.

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