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PLoS One. 2008 Jul 30;3(7):e2801. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002801.

ATP release from vascular endothelia occurs across Cx43 hemichannels and is attenuated during hypoxia.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Tübingen University Hospital, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Extracellular ATP is an important signaling molecule for vascular adaptation to limited oxygen availability (hypoxia). Here, we pursued the contribution of vascular endothelia to extracellular ATP release under hypoxic conditions.

METHODOLOGY, PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We gained first insight from studying ATP release from endothelia (HMEC-1) pre-exposed to hypoxia. Surprisingly, we found that ATP release was significantly attenuated following hypoxia exposure (2% oxygen, 22+/-3% after 48 h). In contrast, intracellular ATP was unchanged. Similarly, lactate-dehydrogenase release into the supernatants was similar between normoxic or hypoxic endothelia, suggesting that differences in lytic ATP release between normoxia or hypoxia are minimal. Next, we used pharmacological strategies to study potential mechanisms for endothelial-dependent ATP release (eg, verapamil, dipyridamole, 18-alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, anandamide, connexin-mimetic peptides). These studies revealed that endothelial ATP release occurs--at least in part--through connexin 43 (Cx43) hemichannels. A real-time RT-PCR screen of endothelial connexin expression showed selective repression of Cx43 transcript and additional studies confirmed time-dependent Cx43 mRNA, total and surface protein repression during hypoxia. In addition, hypoxia resulted in Cx43-serine368 phosphorylation, which is known to switch Cx43 hemi-channels from an open to a closed state.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Taken together, these studies implicate endothelial Cx43 in hypoxia-associated repression of endothelial ATP release.

PMID:
18665255
PMCID:
PMC2474679
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0002801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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