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Nitric Oxide. 2009 Nov-Dec;21(3-4):210-5. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2009.09.001. Epub 2009 Sep 6.

Nitrite correlates with 3-nitrotyrosine but not with the F(2)-isoprostane 15(S)-8-iso-PGF(2alpha) in urine of rheumatic patients.

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Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany.


In vitro studies suggested that nitrite may play a cytoprotective role in inflammation. The aim of the present clinical study was to investigate the relationship between the NO metabolites nitrite and nitrate and the biomarkers of oxidative stress 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) and 15(S)-iso-PGF(2alpha) in patients suffering from chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. In morning urine from 28 patients with different chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (23-82 years of age) and from 41 healthy persons of both genders, nitrite and nitrate were quantitated by GC-MS, and 3-NT and 15(S)-iso-PGF(2alpha) by GC-MS/MS. Mean creatinine-corrected urinary excretion rates of nitrite (1.1 versus 0.19 micromol/mmol, P = 0.00012) and 3-NT (1.2 versus 0.39 nmol/mmol, P = 0.01629), but not of nitrate (105 versus 106 micromol/mmol), were significantly elevated in rheumatism as compared to health. Urinary excretion rate of 15(S)-iso-PGF(2alpha) did not differ between patients and healthy subjects (65 versus 69 pmol/mmol creatinine, P = 0.48). In rheumatism, urinary 3-NT correlated closely with nitrite (R = 0.788, P < 0.0001) and moderately with nitrate (R = 0.45, P < 0.016), but did not correlate with 15(S)-iso-PGF(2alpha) (R = -0.083, P = 0.68). In healthy persons there was no correlation between urinary 3-NT and nitrite or nitrate. Our study suggests that urinary nitrite may represent a novel specific biomarker of nitrative stress in chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease. In another eight patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases we found higher nitrite concentrations in synovial fluid as compared to serum (1.30 versus 0.35 microM). We hypothesize that in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases nitrite concentration is elevated in the inflamed joint and contributes to the inactivation of myeloperoxidase-catalyzed production of hypochloric acid by forming nitryl chloride which eventually nitrates tyrosine to form 3-NT.

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