Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Biochem Biophys. 1995 Feb 1;316(2):699-706.

Regulation of hepatic nitric oxide synthase by reactive oxygen intermediates and glutathione.

Author information

Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Graduate Program, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno 89557.


Regulation of induced nitric oxide synthase in rat hepatocyte primary cultures was explored. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) induction by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha) is synergized by interferon-gamma, and both NOS activity and gene expression are maximal by 10 h and maintained through 24 h. Glutathione depletion by diethylmaleate, which conjugates reduced glutathione, 1,3-bis(chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU), a glutathione reductase inhibitor, or buthionine sulfoxamine, a glutathione synthesis inhibitor, abolishes or reduces NOS induction in TNF alpha-treated hepatocytes, whereas N-acetylcysteine has little effect. Thus, reduced glutathione is critical to NOS mRNA induction and activity in TNF alpha-treated hepatocytes. NOS induction in TNF alpha-treated cells is reduced by rotenone, a mitochondrial complex 1 inhibitor. Concurrent treatment with TNF alpha and the antioxidant, Trolox, or the iron-chelating agent, desferrioxamine, also reduces NOS activity. Dithiothreitol, a thiol antioxidant, reduced TNF alpha induction of NOS. Trolox and BCNU, combined, blocked TNF alpha stimulation of NOS greater than either agent alone. These results suggest that TNF alpha increases mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI), which contributes to NOS induction. Hepatocytes exposed to extracellular ROI generation through a xanthine/xanthine oxidase superoxide-generating system expressed increased NOS activity and mRNA levels. NOS induction by superoxide also requires reduced glutathione since diethylmaleate blocks induction by xanthine/xanthine oxidase while N-acetylcysteine elevates NOS expression. Thus, the generation of ROI by cytokines or other physiological processes stimulates the induction of NOS and this process is regulated by cellular levels of reduced glutathione.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center