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Am J Physiol. 1997 Nov;273(5 Pt 2):H2442-51.

Interaction of PKC and NOS in signal transduction of microvascular hyperpermeability.

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Department of Surgery, Texas A & M University Health Science Center, Temple 76504, USA.


Our previous studies have shown that inflammatory mediators increase microvascular permeability through a phospholipase C-nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-guanylate cyclase cascade. The aim of this study is to delineate in more detail the signaling pathway leading to microvascular hyperpermeability. Endothelial cytosolic calcium and the apparent permeability coefficient of albumin (Pa) were measured in isolated and perfused coronary venules. Histamine stimulated a rapid increase in cytosolic calcium followed by a transient elevation in Pa. The NOS inhibitor NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) and the guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate-dependent protein kinase G (PKG) inhibitor KT-5823 abolished the hyperpermeability but did not affect the calcium response to histamine. Similarly, the calcium ionophore ionomycin produced a calcium spike preceding venular hyperpermeability. Blockage of the NOS-PKG cascade inhibited the increase in Pa, whereas the endothelial calcium was still elevated on administration of ionomycin. Furthermore, the relationship between protein kinase C (PKC) and the calcium-NOS-PKG pathway in modulation of venular permeability was investigated. Stimulation of PKC with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) dramatically increased basal Pa without significantly changing the cytosolic calcium level. The selective PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide abolished the effect of PMA but did not alter the effect of histamines on Pa. In contrast, both L-NMMA and KT-5823 were able to greatly attenuate the increase in Pa caused by PMA. These results suggest that 1) elevation of endothelial cytosolic calcium is an early signaling event preceding nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in the transduction of endothelial hyperpermeability, and 2) activation of PKC may alter the endothelial barrier function partially through the modulation of NO production.

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