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J Leukoc Biol. 2008 Aug;84(2):397-405. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0108035. Epub 2008 May 30.

Heme oxygenase-1 expression is down-regulated by angiotensin II and under hypertension in human neutrophils.

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Departamento de Bioquímica Médica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Avda. Sánchez Pizjuán 4, Universidad de Sevilla, E-41009 Sevilla, Spain.


Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a peptide hormone able to elicit a strong production of reactive oxygen species by human neutrophils. In this work, we have addressed whether expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an antioxidant enzyme, becomes altered in these cells upon Ang II treatment or under hypertension conditions. In neutrophils from healthy and hypertensive subjects, induction of HO-1 mRNA and protein expression with a parallel increase in enzyme activity took place upon treatment with 15-deoxy-Delta12,14-PGJ2 (15dPGJ2). However, Ang II prevented HO-1 synthesis by normal neutrophils in vitro, and HO-1 expression was depressed in neutrophils from hypertensive patients in comparison with cells from healthy subjects. In addition, Ang II treatment led to a reduced HO-1 enzyme activity to levels similar to those found in neutrophils from hypertensive patients. NO donors reversed the inhibition of 15dPGJ2-dependent HO-1 expression in neutrophils from hypertensive patients, and conversely, inhibition of inducible NO synthase (NOS2) activity counteracted the stimulatory effect of 15dPGJ2 on HO-1 expression in normal human neutrophils. Moreover, Ang II canceled 15dPGJ2-dependent induction of NOS2 mRNA synthesis. Present findings indicate that down-regulation of HO-1 expression in neutrophils from hypertensive subjects is likely exerted through the inhibition of NOS2 expression. Additionally, they underscore the potential usefulness of NO donors as new, therapeutic agents against hypertension.

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