Mechanisms underlying sodium nitroprusside-induced tolerance in the mouse aorta: Role of ROS and cyclooxygenase-derived prostanoids

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To determine the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced tolerance. Additionally, we evaluated the role of ROS on NF-κB activation and pro-inflammatory cytokines production during SNP-induced tolerance.

Main methods:

To induce in vitro tolerance, endothelium-intact or -denuded aortic rings isolated from male Balb-c mice were incubated for 15, 30, 45 or 60 min with SNP (10 nmol/L).

Key findings:

Tolerance to SNP was observed after incubation of endothelium-denuded, but not endothelium-intact aortas for 60 min with this inorganic nitrate. Pre-incubation of denuded rings with tiron (superoxide anion (O2−) scavenger), and the NADPH oxidase inhibitors apocynin and atorvastatin reversed SNP-induced tolerance. L-NAME (non-selective NOS inhibitor) and L-arginine (NOS substrate) also prevented SNP-induced tolerance. Similarly, ibuprofen (non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor), nimesulide (selective COX-2 inhibitor), AH6809 (prostaglandin PGF2α receptor antagonist) or SQ29584 [PGH2/thromboxane TXA2 receptor antagonist] reversed SNP-induced tolerance. Increased ROS generation was detected in tolerant arteries and both tiron and atorvastatin reversed this response. Tiron prevented tolerance-induced increase on O2– and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels. The increase onp65/NF-κB expression and TNF-α production in tolerant arteries was prevented by tiron. The major new finding of our study is that SNP-induced tolerance is mediated by NADPH-oxidase derived ROS and vasoconstrictor prostanoids derived from COX-2, which are capable of reducing the vasorelaxation induced by SNP. Additionally, we found that ROS mediate the activation of NF-κB and the production of TNF-α in tolerant arteries.


These findings identify putative molecular mechanisms whereby SNP induces tolerance in the vasculature.

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