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      Nicotinamide Modulates Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Cysteine Protease Activity during Cerebral Vascular Endothelial Cell Injury

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          Microvascular endothelial cell (EC) apoptosis or programmed cell death (PCD) during free radical injury may be involved in the development of cerebral ischemic and degenerative diseases. Yet, the cellular mechanisms that mediate cerebral EC injury require further definition. We therefore used the agent nicotinamide as an investigative tool in EC cultures to examine the role of free radical nitric oxide (NO)-induced PCD. EC injury was evaluated by the trypan blue dye exclusion method, DNA fragmentation, membrane phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure, cysteine protease activity, mitochondrial membrane potential, and mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation. We demonstrate that cerebrovascular PCD consists of two distinct pathways that involve the degradation of genomic DNA and the exposure of membrane PS residues. Each of these pathways is reversible in nature and is controlled independently by caspase 8, caspase 1, and caspase 3. As a cytoprotectant, nicotinamide is novel in the vascular system and functions at two levels. Nicotinamide not only maintains the mitochondrial membrane potential and the prevention of cytochrome c release, but also prevents the induction of caspase-8-, caspase-1- and caspase-3-like activities linked to the DNA repair enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase through mechanisms that are independent from the MAP kinase systems of p38 and JNK. The work begins to identify therapeutic strategies for the protection of the cerebral vasculature during both acute and chronic degenerative disorders.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Ischemic brain injury is mediated by the activation of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase.

          Poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP, EC, an abundant nuclear protein activated by DNA nicks, mediates cell death in vitro by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) depletion after exposure to nitric oxide. The authors examined whether genetic deletion of PARP (PARP null mice) or its pharmacologic inhibition by 3-aminobenzamide (3-AB) attenuates tissue injury after transient cerebral ischemia. Twenty-two hours after reperfusion following 2 hours of filamentous middle cerebral artery occlusion, ischemic injury was decreased in PARP-/- and PARP+/- mice compared with PARP+/+ litter mates, and also was attenuated in 129/SV wild-type mice after 3-AB treatment compared with controls. Infarct sparing was accompanied by functional recovery in PARP-/- and 3-AB-treated mice. Increased poly(ADP-ribose) immunostaining observed in ischemic cell nuclei 5 minutes after reperfusion was reduced by 3-AB treatment. Levels of NAD--the substrate of PARP--were reduced 2 hours after reperfusion and were 35% of contralateral levels at 24 hours. The decreases were attenuated in PARP-/- mice and in 3-AB-treated animals. Poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase cleavage by caspase-3 (CPP-32) has been proposed as an important step in apoptotic cell death. Markers of apoptosis, such as oligonucleosomal DNA damage, total DNA fragmentation, and the density of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end-labelled (TUNEL +) cells, however, did not differ in ischemic brain tissue of PARP-/- mice or in 3-AB-treated animals versus controls, although there were differences in the number of TUNEL-stained cells reflecting the decrease in infarct size. Thus, ischemic brain injury activates PARP and contributes to cell death most likely by NAD depletion and energy failure, although the authors have not excluded a role for PARP in apoptotic cell death at earlier or later stages in ischemic cell death. Inhibitors of PARP activation could provide a potential therapy in acute stroke.
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            Concentration-dependent effects of nitric oxide on mitochondrial permeability transition and cytochrome c release.

            The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) and associated release of cytochrome c are thought to be important in the apoptotic process. Nitric oxide (NO( small middle dot)) has been reported to inhibit apoptosis by acting on a variety of extra-mitochondrial targets. The relationship between cytochrome c release and PTP opening, and the effects of NO( small middle dot) are not clearly established. Nitric oxide, S-nitrosothiols and peroxynitrite are reported to variously inhibit or promote PTP opening. In this study the effects of NO( small middle dot) on the PTP were characterized by exposing isolated rat liver mitochondria to physiological and pathological rates of NO( small middle dot) released from NONOate NO( small middle dot) donors. Nitric oxide reversibly inhibited PTP opening with an IC(50) of 11 nm NO( small middle dot)/s, which can be readily achieved in vivo by NO( small middle dot) synthases. The mechanism involved mitochondrial membrane depolarization and inhibition of Ca(2+) accumulation. At supraphysiological release rates (>2 micrometer/s) NO( small middle dot) accelerated PTP opening. Substantial cytochrome c release occurred with only a 20% change in mitochondrial swelling, was an early event in the PTP, and was also inhibited by NO( small middle dot). Furthermore, NO( small middle dot) exposure resulted in significantly lower cytochrome c release for the same degree of PTP opening. It is proposed that this pathway represents an additional mechanism underlying the antiapoptotic effects of NO( small middle dot).
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              The metabotropic glutamate receptor system protects against ischemic free radical programmed cell death in rat brain endothelial cells.

               S. Lin,  K Maiese (2001)
              As one of the key determinants of ischemic injury, cerebrovascular endothelial cell (EC) degeneration may be dependent upon the generation of the free radical nitric oxide (NO) and the subsequent induction of programmed cell death (PCD). Although the mechanisms that can prevent EC injury are most likely multifactorial in origin, the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) system may represent a novel therapeutic approach for ECs given the ability of the mGluR system to reverse neuronal cell injury. This study examined the modulation of individual subtypes of mGluRs during anoxia and NO toxicity in primary rat cerebrovascular ECs. Cell injury was determined through trypan blue dye exclusion, intracellular lactate dehydrogenase release, DNA fragmentation, membrane phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure, and cysteine protease activity. Anoxia, through the generation of NO, and exposure to exogenous NO were directly toxic to ECs. Exposure to NO rapidly decreased EC viability from 98% +/- 2% to 40% +/- 9%, increased DNA fragmentation from 2% +/- 2% to 61% +/- 9%, and increased membrane PS exposure from 3% +/- 3% to 66% +/- 6% over a 24-hour period. Activation of the mGluR system significantly increased EC survival through the prevention of NO-induced DNA fragmentation and cellular membrane PS residue exposure. In contrast, antagonism of the mGluR system failed to prevent PCD. Cytoprotection by the mGluR system was dependent, at least in part, upon the direct inhibition of NO-generated caspase 1- and caspase 3-like activities. Further investigation into the ability of the mGluR system to prevent PCD in ECs may open new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of cerebrovascular injury.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                April 2002
                10 May 2002
                : 39
                : 2
                : 131-147
                aDivision of Cellular and Molecular Cerebral Ischemia, and bDepartments of Neurology, and Anatomy and Cell Biology, Centers for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, and Molecular and Cellular Toxicology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Mich., USA
                57762 J Vasc Res 2002;39:131–147
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 12, References: 43, Pages: 17
                Research Paper


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