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      Effect of Tetrahydrobiopterin on Blood Pressure in Rats after Subtotal Nephrectomy


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          Background: Previous studies have shown that endothelial dysfunction after 5/6 nephrectomy (5/6 Nx) in rats is associated with decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and increased vascular superoxide production. Blood pressure is significantly increased by day 10 after surgery. Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is a key cofactor of NO synthase. Suboptimal levels of BH4 result in uncoupling of NO synthase, low NO synthesis and augmented production of superoxide anions. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether BH4 supplementation may improve NO production and prevent the increase of blood pressure after 5/6 Nx. Methods: Three groups were evaluated: 5/6 Nx (untreated rats), BH4 (5/6 Nx rats treated with BH4, 10 mg/day i.p. for 10 days) and L-ARG (5/6 Nx rats treated with L-arginine, 260 mg/kg BW, p.o for 10 days). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), urinary nitrate excretion (UNO<sub>3</sub>) and creatinine clearance (CCR) were measured before surgery and on days 3 and 10 after surgery. Endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) protein content of mesenteric resistance vessels was measured at the end of the study. Results: SBP increased from 107 ± 2 to 127 ± 4 mm Hg in untreated 5/6 Nx rats (p < 0.01). By contrast, rats treated with BH4 or L-ARG remained normotensive. Ten days after 5/6 Nx, creatinine clearance decreased similarly in all groups. Both BH4 and L-ARG supplementation markedly increased UNO<sub>3</sub> excretion. The mesenteric vascular expression of eNOs protein was significantly higher in BH4 but not in L-ARG, compared with Nx rats. Conclusions: BH4 supplementation prevents the earlier increase in blood pressure observed in rats after 5/6 Nx, possibly by upregulating eNOS in resistance vessels.

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          Oxidation of tetrahydrobiopterin by peroxynitrite: implications for vascular endothelial function.

          Subsaturating levels of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)), an essential cofactor for nitric oxide synthase (NOS), can lead to endothelial dysfunction as a result of decreased production of nitric oxide. Furthermore, insufficient BH(4) can also result in NOS-uncoupled production of reactive oxygen intermediates, such as superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide. Nitric oxide and superoxide react rapidly to form peroxynitrite, which may be the reactive species responsible for many of the toxic effects of nitric oxide. Here we show that BH(4) is a primary target for peroxynitrite-catalyzed oxidation because at pH 7.4, physiologically relevant concentrations of BH(4) are oxidized rapidly by low concentrations of peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite oxidizes BH(4) to quinonoid 5,6-dihydrobiopterin and a large proportion of the quinonoid isomer readily loses its side chain to form 7,8-dihydropterin which is not a cofactor for nitric oxide synthase. Thus, abnormally low levels of BH(4) can promote a cycle of its own destruction mediated by nitric oxide synthase-dependent formation of peroxynitrite. This mechanism might contribute to vascular endothelial dysfunction induced by oxidative stress. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
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            A spectrophotometric assay for nitrate using NADPH oxidation by Aspergillus nitrate reductase.

            An assay based on the oxidation of NADPH during the enzymatic conversion of nitrate to nitrate by Aspergillus nitrate reductase [EC] was developed for specific quantification of nitrate. This spectrophotometric method was used to measure nitrate present in human urine, human serum, and tissue culture medium. Used as a kinetic assay, the method exhibited (1) linearity over a range of 1.25 to 40 microM nitrate, (2) an upper sensitivity of 20 microM, (3) a lower sensitivity of 1.25 microM nitrate, and (4) intraday and interday variability ranging from 0.6 to 6.1%. To judge the acceptability of this method as a kinetic assay, we determined the Km for Aspergillus nitrate reductase to be 199 microM. The Km was based on analyzing three separate lots of commercially purified enzyme. Mean nitrate content of eight urine specimens analyzed by this assay (1111 microM) was not significantly different from that determined by a chemiluminescence method (1144 microM). Analysis of serum using the two methods showed mean nitrate concentrations of 23 and 36 microM, respectively. Based on serial dilutions of serum, the lower nitrate content of serum observed with nitrate reductase assay could not be explained by the presence of inhibitors. Rat pulmonary alveolar macrophages were induced to produce nitric oxide which oxidizes to nitrite and nitrate. Nitrite and nitrate present in tissue culture medium of unactivated and activated macrophages were in proportion to total nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) determined by the chemiluminescence method. We conclude that the Aspergillus nitrate reductase assay is an accurate spectrophotometric method for determining nitrate content of human urine and tissue culture supernatants.

              Author and article information

              Nephron Physiol
              Nephron Physiology
              S. Karger AG
              May 2003
              17 June 2003
              : 94
              : 1
              : p6-p9
              Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Meir Hospital, Sapir Medical Center, Kfar-Saba, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
              71069 Nephron Physiol 2003;94:p6–p9
              © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

              Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

              : 21 November 2002
              : 16 February 2003
              Page count
              Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 11, Pages: 1
              Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/71069
              Self URI (text/html): https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/71069
              Self URI (journal page): https://www.karger.com/SubjectArea/Nephrology
              Original Paper

              Cardiovascular Medicine,Nephrology
              Nitric oxide,Tetrahydrobiopterin,Hypertension,Renal failure
              Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology
              Nitric oxide, Tetrahydrobiopterin, Hypertension, Renal failure


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