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Tsuneaki Omae, Taiji Nagaoka, Ichiro Tanano, Akitoshi Yoshida; Homocysteine Inhibition of Endothelium-Dependent Nitric Oxide-Mediated Dilation of Porcine Retinal Arterioles via Enhanced Superoxide Production. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(3):2288-2295. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-11082.
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Elevated plasma concentration of homocysteine, a sulfur-containing amino acid, is an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Recent epidemiologic studies have confirmed that elevated homocysteine levels are associated with ocular vascular diseases; however, the direct effect of homocysteine on ocular microvascular reactivity remains unknown. We investigated whether homocysteine affects endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO)-mediated dilation of retinal arterioles and whether oxidative stress and distinct protein kinase signaling pathways are involved in the homocysteine-mediated effect.
Porcine retinal arterioles were isolated, cannulated, and pressurized without flow in vitro. Diameter changes were recorded using videomicroscopy techniques.
Intraluminal treatment with homocysteine (1 mM, 180 minutes) significantly attenuated arteriolar dilation in response to the endothelium-dependent NO-mediated agonists bradykinin and A23187 but not in response to the endothelium-independent NO donor sodium nitroprusside. In the presence of the superoxide scavenger 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPOL), the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase (NAD(P)H oxidase inhibitor apocynin, p38 kinase inhibitor SB203580, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) agonist pioglitazone, the detrimental effect of homocysteine on bradykinin-induced dilation was prevented; however, neither the xanthine oxidase inhibitor allopurinol, the JNK inhibitor SP600125, or pioglitazone with PPAR-γ inhibitor GW9662 had that effect.
Homocysteine inhibits endothelium-dependent NO-mediated dilation in the retinal arterioles by producing superoxide from NAD(P)H oxidase, which appears to be linked with p38 kinase. By impairing endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasoreactivity, homocysteine potentially facilitates development of retinal vascular diseases. In addition, pioglitazone can prevent homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction possibly by activating PPAR-γ.
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