Effect of native and oxidized low-density lipoprotein on endothelial nitric oxide and superoxide production : key role of L-arginine availability.

PMID 10725285


Native and oxidized LDLs (n-LDL and ox-LDL) are involved in the atherogenic process and affect endothelium-dependent vascular tone through their interaction with nitric oxide (NO). In this study we evaluated directly, by using a porphyrinic microsensor, the effect of increasing lipoprotein concentrations on endothelial NO and superoxide (O(2)(-)) production. We investigated where lipoproteins may affect the L-arginine-NO pathway by pretreating cells with L-arginine, L-N-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), and superoxide dismutase. Bovine aortic endothelial cells were exposed for 1 hour to increasing concentrations of n-LDL (from 0 to 240 mg cholesterol/dL) and ox-LDL (from 0 to 140 mg cholesterol/dL). A stimulated (calcium ionophore) NO concentration decreased to 29% of the control at n-LDL concentration of 80 mg cholesterol/dL and to 15% of the control at 20 mg cholesterol/dL of ox-LDL. L-Arginine partially neutralized the inhibitory effect of n-LDL and ox-LDL on the NO generation. Superoxide dismutase pretreatment did not modify NO production, whereas L-NAME blunted NO generation at all LDL concentrations. O(2)(-) production was increased at low n-LDL and very low ox-LDL concentrations; this was reversed by L-arginine. These findings confirm the inhibitory role of n-LDL and ox-LDL on NO generation and suggest that lipoproteins may induce a decreased uptake of L-arginine. The local depletion of the L-arginine substrate may derange the NO synthase, leading to overproduction of O(2)(-) from oxygen, the other substrate of NO synthase.