Role of superoxide anion on basal and stimulated nitric oxide activity in neonatal piglet pulmonary vessels

E. Villamor*, C.G.A. Kessels, M.A.J.G. Fischer, A. Bast, J.G.R. de Mey, C.E. Blanco

*Corresponding author for this work

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Role of superoxide anion on basal and stimulated nitric oxide activity in neonatal piglet pulmonary vessels.

Villamor E, Kessels CG, Fischer MA, Bast A, de Mey JG, Blanco CE.

Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Maastricht, Research Institute Growth and Development (GROW), University of Maastricht, P. Debyelaan 25, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.

The superoxide anion (O2*-) appears to be an important modulator of nitric oxide bioavailability. Enzymatic scavenging of O2*- is carried out by superoxide dismutase (SOD). The present study was designed to characterize the developmental changes on pulmonary vascular reactivity induced by 1) exogenous Cu/Zn SOD, 2) several putative SOD mimetics, and 3) endogenous SOD inhibition. We also analyzed age-related changes on pulmonary SOD activity and vascular O2*- levels. SOD (1-300 U/mL) produced endothelium-dependent relaxation of U46619-contracted intrapulmonary arteries (fourth branch) and veins from 12- to 24-h-old and 2-wk-old piglets. SOD-induced relaxation was greater in pulmonary arteries and was abolished by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. SOD induced a greater pulmonary artery relaxation in the 2-wk-old than in the 12- to 24-h-old piglet. SOD (100 U/mL) did not modify acetylcholine-induced relaxation in pulmonary arteries. In contrast, endogenous SOD inhibition by diethyldithiocarbamate (3 mM) impaired acetylcholine-induced relaxation in pulmonary arteries from newborn but not from 2-wk-old piglets. Total SOD activity in lung tissue did not change with postnatal age. With the use of dihydroethidium, an oxidant-sensitive fluorescent probe, we did not find significant age- or vessel-related differences in O2*- presence. From the putative SOD mimetics tested, only the metal salts MnCl2 and CuSO4 reproduced the vascular effects of SOD. In summary, SOD produces endothelium-dependent pulmonary vascular relaxation by protecting nitric oxide from destruction by O2*-. This effect was less marked in newborns than in 2-wk-old piglets. In contrast, pulmonary arteries from newborn piglets are more sensitive to the inhibition of endogenous SOD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-381
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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