Investigation of the distribution of nitrite and nitrate and nitrite reductase activity in models of cardiovascular disease
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Recently, it has emerged that the NO metabolites, nitrite and nitrate can be chemically reduced in vivo to biologically active nitric oxide (NO). This generation of NO is dependent on reduction of nitrate to nitrite by facultative anaerobes on the dorsal surface of the tongue, entry of the nitrite into the enterosalivary circuit, transit to the stomach, and absorption through the gut wall into the circulation. Conversion of nitrite to NO is then facilitated by vascular nitrite reductase enzymes. This nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway has been shown to exert a number of beneficial effects in healthy volunteers e.g. lowering of blood pressure, however whether this pathway is affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD) is currently unknown. Ozone chemiluminescence was used to determine and compare nitrite and nitrate levels in 2 models of CVD. To study atherosclerosis wild type (WT) and apolipoprotein E knock out (ApoE KO) mice were used and for hypertension wistar kyoto (WKY) rats as controls vs. spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Assessment of nitrite reductase activity was conducted in the compartment which showed the most consistent differences in distribution, the red blood cell (RBC) and in homogenates of liver tissue. The impact of dietary nitrite and nitrate on distribution of the 2 anions throughout the cardiovascular system was assessed to determine the utility of this approach in restoring levels of these anions in CVD. Finally, using flow cytometry I investigated whether dietary nitrate supplementation could be used to influence inflammatory responses as a mechanism to improve CVD. Compared to WT mice, nitrate levels were reduced in ApoE KO mice in the plasma and across most of the tissues. In contrast in SHRs, reduction of the anions was only apparent in RBCs with no differences compared to WKY in all other tested tissues. Furthermore I have demonstrated that the most efficient way to restore nitrate levels back up to baseline is through a dietary nitrate strategy and that a dose of 15mM nitrate in the drinking water is sufficient to achieve this. In addition I have shown that nitrite reductase activity is enhanced in CVD particularly at the level of the RBC in both atherosclerosis and hypertension and that this enhanced activity is due, in part, to upregulation of xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR). Finally I have shown that dietary nitrate is an effective way to modulate an acute inflammatory response. This modulation is mediated through interfering with the ability of the neutrophil to firmly adhere to the vascular endothelium. These changes were shown to be dose-dependent and concomitant with dose-dependent increases in plasma nitrite and plasma nitrate. These data suggest that utilization of the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway with dietary nitrate may represent an effective approach for the treatment of CVD.
AuthorsGhosh, Suborno Mukut
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