Background: Induction of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) results in nitric oxide (NO) overproduction during endotoxemia. Cellular uptake of L-arginine, modulated by the isozymes of type-2 cationic amino acid transporters (CAT), including CAT-2, CAT-2A and CAT-2B, has been reported to be a crucial factor in the regulation of iNOS activity. We sought to elucidate the expression of CAT-2 isozymes and the role of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in this expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rat liver. Methods: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly given intravenous (i.v.) injections of normal saline (N/S), LPS, LPS preceded by an NF-κB inhibitor (PDTC, dexamethasone or salicylate) or an NF-κB inhibitor alone. After injection, rats were sacrificed at different times and enzyme expression and liver injury were examined. Hepatic and systemic NO production were also measured. Results: CAT-2, CAT-2A and CAT-2B were constitutively expressed in un-stimulated rat liver. LPS stimulation not only significantly increased iNOS mRNA and NO concentrations but also decreased the mRNA concentrations of CAT-2 and CAT-2B, but not CAT-2A, in a time-dependent manner. LPS-induced hepatic and systemic NO overproduction was associated with hepatocellular injury. Pre-treatment with NF-κB inhibitors significantly attenuated LPS-induced iNOS induction as well as CAT-2/CAT-2B mRNA destabilization, which was associated with significant inhibition of NO biosynthesis and less liver injury. Conclusion: NF-κB inhibitors stabilize CAT-2 and CAT-2B mRNA in LPS-stimulated rat liver. The hepatic CAT-2/CAT-2B pathway may be a constitutive part of cytoprotective mechanisms against sepsis.
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine