Free radicals mediate actions of oxyhemoglobin on cerebrovascular smooth muscle cells.
Single smooth muscle cells were isolated from the basilar artery of the rat by enzymatic dispersion. The membrane properties of the cells were assessed using the patch-electrode voltage-clamp technique, and cell viability was monitored using fluorescein diacetate uptake. Exposure of the cells to oxyhemoglobin (5 microM) resulted in 1) contraction, 2) the appearance of membrane blebs, 3) an increase in the outward potassium currents, 4) a decrease in the membrane resistance, and 5) cell death. In contrast, no effect of oxyhemoglobin on cultured murine neuroblastoma cells was observed. Methemoglobin (100 microM) had no effects on the smooth muscle cells. Catalase (300 units/ml) or dimethyl sulfoxide (0.5%) protected against the effects of oxyhemoglobin; superoxide dismutase (100-1,000 units/ml) provided only partial protection. Exposure of the cells to superoxide anions generated by xanthine (1 mM) plus xanthine oxidase (10 units/l) or to hydrogen peroxide (500 microM) caused an increase in the outward potassium currents without affecting membrane resistance. Generation of hydroxyl radicals by metal ions plus hydrogen peroxide caused the same effects as oxyhemoglobin, that is, an increase in the potassium currents, followed by a decrease in the membrane resistance and cell death. In conclusion, it appears that oxyhemoglobin exerts its effects on vascular smooth muscle cells by the generation of free radicals, chiefly hydroxyl radicals.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association