Ethanol potentiates interleukin-1 beta-stimulated inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells

Durante, W.; Cheng, K.; Sunahara, R.K.; Schafer, A.I.

Biochemical Journal 308: 231-236


ISSN/ISBN: 0264-6021
PMID: 7538755
DOI: 10.1042/bj3080231
Accession: 043037019

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Experiments were performed to examine the effect of ethanol on the production of nitric oxide from interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta)-treated cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells. Incubation of vascular smooth muscle cells with IL-1 beta resulted in the release of nitrite and in the intracellular accumulation of L-citrulline. In parallel with this, IL-1 beta increased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and protein. Ethanol (6.5-650 mM) potentiated the IL-1 beta-mediated stimulation of iNOS mRNA production, the appearance of iNOS protein and the generation of nitrite and L-citrulline from smooth muscle cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In the absence of IL-1 beta, ethanol failed to induce iNOS expression. These results demonstrate that pharmacologically relevant concentrations of ethanol enhance the IL-1 beta-induced expression of the iNOS gene in vascular smooth muscle. The ability of ethanol to augment the release of the platelet inhibitor and vasodilator nitric oxide may, in part, contribute to the beneficial cardiovascular effects associated with moderate alcohol consumption.