Inhibition of Nitric Oxide–Stimulated Vasorelaxation by Carbon Monoxide-Releasing Molecules
Objective—Carbon monoxide (CO) is a weak soluble guanylyl cyclase stimulator, leading to transient increases in cGMP and vasodilation. The aim of the present work was to measure the effect of CO-releasing molecules (CORMs) on the cGMP/nitric oxide (NO) pathway and to evaluate how selected CORMs affect NO-induced vasorelaxation.
Methods and Results—Incubation of smooth muscle cells with some but not all of the CORMs caused a minor increase in cGMP levels. Concentration-response curves were bell-shaped, with higher CORMs concentrations producing lower increases in cGMP levels. Although exposure of cells to CORM-2 enhanced cGMP formation, we observed that the compound inhibited NO-stimulated cGMP accumulation in cells and NO-stimulated soluble guanylyl cyclase activity that could be reversed by superoxide anion scavengers. Reactive oxygen species generation from CORMs was confirmed using luminol-induced chemiluminescence and electron spin resonance. Furthermore, we observed that NO is scavenged by CORM-2. When used alone CORM-2 relaxed vessels through a cGMP-mediated pathway but attenuated NO donor-stimulated vasorelaxation.
Conclusion—We conclude that the CORMs examined have context-dependent effects on vessel tone, as they can directly dilate blood vessels, but also block NO-induced vasorelaxation.
- Received December 8, 2010.
- Accepted August 2, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.