Endothelial dysfunction in a murine model of mild hyperhomocyst(e)inemia.


Journal Article

Homocysteine is a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and its thrombotic complications. We have employed an animal model to explore the hypothesis that an increase in reactive oxygen species and a subsequent loss of nitric oxide bioactivity contribute to endothelial dysfunction in mild hyperhomocysteinemia. We examined endothelial function and in vivo oxidant burden in mice heterozygous for a deletion in the cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) gene, by studying isolated, precontracted aortic rings and mesenteric arterioles in situ. CBS(-/+) mice demonstrated impaired acetylcholine-induced aortic relaxation and a paradoxical vasoconstriction of mesenteric microvessels in response to superfusion of methacholine and bradykinin. Cyclic GMP accumulation following acetylcholine treatment was also impaired in isolated aortic segments from CBS(-/+) mice, but aortic relaxation and mesenteric arteriolar dilation in response to sodium nitroprusside were similar to wild-type. Plasma levels of 8-epi-PGF(2alpha) (8-IP) were somewhat increased in CBS(-/+) mice, but liver levels of 8-IP and phospholipid hydroperoxides, another marker of oxidative stress, were normal. Aortic tissue from CBS(-/+) mice also demonstrated greater superoxide production and greater immunostaining for 3-nitrotyrosine, particularly on the endothelial surface. Importantly, endothelial dysfunction appears early in CBS(-/+) mice in the absence of structural arterial abnormalities. Hence, mild hyperhomocysteinemia due to reduced CBS expression impairs endothelium-dependent vasodilation, likely due to impaired nitric oxide bioactivity, and increased oxidative stress apparently contributes to inactivating nitric oxide in chronic, mild hyperhomocysteinemia.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Eberhardt, RT; Forgione, MA; Cap, A; Leopold, JA; Rudd, MA; Trolliet, M; Heydrick, S; Stark, R; Klings, ES; Moldovan, NI; Yaghoubi, M; Goldschmidt-Clermont, PJ; Farber, HW; Cohen, R; Loscalzo, J

Published Date

  • August 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 106 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 483 - 491

PubMed ID

  • 10953023

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10953023

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-8238

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1172/jci8342


  • eng