Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Oxidative injury of coronary venular endothelial cells depletes intracellular glutathione and induces HSP 70 mRNA

M. M. Aucoin, R. Barhoumi, D. T. Kochevar, H. J. Granger, R. C. Burghardt


Vascular endothelium is one of the first tissues exposed to reactive oxygen species produced during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion. Bovine coronary venular endothelial cells (CVEC) were evaluated for intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels and heat shock protein 70 (HSP 70) mRNA and protein during in vitro oxidative stress. CVEC were incubated with 0.01875 U/ml xanthine oxidase (XO) and 0.5 mM hypoxanthine (HX) for 30 min and then allowed to recover for 0, 1, 2, or 3 h. Relative GSH levels were determined by evaluation of monochlorobimane fluorescence. GSH fluorescence was significantly lower in CVEC treated with XO+HX for 30 min than in controls. GSH fluorescence was also decreased in heat-shocked CVEC. After oxidative stress, GSH levels were higher than in controls at 1 h, but by 2 or 3 h after treatment, GSH fluorescence fell below control values. HSP 70 mRNA was induced in CVEC by a 30-min treatment with XO+HX exposure. These data suggest that CVEC respond to oxidative stress by reducing intracellular GSH levels and inducing HSP 70 mRNA, although significant increases in HSP 70 protein were not detected at the time points tested.