P-selectin translocation to the surface of endothelial cells is increased after exposure to the nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), resulting in increased endothelial adhesiveness. L-NAME (3 mM) was added to human cultured iliac vein endothelial cells for 1, 2, 4, and 6 h, and P-selectin mRNA expression was quantified by a ribonuclease protection assay. In parallel experiments, the NO donor, SPM-5185 (10 microM), was added to human iliac venous endothelial cells, and P-selectin mRNA expression quantified. P-selectin protein synthesis was quantified by Western blot analysis. L-NAME caused increased expression of P-selection RNA at 2-4 h, whereas D-NAME, the stereoisomer lacking NO synthase-inhibitory activity, had no effect. The stimulatory effect of L-NAME was reversed by addition of 3 mM L-arginine. SPM-5185 decreased P-selectin mRNA over the same time period (P < 0.02). The increased P-selectin mRNA expression induced by L-NAME was paralleled by an increase in P-selectin protein synthesis. The effects of SPM-5185 and L-arginine were also paralleled by decreases in P-selectin protein synthesis and in decreased adherence of human neutrophils to human iliac venous endothelial cells. The peak effect of inhibition of NO synthesis or addition of exogenous NO occurred at 2-4 h. These results suggest a regulatory effect of NO on endothelial P-selectin expression that modulates early leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions to preserve vascular homeostasis.
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